Heads of Schools Program Participants

Each year, 20 heads of schools from around the world participate in the Heads of Schools program at Columbia University's Teachers College. Established in 1991, this highly selective fellowship provides independent and international school leaders with an opportunity for focused research and professional reflection.

2020 Heads of Schools Cohort

Heads of Schools 2020 Cohort
  • Camilo Camargo - Colegio Los Nogales, Bogota, Colombia
    Camilo Camargo has served as head of school at Colegio Los Nogales in Bogotá, Colombia since 2017. He arrived at Nogales in 1998 and initially worked as a science teacher and technology director. He then served as outdoor program director and deputy head of school, academic director, and dean of faculty prior to stepping into the headship. Before Nogales, Camilo founded a non-profit, environmental education organization that worked to reconnect children with nature through outdoor education programs. Camilo has a Bachelor of Arts in biology and environmental studies and a Master of Arts in conservation biology from the University of Pennsylvania and a Master of Arts in education from Stanford University. 
  • Johanna Cooper - Chiang Rai International School, Chiang Rai, Thailand
    Johanna Cooper has been the head of Chiang Rai International School since July 2015. Prior to her appointment to CRIS, she was the director of curriculum and instruction at the American School of Durango in Durango, Mexico. Johanna and her family enjoy traveling and immersing themselves in new cultures. She has two children that have grown up as third culture kids; her oldest child is a graduate of Chiang Rai International School and a student at Iowa State University. As an instructional leader, Johanna's interests include curriculum and instruction and educational policies. She is currently working on her doctorate in educational policy and aspires to continue to lead schools around the world where she can combine her two passions: traveling and education.
  • Tim Costello - Science and Arts Academy, Des Plaines, IL 
    Tim Costello serves as head of school at Science & Arts Academy in the Chicago suburbs, a position he has held since 2013. Prior to his first headship, he was the founding middle school head at Open Window School in Bellevue, WA. Tim is active with the Independent Schools Association of the Central States, participating on multiple accreditation teams and planning committees. He also serves on the boards of the Chicago-based Lake Michigan Association of Independent Schools and Roycemore School in Evanston, Illinois. 
  • J.P. Culley - Holland Hall School, Tulsa, OK 
    J.P. Culley has served as head of school at Holland Hall in Tulsa, Oklahoma since 2013. Prior to his arrival in Tulsa, he served for 15 years in various capacities, including teaching students in grades 1-12 at St. George's Independent School in Memphis, Tennessee. He is truly honored to be selected for the Klingenstein Heads of Schools program and cannot wait to meet the cohort!
  • Karrie Dietz - Stamford American School, Ho Man Tin, Kowloon, Hong Kong
    Karrie Dietz is the head of school at Stamford American School Hong Kong. As a founding member, she has led its development since 2017. Karrie has been committed to building a community focused on care and academic excellence. Karrie's career in education includes over 25 years leading and teaching in six countries (Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand, Bangladesh, Uzbekistan, and the United States). She has a broad background in education, which includes serving as principal, leading curriculum and professional learning, serving as a technology coach, and teaching. Karrie also has experience serving on Council of International School accreditation teams and leading International Baccalaureate workshops. Karrie received an executive certificate of innovation and entrepreneurship from Stanford University and a certificate of international school leadership from the Principals’ Training Center. She completed her Master of Arts in education from Hamline University in Minnesota. 
  • Mike Emborsky - American Cooperative School of Tunis, Tunisia
    Mike Emborsky is the director of the American Cooperative School of Tunis. Mike has worked in American international schools for 25 years as a teacher, principal, and head of school, and has lived and worked in New York, Japan, Austria, Morocco, Ecuador, the United Arab Emirates, Senegal, and Tunisia. 
  • Dean Fusto - Brandon Hall School, Atlanta, GA 
    Dean J. Fusto is the president of Brandon Hall School, an international boarding and day school for grades 6-12. In 2014, he founded the teachlearnlead.org edu-library, an online platform for education research and professional development. Dean was a recipient of a National Endowment of the Humanities Fellowship and an E.E. Ford Fellowship from the National Association of Independent Schools. He has published several books and holds an Master of Arts from Teachers College, Columbia University and a certificate in proactive leadership training from Cornell University. He has established school partnerships in Colombia, Bermuda, Vietnam, China, and Cote D'Ivoire. In 2017, he founded the Center for Global Youth Leadership and Social Entrepreneurial Studies. 
