Faculty

This is the Life! Boot Camp

Jay Bonner

Associate Head,
Asheville School NC

Jay Bonner has served at Asheville School for over thirty years, first as a teacher, coach, and hall parent, and then worked in subsequent years as Dorm Head, Assistant Dean of Students, and Dean of Faculty. He currently serves as Associate Head. He began his teaching career at Brown University and the University of North Carolina Asheville. He writes reviews for publications such as Kirkus Reviews and ARGO; he also writes fiction, poetry, and essays.

 

Brent Ferguson

Mathematics Department, The Lawrenceville School NJ

Brent’s experience in education includes teaching (math, physics, and chemistry) and coaching (swimming, water polo, and ultimate) at a number of schools, beginning in 1993. Public & private, boarding & day, summer & school-year, all-boys, coordinate, & coed, West coast & East, Brent has engaged a variety of school cultures, including two boarding schools: The Webb Schools (CA, 96-99) and The Lawrenceville School (NJ, 07-20). While earning a Kenyon College B.A. in mathematics (93) and Princeton Theological Seminary M.Div. (06), Brent learned how to write and read, respectively. He credits his middle- and high school math teachers with helping to nurture his current fascination with the teaching and learning processes and with math in general. An All-American and NCAA Champion in swimming while at Kenyon, Brent coached the boys’ and girls’ teams to success at Webb and Lawrenceville. Brent was named by the MoMATH as a winner of the 2013 Rosenthal Prize for Innovation in Math Teaching, and was a 2017 finalist for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Math & Science Teaching. His side-hustles include AP Reading, textbook writing, and math consulting & mentoring. His dazzling wife works at Lawrenceville, teaching and directing Community Service; his two curious, joyful daughters challenge and encourage his growth daily. Books, films, family road trips, & board games generally occupy Brent’s limited recreational time.

 

Jackie O’Rourke

Educational Consultant, Outermost Education Services MA

A veteran English teacher, dorm parent, field hockey and ice hockey coach, Jackie O’Rourke opened her consulting firm, Outermost Education Services, in 2018 after serving as the Dean of Residential Life and Leadership at Tilton School. A graduate of Cushing Academy, O’Rourke earned her BA and played ice hockey at Williams College, then added her MAT in Secondary Education from Boston University. After beginning her career at Berkshire School in Massachusetts as the Director of Student Activities, O’Rourke taught English for a semester at Boston Latin School before venturing overseas to teach English, coach soccer and serve as a dorm parent at King’s Academy in Madaba, Jordan. She later returned to Berkshire to teach, coach and advise. O’Rourke now lives and works on Cape Cod with her husband, Devon, and daughter, Finny.

 

New Teacher Academy

Jeremy LaCasse

Assistant Headmaster, 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 the Berkshire School Jeremy went to Bowdoin College, where he received his Bachelor of Arts degree in History with a minor in Economics. He received his Master’s degree in Educational Administration from Columbia University’s Klingenstein Center at Teacher’s College. Jeremy is currently the Assistant Headmaster at Taft School and the Executive Director of the Gardner Carney Leadership Institute. Previously, he was the Acting Assistant Head of School for Strategic Initiatives at Cheshire Academy, the Dean of the Leadership Lab at the Gardner Carney Leadership Institute at Fountain Valley School. Prior to his position at Cheshire Academy, Jeremy was the Head of School at Kents Hill School, the Head of Senior School at Shady Side Academy, and the Dean of Students at Fountain Valley School. Jeremy taught various classes in History including World Cultures, Social Theory and Global Impact, European, U.S., and Ancient and Medieval History at Cheshire Academy, Kents Hill School, Shady Side Academy, Berkshire School and Fountain Valley School. He has been or is an advisor, dorm head, alpine skiing coach, crew coach and outdoor instructor. Jeremy has also been a speaker at numerous conferences of the National Association of Independent Schools and the Association of Boarding Schools.

 

Jennifer Rundles

Associate Dean of Students, Science Teacher, Upper Darlington School CA

Jennifer Rundles has worn many different hats during her time at Saint Mary’s School and Darlington School over the past 17 years. She taught Chemistry and Physics and continues to teach Chemistry, was the Association Dean of Teaching and Learning, Interim Dean of Students, Associate Dean of Students at Saint Mary’s, and now the Associate Dean of Student Life at Darlington School. Jennifer graduated from Tougaloo College in Tougaloo, MS with a B.S. in Chemistry. The first few years after graduation, she worked for a pharmaceutical service company, Ingenix, and for Coca Cola Enterprise in Atlanta, GA. After recognizing education was her passion she started working on her M.A.T. in Secondary Education with the University of Phoenix. Working on her master’s degree lead her to pursue her career as an educator where she started working with Saint Mary’s in 2003. During her time at Saint Mary’s Jennifer has also been a part of the residential program. She has served as a dorm faculty, A-Team leader, and as a Dorm Head. This is Jennifer’s 10th year teaching new teachers with TABS New Teacher Academy.

