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 or John Lefner.
The current Board of Trustees
Steven Boxley; Board of Trustees member
Steve is a new addition to the board for this year. He provides guidance to the Finance 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.
Lenora de la Luna; Board of Trustees member
Lenora, a member of the board for several years, provides guidance to the 7th & 8th Grade Expansion Review Committee. Lenora has worked in the education field for over twenty years as a teacher and professor.
Kristin FitzSimons; Board of Trustees member
Kristin, a parent of alumni students, is in her second term of board leadership, serving from 1998-2000, and 2011 until present. She provides guidance to the Governance, Marketing and 7th & 8th grade committees. Kristin is the Admissions Advisor for SUNY Empire State College, and holds Master’s Degrees in English and Information Science.
Kristin has been involved with SIS since her son Noah Cadet enrolled in Kindergarten in 1997. She began by reading to Kindergartners to give the teacher a break during the day or work individually with students. When enrollment declined in 1998, she volunteered to assist with marketing the school. Kristin then joined the board for two years until her second son enrolled.
Kristin feels strongly that her sons benefited from the SIS approach to educating young minds. She feels that at SIS, students are taught how to respect one another and develop and maintain relationships. According to Kristin, her sons are able to navigate the politics of group work in the classroom and teamwork on the soccer field in the same way – with respect for their instructors and peers as they fulfill their obligations.
Another aspect of SIS that she cherishes is the development of relationships between the families themselves. Kristin maintains friendships with parents that have endured since her children’s days at SIS and she has enjoyed seeing their children progress from curious learners to confident and academically adept college students.
Kristin is always available to anyone who wants to learn more about Noah’s and Alex’s experiences at SIS and about the progress the school is making toward its exciting future.
David Jarosz; Board of Trustees President, Chair of the Development Committee
Dave, a member of the board for several years, serves as the President. Previously, Dave served as Treasurer. As President, Dave leads monthly board meetings, works closely with school administration, and provides guidance to the Development and Finance committees. Dave is the Principal for Healthcare & Pharmaceuticals Consulting, an organization that provides medical device consultation to physicians among other services.
Dennis Kipp; Board of Trustees Member, Chair of the 7th and 8th Grade Expansion Review Committee
Dennis, a recent addition to the board, serves on our Facilities Committee and chairs the 7th & 8th Grade Expansion Review Committee. 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.
Richard Kline; Board of Trustees Member, Chair of the Marketing Committee
Richard, a recent addition to the board, chairs our Marketing Committee. Richard founded Shannon-Rose Design in 1985 as a small creative agency where local businesses got undivided attention and uncompromising design work. Twenty-odd years strong, Richard has proven to be the driving force behind SRD’s evolution to a studio recognized for award-winning design and web development. Today’s SRD identifies and implements branding and marketing solutions for print and web applications. Richard now oversees a new generation of uncompromising work for mid-sized clients that stand out from the competition. Richard holds a BFA from Marist College. Shannon-Rose Design is responsible for the design, production and launch of the new www.siskids.org
Joe Lindner; Board of Trustees Member, Chair of Finance Committee, Chair of Facilities Committee
Joe, in his third year on the board, serves as the Chair of the Finance Committee, providing stewardship to the fiscal health of the school, and on the Facilities Committee. Joe is a Personal Financial Advisor for First Niagara Bank. Joe has 2 young boys at home and his interest in educational options outside of the public schools encouraged him to join the board.
Forrest MacDonald; Board of Trustees Member
Forrest, in his fifth year as a board member, has previously served as Treasurer, President and Immediate Past President. Forrest serves as the VP of Accounting and Financial Reporting for Cengage Learning, the world’s second largest provider of learning solutions and educational materials. Forrest was actively recruited to the board due to his background in finance. He considers luck to be defined as the intersection of preparation and opportunity, a philosophy that has served his relationship with the school well.
As a parent of 2 boys at the school, he has an inherent interest in helping the school and the board. Forrest has enjoyed the challenges and the successes of serving on the board including the completion of the East Wing, successful NYSAIS accreditation, the launch of the financial aid program and expansion in enrollment to the current level during his tenure.
Marlo Merrithew; Board of Trustees Member
Marlo, a Relationships Manager for Key Investment Services LLC, provides guidance to the Development and Finance Committees. Marlo is a member of the Saratoga Springs Rotary Club which partners with the school to host a successful American Red Cross blood drive. Marlo has been instrumental in recruiting fellow board members.
Paula Tancredi Penman; Board of Trustees Member, Chair of the Parent Association
Paula, a professor at Skidmore College and Principal of Whirlaway Marketing, serves as board member and chair of the Parent Association. Paula is charged with the planning and facilitation of over 15 “P.A.” events each school year, and provides guidance to the Development Committee.
Bob Reed; Board of Trustees Member
Bob, a recent addition to the board, provides guidance to the Development Committee. As the proprietor of B-Reed Enterprises LLC, Bob helps non-profit organizations raise funds, and provides financial and estate planning and asset protection with 1st New York Financial Group. Bob has served as the President of the National Football League Players Association following a very successful career as a Running Back for the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings and in the Canadian Football League.
Mary Taber; Board of Trustees Member, Chair of Governance Committee
Mary, in her second year on the board, serves as Chair of Governance. She is a parent of a 6th grader and a 1st 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 at Skidmore Collge and provides statistical consultation to area businesses. She is committed to supporting the Saratoga Independent School not only for the benefit of her children, but because she believes in the importance of educational models where children are encouraged and expected to think critically, take responsibility, and be individuals.
Dr. Iren Valentine; Board of Trustees Member
Iren, a recent addition to the board is the parent of an SIS student. Iren is a Psychologist and provides guidance to the Governance and 7th and 8th Grade Expansion Review Committees.
Ayshea Wild; Board of Trustees Member
Ayshea joined the board this year, and is a parent of two students. Ayshea provides guidance to the Governance and Development Committees. 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 – ex officio
John Lefner – 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 focuses on the physical assets of the school and campus, planning small and large improvements and maintenance, as well as participating in the volunteer service events.
Development – This committee identifies new sources of financial support by way of donors, grants and other charitable initiatives. The Development Committee provides guidance to fundraising and awareness events and helps 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.
7th & 8th Grade – This committee explores the future potential of school expansion to include 7th and 8th grades at Saratoga Independent School.
For more information about the Board, please contact the current Board President at email@example.com.