Alvaro Rodriguez P'24
Al earned a B.S. in Management and Engineering for Manufacturing from the University of Connecticut, and a Master of Business Operational Excellence from The Ohio State University Fisher College of Business where he was also certified as a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt. He is currently Director, Enterprise Project Management Office at OhioHealth. Previous positions include Global Director at Vertiv, Principal Project Manager at American Electric Power, and Senior Project Manager at Siemens, managing oil and gas projects in the UK, Europe, and Asia. Al’s daughter Averi is a member of Walker’s Class of 2024.
Margaret G. Davis P'26
Margaret graduated from the University of Southern California with a BA in Cinema and Television. Over the last 18 years, she has developed and managed a world class equestrian center at Sienna Mountain Ranch in Petaluma, CA. She was previously a trustee at Sonoma Country Day School. Margaret is often to be found at the barn, where she herself rides, as does her daughter Ainsley, a member of Walker’s Class of 2026.
Barbara Thomas Kennedy '69
Barbee earned a bachelor’s degree in French from Duke University with a concentration in languages, and then pursued a career in the computer industry, where she held various positions in IBM mainframe programming, project management, and systems programming for Trust Company of Georgia in Atlanta, and later, Marriott Corporation in Bethesda, Maryland. As she raised her two children, Barbee managed the financial operations of the family LED lighting business based in Charlottesville, Virginia, her home for the past 37 years. She has also been a long-time volunteer for Meals on Wheels. She was a rider at Walker’s and is an enthusiastic supporter of our current riding program.
Kelly Lee Tang P'27
Kelly graduated from Stanford and has an MBA from Harvard University. She is Senior Director of Research for the Drucker Institute, leading research and development for their company ranking system. She has expertise in ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) investing, sustainability investing, and asset management. Previously, she worked at S&P Global in their indices division, where she designed the S&P/Drucker Institute Corporate Effectiveness Index. She has written for The Wall Street Journal, The Journal of Alternative Investments, and Harvard Law School’s Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation. Kelly’s daughter Morgan is a member of Walker’s Class of 2027.
Alexandra Badger Airth ’83
Alex earned a B.A. from Duke University and an M.B.A. from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University. She is currently Director of the Mars Foundation Board, a member of the American Ballet Theater Global Council, a member of the Tulane University Parents Council and co-founder and board member of Pretend City Children’s Museum of Orange County, CA. Alex has held senior level positions at several international advertising agencies including Hill, Holliday and DMB&B. Her previous board service includes Choate Rosemary Hall, Harbor Day School, and the Board of Visitors of Trinity College of Arts & Sciences at Duke University.
Michaelynn Ware P’28, ’29
Michaelynn earned a BA in International Affairs from The George Washington University and a JD from the University of Virginia School of Law. As VP of Legal Operations and Intellectual Property for Otis Elevator Co., she has global legal oversight over large customer contracts, supplier agreements, and intellectual property assets. Previously, she was VP, Legal Affairs & Compliance for Otis in the Asia Pacific region, based in Singapore. She has also served as VP and Counsel, Commercial Engines for Pratt & Whitney and Associate General Counsel for antitrust for United Technologies Corporation. She started her career as an antitrust lawyer at Hogan Lovells in Washington, DC. She also serves on the board of the Simsbury Meadows Performing Arts Center. Michaelynn lives in Farmington, CT with her husband and two daughters Lena and Elise, members of Walker’s classes of 2028 and 2029.
Jamiah Tappin '00
Jamiah earned a Bachelor’s degree from Boston University and a Master’s of Social Work from the University of Connecticut. She is currently a Director on both the Health & Racial Equity and Grantmaking teams at Health Resources in Action in Boston. Jamiah works to strengthen neighborhood partnerships across sectors and supports the grantmaking team in facilitating processes and allocation of resources between Boston-based hospitals and community organizations. One of Walker’s first Middle School Students, she went on to lead as President of the Student Body and later as Co-Chair of the Alumnae Board. In 2021, Jamiah received the Margot Rose ’80 Distinguished Alumnae Award, The Ethel Walker School’s highest alumnae honor.
