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The Gordon School

Meet the Board of Trustees

The governing body of the school

The Board of Trustees is the governing body of the school. The Head of School reports directly to the trustees. This structure, with the trustees at the top of the school’s organizational chart, is typical of independent schools.

Gordon has twenty-six trustees. Some are alumni, but most are parents of Gordon students or of a graduate. They meet monthly during the school year.

The Board has three obligations:

  1. Maintaining and supporting the school’s mission
  2. Overseeing the financial health of the school
  3. Selecting, evaluating, and supporting the Head of School

The trustees’ work is primarily long term planning, with decisions that are implemented over periods ranging from eighteen months to five, ten and even twenty years. The day-to-day work of running the school is left in the hands of the staff, teachers and administrators.
 

Meet the Board

Amanda Riegel, Board Chair

Tell us about your connection to Gordon.
I am a parent of sixth and eighth grade Gordon girls. I began my career at Gordon in the Admissions Office where I had an insider’s perspective on what makes families fall in love with Gordon. I have been on the Board for nine years and also served as Co-Chair of the Search Committee to hire Noni. I feel very lucky to work with her closely in my capacity as Board Chair, and I continue to learn from her extraordinary leadership.

What do you like best about Gordon?
Gordon pays attention to the details that make each family's experience such a powerful blend of “stretching and strengthening.” Just as our kids are nurtured and challenged, we too, are ushered through parenthood with gentle reminders to be present and to listen. We have incredible trust in this community, and we feel grateful that Gordon is a “third parent” in our family. 

Share a fun fact about yourself.
I have always had a wanderlust to live somewhere sunnier, but our love and appreciation for Gordon helps me endure New England winters! West Coast Gordon, anyone?

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Eugene Johnson '87, Vice Chair

Tell us about your connection to Gordon.
I am a Gordon alum and current parent with a daughter who is a member of the Class of ’21 and a daughter in third grade.

Share a fond Gordon memory.
One of my fondest memories was doing science experiments outside. I remember building small wooden boats to race down a creek that ran along the side of the middle school. I also remember learning basic programming languages. Of course, even then, the school had plenty space to run and play.

Tell us something about yourself or your family.
My favorite book is Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison. I love watching films even though I don’t get to watch as many as I once did. Besides spending time with my family, my favorite place to go and recharge are places that have a lot of sun and a roaring ocean.

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Serena Manny, Vice Chair

Tell us about your connection to Gordon?
We are parents of three children at Gordon, and this is our eleventh year as part of the the Gordon community.

Share a fond Gordon memory.
My favorite day of the year is Grandfriends’ Day. Each year I love seeing the pride in each child’s face as they share a special family member or grand friend with their friends and teachers. This is also my favorite day to volunteer because we get to share and introduce so many people to our wonderful Gordon community.

Tell us something about yourself or your family.
As long as we have lived in Rhode Island, we have had children at Gordon. Our love of the state is intertwined with our love of Gordon.

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Jennifer Sherer, Vice Chair

Tell us about your connection to Gordon.
I am the parent of a sixth grader. I am the Chair of the Education Committee.

What do you like best about Gordon?
I like that Gordon teaches children to think, to consider other perspectives, and to build their own individual identities.

Share a fond Gordon memory.
I love watching the children run, skip, and smile their way into Gordon each morning. What would the world be like if every school was able to elicit that much love and magnetism each day from so many children?

Tell us something about yourself or your family.
I have four amazing children, three of whom have flown the coop and are making a life for themselves. Jeremy, McKenzie, and I like to be outside with our dog, watching the osprey hunt and the hummingbirds drink.

Share a fun fact about yourself.
My favorite place to be is on the Salmon River in Idaho. You are surrounded by astounding beauty and movement, and all that matters is the present moment.
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Sean Zierak, Treasurer

Tell us about your connection to Gordon?
I am the proud father of a second grader and a Preschooler. My wife is also an alum of Gordon.

What do you like best about Gordon?
The community and the passion of the faculty. Every day the Gordon community is engaged and looking to grow together.
 

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Noni Thomas López, Assistant Treasurer

Tell us about your connection to Gordon?
I am very proud to be the Head of School of Gordon.

What do you like best about Gordon?
The best thing about Gordon is the community. Relationship and partnership are at the center of all we do. Each one of us takes responsibility for Gordon's success, which makes my job incredibly fulfilling. I'm not leading Gordon. We all are.