  • Andrew Hoover - American International School Chennai, Taramani, India
    Andrew Hoover is originally from Boston and now calls Oregon home. He joined the American International School Chennai (India) as head of school in 2011. Previously, he served as the middle school principal and director of strategic planning and implementation at the American School of Bombay, and has also taught social studies and served in several leadership roles at The American School in Japan. He began his education career as a history teacher at the Poughkeepsie Day School. Andrew studied history and English literature at Macalester College and, later, political-economic geography at The University of Iowa; Andrew also completed the educational leadership program at the University of Oregon. Andrew currently serves as the vice president of the board of trustees of the Near East South Asia Council of International Schools and as a commissioner of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools
  • Judy Jankowski - Chesapeake Bay Academy, Virginia Beach, VA 
    Judy Jankowski has devoted her career to serving diverse learners. As an educator for nearly four decades, she has worked with children whose life paths have been forged by physical, cognitive, and emotional challenges. Support for developing the wide range of human potential is central to her work. Judy began her tenure in independent school administration after serving as a special education teacher for 15 years. She assumed her current role as head of school at Chesapeake Bay Academy in 2013. Currently, Judy serves on the boards of Horizons Hampton Roads, the Westminster Canterbury Foundation, Vanguard Gifted Academy, and the Virginia Association of Independent Schools. A lifelong learner, Judy holds a Bachelor of Arts in music therapy from DePaul University, a Master of Arts in special education from Northeastern Illinois University, a doctorate in educational leadership from National Louis University, and a certificate of advanced graduate study in independent school leadership from Johns Hopkins University.
  • Sara Johnson - Renaissance School, Charlottesville, VA 
    Sara C. Johnson has been the head of Renaissance School in Charlottesville, Virginia since 2009. Previously, Sara proudly served as an educator at Renaissance School, Village School for Girls, and The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Sara's life work focuses on developing educational leadership in the 21st century, resulting in recognition at both a local and national level. Projects close to her heart include the preschool she co-owns with her husband and working with first generation college-bound students through her Road to College workshop offered in partnership with local libraries. 
  • Sally Keidel - Montgomery School, Chester Springs, PA 
    Sally Keidel has been the head of school at Montgomery School in Chester Springs, Pennsylvania since 2014. Prior to her arrival at Montgomery, she served as assistant head of school and director of enrollment management at The Agnes Irwin School, and director of admissions at The Hill School. She also served in the admissions office and on the faculty of Episcopal High School in Alexandria, Virginia and at Chatham Hall. 
  • Nancy Leaderman - Shalom School, Sacramento, CA 
    Nancy Leaderman is currently in her sixth year as head of Shalom School in Sacramento, California. Nancy studied English literature at the University of Maryland, where she completed her bachelor's and master's degrees. She has been a teacher and administrator at the Center for Talented Youth at Johns Hopkins University, an adjunct professor at Goucher College, and a teacher and administrator in Jewish day schools in Maryland, New Jersey, and California. Nancy participated in the Day School Leadership Training Institute and the Principals' Center at Harvard and has presented at a variety of conferences, including the National Association of Independent Schools' annual conference. 
  • Mary Beth Lennon - Mercy High School, Baltimore, MD 
    Mary Beth Lennon is in her sixth year as president of Mercy High School, Baltimore, an independent school for girls in grades 9-12 sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas. The first alumna to lead Mercy, Mary Beth previously served as communications director and assistant to the president at Baltimore's Cristo Rey Jesuit High School, part of a national network of 37 college preparatory schools for students in underserved communities. Mary Beth holds a Bachelor of Arts in history from Notre Dame of Maryland University and a Master of Arts in Latin American history from The Catholic University of America. Mary Beth serves on the board of ¡Adelante Latina!, which provides college counseling and academic support for Hispanic girls, and she is active in Baltimore's civic and cultural life. 
  • Dexter Mahaffey - Vermont Commons School, South Burlington, VT 
