As an inaugural participant, you have the opportunity for essential learning, growing your professional network, and shaping the future of the credentialing program on behalf of TABS!

TABS Foundations of Care and Practice credential program is a cohort-based, online professional learning program that guides boarding school practitioners to develop foundational insights and understandings essential to supporting and caring for students in a boarding school environment.

You’ll engage in eight live, one-hour online modules taught by boarding school faculty experts throughout the fall. Once a month, you’ll join your cohort and cohort advisor to unpack your learning and insights. Last, in December, you’ll submit a short reflection about your learning, professional practice, and feedback for development of the program.

Building relationships and gathering your feedback is critical, so we are pleased to invite you, as an inaugural participant, to join us for TABS Annual Conference in Boston in November with half-price discount on registration. You’ll meet your cohort and advisor in person and shape the future of the program




Your participation in the program is included in your school’s TABS membership, so there’s no additional cost for you to participate.

Requirements for Completion


Complete eight program modules below through participation in live, synchronous online learning sessions. Each program module will be offered twice during the fall.

Engage with fellow cohort members and cohort advisor in four monthly online meetings between August and November

Submit a final reflection of learning and evaluation of the learning experience. This reflection will focus on the program’s impact on your learning and practice, as well as your feedback about how we can improve the program for the future.

Program Modules



Boarding Schools: Our Mission and Purpose

Safety, Health, & Wellness

Promoting Student Health and Wellness

Safety, Health, & Wellness

Understanding Common Mental Health Challenges of Adolescents (including Suicide Prevention)

Safety, Health, & Wellness

Introduction to Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response


Building Equitable and Inclusive Boarding Communities

Cultivating Inclusivity and Belonging

Supporting International Students

Advising and Supervising Adolescents

Mentoring and Supervising Students in a Boarding Context

Self-Care and Personal Relationships

Strategies for Managing Responsibilities and Relationships

Cohort Advisor


Cohort Advisor

André is the Associate Dean of Students for the Upper School (9-12) at Milton Academy. Throughout his years at Milton, André has worked with students across their experience, starting from their introduction to the school as an admission officer, during their day-to-day experience as a dorm parent, an advisor, a track and field coach, and through their learning experiences outside the Milton classroom as a class dean and in his current role as the associate dean of students.

In his 22 years at Milton Academy, André has blended professional development opportunities like the TABS Annual conference with the day to day learning from hands-on challenges that living where you work presents.

Program Faculty

More faculty announcements coming soon!


Assistant Head of School, History Teacher, Skiing and Crew Coach, Taft School CT

Jeremy has an extensive background in the boarding school environment, having been a student, teacher, and administrator. After graduating from Berkshire School, Jeremy went to Bowdoin College to receive a Bachelor of Arts in history with a minor in economics. He received his master’s degree in educational administration from the Klingenstein Center at Columbia University’s Teachers College.

Jeremy is also the executive director at the Gardner Carney Leadership Institute at Fountain Valley School. Prior to Taft, Jeremy was acting assistant head of school for strategic initiatives at Cheshire Academy, the head of school at Kents Hill School, and the head of senior school at Shady Side Academy. He was also the dean of students at Fountain Valley School.

Throughout his time as an administrator, Jeremy also taught various classes in history, including World Cultures, Social Theory and Global Impact, European, U.S., and Ancient and Medieval History. He has been an advisor, dormitory head, alpine skiing coach, crew coach, and outdoor instructor. Jeremy has been a speaker at numerous conferences of the National Association of Independent Schools and the Association of Boarding Schools. At Taft, Jeremy now serves as the assistant head of school, teaches history, coaches skiing, and lives on Academy Hill with his wife, Diana, and their three children.


Dean of Student Life and Wellness, Loomis Chaffee School CT

Over the span of her 25-year career, Jessica has worked  as a teacher, coach, counselor, and administrator. After graduating from Colby College, Jessica spent time teaching overseas before returning to the states to get her Masters in American Cultural Studies at the University of Wyoming. She then worked as a public school Spanish teacher, focusing on student support as she discovered her passion for helping students navigate the complexity of adolescence. 

Jessica eventually pursued her Masters in Social Work from Boston College and then returned to the boarding school world, having attended the Taft School during high school. First at Miss Porter’s School and then at Blair Academy, she helped center the community on health and wellness.

At Blair, she created a counseling department from scratch, and after a few years as Director Counseling, she shifted to administration and spent four more years as a Dean of Students. After moving back to New England and working as Director of Counseling at Thayer Academy, her family then moved to Loomis Chaffee in 2019 where she is currently Dean of Student Life and Wellness. Her dean role expanded to include wellness, which she believes is intimately linked to the quality of student life.

When not working she is usually somewhere outside, playing sports, watching her beloved Red Sox, or spending time with her family. She currently lives in Windsor, CT with her husband, Brian Shactman, three teenage children, and an amazing yellow lab.


