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School Leadership

Board of Trustees

Chad S. Alfeld P’19

Simsbury, CT

Chad S. Alfeld P’19

Partner, Landmark Partners

Chad S. Alfeld is a partner of Landmark Partners, an alternative investment firm focused on secondary investment in private equity, real estate and real assets.  He is a member of the private equity and real estate investment committees.  He oversees investor relations and marketing and is involved in transaction origination.  Prior to joining Landmark in 1996, Chad served as controller for Health Plans Capital Services Corporation and as a senior consultant at Arthur Andersen LLP.  Chad serves on the board of the Connecticut Venture Group and the board of its Hartford Chapter. He also serves on the board of the Simsbury Land Trust.  Chad received an MBA from the University of Chicago, as well as an MS from DePaul University and a BA from Middlebury College. Chad’s daughter, Ellie, is a member of the Class of 2019.

Christopher L. Brigham

West Hartford, CT

Christopher L. Brigham

Shareholder and Chairman, Employment Practices Group
Updike, Kelly & Spellacy, P.C.

Secretary

Margot Campbell Bogert ’60

Bedford Hills, NY

Margot Campbell Bogert ’60

Trustee Emerita

Elizabeth “Sue” Rockwell Cesare

South Norwalk, CT

Elizabeth “Sue” Rockwell Cesare

Former Head of School, King Low Heyward Thomas School

Trustee Emerita

Kevin Chessen P’17

San Francisco, CA

Kevin Chessen P’17

Managing Director, BTIG, LLC.

Mary Lou Cobb

West Simsbury, CT

Mary Lou Cobb

Founder, The Cobb School

Mary Lou Cobb founded The Cobb School, Montessori in 1974 and was head of school for 45 years. She grew up in Southern Maryland, and enrolled in the first Montessori Training Course in Washington, D.C. After teaching a primary class for over 30 years, in 1974 Mary Lou established what was then called The Montessori Children’s House in the basement of The Ethel Walker School’s gymnasium. Forty-five years later, Montessorians from across the globe visit The Cobb School to study best practices. Last year she stepped down from her headship after forty-five years of leading the school. Mary Lou has been a founding board member of the Montessori Administrators Association (MAA), the Montessori Training Center of New England (MTCNE), and Montessori Schools of Connecticut (MSC), and continues to serve on their boards. Additionally, she serves on the board of SPHERE, a coalition of Connecticut independent schools dedicated to diversity and inclusion, and she serves on the Commission for Membership and Accreditation (CMA) for the CT Association of Independent Schools. The longest standing founder and head in Connecticut history, she is a senior consultant for Montessori education in the region and travels frequently to speak and teach about pedagogy and the educational values undergirding a Montessori school.

Sarah Gates Colley ’75

Hobe Sound, FL

Sarah Gates Colley ’75

Trustee Emerita

Natalie Corbett P’21

Avon, CT

Natalie Corbett P’21

Human Resources Managing Director, Cigna

Ex Officio, Horizons at The Ethel Walker School

Natalie lives in Avon, CT and is the mother of Walker’s senior, Erin Corbett ’21. She earned her undergraduate degree in Finance from the University of Connecticut and holds two graduate degrees: an M.B.A. from UConn and a Masters in Professional Studies from Cornell University, along with an Executive Coaching certificate from Georgetown University. Natalie began her career at United Technologies Corporation and is now employed in the Human Resources department at Cigna. A strong believer in continued growth and development, Natalie has witnessed the value of Horizons both for its students and its volunteers through her daughter Erin’s involvement as a volunteer. She joins our board of trustees in an ex-officio role as the new chair of the Horizons board.

Dr. Eleanor (Elly) Daugherty P’26

Hartford, CT

Dr. Eleanor (Elly) Daugherty P’26

Associate Vice President for Student Affairs, University of Connecticut

Elly is currently Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students at the University of Connecticut. In her role, Elly has direct oversight over the Dean of Students Office, Student Health Services, Counseling and Mental Health Services, Wellness and Prevention Services, Community Standards, Off-Campus Student Services, and Residential Life. Prior to coming to UConn, Elly was the Assistant Vice President for Student Life and the Associate Dean of the College for Student Life and Alumni Affairs at the University of Chicago, where she was responsible for providing senior leadership and strategic planning for student life initiatives. Elly has also held administrative roles at Columbia University and the University of Michigan. Elly is a graduate of the University of Chicago (BA), Columbia University (M.Ed) and Columbia University (Ed.D). Elly’s academic interests include diversity and inclusion among underrepresented college students and is reflected in her doctoral thesis, Access Now: Exploring the Perceptions and Experiences of College Access Among Today’s Youth.

Elly lives in Hartford with her husband, Steven, and their daughter, Annie ’26.

