Letter from the Board of Trustees Chair

Steve Anthony, McLean Board of Trustees ChairI admit I get emotional when I think of how McLean School has improved the life of my daughter Caroline ’21. And I’m hardly alone in this! Many times in my conversations with other parents, I have seen the beginnings of tears in their eyes and heard the quaver in their voices as they describe what McLean School has done for their kids.

We are fond of saying that McLean School is “Transformative.” What do we mean by that? That word captures a feeling that many of our students have experienced at key points in their McLean School lives. For some, a typical day at their previous school was filled with boredom, embarrassment, or frustration. Yet, once at McLean School, they find themselves in a place where students are stimulated, engaged, and challenged – all in a safe and nurturing environment that brings out their best selves.

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McLean School provides an ideal learning environment for a wide range of learners, from students with mild to moderate learning differences to traditional learners who benefit from small class sizes.

Many of our students and their parents have been delighted to discover that they are stronger learners than they had ever before imagined. The experience of going from “I don’t get it” (and its variants, such as “I hate math”) to looking forward to each school day is an extraordinary, life-changing relief.

McLean School is a college-preparatory school that doesn’t hesitate to challenge its students.  We highly value creativity and intellectual curiosity. A key attribute that distinguishes McLean School is that each student is encouraged to become aware of and appreciate his or her own learning style. With that self-awareness, and having gained an ability to advocate for oneself, the student can optimize his or her education at McLean School and in college and beyond. In a school that has a deep sense of community, each student can approach learning with a sense of competence. That competence – and confidence – can only lead to a willingness to take risks and to stretch for higher and higher goals.

What ingredients does a school need to achieve all this? One key is to have a highly professional faculty made up of teachers who love teaching, who are committed to continually improving their professional skills, and who devote themselves to the well-being of every student. Another factor is having a strong and wise administration; we are grateful for the farsighted and caring leadership of our Head of School, Michael Saxenian, and his team.  An important ingredient, as well, is a body of parents who are supportive of their children, enthusiastic about the school, and willing to get involved. Last, but certainly not least, it’s important to have a student body that is filled with a diverse collection of bright, energetic students, eager to participate in a caring school community. McLean has all the ingredients of a great institution, and it shows every day here.

Our curriculum is state-of-the-art, challenging, and enriching. McLean has long been devoted to STEM education. You can’t help but notice this as you get to know the school – especially if you find yourself one morning surrounded by robots that are the products of our robotics and coding program. We have a wide range of offerings in honors and AP classes, as well as robust programs in physical education, visual arts, and music. In an era where one hears about countless schools cutting back in art and music offerings, McLean School is pleased to have resisted that tide. We also have a terrific menu of after-school activities such as interscholastic sports, drama, activities, and clubs.

Just about everything we do is captured by our slogan, “Transformative.” One example is our annual Cecily’s Advocacy Workshop, a day-long program in which leading experts on learning and development – nationally celebrated individuals as well as professionals from the local community – conduct a symposium highlighting new research and best practices in fostering growth for K-12 students. Named in memory of a McLean parent, Cecily Kodis Kaufman, this symposium has cemented McLean School as a leader in cutting-edge educational techniques.

It’s all part of being the best school we can possibly be for students who benefit from small class sizes and individualized learning. The concept of mindfulness is embedded in the curriculum in the Lower, Middle, and Upper schools, and our Student & Community Wellness Program likewise incorporates mindfulness as part of an effort to empower our students to be motivated, engaged, healthy, and challenged. You may have heard about mindfulness programs in media reports about the nation’s top companies and institutions, but we like to say we were into mindfulness before it was cool.

Word has been getting out about how great McLean School is. Educational specialists all over the region know it, and Bethesda Magazine named us the “Best Private School for Grades 9-12 in 2019.” But when I think about how well we are doing, I keep coming back to three indicators: our graduates who have been admitted to leading colleges (American, Brandeis, Berklee College of Music, Howard, Smith, Vassar to name a few); the 91 percent of our parents who reported that their child’s self-esteem increased after attending McLean; and the faces of the happy, confident learners who I see whenever I visit the school.

We’re on a roll. McLean continues to be a thriving school with a clear sense of purpose.