Medical Director, Phillips Academy MA

Dr. Patel is a physician and professional coach board-certified in Pediatrics, Internal Medicine, and Lifestyle Medicine. She completed her residencies in these programs at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. Dr. Patel earned a BS in Biology and Community Health from Tufts University, and her MD degree from the University of Vermont College of Medicine. As a certified coach, she focuses on helping people develop and optimize wellness, leadership, and life skills. Her professional interests are rooted in the belief that everyone deserves access to quality healthcare and evidence-based inclusive health education.

Dr. Patel is also a member of the Sports Medicine Advisory Council for the New England Prep School Athletic Council and a member of the Association of Independent Schools of New England health and wellness annual conference planning committee. She has presented at local and national conferences on a variety of topics such as health and wellness, leadership, and social determinants of health and health disparities. She has conducted school health and health center assessments, and helped schools develop their pandemic response plan.

Dr. Patel is currently the dean of health and wellness and chief medical officer at Phillips Academy. She teaches in the Empathy, Balance, and Inclusion course and guest teaches in physical education and biology on health topics including sexuality and substance use. She also serves as an academic advisor and supports student-led health initiatives as a faculty advisor to several student clubs. She consults across campus on a wide variety of health issues on individual and policy levels. In addition, she is a member of several committees that work to support students, and is also advisor to several student clubs committed to student health and wellness.

In her spare time, Dr. Patel enjoys practicing what she teaches, spending time with family and friends, and traveling throughout the world. She lives on the Andover campus with her husband and two children.

Dr. Angela Yang-Handy

Assistant Head of School, Hebron Academy ME

For over two decades, Angela has worked across the education sector in the U.S. and abroad, serving in leadership roles at K-12 independent schools, higher education, and in adult, workforce, and community-based education.  She is a dedicated advocate for student-centered holistic education, perpetually striving to cultivate a true sense of belonging and promote student health and wellness in ways that are inclusive and accessible for the diverse range of students.  Throughout her career, Angela’s work has continually engaged academic and student affairs realms, wherein she’s led initiatives focused on international education, experiential learning, diversity, equity, inclusion, belonging and social justice, social-emotional learning, education for people with disabilities (learning disabilities and visual impairment), educational research and assessment, curriculum and instructional design, and innovation in schools.  

Angela has published, facilitated workshops, and/or served in leadership positions with TABS, NAIS, the Association of Independent Schools in New England, NAFSA Association of International Educators, Eight Schools Association, Hilltop Montessori School, College Consortium for International Studies, and the Fulbright Teacher & Administrator Exchange Program. 

With counsel from TABS Boarding School Educators Credentialing Program

Advisory Committee

patricia sasser

Patricia previously served as the Head of the Upper School at the Ransom Everglades School in Coconut Grove, Florida. She also worked at the Loomis Chaffee School as a dean of students and was heavily involved in advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion at the school. Prior to Loomis Chaffee, Patricia worked at The Madeira School in several roles, including as a major gifts officer, director of student activities, special assistant to the head of school on diversity, and the assistant dean of students for residential life.

Before transitioning into education, Ms. Sasser worked at ESPN as an associate producer, where she was a two-time Emmy® nominee and a 2006 Emmy® award winner.

Raquel majeski

Raquel Majeski began working at Lawrence Academy in 2017 and is the Assistant Head for Equity and Community Life. She has a BA from Eckerd College in communications and human development and an MA from Nova Southeastern University in reading and special education. Raquel lives in Brazer with her two children, Lauryn and Wade. She loves spending time with the students at LA, participating in book clubs and bible study groups, and attending Dave Matthews Band concerts. Raquel is also the Chair of the diversity task force for the town of Groton.


Marquis Scott joined The Lawrenceville School in 2018 and has made significant contributions in various leadership roles. He has implemented a technology-focused strategic plan to enhance cyber security practices, improve employee portal utilization, and streamline campus-wide technology support. Marquis has also played a pivotal role in advancing the School’s initiatives on diversity, equity, and inclusion, implementing best practices and leading senior staff efforts in this area. Additionally, he has led strategic communication and institutional marketing committees, ensuring consistent communication, website strategy, and brand identity aligned with the School’s mission. Marquis has been instrumental in the marketing and branding of Lawrenceville’s Gruss Center for Art & Design and collaborates with the Lawrenceville community to prioritize and execute strategic projects. 

In addition to his role as the assistant head of school, Marquis has successfully undertaken various acting leadership positions, including chief technology officer, director of communications and external affairs, dean of diversity, inclusion, and community engagement, and director of human resources. Currently, he leads a student-centered Wellness Team, working collaboratively with the medical director, dean of students, and dean of campus well-being to prioritize a holistic approach to student well-being.

Scott holds a Master of Business Administration from Rutgers University’s School of Business in Newark, NJ, a Master of Arts in Educational Leadership from Montclair State University in Montclair, NJ, a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Computer Science from Union College in Schenectady, NY, and he is currently pursuing a Doctorate in Educational Leadership and Management from Drexel University in Philadelphia, Pa, with an anticipated completion date of Winter 23-24. Scott recently completed the National Association of Independent Schools’ Fellowship for Aspiring School Heads. He is an alumnus of the Hotchkiss School in Lakeville, Connecticut, and currently serves as Vice Chair of the Hotchkiss Board of Governors.

