Board of Trustees
The Saratoga Independent School Board of Trustees has overall responsibility for the care and well being of the school. Composed of individuals with diverse experience and backgrounds, trustees include parents of students and leaders from the community.
The Board adopted the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) Principles of Good Practice. These principles define high standards and ethical behavior in key areas of independent school operations.
Our Board of Trustees provides strategic guidance with respect to long range planning, marketing, facilities, program & campus expansion, governance, financial assistance, development, and finance. The Board of Trustees relies on your support and feedback to make accurate, informed decisions. Should you be interested in serving on a committee, please speak to either Felice Karlitz.
2014-2015 Board of Trustees
Steven Boxley; Board of Trustees member, Chair of Marketing Committee
Steve is the President of Boxley’s Services, Inc., which has provided high-quality auto detailing, home and business cleaning, and estate sales management services to the capital region for over 50 years. Steve is chair of the Marketing Committee and serves on Development and Finance.
Desiree Drindak; Board of Trustees member
Desiree Drindak serves as the Secretary for the Board of Trustees. She is a parent of a 5th grader, and has been part of the SIS community for almost three years. Desiree is the Interim Director for the Office of Veteran and Military Education at SUNY Empire State College. She is a military spouse and has worked in military education for the past twelve years. Desiree holds an M.Ed. in psychology with a concentration in student personnel administration in higher education from Springfield College, Springfield, Massachusetts.
Michelle Ducrot; Board of Trustees member
Michelle has been an active parent volunteer, supporter and advocate for Saratoga Independent School since 2011. Prior to moving to upstate NY in 2010, she and her husband and two daughters lived in Virginia, where her eldest daughter attended a Montessori preschool. With similar multi-age approach, academic philosophy and culture, Saratoga Independent School provided the perfect next step, and she is thrilled to have both her girls attending. In 2013, Michelle led the initiative to get Saratoga Independent School Green Ribbon Certified, served as a member of the Development and Campus Planning & Advisory Committees, and lead the school’s Parent Association. As past PA Chair, she was invited to join the Board and accepted the role of Trustee Liaison in 2014. Michelle currently serves on the Development, Marketing, Facilities, and Strategic Planning Committees. In addition to her involvement with the school, Michelle has worked with several community groups, such as LLL International and Sling Babies, a local baby-wearing instruction and support group. She also provides part time administrative support to the Town of Wilton’s Gavin Park.
David Jarosz; Board of Trustees Past-President
Dave has been a member of the board for several years, and has served in leadership positions including President and Treasurer.
Sharon Kellner-Byrnes; Board of Trustees Member
Sharon received a BS in Psychology from SUNY New Paltz with a concentration in Early Education and is a 2013 Graduate of Leadership Saratoga. Sharon has been the Deputy Commissioner of Accounts for the City of Saratoga Springs since October of 2010, where she oversees the day to day operations of the department and manages staff in Risk & Safety, Purchasing, Assessments, Records Retention, Vital Statistics and Licensing. She coordinates meetings and events with the business community and general public. Before joining the City Council she worked for several years in sales and marketing. During this time, she also served as the Northeast Territory Ambassador for the AFLAC Cancer, where she helped launch a $10 million campaign for children’s cancer research and treatment.
She resides in Saratoga Springs with her husband Michael and her two children Michael, 16 and Lauren, 14. It was her visits to SIS for the Thanksgiving Feast and Read across America as well as her participation in Leadership Saratoga that brought her to the Board.
Todd Henry; Board of Trustees Member, Treasurer, and Chair of the Finance Committee
Todd serves on the Board of Trustees, and Chairs the Finance Committee as Treasurer. Most recently, Todd, a CPA, was Director of Accounting and Revenue Analysis for Cengage Learning, a leading educational content, technology, and services company, until leaving to pursue entrepreneurial endeavors in the sports and nutritional sciences industry. He began his professional career with KPMG LLP, a Big Four accounting firm, serving primarily the Banking and Financial Services markets, and later joined HITS, Inc., a leading special events management company focused primarily on equine and endurance sports competitions, as its Corporate Controller. Todd graduated Magna Cum Laude from Siena College with a BBA in Accounting.
Dennis serves on our Governance and Strategic Planning Committees. Prior to serving on the board, Dennis taught grades 2,3,4 and 6 in public schools. He also served on the board for a regional credit union and helped it grow from under $1 million to almost 10 million in total assets. Dennis was asked to serve on the Financial Aid Committee, and then joined the Board of Trustees in July of 2012.