Tell us something about yourself or your family.
My husband Rodney and I live on Gordon’s campus with our cat Olive, and we love it. Rodney’s older son Rodney, Jr. (RJ) is a freshman at Providence College and his younger son Roman is in high school in New Jersey. Our favorite place to eat together when they come up to visit is Quito’s in Bristol! My son Novian is in his final year of law school in North Carolina, and we are very proud of him.
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Joshua Wynn, Secretary

Tell us about your connection to Gordon?
I am parent to Soleil, third grade and Sky, Kindergarten. I also had the pleasure of co-chairing the 2019 Gordon Carnival and participating on the 2019 Gordon Design Committee. I am co-chair of the Diversity Committee.

Share a fond Gordon memory.
Soleil coming home with a book from the Gordon library on “how to be a big sister and what to expect”. It showed how engaged and invested all of the Gordon teachers were in Soleil as an individual.

What do you like best about Gordon?
I really like how the Commons space brings parents and Gordon staff together thereby intentionally building community and forging new friendships.

Tell us something about yourself or your family.
I am New Yorker first and foremost but I secretly love Rhode Island.

Share a fun fact about yourself.
There isn’t a beach I won’t travel to!
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Rachel Caldwell

What is your connection to Gordon? 
I am the proud mom of spirited twins in fourth grade (Rory and Reese) and a rambunctious Kindergartener (Remy). This is my fifth school year as a Gordon parent. I have enjoyed working with the Gordon Giving committee, as well as volunteering at the Book Fair and Carnival.  

What do you like best about Gordon?
Gordon meets my children where they are and, with clear intention and purpose, helps them grow and stretch. The teachers inspire thoughtful, compassionate and brave learning. I tell my three girls everyday how extraordinarily lucky we are to be part of the Gordon community.

Tell us something about you or your family.
Our children were born adventurers (despite Mom’s fear of heights). We are often found following their lead down ski slopes, the latest surfing adventure, cheering them on at swim meets, and traveling to new places.

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Stephen Del Sesto

Tell us about your connection to Gordon.
I am a parent of a fourth grader.

What do you like best about Gordon?
I like that Gordon encourages students to be engaging and joyful learners. The children are respected and empowered to be independent, kind and inquisitive. 

Tell us something about yourself or your family.
I enjoy skiing, paddle boarding and hiking. And I love music. 

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Damian Ewens ’90

Tell us about your connection to Gordon.
I am the parent of fifth and sixth graders and, as an alumni of Gordon, my 1986 ‘Invention Convention’ product was “The Lazy Boy Room Picker Upper”. Patent pending. I serve on the Trusteeship committee.

What do you like best about Gordon?
What I appreciate the most about Gordon School is its founding principle of nurturing heart and mind with equal care, and now in an inclusive, diverse community that engages with a curriculum rooted in multicultural and anti-racist practices. I know my kids will be compassionate people in an ever-changing world.

Tell us something about yourself or your family.
My wife is the photographer Stephanie Alvarez Ewens. My kids are Claire and Maya. I’m basically a bench player in the game of life.

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Angela Flynn, faculty representative

Tell us about your connection to Gordon?
I am a parent to a seventh and fifth grader who started Gordon in Nursery. I am also a passionate math and science teacher in Gordon’s Middle School, a Common Ground facilitator, and I have been the Yearbook Coordinator for the last six years or so.

Share a fond Gordon memory.
When I first came to Gordon, I brought my youngest with me who was just about eight weeks old. The whole entire community was so warm and welcoming that I felt completely comfortable nursing him through a few meetings. I never could have imagined I’d work at a place that made nursing at work a total non-issue. They didn’t miss a beat. 

Share a fun fact about yourself.
Houseplants are my vice. I have more than half my age in plants! Can you guess how many that is?

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Jordan Frank

Tell us about your connection to Gordon.
I am a parent of a ninth grade Gordon alum and an eighth grade “survivor” (who has been at Gordon since Nursery). Previously, I was the Chair of the Finance Committee and Treasurer. Presently, I am the Chair of the Investment Committee, and I sit on the Executive Committee. 

Share a fond Gordon memory.
How about eleven fond memories? Every year we take a first day photo with the Head of School. The series now shows eleven years of growth and learning under the good roof of Gordon School. To add a twelfth, I have to add that seeing my kids perform together at the first live in person Open Mic in spring 2021 was very heartwarming, as was seeing the whole show that day. 

Share a fun fact about yourself.
My favorite job was my first: camp counselor.

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Robin Glancy ’97

Tell us about your connection to Gordon.
I graduated from the Gordon class of 1997 as a “survivor” after joining the school in Nursery. My brother Mike graduated in 1994, and my mom Robin taught homeroom and math at Gordon from the mid 1970's to the late 1990's. I was a founding member of the Heads Advisory Council (HAC), went on to Co-Chair and now serve as the HAC Trustee Liaison. 