Signature of the McLean Board of Trustees Chair signature
Stephen P. Anthony
Chair, Board of Trustees

Board of Trustees

Stephen Anthony, Chair

Stephen AnthonySteve Anthony’s daughter, Caroline, entered McLean School as a Middle School student in the fall of 2013.  Steve is a partner in the Washington, D.C. law firm Covington & Burling LLP.  He is a trial lawyer who has represented clients in a wide variety of cases, ranging from white-collar criminal charges to patent infringement.  He is deputy chair of Covington’s global litigation practice.  He earned his undergraduate degree from Dartmouth College in 1983 and his Juris Doctor from Columbia University in 1988. From 1991-96 he served as an Assistant United States Attorney for the District of Columbia, and from 1996-2000 he was a trial attorney in the Public Integrity Section of the Criminal Division of the United States Department of Justice. Steve and his family live in Washington, DC.

Michelle Bosch, Vice Chair

Michelle BoschMichelle Bosch’s son, Ryan ’19, is a McLean alumnus and has been at the school since 2010. Michelle is Vice President/General Manager of Enterprise Holdings, oversees all of the Greater Washington, D.C. operations for Alamo Rent A Car, Enterprise Rent-A-Car and National Car Rental.  Additionally she handles the Car Sales, Commercial Truck Rental, Enterprise Communte, Enterprise Car Sharing and Exotics by Enterprise.  Michelle began her career with Enterprise Rent-A-Car in 1989 as a Management Trainee and worked her way up to her current position.  She has served on a variety of boards including; Harrisburg University of Science and Technology, Washington Regional Alcohol Program, Greater Washington Sports Alliance and Junior Achievement.

“McLean’s philosophy of teaching to how the child learns is what sets McLean apart. To help open the doors wider to our community so that others understand what a gift it is to have a school like ours serving children in the Greater Washington Dc area, is why I am excited to join the board.”

John Yonemoto, Treasure

John YonemotoJohn is a McLean School parent, and his daughter, Jillian, has been at McLean since kindergarten. John is Co-founder and Chief Investment Officer for Albright Capital Management LLC. He brings more than 30 years of interdisciplinary experience managing a variety of investment strategies and emerging markets products in both institutional capital markets and alternative asset management.

Prior to joining Albright Capital, John was Managing Director and lead public markets portfolio manager for Darby Overseas Investments, Ltd., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Franklin Templeton Investments. He also helped establish ING Groep NV as the preeminent emerging markets investment bank, serving in various roles in trading and analytics. He was Global Head of Emerging Markets Proprietary Trading for ING Barings in London in the 1990’s.

John earned a BA in Economics from the University of Chicago. John and his wife, Jeanett, reside in Washington DC with their two children.

Mary Wright, Secretary

Mary WrightDr. Mary Wright is a hospital medicine physician and researcher in infectious diseases who worked in patient education for eleven years before attending medical school. Long before her son Alexei graduated from McLean’s Upper School in 2017, she was a big fan of its drama and music programs and a regular participant at Cecily’s Advocacy workshops.

Mary brings many years of experience in patient care and advocacy, staff education and government committee work. She has served on executive steering committees involving strategic planning and complex infrastructure projects. In the community, she has hosted for Kidsave which finds adoptive families for older kids, served as Special Needs PTA Rep at a Montgomery County public school, and sat on the Board of Montgomery County CHADD (Children and Adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) while co-leading its parent support group. She is especially interested in the role of the developing brain in learning and mental health.

Mary earned an undergraduate degree from the University of Maryland College Park, a Master’s in Public Health from Johns Hopkins, and a Doctor of Medicine from George Washington University. She is honored to serve on the board.

Harris M. Bergman '09

Harris BergmanHarris Bergman is an emerging sustainability leader with a penchant for organizational development and change management. Harris currently serves as the Organizational Efficiency Manager at Rolyn Companies, Inc, a national disaster restoration and decontamination firm, where he facilitates the creation and implementation of organization-wide efficiency change initiatives.

Prior to his role with Rolyn Companies, Harris worked as a consultant with The Collective Good, LLC helping community serving organizations of all types change the way they change the world. His clients have included a collection of the largest national nonprofits and local grassroots organizations focused on issues like education, housing, racial equity and inclusion, and LGBTQ+ rights. Harris has also spent time working as part of the team of a multinational infection control technology start up.

Harris holds a master’s degree in Sustainability Management from American University and an undergraduate degree in Business Management from the University of Tampa. Harris is a proud alumnus of McLean School’s Class of 2009.

