Leadership

Western Reserve Academy is fortunate to have a team of leadership professionals, from school administration to our Board of Trustees, who carry on our tradition of excellence.

WRA Executive Committee


Christopher D. Burner '80, Head of School

Head of SchoolHead of School Christopher 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 taught Latin I at WRA. In the past, he has served in the Deans Office, as Dean of Faculty & Administration and as Director of Admission & 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, Associate Head of School

Assistant Head of SchoolKathryn Mueller joined the WRA faculty in 2003; in 2007, she assumed the post of Mathematics Department Chair, and in 2008, added the role of the Dean of Faculty. After four years as Assistant Head of School, she now serves as the Associate Head of School and oversees the daily operations of school. A graduate of the University of Michigan and Idaho State University, Ms. Mueller previously taught mathematics at post-secondary institutions and junior high school. She brings a great deal of experience and passion to her teaching. While wearing many hats in her current role, Ms. Mueller enjoys leading WRA's academic program and our multi-talented faculty, and being part of all that is a vibrant boarding school. Throughout her time at WRA, Ms. Mueller has been a part of various athletics programs and coordinated SPAR. She is the 2004-05 recipient of the Keener Prize for significant contributions by a new faculty member. Ms. Mueller resides on campus and has two sons, Kurt ’09 and Jacob ’16.

Thomas Arnold, Chief Financial Officer

Chief Financial Officer

Joining WRA in 2014, Thomas Arnold brings professional expertise in the area of business operations from experience in both higher education and independent schools. Holding a Master’s Degree in Business Administration, Mr. Arnold has served in roles at Robert Morris University, Chatham University and as Vice President for Finance and Administration at Shady Side Academy in Pittsburgh. As Chief Financial Officer, Mr. Arnold leads all areas of finance, facilities and auxiliary operations as well as ensures compliance in all risk management and legal matters. His experience in strategic planning provides the necessary balance between best practices in long term fiscal sustainability and providing resources for the daily operations of an active and exciting boarding school community. The recipient of Crain’s CFO of the Year award, Mr. Arnold resides in Hudson with his wife, Tracie, and son, Griffin ’22.


Jenni Biehn, Director of Enrollment Management

Chief Financial OfficerJenni Biehn joined WRA with more than 20 years of experience managing enrollment at independent schools, focusing on strategy, data and building relationships with prospective families. Her personal independent school experience drives Ms. Biehn to ensure similar opportunities are available for all students. Prior to WRA, Ms. Biehn was Director of Admission & Financial Aid at Columbus School for Girls, as well as holding admission positions at day schools in Philadelphia and Cranbrook Schools. She lives in Hudson with her husband, Steve, and their three sons, Jeremiah '22, Asher and Simon.


Meg Colafella, Director of Communications & Marketing

Meg Colafella joined WRA with more than 20 years of experience as a strategic communicator, marketing executive and government affairs specialist with experience building brands, guiding corporate social responsibility initiatives, and driving awareness and action around the arts, economic development and political initiatives. Prior to WRA, Ms. Colafella was the Associate Director of Corporate and Government Affairs for Kraft Heinz, where she helped usher in a new era for the company when Heinz was acquired by 3G Capital and Berkshire Hathaway in 2013. She looks forward to telling WRA's many unique stories and building a brand presence that captures all of the school's strengths. She lives in Hudson with her husband, Doug, and three sons.

Herb Haller '85, Director of Athletics & Afternoon Programs

Director of AthleticsA graduate of WRA, Herb 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.


Mark LaFontaine, Assistant Head of School for Advancement

Assistant Head of School for Advancement

A graduate of Cranbrook Schools in Bloomfield, Michigan, Mark 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, his wife, Darlene, and their three children, Sam '16, Lucy and Danny, reside in Hudson.

Gunnar Olson, Director of College Counseling

A boarding school graduate, Gunnar Olson has spent the last 16 years working as a college advisor at independent schools in Texas and Alabama. After working at St. Mary’s Hall in San Antonio, he has been the Director of College Advising at Indian Springs School in Alabama since 2003. Before working in boarding schools, Mr. Olson worked on the “college side” of admission in New York and Michigan. He feels this interaction makes him a better college counselor. He lives on campus with his wife, Anna, and their cat, Pickett. Mr. Olson enjoys living on campus because it allows him to interact with students outside the traditional academic environment.