    Dexter Mahaffey has served as the head of Vermont Commons School since 2014. Before that, he served as the director of diversity and global studies at Kentucky Country Day. Having spent much of his childhood in Kentucky (the home of his father's family), Dexter followed his mother's roots to New England for undergraduate and graduate study at Middlebury and Bread Loaf. Further pursuing his passion for international relations, Dexter completed his doctoral studies at Louisville in the historical rhetorics of Africa and worked with Sister Cities on school exchanges and grant work with the Gates Foundation. His 25+ years as an educator began as faculty at Summberbridge, followed by time in public and private schools at the primary, secondary, and university levels around the country in a variety of teaching and administrative roles. 
  • Julia Nabholz - Okinawa Institute of Science & Technology Child Development Center, Okinawa, Japan
    Julia Nabholz was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, but spent most summers in Japanese preschools. “Spending my summers in Japan during my formative years had a huge influence on me. It has really shaped who I am and how I view the world.” Julia has a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education from the University of West Florida. After enjoying many years in the classroom as a teacher, both in the United States and Japan, she joined the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology as the educational coordinator in 2012, and started a pilot afterschool program and then subsequently opened the preschool in 2013. Since becoming the director of the preschool in 2013, she has overseen the growth and expansion of the preschool program from 36 children and 6 teachers in a pre-fabricated building to two purpose-built childcare buildings which welcomes over 170 children and 45 teachers each day
  • Danny O'Brien - High Mountain Institute, Leadville, CO 
    Danny O'Brien has been part of the High Mountain Institute (a semester school for talented and motivated high school juniors) since 2004. Prior to becoming head of school in 2013, Danny's roles at HMI included history faculty and director of admissions. He serves on independent school accreditation teams for the Southern Association of Independent Schools and the Association of Colorado Independent Schools (where he is on the finance committee), on the board of directors of the Lake County Community Foundation, and as a consultant to the College Board. Before coming to HMI, Danny developed his shared passion for education and the outdoors while working at Greensboro Day School and the Island School and leading outdoor trips. 
  • Bob Ogle - Pacific Ridge School, Carlsbad, CA 
    Bob Ogle joined Pacific Ridge School in May 2006 when the school was operating with three staff members out of an office park. During the school's founding years, he served as director of admissions, dean of faculty, and assistant head. Bob was appointed head of school in 2011 and has served in that capacity since - seeing the school grow from 108 students in its first year to 620 this year. A native San Diegan, he returned to San Diego County to help open Pacific Ridge School and be closer to his family. 
  • Meredith Schindler - Ann Arbor Academy, Ann Arbor, MI
    Meredith Schindler is the executive director of Ann Arbor Academy, a school for students with learning differences. She began at the school as a science teacher in 2000, adding a position as guidance counselor along the way. In 2010, she was appointed as the executive director, and has since remained in that position, along with teaching a literature class and continuing her guidance counseling duties. 
  • Tim Spurrier - Honolulu Waldorf School, Honolulu, HI
    Tim Spurrier is currently the head of school at Honolulu Waldorf School. He has a diverse background in communication, business, and education. During his career in education, Tim served as head of school, an elementary and middle school teacher, a university instructor, and as a consultant for charter and independent schools. Tim was the founder and head of school at Waimea Country School in Hawaii and he holds a doctorate in education from the University of New England, a Master of Arts in educational leadership from Central Michigan and both master's and bachelor's degrees in communication from Towson University, and certification in early childhood education and elementary education. Tim also previously served as the CEO of a marketing company that focused on equestrian products, events, television production, and real estate development, and as an U.S. Army officer on active duty and in the reserves. 
  • Ron Vair - Escuela Internacional Sampedrana, San Pedro Sula, Honduras
    Ron Vair has been the superintendent at Escuela Internacional Sampedrana since 2006. Prior to moving to Honduras, Ron was part of an administrative team in the Northwest Territories in Canada, living in a small fly-in Inuit community. It was while living in the north that it became obvious to Ron that education is only possible through positive relationships and that the education that lives years beyond the classroom walls are contextually relevant and, more often than not, experientially based. 