Harriet Blees Dewey ’60, P’86, GP’21, ’23

Ridgefield, CT

Harriet Blees Dewey ’60, P’86, GP’21, ’23

Leander Altifois Dolphin ’95, P’24

Hartford, CT

Leander Altifois Dolphin ’95, P’24

Partner, Shipman & Goodwin Counselors at Law

Leander A. Dolphin ’95, P’24 is a partner in the School Law Practice Group at Shipman & Goodwin LLP in Hartford, CT. Leander represents public school districts, independent schools, and colleges and universities in education and employment matters. She is co-chair of Shipman & Goodwin’s Committee on Diversity and Inclusion, which promotes understanding, advancement and empowerment of diverse professionals through supporting initiatives to recruit, mentor and retain diverse teams of attorneys and staff, as well as developing events that share perspectives and raise awareness of diversity issues facing organizations and the community. Previously, she served as vice president of human resources and general counsel at Girl Scouts of Connecticut. She is a frequently requested speaker as well as an adjunct professor of education law at Quinnipiac University School of Law.

Leander contributes her time and experience to organizations committed to diversity and inclusion with a focus on educating and empowering youth in the community. She serves on the board of The Governor’s Prevention Partnership, the Lawyers Collaborative for Diversity’s Associates Advisory Committee, The Hartt School for Performing Arts, the Girl Scouts of the USA, and the Girl Scouts of Connecticut. She has served as both secretary and as a member of the board of directors of the George W. Crawford Black Bar Association, a volunteer, state-wide organization of attorneys, judges, and law students in Connecticut. Leander was selected as a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation, a James W. Cooper Fellow of the Connecticut Bar Foundation, and by the Connecticut Law Tribune as a “New Leader in the Law.” Leander has been honored at the “100 Women of Color Awards 2017” gala, which celebrated the contributions of women in business, education, entrepreneurship, entertainment, government and service.

Leander is a graduate of Howard University School of Law with a Juris Doctor from Wesleyan University with a Bachelor’s Degree with high honors in English, African American Studies, and Women’s Studies.

Mishone Donelson P’25

West Hartford, CT

Mishone Donelson P’25

Managing Director- Life Science, Horizon Technology Finance

Mishone is managing director of Horizon Technology Finance where he is responsible for business development in the East Coast life science markets. He was the principal of Fairview Capital Partners from 2008 to 2016, leading investment and business development efforts for the company’s venture capital, private equity, and direct co-investment portfolios. Prior, Mishone was chief of staff to the chairman and CEO of Ariel Investments and a consultant for Accenture. Mishone helped launch Tennessee’s first charter school, Memphis Academy of Science and Engineering. He is currently a board member of the Hartford Youth Scholars Foundation and a member of the board of ambassadors of the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving. Previously, he served on the board of Chicago Professionals for Youth, was co-chairman of the Robert Toigo Foundation Alumni Association, and chairman of Community Health Services. Mishone has a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from MIT and a Master of Business Administration from the Kellogg School of Management where he was a Robert Toigo Fellow. Mishone’s wife, Tiffany, is Vice President of Programs at Connecticut Health Foundation, and they live in West Hartford, CT. Their daughters, Madison and Mackenzie, are in 8th and 6th grades, respectively.

Jean Moore Edwards '69

Saint Helena, CA

Jean Moore Edwards '69

Lindsay P. Flynn ’05

Washington, D.C.

Lindsay P. Flynn ’05

Principal, Twenty-First Century Group, Inc.

Lindsay is the president of government relations at Twenty-First Century Group where she represents a diverse portfolio of clients in the healthcare, telecommunication, and transportation industries, including Fortune 500 companies, trade associations, and municipalities. She assists clients with legislative strategy and policy, with a focus on vaccine issues, telehealth, biodefense, and Medicaid managed care. Prior, Lindsay served as an intern for U.S. Representative Niki Tsongas (D-MA), as a field organizer on Elizabeth Warren’s (D-MA) Senate campaign in 2012, and as a coordinator for women’s outreach in Pennsylvania on President Barack Obama’s campaign in 2008.

Lindsay started her career as a research analyst for Assabet Ventures, a healthcare consulting firm in Massachusetts. In that role, she worked closely with senior executives on projects for health plans, medical device companies, the pharmaceutical industry, and the Ministry of Health in China.

While at Walker’s, Lindsay was president of EWAC (The Ethel Walker Athletic Council), played varsity field hockey and varsity basketball, and was captain of the varsity lacrosse team. She also was president of the Chemistry Club. Lindsay earned a Bachelor’s Degree in economics from the University of Pennsylvania.

Lindsay served on our Alumnae Board and has been a class agent and reunion committee volunteer. Lindsay’s father, Patrick Flynn, served on Walker’s Board of Trustees from 2004 to 2009. Lindsay is originally from Concord, MA and is a Dial.