Cynthia Kirkland Kellogg ’60
Cynnie attended Smith College after graduation from Walker’s. She has a long history of supporting farm, forest and coastal land conservation efforts. She currently serves on the boards of Greenwood Garden, a public garden in New Jersey, as well as the Coastal Conservation League and Drayton Hall in South Carolina. Cynnie also served for many years on the board of the New Jersey Conservation Foundation and currently serves on its Advisory Committee. She has been an active member of the Short Hills Garden Club and the Garden Club of America. Cynnie is currently Co-Chair of Walker’s Copper Beech Society.
Toan Huynh '93
Toan earned her Bachelor of Arts and Science from the University of Pennsylvania and a Master’s Certificate in International Relations and Comparative Economics from Kyung Hee University. A former technology founder turned investor, she is also an advisor for early-stage startups, focusing on B2B SaaS, fintech, IT Services, and enterprise technology, with experience in private equity and venture capital funds. She serves as a non-executive director for private and public boards. Toan is currently an Independent Director for both Sunlight Financial and Flagstar Bank, as well as a Partner at Baylane Capital. Toan is an avid advocate for women in technology and finance and an active investor in the North American technology ecosystem.
Ximena Eleta de Sierra '83
Ximena earned her undergraduate degree in Languages and Linguistics at Georgetown University, and her Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Texas at Austin. She worked as an English professor, as a fundraiser for non-profit organizations, and as an independent college counselor for 20 years. Ximena has danced professionally (aerial and contemporary) for over two decades. She is President of the Board of Directors of Fundación Gramo Danse, and founder and Co-Director of PRISMA–International Contemporary Dance Festival of Panama. She is also Fundraising Chair of the Georgetown Club of Panama Board of Directors, as well as member of the National Theater Board of Trustees and the Chamber of Commerce Creative Industries Committee.
Jean Moore Edwards '69
Jean earned a BA in History and an MA in Education from Stanford University. She maintains a strong interest in curriculum development. Jean lives on Moore Ranch, a family vineyard business which she operates and manages with her husband, Robert J. Edwards. Jean began her career in the LA entertainment business, where she produced docudramas for network television. She later became a pastry chef before moving to Napa, where she has lived for nearly 30 years, managing 80 acres of premium grape vineyards. Moore Ranch fruit supplies Cakebread Cellars, Sterling Vineyards and other well-known wineries. Jean attributes her successes to her Walker’s education and has an interest in curriculum development. She remains an active equestrian competing in hunter/jumper shows on the West Coast.
Teresa C. Younger
Teresa earned a BS in Parks, Recreation and Leisure Studies from the University of North Dakota and an honorary doctorate in Humanities from the University of New Haven. In 2014, she became CEO and President of the Ms. Foundation for Women, the first women’s foundation in the United States. 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 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. Teresa served on the boards of the ERA Coalition/Fund for Women’s Equality, Universal Healthcare Foundation of CT, the Women’s Campaign School at Yale University and the Essie Justice Group. She is a lifetime Girl Scout, and was Board Chair for Girl Scouts of Connecticut from 2008-2013, and of the New York Women’s Forum.
Charlotte Weidlein Lenzner ’05
Ex Officio, Alumnae Board Co-Chair
Charlotte earned a BA in History of Art and Visual Culture from Bates College. She is Senior Director of Business Development and Corporate Partnerships for Global Citizen. Charlotte previously worked at Sotheby’s as a key member of the Single Owner Sales Department, and later as Vice President 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 focused on corporate social responsibility. In addition to her volunteer work for Walker’s as Co-Chair of the Alumnae Board, she sits on the board of the Cleveland H. Dodge Foundation and is Co-Chair of the Emerging Leaders Council at East Harlem Tutorial Program.
Dr. Meera Viswanathan
Meera earned a BA, an MA and a PhD from Stanford University. A lifelong educator and scholar, she joined Walker’s from Brown University, where she was an associate professor of Comparative Literature and East Asian Studies. At Brown, she earned the Barrett Hazeltine Award for Outstanding Teaching, and the John Rowe Workman Medal in the Humanities. 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, and is a Trustee of the Lawrenceville School. 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.
Dr. Emiliana Vegas ’85
Emiliana earned a BA in Communications with a concentration in Journalism from Andrés Bello Catholic University in Caracas, Venezuela, an Ed from Harvard University with a concentration in Economics of Education, and an MPP from Duke University. She currently serves as professor of practice at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. 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. Before joining the faculty at Harvard, Emiliana served as Senior Fellow and Co-Director of the Center for Universal Education at the Brookings Institution, Chief of the Education Division at the Inter-American Development Bank, and at the World Bank in Washington, DC, where she held various positions in the Human Development Network.