2019 Heads of Schools Cohort

Heads 2019 Group Photo

  • Melinda Bihn, French American International School, San Francisco, CA
  • Rich Boerner, Graded: The American School of Sao Paulo, Brazil
  • Chris Broderick, Marymount of Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA
  • Elie Déu, Williamsburg Northside Schools, Brooklyn, NY
  • Melissa Earls, Academy Hill School, Springfield, MA
  • Kristi Gibbs, Brownell-Talbot School, Omaha, NE
  • Greg Hedger, The International School Yangon, Myanmar
  • Jason Heisserer, Crossroads College Preparatory School, Saint Louis, MO
  • Tony Jaccaci, Cincinnati Country Day School, Cincinnati, OH
  • Samer Khoury, The International School in Genoa, Italy
  • Robyn McCloud-Springer, Chiarvalle Montessori School, Evanston, IL
  • Gordon McNeill, Sage Hill School, Newport Coast, CA
  • James Nelligan, Baldwin School Of Puerto Rico, Bayamon, PR
  • Brett Penny, NIST International School, Bangkok, Thailand
  • Ben Ploeger, Kaohsiung American School, Kaohsiung City, Taiwan
  • Tim Reilly, International School of Texas, Austin, TX
  • Kathleen Serverian-Wilmeth, Colegio Americano del Sur, Santa Lucia Cotz. Escuintla, Guatemala
  • Tim Thomas, Munich International School, Starnberg, Germany
  • David Young, TMS Schools, Richmond Hill, ON, Canada
  • Justin Zimmerman, The Linsly School, Wheeling, WV

2018 Heads of Schools Cohort



  • Ken Aldridge, Wilmington Friends School, Wilmington, DE
  • Sean Bierle, Alzar School, Cascade, ID
  • Matt Byrnes, Wooster School, Danbury, CT
  • Deanne Cronje, St. Mary's School, Waverley, Johannesburg, South Africa
  • Elizabeth English, The Archer School For Girls, Los Angeles, CA
  • Lee Fertig, The International School of Brussels, Brussels, Belgium
  • Cindi Gibbs-Wilborn, Hanahau'oli School, Honolulu, HI
  • Janice Gladstone, The Linden School, Toronto, Canada
  • John Huber, Emerson School, Ann Arbor, MI
  • Evan Hunt, Colegio Interamericano, Guatemala City, Guatemala
  • Eric Jones, Community Partnership School, Philadelphia, PA
  • Shelly Luke Wille, Chadwick International, Incheon, South Korea
  • Sean Lynch, Lycee Francais de New York, New York, NY
  • Michael Maniska, Lycée International de Los Angeles, Burbank, CA
  • Lucy Nunes, Chapel School, Sao Paulo, Brazil
  • Tekakwitha Pernambuco-Wise, Sea Crest School, Half Moon Bay, CA
  • Robert Rinaldo, Lincoln School, Santo Domingo de Heredia, Costa Rica
  • Shakeh Tashjian, Hovnanian School, New Milford, NJ
  • John Thorsen, Athens Academy, Athens, GA
  • Brad Waugh, American International School of Bamako, Bamako, Mali  