Dr. Shelley Marks ’81

San Francisco, CA

Dr. Shelley Marks ’81

Surgeon, Palo Alto Medical Foundation

Vice Chair

Shelley lives in San Francisco, CA and also has a home in Massachusetts. She is a general surgeon with the Palo Alto Medical Foundation in Palo Alto, CA. Shelley studied at the University of Health Sciences, Chicago Medical School. She did her internship and residency at the University of California, San Francisco. She is a member of the Society of Surgeons of the Alimentary Tract and the Society of American Gastrointestinal Endoscopic Surgeons. She is married to Erik Gaensler, a radiologist, and they have one son.

(From SunDial Winter ’15 Magazine): Shelley Marks graduated from Walker’s in 1981 at the tail end of a long lineage of Walker’s Dials including her mother Virginia Backus Caulkins ’40, two aunts, Barbara Backus Jewett ’31 and Dorothy Backus Lunken ’38, as well as her first cousin, Virginia Backus Vanocur ’54. Her godmother, Susan Ford ’63, is a former Walker’s trustee. After three years at Walker’s, Shelley went on to double major in Art History and Neurobiology at Wellesley College. She then followed the path of her older brothers and moved to San Francisco where she was a research associate in the Neurology Department at UCSF prior to attending medical school at UHS/The Chicago Medical School. Shelley did her surgical training at UCSF and Stanford, serving as a Chief Resident at the latter institution prior to returning for her fellowship at UCSF in Minimally Invasive Surgery under the mentorship of Dr. Lawrence Way. Shelley has worked as a general and laparoscopic surgeon at The Palo Alto Medical Clinic since finishing her fellowship in 1999. For many of those years she served as Department Chair. Shelley has derived the most professional satisfaction from her involvement in the Stanford General Surgery Training Program. She has been deeply involved in surgical societies including serving as president of the Northern California Chapter of the American College of Surgeons and the San Francisco Surgical Society as well as secretary/treasurer of the UCSF Naffziger Surgical Society. Shelley lives in San Francisco with her husband, Erik Gaensler, M.D., a radiologist, and their teenage son, Nicholas. The family returns several times a year to the family beach house in Gloucester, MA where many Walker’s alumnae have congregated to reminisce about past times at school and to look forward to Walker’s incredible future.

Cecily Chilton Matthai ’77

Baltimore, MD

Cecily Chilton Matthai ’77

Ann O'Hara P’21, ’23

Ann Arbor, MI

Ann O'Hara P’21, ’23

President of North America, Huhtamaki

Ann O’Hara is a global executive who has led P&Ls from start-ups through to multi-site $1B businesses for large multinational companies. Ann was previously the Managing Director of Four Provinces Investments LLC, an angel investment fund focused on early stage technology, services and manufacturing companies in the CPG and Healthcare industries with significant growth potential.  She is now the President of North America, Huhtamaki.

Ann holds a Master’s in Business Administration from the Harvard Business School and a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania.  She also recently completed Harvard Business School’s executive education program, Women on Corporate Boards, in 2019. Ann is an active member of the Harvard Business School Alumni Angels of New York (HBSAANY).

Previously, she was Executive Vice President of Intertek plc’s £1B, 15,000-person Global Products business providing safety, quality and performance testing services to retailers, brand owners and manufacturers.  Previous to Intertek, she was Vice President and General Manager of Amcor’s $700M, 13 site Rigid Plastics Diversified Products business in North America and Amcor’s $450M, 6 site Flexibles business in Australia, providing primary packaging to brand owners and co-packers.  Ann’s first business leadership experience was as General Manager of General Electric (GE) Healthcare’s Lifescience Services and Bioprocess businesses providing support to Biotech development and manufacturer companies. Across these business leadership roles, Ann planned and completed nearly a dozen acquisitions and integrations, has executed multiple turnaround strategies and sales and marketing growth initiatives.

Prior to the business leadership experiences, Ann was an Engagement Manager at McKinsey & Company leading consulting teams to deliver longer term strategy, sales and marketing initiatives and intense short-term Merger and Acquisition due diligence advice.  Prior to business school, Ann was a Product Development Engineer and Technical Services Manager at Procter & Gamble where she led multiple product development launches and supplier qualification programs. Ann has lived and worked half of her career outside of North America in Australia, Sweden, Germany, China, and Argentina.

Ann’s daughter, Janet Hedges, a rider, is in Walker’s Class of 2021 and her daughter, Jordan Hedges, will be attending Walker’s in the fall as a member of the Class of 2023.