Wendy Skinner, Dean of Student Life

A lifelong educator, Ms. Skinner has been teaching language and working in residential life and in deans offices for most of her career. After a stint teaching overseas, she returned to the United States where she served as International Student Advisor at Dana Hall School and as Dean of Students at Oldfields School, Foxcroft School and Shady Side Academy before coming to WRA. Ms. Skinner teaches one French course along with serving as Dean of Student Life, and she loves the energy and positive spirit of the WRA community, students and faculty alike. She enjoys working with students to help them reach their potential. Ms. Skinner lives on campus with her family, and she and her husband, Mark, are proud parents to two sons and a daughter.

Board of Trustees

2017-18 Board of Trustees

Andrew R. Midler '79
Timothy R. Warner '69
Co-Presidents

Stephan W. Cole '66
Vice President

John M. Fowler '67
Treasurer

Suzanne Day '87
Secretary

Daniel H. Bayly '65
H. William Christ
Gavin J. Domm '87
Warren W. Farr III '80
Dagmar F. Fellowes '75
Martin D. Franks '68
Olin J. Heestand Jr. '62
John P. Hewko '75
Clifton D. Hood '72
Dale G. Kramer '70
Nathaniel E. Leonard '82
Cecily P. Maguire '78
Anne Cacioppo Manganaro '75
Terry L. Squire
Xuning Wang
Mark J. Welshimer '69
Jason M. Wortendyke '94
Anthony Wynshaw-Boris '73

Special Trustees

Christopher D. Burner ’80
Head of School

Darby E. Johnson '15
College Trustee

Mark A. Slotnik '87
Dads Club President

Mary Lohman
Pioneer Women’s Association President

Kristin Samuel Kuhn '98
Alumni Association Board President

TRUSTEE EMERITI

Peter S. Hellman '68
David M. Hunter '68

T. Dixon Long '5
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Robert T. Michael '60
John D. Ong
Mark R. Tercek '75

Board of Visitors

Comprised of 26 talented WRA alumni, the Board of Visitors convenes annually to discuss current trends in boarding school life. This year, the designated topic was school communications. After researching best practices among our peer schools, the Board of Visitors came to campus to evaluate our current model and make recommendations to the Board of Trustees.

Lauren M. Anderson '97 (Chair)

William C. Austin '06
Jeffrey S. Caimi '90
Chris S. Carabell '82
Angela Darling Carrano '86
Allison L. Cole '93
Daniel C. Crowder '12
Oliver R. P. Curtiss '11
Lorraine Debose Montgomery '93
Menna H. Demessie '98
Hayes B. Gladstone '79
Annetta M. Hewko '78
Peter W. Howard '64
Emily H. Kalis '12
John B. Missing '74
Thomas G. Murdough III '87
Gregory Pennington '71
Benjamin W. Perks '60
Ahmad Raza '08
Richard M. Sands '78
Thomas D. Schlobohm Jr. '99
Thomas F. Seligson '69
Charles L. Tramel II '79
Howard C. Walker '88
Kathleen A. Wood '02
Hunter N. Wright '05

Kirk, John G. '56 Emeritus

Alumni Association Board

Kristin Samuel Kuhn '98
President

Michael VanBuren '99
Vice President

Christopher V. Wortendyke '97
Secretary

Angela D. Carrano '86
Stanton L. Cole '54
Natalie DiNunzio '08
David H. Flechner '96
Jessica J. Gruden '09
Paul J. Jacques '84
David B. Jones '53
Kimberly H. Litman-Slotnik '87
Robert E.C. Little '51
Priya Maseelall '92
Robert D. Murray '84
David P. Myers '02
Dana M. Schwarzkopf '84
Rebecca Shaw '05
Mark A. Slotnik '87
Lynn Ogden Weary '79
Jonathon R. Whittlesey '01
Christopher V. Wortendyke '97
Alan Wulff '56