OUR PEOPLE

We’re all here for the same purpose—you, our valued members. 

At Your Service

TABS TEAM

Susan Baldridge

Executive Director

Emily Breite

Senior Vice President, Member Learning & Engagement

Lissa Brown

Bookkeeper & Administrative Specialist

Brett Fuhrman

Vice President Finance & Operations

Daniel Gentle

Senior Director of Advancement

Annie Lundahl

Brand Communications

Michael Shaver

Vice President for Market Growth

Bella Topping

Fellow, BOLD Women's Leadership Network

Liz Verhalen

Director Of Finance & Operations

Bridget Visk

Special Assistant to the Executive Director

Emily Williams

Professional Learning & Data Coordinator

our vision board

BOARD OF TRUSTEES

Susan Baldridge

Executive Director, ex officio
TABS

Suzanne Walker Buck

Board Co-Chair
Head of School, Western Reserve Academy OH

Alex Curtis

Board Co-Chair
Head of School, Choate Rosemary Hall CT

Innes van Nostrand

Board Vice-Chair
Principal, Appleby College ON

Chris Seeley

Board Secretary
Head of School, St. Thomas Choir School NY

Heidi Vanderbilt-Brown

Board Treasurer
Chief Financial & Operating Officer, Milton Academy MA

Peter Becker

Head of School, The Frederick Gunn School CT

Michael Bergin

Chief Financial & Operating Officer, Miss Porter's School CT

Meg Bradley

Retired Head of School, Santa Catalina School CA

Linda Carter Griffith

Associate Head of School for Equity, Inclusion and Wellness; Phillips Academy-Andover MA

Jill Hutchins

Associate Head of School for Enrollment Management, Dublin School NH

Pamela Jordan

President, Idyllwild Arts Foundation CA

Ed Kidd

Headmaster, Ridley College ON

Jeff Leahy

Head of School, Colorado Rocky Mountain School CO

Erby Mitchell

Dean of Admission & Financial Aid, The Hotchkiss School CT

Erika Prahl

Dean of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion; Middlesex School MA

Lawrence Sampleton

Associate Head of School for Enrollment Management and Financial Aid, St. Stephen's Episcopal School TX

Anthony Sgro

Head of School, Asheville School NC

Jody Reilly Soja

Head of School, Indian Mountain School CT

Ben Williams

Head of School, Cate School CA

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TABS Member

One North Pack Square, Suite 301, Asheville NC 28801, USA

828 258 5354

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WILLIAM GILYARD

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).

RYAN PAGOTTO

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 BALDRIDGE

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.