Letitia McClure Potter ’55, P’85

Greenwich, CT

Letitia McClure Potter ’55, P’85

Trustee Emerita

Thomas Regan P’13

Avon, CT

Thomas Regan P’13

Partner, Brown Rudnick

Treasurer

 

Katharine "Kit" O'Brien Rohn ’82

Darien, CT

Katharine "Kit" O'Brien Rohn ’82

Chair

Sahba Sadegh-Vaziri ’82

New York, NY

Sahba Sadegh-Vaziri ’82

Sahba lives in New York City and is the president of Susa Associates, LLC, a company that concentrates on investments in renewable energy, and a finance consultant for Ocean Renewable Power Company, LLC. An Iranian-American who fled her homeland during the Islamic Revolution, Sahba is fluent in Farsi, Kurdish, French and Italian and has a keen understanding of geopolitical issues concerning Iran and Kurdistan. Sahba has a B.A. in Electrical Engineering and an MBA from MIT.

Pamela J. Safford ’81

New Canaan, CT

Pamela J. Safford ’81

Director of Enrollment Management and Financial Aid, New Canaan Country School

Pam lives in New Canaan, CT and is director of enrollment management and financial aid at The Country School in New Canaan. Previously, Pam was employed as dean of admissions and financial aid at Deerfield Academy; associate head of communications, enrollment and planning at Concord Academy; and director of admissions at Northfield Mount Hermon School. She holds a B.A. from Carleton College and an M.S. from the University of Pennsylvania. Pam is a founding trustee and former chair of the board for the Association of Independent School Admission Professionals (AISAP). Her volunteer roles at Walker’s include: Reunion Committee Volunteer; Reunion Social Chair; Phonathon Volunteer; former trustee and member of the Communications & Marketing Task Force, Compensation & Benefits Committee, and Asset Management Committee. For the past year, Pam has been a very active member of Alumnae Board. Pam is a Sun.

Dr. Wil Samson P’20, ’23

Hartford, CT

Dr. Wil Samson P’20, ’23

Lead Physician and Regional Medical Director, Hartford HealthCare Medical Group

Dr. Wil Samson is lead physician and regional medical director for Hartford HealthCare (HHC) Medical Group, responsible for 50 clinicians in 12 offices and is an outpatient consulting nephrologist. In addition to clinical and administrative roles, he has taken a lead role in quality initiatives for practice improvement, including areas of support staff training and clinical pathways for disease management. His areas of expertise include clinical medicine (nephrology and primary care), school admission, medical education, employment disability, quality control, and compensation. Wil serves on the Accountable Care Organization board for HHC as well as the board for the Integrated Care Partners, a physician-led Hartford Healthcare affiliated organization tasked with clinical integration and third party contract management. In that capacity, he is working to help the organization transition to a value base health care model. An ongoing commitment has been to improve physician productivity, satisfaction, hiring and retention.

After earning a degree in Economics from Vassar College and an M.D. from the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Wil began his professional career as an assistant professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine and was the site director for the Nephrology fellowship program. Additional roles included admission committee member, co-chair for the state of Connecticut retirement division, examining board, and Merits and Compensation Executive Committee member. He subsequently joined Community Health Services, Inc. as chief medical officer, helping  lead the organization in gaining Patient Centered Medical Home recognition through the Joint Commission. Wil also led the development of a peer review process to assess provider performance.

Wil is married to Michelle Smedley, MD, and has two daughters, Ella ’20 and Kate ’23.

Mary Bebel Schinke

Mary Bebel Schinke '81

Roxbury, CT

Mary Bebel Schinke '81

Attorney

Mary is an attorney living in Roxbury, CT. She has been practicing law since 1991 in the fields of corporate law and estate planning. Previously in NY she had a corporate practice focusing on cross-border leveraged leasing, banking tax, employee benefits, and advising nonprofits. She also was employed by Linklaters in London where she worked on asset finance transactions and banking. Mary has been a warden of St. John’s Church, Washington, CT; a director of the Minor Memorial Library, Roxbury, CT; and a trustee of the Connecticut Community Foundation. She is married to Steven Schinke who is on the faculty at Columbia University. Mary grew up in Queens, NY before coming to Walker’s. She earned her JD from Harvard Law School, a BA in Psychology from Yale University and received a certificate in British Studies while abroad in England her junior year. She enjoys needlework, cooking, and gardening and teaches spinning, Nia dance, and yoga. Mary also serves on the Board of Regional Hospice and Home Care of Western Connecticut as well as the Board of the Washington, Connecticut Chapter of the Garden Club of America.

Mary is a Dial. As a Walker’s student she was a modern dancer and choral singer. She is a member of our Heritage Society and has also been a Leadership Solicitor and member of the Alumnae Board. Mary was a Trustee from 2007 to 2008, when she resigned. After joining us for Walker’s Women in the World in Panama, where she spent quality time with Meera Viswanathan and trustees Kit O’Brien Rohn ’82, Cecily Chilton Matthai ’77, Teresa Younger and her classmate Shelley Marks ’81, Mary feels that the time is right to re-join the leadership at Walker’s.