Beth Strapp P’18, ’21
Ex Officio, President, Ethel Walker Schools Parents Association
Beth earned her BS in Education from Keene State College, University of New Hampshire. She has worked in the insurance industry for nearly thirty years. She joined W. R. Berkley in August 2016 and now leads the Berkley Healthcare Financial Lines team, formed in 2018. Prior to joining Berkley, Beth was Senior Vice President at Chubb, Ltd, where she served as the Financial Lines Healthcare Product Leader for sixteen years. Beth has also held various healthcare underwriting, product leadership and management positions at Executive Risk, Inc. and Chubb & Son having joined Executive Risk, Inc. in 1995. Beth began her career at the Travelers Insurance Company in 1990 in their managed care division in service and underwriting roles. Her daughter Caroline is a member of the Class of 2018 and her daughter Lizzy is a member of the Class of 2021.
Emma Simon ’89
Emma earned a BA from Wellesley College and an MBA from the University of Connecticut. She also completed a fashion design certification from Istituto Marangoni in Milan. She is Managing Director, Marketing for Virtus Investment Partners in Hartford, CT. 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 leadership solicitor, Reunion Gift Chair, class agent, Advancement Committee solicitor and, most recently, a Reunion Tri-Chair in 2019.
Elizabeth Rockwell Cesare
Sue earned a B.A. in English from Connecticut College and an M.A. in Comparative Religion from Union Theological Seminary. She was the Head of King & Low-Heywood Thomas School in Stamford, CT for 25 years, during which time she coordinated Low-Heywood’s merger with the Thomas School in 1975 and spearheaded the consolidation of Low-Heywood Thomas with King School in 1988. Sue was also a founding trustee of the Runnemede School in Vermont. She has served on the Board of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) and was a past President of the Connecticut Association of Independent Schools (CAIS). A strong advocate of women’s education, Sue was appointed to the Walker’s Board of Trustees in 1987, and served as President of the Board from 1996 – 2000. In 2015 she was the inaugural recipient of The Ethel Walker Medal, the highest honor bestowed upon non-alumnae members of the Walker’s community. In 2009, Sue won the prestigious CAIS Award, presented to a person who has provided an inspiring example of leadership and commitment to the improvement of education for children in Connecticut. She is the co-author of the book Succeeding at Parenting and Teaching.
Thomas Regan P’13
Tom earned a B.A. from Trinity College, an M.B.A. from Yale University, and a J.D. from the University of Connecticut. As an attorney and partner of Brown Rudnick LLP, he practices in the areas of real estate, energy, land use and administrative law. He also represents national clients on permitting matters throughout the state. Tom has previously served as Senior VP of Economic Development and Governmental Affairs for the Greater New Haven Chamber of Commerce. Tom is a member of the Board of Directors of USA Hockey and serves the USA Hockey Legal Council, and is the former President of the Connecticut Hockey Conference. In 2018 Tom was awarded The Ethel Walker School Medal, the highest honor bestowed upon non-alumnae members of the Walker’s community. His daughter Chelsea is a member of the Class of 2013.
Ann O'Hara P’21, ’23
Ann earned a BSE in Chemical Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from Harvard Business School. She also completed Harvard Business School’s executive education program, Women on Corporate Boards. Ann is currently President for Huhtamaki North America, leading a packaging manufacturing business which services retail, foodservice and consumer goods customers. Ann was previously Managing Director of the angel investment group, Four Provinces Investments LLC. She has also held positions as Executive Vice President of Global Products for the Intertek Group, Vice President and General Manager at Amcor Limited, and General Manager at the General Electric Company, and worked for both McKinsey & Company and Procter & Gamble. Ann has lived and worked half of her career outside of North America in Australia, Sweden, Germany, China, and Argentina. Her daughters both attend Walker’s: Janet Hedges in the Class of 2021 and Jordan Hedges in the Class of 2023.