Norma Day-Vines

Norma Day-VinesNorma L. Day-Vines serves as Associate Dean for Faculty Development in the School of Education at Johns Hopkins University. She has a faculty appointment as Professor of Counseling and Human Development. Prior to joining the faculty at Johns Hopkins University, she held tenured faculty positions at The College of William and Mary and Virginia Tech. Dr. Day-Vines’ research agenda examines the importance of multiculturalism as an indispensable tool in the delivery of culturally competent counseling services for clients from marginalized groups. More specifically, she specializes in the measurement of counselors’ attitudes towards discussing the contextual dimensions of race and representation with their ethnic minority clients and the identification of strategies for working more effectively with culturally and linguistically diverse clients. Her scholarship has appeared in leading counseling journals such as the Journal of Counseling and Development, the Journal of Multicultural Counseling and Development, and the Journal of Measurement and Evaluation in Counseling and Development. Dr. Day-Vines was recognized with an Exemplary Diversity Leadership Award in 2013 by the Association of Multicultural Counseling and Development. In 2018, she received an Excellence in Teaching Award at Johns Hopkins University and in 2019, she was awarded a Presidential Citation from the American Counseling Association, in recognition of her scholarship on multiculturalism. Norma earned her Bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and her Master’s and doctorate from North Carolina State University.

James Cigliano

James CiglianoJim Cigliano is a transformational leader who combines deep expertise in sales, marketing, operations, product development, finance, and business development. Focusing on front line brand delivery, Jim creates strategy that is both compelling and achievable.

Jim is Chief Revenue Office for WorldStrides, the nation’s largest accredited and most trusted educational travel organization, providing a variety of educational travel and study abroad programs throughout the United States and globally (more than 100 countries). In his current role, Jim leads WorldStrides’ Sales and Account Management activities enterprise-wide. Prior, Jim was EVP/CMO, Marketing and Strategy, serving as WorldStrides’ lead customer advocate and marketing strategist to ignite growth through multi-channel customer engagement programs, sales enablement, branding and community building, and overall corporate communications.

Prior to WorldStrides, Jim served at Time Warner Cable, leading Customer Marketing and Retention, significantly reducing customer churn with a service-focused improvement strategy. He also led Strategy and Retail Store Transformation for Staples, where he transformed Staple’s 1600 retail stores’ culture from order-taking to consultative selling, co-led Customer Retention for America Online, reducing cancels by 500k per annum, and worked at McKinsey where he was a leadership member of the Marketing and Retail practices. Jimreceived his MBA from MIT Sloan and his undergrad in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School.

Jim is the proud father of 3 boys, including Ben who attends McLean and loves it, and the proud husband of over 20 years of Jennifer Rosen, MD, who is Chief of Endocrine Surgery and Vice Chair of Research for the Department of Surgery at MedStar Washington Hospital Center.

Wendy Cohen, Parents Association President

Wendy CohenWendy Cohen has been passionate about and involved in education and school systems since graduating from Emory University in 1998. After earning her Masters in Social Work from Loyola University Chicago, she moved to the DC area and began working with special needs children and adolescents first at The Ridge School in Rockville and later at The Phillips School in Laurel, Maryland.

After welcoming her children – Ethan, and twins Alexa and Olivia, Wendy shifted her education focus to volunteer work. Wendy served on the Executive Board of the PTA at Seven Locks Elementary School as the Enrichment Coordinator. When her daughter Olivia began attending McLean as a second grader, Wendy volunteered in the school library shelving books and served on the Parent Ambassador Network. She also co-chaired Cecily’s Advocacy Conference for two years. She is looking forward to her new role as McLean’s Parents Associate President.

Wendy and her husband Sean are also active participants in their synagogue, Washington Hebrew Congregation. Wendy served as a Mitzvah Day Co-Chair and also helped welcome a refugee family from Afghanistan. In her spare time, Wendy loves playing tennis and Co-Captains an evening league.

Faiza El-Hibri '08

Faiza El-HibriFaiza El-Hibri serves as the Director of Operations Management at East West Resources Corporation (EWR), a private investment and business development firm focused on life sciences and emerging technologies located in Rockville, Maryland. She manages and oversees operating businesses and equity investments, focusing on process optimization, strategic planning, and market positioning. Prior to EWR, Faiza worked at Johnson & Johnson’s medical device company, DePuy Synthes, where she managed sales cycles for an inventory conversion program. Before relocating to Philadelphia with her husband of two years, she worked with the Board of Trade in collecting competitive intelligence in support of the Greater Washington Region’s bid for Amazon’s second headquarters. Faiza previously worked on the set of NBC’s television series “Revolution” and on 20th Century Fox’s “Sleepy Hollow.” Soon after, she supported Unity Productions Foundation, a non-profit organization in Silver Spring Maryland, in creating peace through media and increasing religious and cultural pluralism by internally managing the production of an Emmy-nominated historical docu-drama which aired on PBS. She was recently elected as a board member of the El-Hibri Foundation, whose mission “supports building an inclusive America by advancing peace and respect for diversity inspired by the universally shared values of Islam.” Faiza has an MBA from American University and a BA in Film Studies from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. She graduated from McLean School in 2008, having attended since grade 3.

