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 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, Associate Head of School

Assistant Head of School

Kathryn Mueller joined WRA in 2003 as a mathematics faculty member. By 2007, she was named the Mathematics Department Chair and in 2008 became the Dean of Faculty. Ms. Mueller brings vast experience and passion to her continued teaching and leadership. In her role as Associate Head of School, she enjoys leading WRA’s academic program and working with our talented faculty. Ms. Mueller resides on campus. She and her husband, Brad ’78, have two sons, Kurt ’09 and Jacob ’16.

Thomas Arnold, Chief Financial Officer

Chief Financial OfficerThomas 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. Mr. 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. Mr. Arnold and his wife, Tracie, reside in Hudson with their son, Griffin.


Meg Colafella, Director of Communications & Marketing

Meg Colafella joins 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 schools 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 '19, reside in Hudson.

Dan Morrissey, Dean of Admission & Financial Aid

Dean of Admission & Financial AidDan Morrissey has a varied and distinctive background in virtually all aspects of the independent school experience. Most recently, he worked in the Admission 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, Tennessee. Mr. Morrissey published his first book, Teaching Clarity, Purpose and Motivation, in 2012, as a handbook for student advisors, 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.

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 Students

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 Students, 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

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

David A. Alpern '94
Daniel H. Bayly '65
H. William Christ
Dagmar F. Fellowes '75
Martin D. Franks '68
R. Mark Hamlin Jr. '74
Olin J. Heestand Jr. '62
John P. Hewko '75
Clifton D. Hood '72
Deborah D. Hoover
Jude D. Kearney '76
Dale G. Kramer '70
Nathaniel E. Leonard '82
Cecily P. Maguire '78
Anne Cacioppo Manganaro '75
Robert T. Michael '60
Terry L. Squire
Xuning Wang
L. Spencer Wells '88
Mark J. Welshimer '69

Special Trustees

Christopher D. Burner ’80
Head of School

Cynthia Pardo '13
College Trustee

Jason Kerins
Dads Club President

Megan Valentine '85
Pioneer Women’s Association President

Robert A. Marias ’94
Alumni Association Board President

TRUSTEE EMERITI

Peter S. Hellman '68
David M. Hunter '68
Jefferson W. Keener Jr. '50

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

Board of Visitors

Comprised of 27 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 (Co-Chair)
Richard M. Sands '78 (Co-Chair)

Robert J. Assaly '08
William C. Austin '06
Paul Bierbusse '84
Jeff Caimi '90
Allison Cole '93
Oliver Curtiss '11
Hayes B. Gladstone '79
Annetta Hewko '78
Ashley Isaac '09
Emily Kalis '12
John G. Kirk '56
Jack Koch '93
John B. Missing '74
Lorraine Montgomery '93
Thomas G. Murdough '87
Gregory Pennington '71
Benjamin W. Perks '60
Thomas D. Schlobohm '99
Thomas F. Seligson '69
Franklin B. Starn '81
Charles L. Tramel II '79
Howard C. Walker '88
Kathleen L. Wood '02
Jason M. Wortendyke '94
Ortav "Tavi" Yehudai '97

Alumni Association Board

Robert A. Marias '94
President

Kristin Samuel Kuhn '98
Vice President

Michael VanBuren '99
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

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