Christopher Burner '80, Head of School
Head of School Mr. Burner has been a loyal supporter of WRA for more than 30 years. He holds his bachelor's degree from Franklin & Marshall College and master's degrees from Dartmouth College and Harvard University. Currently, Mr. Burner also teaches Latin I at WRA. In the past, he has served in the Deans Office, as Dean of Faculty & Administration and as Director of Admission and Financial Aid. Mr. Burner has coached football, wrestling and lacrosse as well. Mr. Burner, his wife, Alison and their children, Matthew and Abigail, reside in Pierce House.
Kathryn Mueller, Assistant Head of School
A graduate of the University of Michigan and Idaho State University, Mrs. Mueller has held positions at secondary and post-secondary institutions. Mrs. Mueller joined WRA in 2003; in 2007, she assumed the post of Mathematics Department Chair, served as the Dean of Faculty and now serves as the Assistant Head of School. Mrs. Mueller and her husband, Brad '78, live in faculty housing on College Street with their sons, Kurt '09 and Jacob '16.
Mark LaFontaine, Assistant Head of School for Advancement
A graduate of Cranbrook Schools in Bloomfield, Mich., LaFontaine earned a bachelor’s degree from Rollins College and a law degree from Creighton University. He has a long career in development, working most recently as Associate Dean of Development for Yale Law School. While at Yale, he also served as Associate Director of Major Gifts and Director of Yale College’s Annual Giving Programs. Mr. LaFontaine and his wife, Darlene, and their three children, Sam '16, Lucy and Danny, reside in Hudson.
Dan Morrissey, Dean of Admission & Financial Aid
Mr. Morrissey has a varied and distinctive background in virtually all aspects of the independent school experience. Most recently, he worked in the Admissions Office of Phillips Exeter Academy. Prior to that, he was Dean of Students for five years following a three-year stint as Director of Residential Life at the Baylor School in Chattanooga, Tenn. Mr. Morrissey published his first book, Teaching Clarity, Purpose and Motivation, in 2012, as a handbook for student advisers, and he speaks frequently at many conferences. He holds a bachelor’s degree in cardiopulmonary science from Boston University and a master’s in educational administration from the Antioch New England Graduate School.
Sherry Chlysta, Director of Studies
Earning her bachelor's and master's degree from Kent State University, Mrs. Chlysta is currently teaching Precalculus and AP Calculus AB. New this year, she serves as the Director of Studies, as well as coordinator for mathematics competitions and the Mathmatics Club. Mrs. Chlysta finds the relationships formed with students to be the most rewarding part of teaching at WRA: “I thoroughly enjoy working with our highly motivated and enthusiastic students. Their energy helps keep me young, and I look forward to helping them build confidence and enjoy success that they may not have thought possible.”
Nancy Hovan, Director of Development
Appointed Director of Development in 2011, Mrs. Hovan manages campaign planning and development operations. Mrs. Hovan came to WRA from Cheshire Academy (CT) and has held leadership positions in development at The Hill School (PA), and Greenwich Catholic School (CT). Mrs. Hovan holds a bachelor's degree from Notre Dame College and a master's degree from Villanova University. She lives in Hudson with her husband, Ron, a mathematics teacher in the Upper School at Hathaway Brown, and their two daughters, Brooke '17 and Megan.
Herb Haller '85, Director of Athletics & Afternoon Programs
A graduate of WRA, Mr. Haller has taught German, Senior Thesis, worked in Admission and served on numerous school committees. He is head coach of the boys varsity soccer team and has been named Coach of the Year through several leagues. Mr. Haller is also a recipient of the prestigious Ron Pinsenschaum Award for exemplifying the ideas of sportsmanship, integrity, development of character and positive values on the field. He lives just off campus in Hudson with his wife, Margaret '86, and their two children, Brigitta and Kurt '15.
Justin Zimmerman, Dean of Student Life
Before coming to WRA, Mr. Zimmerman was a science teacher and hockey and lacrosse coach at the Culver Academies. While there, he developed a ninth grade science class that integrated related topics in biology, chemistry and physics. At WRA, Mr. Zimmerman serves as Dean of Student Life and teaches Environmental Science. In 2007, he received the Keener Prize. As an administrator and educator, Mr. Zimmerman strives to provide developmentally appropriate challenges that build confidence and inspire students to learn, grow and dream. In his spare time, Mr. Zimmerman enjoys biking, canoeing and traveling with his family. He and his wife, Aimee, live on campus with their two children, John Michael and Bridget, and the family golden retriever, Abby.
Jeffrey Neill, Director of College Counseling
Before coming to WRA in 2012, Mr. Neill served in the College Counseling Office at Northfield Mount Hermon in Massachusetts. An alumnus of NMH, Mr. Neill holds degrees from Bowdoin College and the Bread Loaf School of English at Middlebury College. In his time at NMH and at the Salisbury School in Connecticut before that, he has held positions as a college counselor, English teacher, admissions counselor, dorm parent, girls soccer coach and boys lacrosse coach, among a variety of others. Jeff, his wife Annie, and family reside in the David Hudson House.