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, Treasurer, and Chair of the Finance Committee
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.

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.

David Jarosz; Board of Trustees President
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.

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

 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

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 Development Committee
Paula, a professor at Skidmore College and Principal of Whirlaway Marketing, serves as board member and chair of the Development Committee.

Bob Reed; Board of Trustees Member
Bob 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.

Eileen Stone; Board of Trustees Member, Chair of the Strategic Planning Committee
 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 Governance Committee
Mary, in her third 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.

John Westney; Board of Trustees Member, Chair of Facilities Committee

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; Director of School – ex officio
John Lefner; Director of Operations – 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.

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.

For more information about the Board, please contact the current Board President at