Lynn Friedman

Lynn Friedman, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist and board-certified psychoanalyst, practicing in Chevy Chase, Maryland. Lynn works with adolescents, adults, couples and families. Since 1989, she has provided organizational consultation to independent school heads, board chairs, and faculty. These collaborations help to foster healthy school environments, strengthen trustee and head relations, navigate changes in the school culture, develop a sense of community, partner with parents and promote resilience. Lynn has written and presented extensively on these topics for professional and lay audiences, including the National Association of Independent Schools and other education-related associations, The Washington Post and the Washington Business Journal. Lynn has been an educator for more than three decades, teaching at Carnegie Mellon and Johns Hopkins Universities. She is deeply committed to education at all levels. In 2013, she was recognized as Teacher of the Year at the Washington Center for Psychoanalysis, where she is a Training and Supervising Analyst. She is delighted to serve on the McLean School Board.

Michele Hagans

Michele HagansThe Reverend Dr. Michele V. Hagans is president of Fort Lincoln New Town Corporation, Inc. and Fort Lincoln Realty Company, Inc., two businesses that focus on an array of real estate and business complexities. Ms. Hagans is one of very few women – and even fewer African-American women – to impact the field of commercial development. As an individual developer and entrepreneur who has built and fostered strategic partnership alliances, Ms. Hagans has left her mark on almost every quadrant of the District of Columbia in one form or another.

Ms. Hagans earned four degrees from Howard University: Bachelor of Science in 1973, Master of Engineering in 1976; Master of Divinity in 2006; and Doctor of Ministry in 2013. Additionally, she earned a Master’s of Business Administration from George Washington University in 1994. Ms. Hagans is a Certified Property Manager and licensed real estate broker in the District of Columbia and the State of Maryland

Today Reverend Dr. Michele V. Hagans is an ordained Episcopal priest and serves the Diocese of Washington as Canon for Ministry Initiativeson the staff of Bishop Marian Budde. In this role, she consults with clergy and congregations in transition and advises the Bishop in matters regarding the development of church properties.

Since November 2018, Ms. Hagans has served as interim part-time rector of Saint John’s Church, Lafayette Square, and since December 2016, as Priest Associate of Holy Comforter Episcopal Church in Washington, DC. She also served as Chaplain for Grace Episcopal School.

Ms. Hagans’ record of community service is lengthy. She presently serves on multiple boards: Venture Philanthropy Partners, Inc.; College Success Foundation; Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.; and the Federal City Council. She also serves on the boards of trustees of Howard University and the Virginia Theological Seminary. She is a member of an array of organizations which include The Economic Club of Washington, DC; World Presidents’ Organization; and International Women’s Forum of Washington, DC. Ms. Hagans has been thrice named Business Person of the Year and received numerous other awards, including the Greater Washington Board of Trade’s 2006 Leader of the Year and most recently she received the 2013 Economic Impact Award from the DC Chamber of Commerce and a 2013 Achievement Award from the District of Columbia Building Industry Association.

A life-long Episcopalian and native Washingtonian, Michele Hagans is committed to her role in creating physical and spiritual environments that serve to nurture individuals, families, and communities. When asked to explain her life’s work, she says, “I don’t build houses; I create communities.”

Ms. Hagans’ grandson is a member of the class of 2024 and is starting his third year at McLean in the fall of 2019.

Sarah Haskell

Sarah HaskellSarah Haskell recently returned to work as the Director Of Operations for Bellwether Insurance Partners. Hannah ’23, their oldest daughter, has attended McLean School since grade 1. Sarah also has two younger children, daughter, Lulu, and a son, Henry. Sarah loves raising her children and volunteering in her community. She was a board member of Silver Spring Day School where all three of her children went to pre-school. She is also an active member of their church, Christ Episcopal Church of Kensington.

