Board of Trustees

The New Canaan Country School is incorporated as a parent-owned corporation with all current school parents as voting members. A Board of Trustees and officers of the corporation are voted into various length terms at the school’s annual meeting every fall. The Board formulates the mission of the school and develops the strategic plan, policies, and resources to ensure that this mission is fulfilled. The Board’s responsibilities include: 1) appointing and evaluating the head of school; 2) evaluating the effectiveness of the school in fulfilling its mission; 3) reporting to the school’s constituencies on major policy issues affecting the direction of the school; 4) ensuring that the financial condition of the school is sound and 5) advocating for the school.

The bylaws provide for a Board consisting of 15 to 27 trustees, nominated by the Board’s Committee for Trustees and elected at the school’s annual meeting. In addition to current parents who make up the Board’s majority, the Board includes at least one past school parent, at least one alumni representative, two faculty representatives and the head of school. The president of the Parents' Association and the president of the Alumni Council also serve on the Board. The Board may also include individuals from outside the Country School community.

The full Board meets regularly throughout the school year; however, much of the work of the Board is done by its standing committees and ad hoc task forces formed from time to time by the Board president and head of school to focus on particular areas of interest. Board committees and task forces also include administrators, faculty or staff, and in some cases, non-trustee parents. Brief descriptions of the Board’s standing committees follow:

Board Committees

List of 9 items.

  • + The Advancement Committee

    The Advancement Committee oversees the strategies for the school's fund-raising and stewardship activities.
    It focuses on the school’s Annual Fund, which is required to balance the school’s operating budget, and capital gifts which are all required to finance new facilities, build the school’s endowment, and provide for the school’s future. The Advancement Committee also approves the strategic direction for communications and the development of cultivation and stewardship policies to encourage all constituents to develop a lifelong affinity for, and connection to, NCCS. 
    1. + The Audit and Risk Management Committee

      The Audit and Risk Management Committee is charged with recommending the school’s independent auditor for Board selection and overseeing the annual audit process and results, including the management letter and any necessary follow-up. The committee also ensures that other Board committees address risks relevant to those committees, such as environmental, safety, security, etc.
      The committee is also responsible for overseeing any potential conflicts of interest, insurance coverage, and any other issues as directed by the Board of Trustees.
    2. + The Committee for Trustees

      The Committee for Trustees is responsible for the governance of the Board, including selecting new trustees, reviewing and making any changes to the bylaws and committee structures, and evaluating the Board’s performance.
      The committee plans the corporation's Annual Meeting, including the proxy vote and election of trustees, and organizes the annual Board retreat designed to allow the Board to discuss and reflect on longer-term, strategic issues facing the school.
    3. + The Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee

      Working closely with the Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, the Leadership Team and Parents’ Association Leaders, the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee examines current NCCS policies, programs and practices to ensure that NCCS is following best practices, and the school's mission, in its aim to be an ever more diverse, equitable and inclusive community.
    4. + The Education & Faculty Life Committee

      The Education & Faculty Life committee works with members of the administration to support the educational program and aspects of community life at NCCS, ranging from athletics to the classroom and diversity initiatives.
      The committee is involved in the school's annual subject studies, and periodically reviews progress related to strategic academic initiatives. The committee also focuses on issues that enhance and contribute to a positive quality of life for the school’s faculty and staff. An important charge of this committee is the oversight of policies related to faculty salaries, benefits and professional development, ensuring that compensation and benefits are of the highest caliber possible to facilitate recruitment and retention of superb teachers and staff. 
    5. + The Executive Committee

      The Executive Committee includes Board officers, trustees, and the Head of School. 
      The Executive Committee’s duties include performing the Head's annual evaluation and recommending the Head’s annual compensation and benefits package to the Board.
    6. + The Finance Committee

      The Finance Committee is charged with overseeing the overall financial health of NCCS.
      The committee is responsible for recommending and monitoring the school’s operating budget as well as determining the appropriate financing of various capital needs, including funding improvements to and maintenance of the physical plant, real estate purchases, providing adequate faculty housing and growing the endowment. 
    7. + The Horizons Student Enrichment Program Committee

      This Committee's primary responsibility is to keep the NCCS Board fully informed about the activities of Horizons by distributing minutes of all Horizons Board meetings promptly to the NCCS Board and through periodic reports at NCCS Board meetings.
      The Committee consists of three members (minimum) of the NCCS Board, including the Head of School, who also serve on the Horizons Board. Any Horizons Board action must be supported unanimously by these NCCS trustees in order to be approved.

    8. The Investment Committee

      + The Investment Committee is responsible for the oversight of both the NCCS and Horizons permanent endowments.
      Oversight includes the selection of appropriate investment vehicles and investment managers, the establishment of an appropriate asset allocation, and vigilant oversight of performance. The goal is an endowment that provides ongoing support for the programs of NCCS and Horizons, and ensures intergenerational equity for beneficiaries of these institutions.

    Board Members 2020-2021

    President - Sarah. M. Irwin
    Vice President - F. Tucker Golden ’90
    Treasurer - Michael J. DiBiasio ’90
    Secretary - Tara J. Coniglio
    Members-at-Large - Lynne F. Byrne, Yolanda Seals-Coffield, Sharon Gibbons Teles ’88

    Aaron C. Cooper, Head of School
    Dr. Christopher M. Bogart
    Arlety Bowman
    Drew Casertano
    Sean M. Flanagan
    Arman C. Gokgol-Kline
    Elizabeth F. Keogh
    Mariko G. LeBaron
    Heidi Locke Simon
    Monique S. Mims
    John M. Ryan
    Douglas A. Ryder
    Elizabeth Schmitt
    Rebecca C. Thornton ‘92
    Faculty Representatives: 
    Jeannie Staunton Bean '83
    Lauren A. Romeo