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 '18, reside in Pierce House.
Kathryn Mueller, Assistant Head of School
A graduate of the University of Michigan and Idaho State University, Ms. Mueller has held positions at secondary and post-secondary institutions. Ms. 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. Ms. Mueller and her husband, Brad '78, live in faculty housing on College Street with their sons, Kurt '09 and Jacob '16.
Thomas Arnold, Chief Financial Officer
Thomas Arnold joins WRA with more than 20 years of experience in the field of education, working most recently at Shady Side Academy, where he was vice president for finance. Prior to that, he worked in financial roles at Chatham University and Robert Morris University. Arnold will work to ensure the long-term financial sustainability and integrity of the school by balancing the mission of educating students with the need to keep WRA compliant with state and federal requirements. "As I have started to hear of the wonderful traditions of the school ... to the question of why wouldn’t I want to be a part of this great school, there simply is no answer. I am very happy to be here." Arnold and his wife, Tracie, reside in Hudson with their son, Griffin.
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.
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.
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.
Annie Neill, Dean of Students
Ms. Neill joined Western Reserve Academy after working at her alma mater, Northfield Mount Hermon, for six years. Her service there included dorm head, teacher, dean, coach and director of the Community Service and Service Learning program. At WRA, Ms. Neill serves as the Dean of Students, Director of Outreach including community service, and teaches Psychology. She is the head girls varsity lacrosse coach. Ms. Neill lives in the David Hudson House with her husband, Jeff, and two children, Stella and Chase.
Lindsey Cottone, Director of Communications & Marketing
Ms. Cottone has joined Western Reserve Academy as Director of Communications & Marketing. Cottone has almost a decade of experience in establishing strategic and tactical direction for marketing and communication campaigns. She has an extensive background in brand management, digital communications and social media, among other areas, after serving several roles with Forest City Enterprises in Cleveland. Cottone will develop and execute a strategic communication plan for the school, including manage the school’s internal & external marketing and communication resources. "This is an incredible opportunity and I am thrilled to do it," she said. Ms. Cottone lives in Chagrin Falls with her husband and two children.