Sarah and her family spend much of the summer in Northeast Harbor, Maine. Sarah has gone to Maine every summer of her life and it holds a special place in her heart. She is an active member of this beloved community, sitting on the Board of the Northeast Harbor Swim and Tennis Club as well as the Northeast Harbor Neighborhood House.

Sarah has been active in the McLean School Parents Association serving as the Vice President for both the Lower and Middle Schools. She and her family are so thankful to be a part of this School community.

Robert Onsi

Bob OnsiBob and Ellison Onsi’s daughter, Catherine, enrolled at McLean in third grade and currently is a sophomore at American University. During her time at McLean, they saw Catherine grow and blossom, both academically and socially. Catherine made the Honor Roll, was very active in drama and participated in sports. Bob’s career has focused on educational technology for the past 16 years and is currently the Chief Product Officer at Teaching Strategies. He earned his BS from the University of Richmond in 1993 and his MBA from Darden Graduate School of Business at the University of Virginia in 1998. Ellison is a CPA and a graduate of Virginia Tech. Bob and Ellison were the Co-Chairs of the McLean Annual Fund and are very humbled by this opportunity to continue to serve the McLean School community.

Stephanie Polis

Stephanie PolisStephanie is the mother of George John Polis ’25, who has been at McLean since the fourth grade.

Stephanie has two decades of political and public liaison experience at the grassroots, state and federal level, has worked on Capitol Hill for the U.S. Congressional Budget Committee, as a Presidential Appointee at the United States Department of Labor, a lobbyist for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and as a fundraiser both in the public affairs and not-for-profit arenas. Most recently, she oversaw the endeavors of the National Capital Area as the Regional Development Officer for the Boys and Girls Clubs of America. She currently serves on the board of the Children’s National Medical Center for the Hearing and Speech Development Clinic, is the Chair of the Delarue Guild for the Christ Child Society of Washington, and previously served on the board of Trustees at National Child Research Center.

Stephanie is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin with a Degree in behavioral science and law, attending as a full opera performance scholar. Her husband, John who is the Co-Founder of Capitol Outdoor Media, Inc., is a native Washingtonian. Their two younger sons, Constantine and Christian are both attending the Mater Dei School. They are enthusiastic supporters of the Merrick Center for Girls, The Wendt Center for Loss and Healing, The Imagination Stage and the DC Prep Charter School program. They live in Washington, DC and are active members of the Saint Sophia Greek Orthodox Cathedral.

Alessandro Rebucci

Alessandro RebucciAlessandro Rebucci is Associate Professor of Finance at the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School, where he teaches and conducts research on macroeconomics, international finance, banking, and international real estate. He holds a joint appointment with the Economics Department of the Johns Hopkins Krieger School of Art and Science. He is Faculty Research Fellow of the National Bureau of Economic Research, a Research Fellow of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, a non-resident faculty at the International Business School of the Beijing School of Foreign Studies, a research fellow of the Center for Applied Financial Economics at the University of Southern California, and a Fellow of the Euro Area Business Cycle Network. Prof. Rebucci is also Associate Editor for the Journal of International Money and Finance and Economia (the Journal of the Latin American and Caribbean Economic Association). Before joining Carey, Dr. Rebucci had a distinguished career as economist and researcher at the International Monetary Fund (Economist and Senior Economist: 1998-2008) and the Inter-American Development Bank (Lead Economist and Principal Economist: 2008-2013). He earned a PhD in economics from the University of London (2002), an MSc in economics (1994) and a “Laurea” in economics and social sciences from Bocconi University (1993).

Michael Saxenian, Head of School

Michael Saxenian

I have one of the best jobs in the world. My time leading McLean School over the last six years has been rich in meaning and personal connections, the very qualities of McLean—along with deep classroom expertise—that drew me to the school when I first visited in late 2012. At McLean, I’ve been fortunate to participate in the further articulation of our methodology and the ways in which we explain it, expansion of the student body, implementation of new programming in areas such as mindfulness, robotics, and gardening, the first major capital campaign, and the expansion of our building.

I came to McLean from Sidwell Friends School, where I was the Assistant Head of School and Chief Financial Officer. At Sidwell I was able to pursue twin passions in education, including the opportunity to design and teach an economics elective to seniors, and in the environment, overseeing an expansive green building program that set an international standard for independent schools.

My work in schools has been enriched by board service. I’ve served on the boards of the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS), including as Treasurer, and of the National Business Officers Association (NBOA). Locally, I serve on the board of the Association of Independent Schools of Greater Washington (AISGW). I was a founding board member of the Green School Alliance (GSA).

