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


Suzanne Walker Buck, Head of School

Head of School

Head of School Suzanne Walker Buck has a long history with boarding schools. Both of her parents were educators, whom she credits for igniting her boarding school spirit. Buck is a graduate of both the Fay School and Miss Porter’s School. Buck graduated from Connecticut College and received graduate degrees in clinical social work from Columbia University and education from Harvard University. She has held various roles as an Admission Counselor, Dorm Parent and Coach at Westminster School as well as at Fay School, New Hampton School and most recently as the Rector (Head of School) at Chatham Hall. Buck serves on the Boards of The Association of Boarding Schools (TABS) and the Enrollment Management Association (EMA). Buck and her husband Johnny reside in Pierce House with their daughter Halsey (12). They are also proud parents to Oliver (19) and Nina (21).

Dr. Nicholas Kent, Associate Head of School

Assistant Head of School

Dr. Nicholas Kent joins us as our Associate Head of School. Dr. Kent brings a vivid worldview to Hudson, with a boundless curiosity and many stamps on his career passport. In Shanghai, at the Concordia International School, he had a 360-degree angle on education. His roles included humanities teacher, Head of Marketing & Admissions and High School Assistant Principal and High School Principal. In Jakarta, he was Deputy Head of School at Jakarta Intercultural School, overseeing nearly 300 faculty, cementing school accreditation and interacting with the Indonesian Ministries of Education, Labor, Manpower and Education. He has a rich background in curricular development, academic assessment, faculty cultivation, enrollment management and strategic planning. He and his wife Erin reside on campus with their daughter, Alice.

Thomas Arnold, Chief Financial and Operating 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 and Operating Officer, Mr. Arnold leads all areas of finance, facilities and auxiliary operations as well as ensures compliance in all human resources, 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

Mark LaFontaine joined WRA in 2013. Following a short stint as a practicing lawyer in the oil and gas industry, Mr. LaFontaine pursued his passion for education and became a development officer at Yale University. His long development career at Yale culminated with his service as Associate Dean of Yale Law School, the position he held prior to his arrival at WRA. A graduate of the Cranbrook School in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, Mr. LaFontaine believes in the transformative power of a boarding school education. In addition to his duties leading WRA's Advancement team, Mr. LaFontaine enjoys teaching his Justice class as part of the school's ECHO program. Mr. LaFontaine, his wife, Darlene, and their three children, Sam '16, Lucy and Danny, reside in Hudson with their Golden Doodles Sadie and Molly, and their Siberian cat Percy.

Jennifer Berry, Director of College Counseling

Jennifer Berry has devoted her professional career to serving in the boarding school environment. In her years working in College Counseling, she has shepherded hundreds of students to acceptances at more than 750 colleges and universities. As Interim Director of College Counseling, Berry brings a keen understanding of the college application process and all of its facets, from athletic recruiting to standardized testing protocols. As an experienced English faculty member, she has a tremendous passion for storytelling and helping students bring an effective and authentic voice to their college essays. Berry has been recognized for her leadership as a teacher, Dean of Academics, Department Chair, coach, dorm parent and most notably as Director of College Counseling. Currently, she sits on two professional boards: High Point University, National Admissions Advisory Board; and International University High School Alliance Advisory Board, Shorelight Education.

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


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

Stephan W. Cole '66
Vice President

John M. Fowler '67
Treasurer

Mark J. Welshimer '69
Secretary

Daniel H. Bayly '65
H. William Christ
Suzanne Day '87
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
Xuning Wang
Jason M. Wortendyke '94
Anthony Wynshaw-Boris '73

Special Trustees

Suzanne Walker Buck
Head of School

Vince D. Brookins Jr. '16
College Trustee

Mark A. Slotnik '87
Dads Club President

Lauren King
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
1
Robert T. Michael '60
John D. Ong
Mark R. Tercek '75

Board of Visitors

Comprised of 30 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.

Allison L. Cole '93
Hayes B. Gladstone '79

Co-Chairs

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
Menna H. Demessie '98
Philip E. Franz '00
Hayes B. Gladstone '79
Annetta M. Hewko '78
Peter W. Howard '64
Darby E. Johnson '15
Emily H. Kalis '12
John G. Kirk '56 (Emeritus)
John B. Missing '74
Lorraine Debose Montgomery '93
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

Alumni Association Board

Kristin Samuel Kuhn '98
President

Priya Maseelall '92
Michael G. VanBuren '99

Co-Vice Presidents

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
Chad A. Jasiunas '93
Robert E. C. Little '51
Robert A. Marias '94
Evan K. McCauley '07
Robert D. Murray '84
David P. Myers '02
Dana M. Schwarzkopf '84
Rebecca Shaw '05
Dylan A. Sheridan '02
Kimberly H. Slotnik '87
Mark A. Slotnik '87
Lynn Ogden Weary '79
Jonathon R. Whittlesey '01