Katharine O'Brien Rohn ’82
Kit earned her B.A. in Environmental Studies and Fine Arts from Dartmouth College and is a full-time volunteer in the areas of education and conservation. In addition to her leadership role at Walker’s, she is a member of the Board of Directors of the National Wildlife Refuge Association, and also serves on the board of Horizons at The Ethel Walker School, the first all-girls Horizons program in the country. Kit was a founding member of Conservation International, a nonprofit environmental organization that focuses on science, policy, and partnership with businesses and communities to accomplish its goal of protecting nature as a source of food, fresh water, livelihoods, and a stable climate. Kit volunteers as a bird bander for the Connecticut Audubon Society and has previously served as President of the Darien Audubon Society and as an educator for the National Audubon Society. She has recently completed training to become an EMT. Prior to serving as Board Chair, Kit chaired the Head of School Search. In 2017, she received the Margot Rose ’80 Distinguished Alumnae Award, The Ethel Walker School’s highest alumnae honor.
Letitia McClure Potter ’55, P’85
Tisha earned a B.A. in Art History from Vassar College. After graduating, she worked for the Director of both the Harvard Department of Urban Studies and the Harvard-MIT Joint Center for Urban Studies, and later for the NY State Council on the Arts. An active volunteer, she has been a member of the advisory council of CT American Water Company as well as a board member and Vice President of Hortulus, a GCA garden club. In addition, Tisha has been a board member for the Greenwich Exchange for Women’s Work and the Friends of the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center at Vassar College. Prior to moving to Connecticut, she was on the advisory council of the Children’s Aid Society in NY. Tisha has also volunteered for Vassar College and been an advisory group member for the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Vermont. Tisha has been a valuable Walker’s volunteer, having chaired and/or volunteered as a member of many committees over the years including the Advancement Committee, the Centennial Campaign Cabinet, the Head’s Advisory Committee, the Strategic Planning Steering Committee, the Head of School Search Committee, and the EWS Foundation Board.
Dr. Shelley Marks ’81
Shelley earned a BA in Art History and Neurobiology from Wellesley College and an MD from the Chicago Medical School at Rosalind Franklin University. She trained in Surgery at UCSF and Stanford, where she served as Chief Resident and did a fellowship in Advanced Minimally Invasive Surgery at UCSF under Dr. Lawrence Way. She has been a general surgeon for over 20 years, currently with the Palo Alto Medical Foundation and affiliated with Stanford Hospital. Shelley has served as president of the Northern California Chapter of the American College of Surgeons, the San Francisco Surgical Society, as well as the UCSF Naffziger Surgical Society. Shelley’s family legacy at Walker’s includes her mother Virginia Backus Caulkins ’40; two aunts: Barbara Backus Jewett ’31 and Dorothy Backus Lunken ’38; a cousin, Virginia Backus Vanocur ’54 and a godmother, Susan Ford ’63.
Sarah Gates Colley ’75
Sarah earned a BA in Economics from Duke University. She began her career at Chemical Bank, and spent the remaining part of her 20-year career at Goldman Sachs in finance and investments. Sarah has served Walker’s and our Board of Trustees in innumerable ways over many years. Most recently, she has served as a member of the Finance, Trusteeship and Advancement committees. Sarah was Campaign Chair for our Centennial Campaign from 2011-2016 and has served on two Head of School search committees. She is a member of The Ethel Walker School Heritage Society, and has established The Sarah Gates Colley ’75 Scholarship Fund and The Gates Family Bowl, which recognizes the highest level of Reunion giving. In 1989, Sarah was awarded the Vander Poel Bowl for distinguished leadership in the Annual Fund, and in 2015 she received the Margot Rose ’80 Distinguished Alumnae Award, The Ethel Walker School’s highest alumnae honor.
Leander Altifois Dolphin ’95, P’24
Leander earned a BA in English, African American Studies and Women’s Studies from Wesleyan University and a JD from Howard University School of Law. She is Co-Managing Partner, a member of the firm’s Management Committee, and a partner in the school law practice group at Shipman & Goodwin LLP in Hartford, CT, representing public school districts, independent schools, colleges and universities in education and employment matters. Leander also leads Shipman & Goodwin’s Committee on Diversity and Inclusion. She is also an adjunct professor of education law at Quinnipiac University School of Law, and previously served as Vice President of Human Resources and General Counsel at Girl Scouts of Connecticut. Leander serves on the board of The Governor’s Prevention Partnership, the Lawyers Collaborative for Diversity’s Associates Advisory Committee, and has previously served on the boards of the Hartt School for Performing Arts, the George W. Crawford Black Bar Association, the Girl Scouts of the USA, and the Girl Scouts of 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.” Her daughter Maya is in the Class of 2024.