Emma Simon ’89

West Hartford, CT

Emma Simon ’89

Vice President- Marketing & Communications, Virtus Investment

Emma is managing director, Marketing, for Virtus Investment Partners in Hartford, CT. She earned her B.A. from Wellesley College, MBA from the University of Connecticut, and completed a fashion design certification from Instituto Marangoni in Milan. Emma has been an active member of the Hartford Wellesley Club, including serving as its president, and has volunteered for the Hill-Stead Museum in a number of capacities, including as a member of the Board of Governors. For Walker’s, she has volunteered as a member of the Alumnae Board (President), Auction Committee, Campaign Committee, Campaign Steering Committee, Centennial Honorary Committee, Development Committee, and Marketing Committee. She has also been a class agent, leadership solicitor, Reunion Gift Chair, Advancement Committee solicitor and most recently a Reunion Tri-Chair in 2019. She was a speaker at Chapel for the MacKenzie dedication of the Head’s House in 2013. Emma is a Sun and resides in West Hartford, CT.

Beth Strapp P’18, ’21

Granby, CT

Beth Strapp P’18, ’21

Senior Vice President, Berkley Healthcare Financial Lines

Ex Officio, President, Ethel Walker School Parent Association

Linda Strohmeyer P’21

Tuxedo Park, NY

Linda Strohmeyer P’21

Past President/Board Director, Prosperity Catalyst

Linda lives in Tuxedo Park, NY and is the founding board chair and president of Prosperity Catalyst, an organization that launches women-led businesses in distressed regions in order to equalize economic empowerment. She is also the board director of Vision Trust International, a nonprofit that supports children in need. Linda also served as the community service coordinator at Tuxedo Park School in NY. Prior, worked as a vice president for Goldman Sachs where she proposed and implemented their global wellness division, and was a Wellness Program director for Prudential Financial. She has a B.A. from the University of Maryland College Park. Linda chairs Walker’s Equestrian Committee. Her daughter, Ava ’21, is a senior.

Dr. Emiliana Vegas ’85

Washington, D.C.

Dr. Emiliana Vegas ’85

Senior Fellow and Co-Director, The Center for Universal Education at the Brookings Institution

Emiliana Vegas is a senior fellow and co-director of the Center for Universal Education at the Brookings Institution. A leading expert on education in developing countries, Emiliana has written extensively on issues affecting education systems in Latin America and the Caribbean and other developing regions. Her papers and books cover topics ranging from policies to raising teacher effectiveness to school finance and early childhood development policies. Before joining Brookings, Emiliana served as the chief of the Education Division at the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), where she led a team working in the Bank’s lending operations and analytical activities to support education systems throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. Before the IDB, Emiliana worked at the World Bank in Washington, DC, where she held various positions in the Human Development Network. Emiliana has a Doctor of Education degree from Harvard University with a concentration in economics of education, a Master of Public Policy degree from Duke University, and a bachelor’s degree in communications with a concentration in journalism from Andrés Bello Catholic University in Caracas, Venezuela.

Dr. Meera Viswanathan

Simsbury, CT

Dr. Meera Viswanathan

Ex Officio, Head of School

Meera joined Walker’s from Brown University, where she was an associate professor of Comparative Literature and East Asian Studies. A lifelong educator and scholar, Meera holds her undergraduate degree, her M.A. and a Ph.D. from Stanford University.

Meera was born in Madras, India and emigrated at age five to Los Angeles.

At Brown, she earned the Barrett Hazeltine Award for Outstanding Teaching, and the John Rowe Workman Medal in the Humanities. She delivered Brown University’s Convocation Address, has received several National Endowment for the Humanities grants and awards, and has been both a visiting scholar and professor abroad. Meera has served as a reviewer for the National Endowment for the Humanities, on the review board of the journal, College Literature, and on the board of the Community Preparatory School in Providence. She is a Trustee of the Lawrenceville School in New Jersey. She has frequently led seminars locally and nationally about developing curriculum and resources on Asian literature. Meera has studied and speaks a number of languages including Japanese, French, German, Latin, Classical Greek, Old English and Old Norse.

Meera and her husband, Dr. Eric Widmer, resided at Deerfield Academy during his 12-year tenure as Headmaster. While there, she taught English for a year while on sabbatical from Brown. At the behest of King Abdullah II of Jordan, Meera and Eric co-founded King’s Academy in Madaba, Jordan, the Middle East’s first co-educational preparatory boarding school with financial aid. There, she taught and served as the curriculum’s principal architect and dean of faculty. King Abdullah II personally awarded Meera the King Hussein Medal, Jordan’s highest honor, for her endeavors.

Read more about Head of School Meera Viswanathan.