2017 Heads of Schools Cohort

Heads 2017 Group Photo 1-small

  • Cavon Ahangarzadeh, International School of Ningbo, China
  • Mary Ashun, Ghana International School, Accra, Ghana
  • Julian Cameron, St. George's Grammar School, Cape Town, South Africa
  • Catarina Chen, The American School of Belo Horizonte, Brazil
  • Steve Dare, Hong Kong Academy, Sai Kung New Territories, Hong Kong
  • Tom Egerton, Franconian International School, Erlangen, Germany
  • Dina Eletreby, New Horizon School Irvine, Irvine, CA 
  • Mathew Gould, Norwood School, Bethesda, MD 
  • Mike Hirschfeld, St. Paul's School, Concord, NH 
  • Marisa Leon, Magellan International School, Austin, TX
  • Kari Loya, Good Hope Country Day School, St Croix, USVI 
  • Marta Medved Krajnovic, Stockholm International School, Stockholm, Sweden
  • Steven Morris, The San Francisco School, San Francisco, CA 
  • Tim Saburn, Oak Knoll School of The Holy Child, Summit, NJ 
  • Rebecca Skinner, International School of Brooklyn, Brooklyn, NY 
  • Jay Underwood, High Meadows School, Roswell, GA 
  • Vince Watchorn, The Providence Country Day School, East Providence, RI 
  • Jackie Westerfield, Grandview Preparatory School, Boca Raton, FL
  • Bob Whelan, Lake Forest Country Day School, Lake Forest, IL 
  • Anne-Evan Williams, Billings Middle School, Seattle, WA 
  • Kevin Yaley, Francis Parker School, San Diego, CA 

2016 Heads of Schools Cohort

2016 Heads Cohort

  • Ines Alvarez-Gaygax, The Ashton School, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
  • James Calleroz White, Louisville Collegiate School, Louisville, KY
  • Claudia Diaz, Montessori British School, Bogota, Colombia
  • Nicole Dufauchard, Advent School, Boston, MA
  • Patricia Fagin, Stuart Country Day School of the Sacred Heart, Princeton, NJ
  • Paul Fochtman, Frankfurt International School, Oberusel, Germany
  • Aldolfo Gonzalez, Lincoln International Academy, Managua, Nicaragua
  • Jeremy Gregersen, Meadows School, Las Vegas, NV
  • Stuart Hirstein, University School of Jackson, Jackson, TN
  • Austeja Landsbergiene, Vaikystes Sodas, Vilnius, Lithuania
  • Anna Marsden, International School Suva, Suva, Fiji
  • Eric Mayer, St. Stephen's School, Rome, Italy
  • John Nagl, Haverford School, Haverford, PA
  • Gregory O'Melia, Buckley School, New York, NY
  • Carrie Pierson, International School of Trieste, Trieste, Italy
  • Beth Reaves, Friends School Mullica Hill, Mullica Hill, NJ
  • Alan Runge, Hong Kong International School, Tai Tam, Hong Kong
  • Anthony Sgro, Rabun Gap-Nacoochee School, Rabun Gap, GA
  • Geoffrey Wagg, Waynflete School, Portland, ME

2015 Heads of Schools Cohort

Head of School Program participants 2015

  • Dennis Bisgaard, Kingswood Oxford School, West Hartford, CT
  • Michael Ehrhardt, Cary Academy, Cary, NC
  • Elizabeth Hofreuter-Landini, Wheeling Country Day School, Wheeling, WV
  • Suzanna Jemsby, The Galloway School, Atlanta, GA
  • Earl Kim, Kamehameha Schools - Kapalama, Honolulu, HI
  • Nefertiti Makeda, Andinet International School, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
  • Stuart Marquardt, Great Southern Grammar, Albany WA, Australia
  • Matthew Micciche, Friends School of Baltimore, Baltimore, MD
  • David Michelman, Duke School, Durham, NC
  • Jeremy Moore, Cayman International School, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands
  • Thomas Nammack, Montclair Kimberley Academy, Montclair, NJ
  • Carlton Parke, LaGrange Academy, LaGrange, GA
  • John Roberts, International School of Kenya, Nairobi, Kenya
  • Deborah Russell, Nansemond-Suffolk Academy, Suffolk, VA
  • Louis Salza, Lawrence School, Broadview Heights, OH
  • Tyler Sherwood, Chatworth International School, Singapore
  • Garhett Wagers, St. Mark's Episcopal School, Houston, TX
  • Karen Walker, Telluride Mountain School, Telluride, CO
  • Susannah Wells, Pine Cobble School, Williamstown, MA
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