Harriet Blees Dewey ’60, P’86, GP’21
Harriet earned an AAS degree from Bennett Junior College, where she majored in Dance. She is a retired teacher who devoted the majority of her career to teaching elementary school at The Mead School in Connecticut. Harriet and her family remain actively involved in and supportive of their educational institutions and community. Harriet was on the Head of School Search Committee and instrumental in bringing Meera Viswanathan to Walker’s. In 2016, she received the Margot Rose ’80 Distinguished Alumnae Award, The Ethel Walker School’s highest alumnae honor. Harriet is the mother of Ashley Logan Van Der Klis ’86, grandmother of Lena Van Der Klis ’21, and stepmother-in-law to Ashley Bourne Dewey ’82.
Dr. Eleanor Daugherty P’26
Elly earned a B.A. from the University of Chicago and an M.Ed. and EdD from Columbia University. She is Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students at the University of Connecticut with responsibility for health and wellbeing of UConn students. During her tenure at UConn, Elly has presented and published on women in leadership, free speech, crisis management, access to mental health care, resources for victims of sexual violence, and undocumented student access to affordable higher education. Previously, 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. Her academic interests include diversity and inclusion among underrepresented college students and mental health. Elly’s daughter Annie is a member of the Walker’s Class of 2026.
Mary Lou Cobb
After graduating from Mount Vernon College, Mary Lou earned her Montessori Primary Diploma in 1964 before founding The Cobb School, Montessori, of which she was Head of School for 45 years. She is currently the founder and principal consultant of Cobb Education Consulting, LLC. Mary Lou is a founding board member of The Montessori Administrators Association, the Montessori Training Center of New England and the Montessori Schools of Connecticut. She continues to serve on the boards of The Montessori Training Center of New England. She has also served on SPHERE, a coalition of Connecticut independent schools dedicated to diversity and inclusion, and on the Commission for Membership and Accreditation for the Connecticut Association of Independent Schools. Mary Lou is Vice President of the Whole School Leadership Board and a trained instructor for the Association of Montessori Internationale’s Montessori for the Aging.
Kevin Chessen P’17
Kevin earned a BA in Business Economics from the University of California, Santa Barbara. As co-founder and Managing Director of Business Development at BTIG, a global financial services firm, he actively expands client relationships, cross-sells products and services and handles special situations across both institutional and corporate clients globally. Kevin co-founded BTIG and its predecessor firm Baypoint Trading. He is also a member of BTIG’s Global Operating Committee. Previously, Kevin was Head of Listed Trading at Banc of America Securities between 1997 and 2002. Earlier in his career, he was Head of Asian Equity Trading at Merrill Lynch. Kevin began his career in financial services with S.G. Warburg, based in New York, London and Tokyo. Kevin is also a Principal of Pacific View Asset Management, LLC, and a founding member of Pacific View’s management team. Kevin serves on the Board of The First Tee of San Francisco and was previously Treasurer for the National Center for International Schools’ Committee. His daughter Samantha is a member of the Class of 2017.
Margot Campbell Bogert ’60
Margot earned her BA from Sarah Lawrence College. She has been an active member of the Frick Collection’s Board of Trustees for more than a decade, serving as President from 2005 – 2017. From 1998 – 2004, she was Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Sarah Lawrence College, where she had previously launched the institution’s first capital campaign as Director of Development. Margot is one of the first women members of the National Executive Board of Directors of the Boy Scouts of America, formerly Vice Chairman of the World Scout Committee, and a member of the Board of Directors of the World Scout Foundation. In 2004 she founded the World Scout Fund/USA, which supports community projects in underdeveloped nations. She also dedicates time to the Episcopal Charities of the Diocese of New York and the Woodland Foundation in New York City, of which she is President, and has served on the Board of Trustees of the Northern Westchester Hospital Center and the Board of Directors of Fiduciary Trust International.
Christopher L. Brigham
Chris earned his B.A. in American Literature from Middlebury College and his J.D. from the Vermont Law School. As Principal with the law firm of Updike, Kelly & Spellacy, P.C. and Chairman of the firm’s Employment Practices Group, he focuses on representing and counseling schools and businesses with respect to workplace and employment law issues. Chris is a member of the Board of Directors of Meritas, a leading global alliance of independent law firms and serves as a member of its US Leadership Committee. Chris is a member of the Board of Trustees for the St. Thomas’s Day School Foundation in New Haven. Chris is the brother of Walker’s graduates Jean Brigham Chant ’82 and Kathleen Brigham ’85.