Charlotte Weidlein Lenzner ’05

New York, NY

Charlotte Weidlein Lenzner ’05

Sr. Director, Business Development & Corporate Partnerships, Global Citizen

Ex Officio, Alumnae Board Co-Chair

Charlotte joins the board in her capacity as Co-Chair of the Alumnae Board. She graduated from Bates College in 2009 with a BA in History of Art and Visual Culture. and moved to New York City, where she worked at Sotheby’s as a key member of the Single Owner Sales Department. Charlotte was previously the VP of Client Development and Strategy at Charitybuzz, an online auction house benefiting non-profit organizations. She has cultivated and continues to oversee several strategic brand partnerships in the arts, entertainment and luxury verticals. She now finds herself as the Senior Director of Business Development & Corporate Partnerships at Global Citizen.

While at Walker’s, she was a member of the Big 7 (VP of the Student Body), co-captain of the Varsity Volleyball team, and co-leader of the Grapes. She was a Reunion Committee Volunteer in 2014 and 2015, before joining our Alumnae Board in 2016. In addition to her volunteer work for Walker’s, she sits on the board of the Cleveland H. Dodge Foundation, and is a College Readiness Mentor with the East Harlem Tutorial Program. Charlotte is a Sun.

Emily Wick P’15

Norfolk, MA

Emily Wick P’15

Teresa C. Younger

Shelton, CT

Teresa C. Younger

CEO and President, Ms. Foundation for Women

In 2014, Teresa C. Younger became president and CEO of the Ms. Foundation for Women, the oldest women’s foundation in the United States. Under Teresa’s leadership, the Foundation launched #MyFeminismIs, a multimedia campaign sparking a national conversation on feminism; funded a groundbreaking report on the sexual abuse to prison pipeline; joined leading women’s foundations at the White House to announce a $100 million funding commitment to create pathways to economic opportunity for low-income women and girls; and led a campaign to hold the NFL accountable for violence against women. A noted speaker, advocate, and activist, Teresa has been on the frontlines of some of the most important battles for women’s health, safety and economic justice. In 2016, Inside Philanthropy identified Teresa as one of the “50 Most Powerful Women in US Philanthropy”. In 2015, she was honored by Planned Parenthood Federation of America as a Dream Keeper and given Liberty Bank’s Willard M. McRae Community Diversity Award. A graduate of the University of North Dakota, Teresa currently serves on the boards of the ERA Coalition/Fund for Women’s Equality, Universal Healthcare Foundation of CT and the Women’s Campaign School at Yale University and is a member of the Girl Scouts and the New York Women’s Forum.

Administration

Meera Viswanathan

Head of School

Meera Viswanathan

 860-408-4210

B.A., Stanford University
M.A., Stanford University
Ph.D., Stanford University

Meera joined Walker’s from Brown University, where she was an associate professor of Comparative Literature and East Asian Studies. A lifelong educator and scholar, Meera holds her undergraduate degree, her M.A. and a Ph.D. from Stanford University. Meera was born in Madras, India and emigrated at age five to Los Angeles.

At Brown, she earned the Barrett Hazeltine Award for Outstanding Teaching, and the John Rowe Workman Medal in the Humanities. She delivered Brown University’s Convocation Address, has received several National Endowment for the Humanities grants and awards, and has been both a visiting scholar and professor abroad. Meera has served as a reviewer for the National Endowment for the Humanities, on the review board of the journal, College Literature, and on the board of the Community Preparatory School in Providence. She is a Trustee of the Lawrenceville School in New Jersey. She has frequently led seminars locally and nationally about developing curriculum and resources on Asian literature. Meera has studied and speaks a number of languages including Japanese, French, German, Latin, Classical Greek, Old English and Old Norse.

Meera and her husband, Dr. Eric Widmer, resided at Deerfield Academy during his 12-year tenure as Headmaster. While there, she taught English for a year while on sabbatical from Brown. At the behest of King Abdullah II of Jordan, Meera and Eric co-founded King’s Academy in Madaba, Jordan, the Middle East’s first co-educational preparatory boarding school with financial aid. There, she taught and served as the curriculum’s principal architect and dean of faculty. King Abdullah II personally awarded Meera the King Hussein Medal, Jordan’s highest honor, for her endeavors.

Gretchen Orschiedt

Gretchen Orschiedt

Assistant Head for Advancement

Gretchen was appointed as Walker’s director of advancement in October 2016. Coming from Trinity College, she initially served as director of development, and, more recently, as director of principal gifts and international development. Prior to Trinity, Gretchen’s career in education includes over a decade of fundraising at Cornell University and over a decade of work in admissions at Cornell University, Ithaca College and her alma mater, Wells College.

Clarissa Basch P'15

Director of College Counseling, Co-Director of Community Partnerships

Clarissa Basch P'15

 860-408-4215

B.A., Bates College
M.Ed, Harvard University

Clarissa Basch has served as Walker’s director of college counseling since February 2004, where she guides students through the process of investigating, applying to, and selecting colleges.