Courtney Jackson

Courtney is an educator and DEI practitioner who currently lives in Connecticut at The Loomis Chaffee School, where she serves as the Director of Gender and Sexuality, English teacher, and dorm head. Courtney is an alumna of The Peddie School in New Jersey, earned her BA in Philosophy from Lehigh University, where she also was a member of the Women’s Soccer team. She earned a Master of Arts in Liberal Studies from Dartmouth College, where she studied gender and sexuality, and a Master in Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where she studied diversity, equity, and inclusion more broadly. Courtney enjoys spending time outside with her dog, reading memoirs, running, cycling, and sipping coffee.


Will Gilyard is in his 19th year of working in independent schools. In 2020, he returned to his alma mater Choate Rosemary Hall to take on the roles of Form Dean, and Alumni Engagement Associate. Will joined Choate after nine years at the Kingswood Oxford School (KO), a 6-12 independent day school located in West Hartford, CT, where he served as Dean of Students, an upper school math teacher, assistant football coach, and faculty advisor for the United Students club and Boys of Color group. At Choate, Will is the faculty adviser to Choate Afro Latino Men (CALM), and Girls Who Code (GWC).

Will also serves as a core faculty member and helped create the curriculum for the Institute for New Teachers of Color in Independent Schools, created in 2020, the Interschool Leadership Institute, created in 2013. Will also served as a core faculty member of the Kingswood Oxford Leadership Institute for Educators of Color (KOLIEC) from 2011-2018 and helped create the curriculum for the mentoring/advising circles for institute participants.

Before joining KO, Will was the Head of the Upper School at the Cathedral School of St. John the Divine in New York City. He serves on the board of advisors for the IDEAL School, also located in New York City. He is passionate about the role of educators in independent schools, specifically in the lives of students of color. Will has attended numerous workshops, conferences, and institutes related to leadership in independent schools and anti-racist education. Will had the honor of being a member of a think tank for the CARLE institute. 

Will has his B.A. in Psychology from Williams College and his M.A. Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of St. Joseph. Will is thrilled to be a part of the TABS (The Association of Boarding Schools) team and looks forward to working with energized and focused individuals who are interested in being change agents in the residential life sphere.

Will and his wife, Afton, ALP/Enrichment Teacher in Stratford Public Schools reside in Wallingford, CT with their two sons, William (10) and Maxwell (8).


Associate Head of School Ryan Pagotto ’97 joined Blair’s faculty in 2002 and is responsible for managing the day-to-day operations of the School on matters related to student and residential life, including health and counseling services, athletics and co-curricular programs. He runs Monday School Meeting and, among other things, is known for greeting students in the morning at the Clinton Hall doorway and offering freshly picked apples from his office during the month of October. In addition to his administrative responsibilities, Ryan serves as a member of the history department and teaches Global Issues. He also authors the monthly e-newsletter From Hilltop to Home, a communication designed to help new boarding-school parents navigate the ins and outs of the Blair experience.

Over the course of his time at Blair, Ryan has served as a history teacher, head tennis coach, a dorm head and Dean of Admission. He completed his undergraduate work at Dickinson College, where he captained the men’s tennis team, and earned a master’s degree in educational leadership from Columbia University. Before joining the faculty at Blair, Ryan taught at the Taft Summer School in Watertown, Connecticut, and Wyoming Seminary in Kingston, Pennsylvania. He also spent three summers as program director of the Cambridge Prep Experience at Peterhouse College, Cambridge University.

In addition to his roles in schools, Ryan has served as a faculty member for the TABS (The Association of Boarding Schools) Summer Session and is a regular presenter at national boarding and independent school conferences on student and residential life.

Ryan and his wife, Jennifer, performing arts department chair and Director of Instrumental Music at Blair, live in Grullon House with their children, Jack, Will, Ella and Addison, and their dog, Teagan. The Pagottos enjoy opening their home to Blair students, faculty and staff members throughout the year.


Susan served as a professor and leader at Middlebury College for over 25 years, most recently as Executive Vice President and Provost, leading Middlebury’s academic programs across multiple campuses – Middlebury, Bread Loaf, Monterey – as well as study abroad locations around the world. Prior to her Provostship, Susan served as Vice President for Strategy and Planning, Dean of Planning and Assessment, and Dean of the Faculty. She is a tenured Professor of Psychology and taught throughout her time at Middlebury.

Susan began her consulting firm in 2018, advising schools, colleges, non-profits and foundations in the areas of strategy, planning and governance; and coaching senior administrators to build leadership capacity and support change management. This led her to partner with TABS in 2019, in the development of TABS current strategic plan.

In addition to consulting, Susan co-authored the book, The College Stress Test, an analysis of educational markets and tools for helping schools to identify their place within market trends. The book was named one of the best books on higher education in 2020 by Forbes Magazine. Susan has presented extensively on topics relating to human sexuality, social psychology, and the psychology of women and gender. She received her B.S. with highest honors in Psychology, Phi Beta Kappa, at Denison University, and her M.A. and Ph.D. in Social Psychology at UCLA.