I haven’t always worked in schools. My professional pathway started as a volunteer in non-formal education and “appropriate” (small scale, village) technology in Indonesia in the early 1980s, and includes business start-ups in education and in publishing related to economic development. I led the development of “Conservation Enterprises” at Conservation International through most of the 1990s. In the early 2000s I became a Vice President and General Manager at Discovery Communications, running a business unit dedicated to educational and experiential travel.

I grew up in Concord Massachusetts in a family of educators and attended the public schools there, including the high school where my mother taught English. I was slow to learn to read, and probably would have continued to languish in low level math classes but for testing that suggested—contrary to appearances, I suppose—that I was a bright child. Birth of the Abilities Model®!. We were not a family of significant means, and the first airplane ride of my life took me to my freshman year at Stanford, which I financed through a combination of work study, loans, and financial aid. That flight launched me on a path of work and study that has spanned six continents, and eventually yielded three degrees from Stanford—an MBA, an MA in Development Economics, and an AB in International Relations.

My two years living in Indonesia, immersed in local culture, language and institutions, had a profound impact on my world view. Like many young people who work abroad in this way, I developed a deep appreciation for complexity and nuance, and an understanding that no individual or society has a corner on the truth.  The volunteer organization I worked with was grounded in Quaker values, which tend to reinforce those notions, and which recognize the power of diversity and of collective wisdom. These values and perspectives inform my leadership of McLean School.

In addition to my work at McLean, some of my favorite professional moments have included facilitating the launch of ecologically sustainable coffee in every Starbucks store across the country, thereby establishing a partnership with Conservation International that has continued for two decades; creating the first ever LEED Platinum K-12 school building, and converting a fifty-year-old gymnasium into a LEED Platinum Quaker meetinghouse. I also look back fondly on my earlier work co-authoring the Appropriate Technology Sourcebook, an 800-page resource guide to technologies for rural development, with 50,000 copies in print, and creating a 1,250-volume microfiche-based library on appropriate technology that replicated the leading appropriate technology reference collection in 1000 locations around the world.

My three daughters are now young adults, and one of them was fortunate enough to attend and graduate from McLean. Natalie’s time at McLean gave me the gift of experiencing McLean as a parent. I love spending time with family, biking, hiking, reading, and admiring art. I rely on a regular yoga practice to keep my mind and body in tune.

Leslie Speidel

Leslie SpeidelLeslie Speidel is a professional career coach. She works with youth (teens, graduates, and millennials) to help them discover their natural gifts and strengths and map them to real world careers. Leslie and her husband, Rob, have two teenage daughters. Their younger daughter, Anna, attended McLean School from 5th through 8th grade, graduating from the Middle School in 2019.

Leslie has been an active volunteer in schools and communities since 2005. She served as McLean School’s Auction Co-Chair in 2016 and 2018. As a member of the Parents Association Board, she served as Middle School Liaison for the Parents Association and assisted McLean faculty in implementing community service programs.

Prior to her volunteer work, Leslie held the position of Manager at Arthur Andersen in Washington, DC. As a consultant for human resources, she designed and implemented customer service programs and developed and delivered training programs for Federal Government employees. Leslie holds an MBA from American University and a BS from Boston University in Communications. In her free time she enjoys biking, traveling, and spending time with Rob, Caroline, Anna, and their dog, Sandy. She and her family live in McLean, Virginia.

Valaida L. Wise

Valaida WiseDr. Valaida L. Wise (Val) is currently an adjunct professor at Johns Hopkins University and also consults at area charter and independent schools. She served as the past head of school at the National Child Research Center in Washington D.C, The Harbor School in Bethesda, Maryland and at Henson Valley Montessori School in Temple Hills, Maryland. An educator for almost 20 years, Val received a bachelor’s degree in developmental psychology from Syracuse University, a master’s degree in teaching from Trinity College, Washington D.C. and holds a doctorate in Educational Leadership from George Washington University.

A Brava Award Winner, Val has lectured nationally and internationally, most recently on the topic of early childhood education at Tanjian University and other provinces in China. She has presented at a variety of conferences including, National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) Education Diplomacy, Children’s Trust, etc. Val has written several articles on educational leadership in early childhood as well as Montessori Education. Her article: A Critical Absence in the Field of Educational Administration: Framing the (Missing) Discourse of Leadership in Early Childhood appears in the International Journal of Educational Leadership Preparation. She is a trustee on several professional and independent school boards.