Before joining Walker’s, Clarissa spent seventeen years as a college admissions officer at Drexel University, Endicott College and Hampshire College. She was lured to “the other side of the desk” because of the opportunity to work directly with students on their post-Walker’s plans, and to be part of this vibrant boarding school community. With professional colleagues at colleges and universities all over the country, she loves to welcome them to Walker’s when they come to meet with her students in the fall.

Clarissa is an avid exerciser who swims and helps guard at the Walker’s pool on weekday mornings. She is an active volunteer for numerous organizations in the greater Hartford area and at Walker’s serves as one of the faculty advisors to the Community Partnerships Program, Clarissa put her college counseling know-how to use with her daughter (EWS ’15), and both survived the experience intact. Following graduation, her daughter enjoyed a wonderful gap year in England as an English-Speaking Union Scholar, and is now enrolled in college. Next up for mom’s advice is her son (2019).

Read Full Profile

Isabel Ceballos

Head of the Middle School

Isabel Ceballos

 860-408-4309

B.A., Central Connecticut State University
M.A., Central Connecticut State University

Isabel Ceballos was born in Medellin, Colombia, and raised in Connecticut. She earned her B.A. and M.A. in Modern Languages with a concentration in Spanish Language, Literature & Culture from Central Connecticut State University. Isabel Ceballos has been a member of Walker’s Language Department since 2013, and is the founding executive director of Horizons at The Ethel Walker School, the first all-girls Horizons program in the country.

Named one of Hartford Business Journal’s Top 40 Under 40 in 2016, and a recipient of The Thelma Ellis Dickerson Community Bridge Builder Award, Isabel is an active member in the community. She serves on the Board of The Aurora Women & Girls Foundation, and is a member of the United Way Community Engagement Committee.

Read Full Profile

Elisa Del Valle Cardona

Director of Social Justice and Inclusion, History Faculty, 9th Grade Class Dean

Elisa Del Valle Cardona

 860-408-4287

B.A., Smith College
M.A., University of Massachusetts

Elisa Del Valle Cardona, a native of Brooklyn, NY, has lived in Connecticut for over a decade. Prior to joining Walker’s in fall 2016, she worked as the director of student activities and leadership development/new student orientation at Wesleyan University. While at Wesleyan, Elisa served on the Presidential Task Force for Equity and Inclusion and was an active voice on issues of Equity and Inclusion amongst her student affairs professionals. Elisa’s deep-rooted interest in women’s education is what brings her to Walker’s. Elisa attended an all-girls high school in New York City before attending Smith College in Northampton, MA where she majored in Government and minored in Spanish. While working at Mount Holyoke College, Elisa attended graduate school at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst where she graduated with a Master’s in Social Justice Education. Elisa is an active Commissioner of the CAIS Commission on Diversity in Independent Schools, an educators network focused on diversity, as well as training and resources for diversity practitioners at CAIS member schools.

Read Full Profile

Sarah Edson

Interim Dean of Faculty and Dean of Academic Technology and Innovation

Sarah Edson

 860-408-4233

B.A., Middlebury College
M.E., Harvard University

Sarah joined the Walker’s community in 2009 after more than a decade of working in the fields of education and academic technology. After graduating summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Middlebury College with a B.A. in history, Sarah attended Harvard University where she completed her master’s degree in education with a focus on technology and innovation in education. A former Spanish teacher, professional development leader, program manager, and producer of various learning technologies, Sarah is grateful for the opportunity to work with faculty, students, and staff to use technology effectively and meaningfully. She particularly values the chance to educate students on topics related to digital citizenship through a course she designed and has developed through the years.

Beyond the classroom, Sarah coaches Walker’s cross country team, advises Upper School students, and serves on the School’s Administrative Leadership Team. She is a former member of the Board of Trustees for the National Coalition of Girls’ Schools. Each year she also organizes Edcamp CT, a summer professional development event at Walker’s for educators from throughout the region. Additionally, Sarah co-chairs the School’s Strategic Planning Committee and appreciates the schoolwide collaborative effort to fulfill Walker’s mission and achieve its vision for the future.
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Kati Eggert

Athletic Director

Kati Eggert

 860-408-4290

B.A., Drew University, Art and Secondary Education
M.S., Southern New Hampshire University, Sports Management

Kati joined Walker’s in 2018 as the aquatics director, sports information director, and head swim coach before transitioning to athletic director in 2019. Kati also has served as the assistant varsity softball coach and coached in the field hockey program. Prior to working at Walker’s, she was the assistant athletic director at Westover School where she served as the head swim coach, varsity field hockey coach, and softball coach and lived in the dorm during her seven years at the school. Kati was a three-sport varsity athlete at Drew University in field hockey, swimming, and softball. While at Drew, she earned All Academic Conference recognition, served as captain to the ECAC qualifying field hockey and swim teams. She was a Landmark Offensive Player of the week for three consecutive weeks her senior year and medaled in all four Landmark Conference Championship swim meets.