 

 

Admission Academy

Peter Frew

Director of Admissions,
The Taft School CT

Now in his 36th year in the Taft Admissions Office, Peter returned to his alma mater in 1985 with a passion for teaching and a desire to shape the future of both the School and the world. His career followed the “triple threat” path: teaching English, living in dormitories, and coaching soccer, squash, and tennis teams. He oversaw the development of Taft’s first Admissions database, as well as the School’s first websites. His various roles have included Director of Communications, School photographer, and a decade as Head of the Discipline Committee! He still enjoys producing the School’s view book and other marketing pieces, as well as traveling the globe presenting and interviewing.

 

He served for many years as a Trustee on the Board of the Litchfield Montessori School, where his two children started their educational odyssey, and is currently on the Board of ASSIST. “A career in admissions is never dull. Marketing schools, managing enrollment, and ushering teenagers and their parents through the school selection process is challenging, rewarding, and fun!”

Kimberly C. Loughlin

Assistant Head of School & Director of Admission, The Bement School MA

An alumna of the Loomis Chaffee School, Kim has an intimate knowledge of boarding schools from multiple perspectives. During her 17 years of school admissions at Gould Academy and Oldfields School, Kim’s responsibilities included serving as director of financial aid, website manager, international student coordinator, publications coordinator, residential dorm parent, and student advisor. In 2008, Kim became director of admission at The Bement School, a junior boarding school, where she oversees admission and communications for kindergarten through grade 9. As a current parent of a rising senior at a boarding school, she says, “it was interesting to see admissions from the parent’s perspective.” Kim has 28 years experience working in admissions and this will be her 20th summer teaching at the TABS Admission Academy. “It is incredibly rewarding to work with new professionals as they embark on admission and boarding school careers.”

Kate Saunders

Assistant Head of School,
Tilton School NH

Kate Saunders has over twenty years of experience in college and boarding school admissions and last spring was promoted to Assistant Head of School for Tilton. She is a boarding school graduate and has dedicated her career to helping build school communities through assertive market research projects and marketing and communication strategies. She has led enrollment growth plans for multiple organizations while maintaining the quality of the student body and the loyalty to the school mission. Through building stronger school communities with a universal culture of marketing advocates…teachers, administrators and admission professionals all know the value of an admission centered approach to recruiting and retaining great students. Kate helps move institutions forward strategically. Kate has conducted a variety of presentations at TABS, SBSA, ISANNE, TABS, IECA, SSAT and Whipple Hill, topics include: Applying College Admission Tactics to the Boarding School World, The Power of Branding, 9th grade Program Marketing and Integration, Cost Effective Marketing Strategies and other current topics of the boarding school industry. In the summer, Kate has developed curriculum and is a member teaching faculty for the TABS Bootcamp for New Faculty and the Admissions Academy for New Admissions Professionals. Kate is by nature a collaborator and truly loves the unique gift of the boarding school experience and enjoys helping others professionally develop their skills so that all of our schools are stronger.

 

Residential Life Academy

Doug Dickson

Assistant Head for Student Life, Episcopal High School VA

Doug began working at Episcopal High School in Alexandria Va, July 1, 2017 where he is the Assistant head for Student Life.  He responsibilities include overseeing the student support network for a boarding population of 440 in an all residential boarding school, one of the few all residential boarding schools in the country. 

Doug’s transition to Episcopal High School comes after serving 9 years as the Head of the Upper School at St. Stephen’s Episcopal School in Austin Texas, an international day/boarding school located in one of the most vibrant and fast-growing cities in the nation.  Doug’s responsibilities included all aspects of the management of the Upper School including the academic, athletic, and residential programs at the school.

Previous to his time at St. Stephen’s, and for 26 years Doug lived and worked at St. Paul’s School in Concord, NH.  During his time at St. Paul’s, Doug served in a variety of capacities including teacher, dorm head, coach, and administrator.  Doug served at Athletic Director for five years and Dean of Students/Vice Rector of Student Life, for an additional 12 years.

Throughout his career, Doug Has been involved with TABS and other organizations to promote residential programs that add value to all of our schools and most importantly create the safest possible conditions for the many students who enjoy the privilege of attending our boarding schools.