Catherine LoMonico; Board of Trustees member
Catherine is the parent of two students at SIS and is an ardent supporter of the school’s mission. She has a B.A. in Literary and Cultural Studies from Carnegie Mellon, an M.A. In English from Middlebury College, and an Ed.M in Secondary English from Harvard University. Catherine spent 13 years in private schools teaching middle and upper school English and assisting with curricular coordination and administration of student life. Since 2006 Catherine has worked as an educational consultant for school districts and businesses providing educational tools. She currently serves on marketing, development, and programming committees.
Paula Tancredi Penman; Board of Trustees Member
Paula, in her fourth year on the board, currently serves on the Strategic Planning, Marketing, and Facilities committees and has previously served as Chair of the Development Committee as well as Chair of the Parent Association. She earned her MBA from Yale University and teaches in the Management and Business Department at Skidmore College and provides marketing consultation to area businesses. Paula has one son who has attended Saratoga Independent School for 5 years beginning in preschool having chosen the school for the importance it places on children to be individuals.
Jesse Schwartz; Board of Trustees member
Eileen Stone; Board of Trustees President
Eileen is a parent of two students at the school. She is a passionate supporter of the school’s mission and greatly admires the thoughtful, deliberate approach to learning at the school. She strongly feels a Saratoga Independent School education will provide a solid foundation for the development of lifelong learners. Eileen is Managing Director of Sage Energy Group, LLC, a boutique advisory firm that provides clients with project development and asset acquisition services in the renewable energy sector. She has 20 years of business development experience in project development, finance and acquisition of utility-scale power plants. Locally, she is a board member of Harmony Community Center, chairperson of the Charlton Annual Farmer’s Market and served on the Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake School District’s Strategic Planning Committee for 21st Century Learning. Eileen earned a BA from Brown University, an MBA from the Yale School of Management and a Master’s in Environmental Studies from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.
Mary Taber; Board of Trustees Member, Chair of Strategic Planning Committee
Mary, in her fourth year on the board, serves as Chair of Strategic Planning. She is a parent of an SIS alumnus and a 3rd grader at the school. She earned an AB from Vassar College, a Master’s in Public and Private Management (with a focus on nonprofits) from Yale University, and a Ph.D. in Labor and Industrial Relations from the University of Illinois. Mary teaches Introduction to Applied Statistics at Skidmore College. She is committed to supporting the Saratoga Independent School because she believes in the importance of educational models where children are encouraged and expected to think critically, take responsibility, and be individuals.
John Westney; Board of Trustees Member, Chair of Construction Management Committee. Chair of Facilities Committee
John fell in love with SIS when he and wife Dr. Susan Moore Westney sent their daughter for Kindergarten. Since then there has been no looking back. John established his career serving the community through Bellevue Woman’s Hospital, which was started by his family in 1931. “I understand the risks that an organization faces as it grows. I aim to make sure that the organization stays safe, even as it grows larger and continually improves its effectiveness in educating children.” John earned his BA from Dartmouth and MBA from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
Ayshea Wild; Board of Trustees Member, Chair of Governance Committee
Ayshea is a parent of two students, and serves as chair of the Governance Committee. Ayshea supports the school’s mission because she feels that SIS provides a unique and much needed educational alternative in the Saratoga area, nurturing curiosity, exploration, and confidence in young learners.
Felice Karlitz; Director of School – ex officio
The current committees are:
Governance – This committee assists the school with policy development, compliance and creating best practices to follow.
Facilities – This Committee works to see that the School’s facilities support its educational mission. This committee contributes knowledge as well as leading volunteer labor. This Committee works on operational matters and small to medium projects.
Construction Management - This Committee works to assist and guide the School’s Administration to plan, finance, permit, build, and occupy a new building during 2015.
Development – The Development Committee provides guidance to fundraising and awareness events, and supports efforts to secure major gifts for the school.
Finance – This committee stewards the fiscal health of the school, monitors expenses and income, and assists with budget projections and other financial matters.
Marketing – This committee works to increase the public awareness of the school through various advertising initiatives.
Financial Assistance – This committee is responsible for reviewing the protocols for financial aid, screening applications and establishing criteria for financial aid for tuition in grades K-6.
Strategic Planning – This committee will launch a new strategic planning process to build upon SIS’s strong foundation and further advance the mission and values of the school. As part of the planning process, the committee will seek the opinions and perspectives from across the SIS community (administration, teachers, staff, trustees, parents, students, alumni, and local community) to help guide the committee’s work in the development of the school’s priority initiatives for 2014-2017.