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Mark Fuller

Director of Technology

Mark Fuller

 860-408-4230

B.A., University of Rhode Island

After graduating from the University of Rhode Island, Mark studied at Richmond College in London where he met his wife. Settling in Houston, Texas, Mark worked at The Emery/Weiner School as a teacher, network administrator and then finally as a director of technology. Throughout his career at The Emery/Weiner School, Mark transformed it from one that used little technology to one where every member of the staff and student body now leverage technology to work and learn.

Mark also spent two years teaching adults technical skills ranging from Word and Excel to web development and programming. He has worked with special needs children in first and second grade, taught sixth, seventh and eighth grade digital literacy, and taught video editing to high school students.

Michelle Helmin P'19

Director of External Affairs

Michelle Helmin P'19

 860-408-4393

B.S., University of Hartford
M.B.A., University of Hartford
Advanced Business Certificate (Marketing Intelligence), UConn School of Business
Certificate in Public and Nonprofit Management, UConn School of Public Policy

Michelle has served as the director of external affairs at Walker’s since July of 2016 where she manages the school’s communications, marketing, media relations and community affairs. Previously, Michelle was the director of the Annual Fund for Walker’s for the 2015-2016 school year. Prior to joining Walker’s, she was the director of communications and marketing at the UConn School of Law where she managed the strategic communications program for the school, including as editor for the school’s alumni magazine, media relations, website development, event management and other outreach activities. Michelle has worked in the area of institutional advancement for several years including serving as special assistant to both UConn’s provost and president of the UConn Foundation/vice president for institutional advancement.

Linda Langmeier

Linda Langmeier

Director of Riding/Head Trainer

Linda is an accomplished horsewoman who has been riding since she was five years old. As a Junior rider she won the ASPCA Maclay Equitation Finals in 1983 and was the winner of the 1988 Sugarbush Grand Prix and the 2013 Fidelity Grand Prix. Linda trained Emma Fletcher who won the 2019 Dover Saddlery/USEF Hunter Seat Medal Final Champion.

She has earned numerous championships in the Hunter and Jumper divisions at such shows as The Winter Equestrian Festival, Devon, Lake Placid, Vermont Summer Festival, The American Gold Cup, PA National Horse Show, Washington International Horse Show and The National Horse Show.

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Richard Meier

Director of Facilities and Operations

John Monagan

Dean of Studies

John Monagan

 860-408-4221

B.A., Johns Hopkins University
M.S., Drexel University

John Monagan grew up in Waterbury, Connecticut, where he attended Chase Collegiate School from 6th-12th grade. From Waterbury, John headed south to attend Johns Hopkins University, where he majored in history. After four enjoyable years in Baltimore, John’s years in private school led him to The Ethel Walker School, where he taught history and English. John spent his first four years at Walker’s teaching 6th-9th grade history, and 6th-7th grade English. He has also spent time running student activities. John earned his Master of Science degree from Drexel University in Sports Management while working at Walker’s. He began as Walker’s athletic director in 2010 and he also teaches Advanced Human Geography. John also is the head coach of the varsity basketball and softball teams.

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Kathleen Pillsbury

Kathleen McNary Pillsbury

Dean of Students and Director of Residential Life

Kathleen McNary Pillsbury

 860-408-4239

B.S., University of Connecticut
M.S.Ed., University of Pennsylvania

Kathleen is a career educator who comes to Walker’s from the Hotchkiss School where she has served as director of student activities, human development instructor, dorm head and as a member of the School’s senior leadership team. Prior to this, Kathleen was at the Dalton School where she was the assistant high school director for student activities, serving as dean of students, senior class academic dean and classroom teacher. Kathleen holds a Master’s in Education in School Leadership with a concentration in Independent School Administration from the University of Pennsylvania and a Bachelor’s in Biological Sciences from the University of Connecticut.

Throughout her career, Kathleen has organized and supervised co-curricular activities, overseen orientation, coordinated student diversity conferences, and managed day-to-day student life. In addition to her administrative and classroom duties, Kathleen has been a softball and lacrosse coach.

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Aline Rossiter

Director of Enrollment Management

Aline Rossiter

 860-408-4202

B.S., University of Hartford

Aline is a seasoned enrollment professional who comes to Walker’s with 28 years of admissions and marketing experience in independent schools, both boarding and day, and higher education in Connecticut. Most recently she was the director of admission at the Forman School and previously the director of enrollment management and marketing at Chase Collegiate School. Aline has been a faculty member of the Association of Independent School Admission Professionals (AISAP) annual institute where she presented on strategic enrollment management and marketing. She has been a presenter for the National Association of Independent Schools’ (NAIS) national meeting and for the Small Boarding Schools Association. Aline has been an accreditation committee member for admissions for the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). She holds a bachelor’s degree in organizational communications from the University of Hartford. When not at Walker’s, she enjoys swimming, cooking and reading.

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