Susan Hazell

Director of Development, 
Ridley College ON

Susan received her B.A. Honours, French and Spanish, from Mount Allison University and her Bachelor of Education from Queen’s University. She has been teaching in independent and public schools for over thirty years and has held the following positions at various stages throughout her career: French teacher, Spanish teacher, Housemaster/Head of House, Debating Coach, Swim Team Coach, Director of Admission, Dean of Residence, and Assistant Head, School Life.

Susan was the Executive Director, Canadian Association of Independent Schools    (CAIS) from 2001-2004. During that time, she visited, promoted and consulted to schools across

Canada. Her consulting has included workshops on leadership, residential curriculum, crisis management, residential staff and services, staff evaluation/performance reviews, FORTE Interpersonal Communications, and she has been a course leader for ‘Women and Leadership’ and ‘Deans of Students’ for ISM in the U.S.A. for over fifteen years.

Most recently, Susan was the Executive Director of Advancement at Collingwood School in West Vancouver, British Columbia for the last nine years. During that time, she built the Advancement Department, including Fundraising Campaigns/Donor Recognition and Stewardship, Communications and Marketing, Admissions, Alumni and Parent Relations, and Special Events. Under her leadership, annual giving has increased significantly (both funds raised and number of donors), two capital campaigns have successfully been completed ($4M and $10M). She worked closely with the Foundation, managing the

endowment funds and creating policies and procedures both for the Foundation and for the Advancement Department. She has her CFRE designation and also the IAP-Senior Certification.

Susan begins a new role at Ridley College in St. Catharines, Ontario as Director of Development and will be responsible for all fundraising initiatives, including developing a strategic plan for the Fundraising Department.

Jackie O’Rourke

Educational Consultant, Outermost Education Services MA

Susan received her B.A. Honours, French and Spanish, from Mount Allison University and her Bachelor of Education from Queen’s University. She has been teaching in independent and public schools for over thirty years and has held the following positions at various stages throughout her career: French teacher, Spanish teacher, Housemaster/Head of House, Debating Coach, Swim Team Coach, Director of Admission, Dean of Residence, and Assistant Head, School Life.

Susan was the Executive Director, Canadian Association of Independent Schools    (CAIS) from 2001-2004. During that time, she visited, promoted and consulted to schools across

Canada. Her consulting has included workshops on leadership, residential curriculum, crisis management, residential staff and services, staff evaluation/performance reviews, FORTE Interpersonal Communications, and she has been a course leader for ‘Women and Leadership’ and ‘Deans of Students’ for ISM in the U.S.A. for over fifteen years.

Most recently, Susan was the Executive Director of Advancement at Collingwood School in West Vancouver, British Columbia for the last nine years. During that time, she built the Advancement Department, including Fundraising Campaigns/Donor Recognition and Stewardship, Communications and Marketing, Admissions, Alumni and Parent Relations, and Special Events. Under her leadership, annual giving has increased significantly (both funds raised and number of donors), two capital campaigns have successfully been completed ($4M and $10M). She worked closely with the Foundation, managing the

endowment funds and creating policies and procedures both for the Foundation and for the Advancement Department. She has her CFRE designation and also the IAP-Senior Certification.

Susan begins a new role at Ridley College in St. Catharines, Ontario as Director of Development and will be responsible for all fundraising initiatives, including developing a strategic plan for the Fundraising Department.

José Ruiz

Dean of Students,
MIlton Academy MA

José has been active in independent school life for many years and in numerous, valuable roles. He is a graduate of Westminster School in Simsbury, Connecticut, and has worked in independent schools for the last 17 years. Prior to joining Milton in 2012, José was the associate dean of students and director of residential life at St. Mark’s School in Southborough, Massachusetts.

José’s experience in the classroom is extensive; he taught both introductory and advanced levels of Spanish at St. Mark’s and at Westminster. José majored in Spanish at Middlebury College and has completed work toward his master’s in education at Teachers College of Columbia University.

His experience includes overseeing all aspects of dormitory life as well as implementing a variety of school-wide initiatives in student life, advising, discipline and health services. 
A leader in school diversity work, José was director of diversity at Westminster where he developed strategies for recruiting faculty and students of color; identified culturally significant speakers who would be effective on campus; and worked closely with students of color and their families. José has several times led sessions at the NAIS People of Color Conference and has attended many diversity and leadership institutes of stature, including the Gardner Carney Leadership Institute.

José’s broad experience includes admission officer; football, basketball and track coach; advisor to various student groups, including the International Student Organization and Gay-Straight Alliance; and member of many school committees, ranging from academic review to NEASC steering committee.

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