What do you like best about Gordon?
I love that Gordon (back when I was a student and still true today) is the kind of community where everyone, students and adults alike, can be themselves to pursue their passions and curiosities. The artist is embraced and supported, as is the athlete and the academic. 

Tell us something about yourself or your family.
I currently live in Washington, DC and my partner Greg and I enjoy the many world-class restaurants, museums and theaters here in the District. We travel (near and far) as often as we are able, experiencing the history, art, and most importantly to us, the cuisines, of other cultures. I am an unapologetic AvGeek (aviation enthusiast) and love to fly on the newest planes and flight routes (the longer the better). Trains are pretty cool too!

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Christopher W. Kahler

Tell us about your connection to Gordon.
My wife Maitrayee Bhattacharyya and I are the proud parents of a Gordon grad (Kailas Kahler ’16) and an eighth grader. I have served on the Education Committee at Gordon for over twelve years, including chairing or co-chairing the committee for the eight years. I have also served on the Head's Evaluation Committee, the Advancement Task Force, and as Vice Chair of the Board. 

Share a fond Gordon memory.
My fondest memories of Gordon are seeing my sons on the stage in their respective fourth grade musicals.

Tell us something about yourself or your family.
Our family loves to go to Vermont for skiing, tennis, relaxing, and playing intense strategy games.
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Betsy Stubblefield Loucks

Tell us about your connection to Gordon.
My twin daughters are in the class of 2024. As a trustee, I try to help with strategy, communications and inclusive excellence.

What do you like best about Gordon?
I am excited to be part of the Gordon community because of its tangible commitment to a social justice mission. I have much to learn and practice, and have wanted a space where others are also pushing themselves and their children to be more inclusive and supportive of a diverse community. 

Tell us something about yourself or your family.
Given even the smallest chance, I will run outside. I love to trail run, cycle, open-water swim, and paddle board. My husband, Eric Loucks, and our daughters are escape-artists-to-the-wild too so we love living in the ocean state! In addition to social justice, I am also very committed to environmental sustainability, and consider these two umbrella concepts to be very linked. As a facilitator and strategic planner, my favorite thing to do is learn more about other’s visions for our community (wherever it is) and their own best possible futures. I also have to mention my husband’s work, since I believe in it so much: he studies (and lives) mindfulness and health at Brown. We both see mindfulness practices as a balm for so many of our society’s challenges today, and as a root for the creativity that we need to build a better world.

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Sylvia Mburu

Tell us about your connection to Gordon.
I have a seventh grade son at Gordon and a daughter who graduated from Gordon in 2020. I have served on the Gordon Giving committee, the Finance Committee and the Diversity Committee. I also co-chaired the Parents of Students of Color affinity group for three years.

What do you like best about Gordon?
I love that my children are surrounded by educators who encourage and empower them to be authentic, curious and kind.

Tell us something about yourself or your family. 
I am from Uganda and I lived in, and went to school in, six countries. This experience shaped my view of the world and how I relate to people.
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Amy Orth

Tell us about your connection to Gordon.
As a parent of three Gordon graduates, I'm starting my eighth year on the Board of Trustees. I served as GCA Co-President for three years, sat on the Executive Committee for five years, and currently, I co-chair the Trusteeship Committee.

What do you like best about Gordon?
Gordon’s commitment to its mission is visible in how I see my children move through the world. From informal conversations, to the way they express themselves in writing, I proudly hear echoes of their Gordon education.

Tell us something about yourself or your family.
We like to skate ski, although admittedly some of us are faster than others (yep, I’ve been lapped a few times…).

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Martha Palan

Tell us about your connection to Gordon.
I am the mother of an eighth grader who is in her twelfth year at Gordon School. This will be my sixth year on the Board of Trustees where I am co-chair of the Marketing Committee and a member of the Executive Committee and Trusteeship Committee. Prior to joining the board, I was GCA co-president for three years.

What do you like best about Gordon?
We love so much about Gordon School, but what stands out for me the most is that Gordon has given our daughter a place where she can truly be her best self without any second thought. She isn't afraid to ask questions, to make mistakes, to be different - all of which are invaluable to us. As parents, we have loved being a part of the greater Gordon community. We met some of our closest friends when our daughter was in Early Childhood. Watching all of the kids grow up together has been such a privilege.

Tell us something about yourself or your family.
We love living close to the water. Our daughter's first steps were taken in the surf of the ocean and we tend to stay close to the coast, both at home and on vacation. We believe that Thanksgiving is the best day of the year and that Sunday nights are sacred family time. We had never been to Rhode Island before we moved here, but have loved it since arriving.

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Besenia Rodriguez

Tell us about your connection to Gordon?
I am a parent to a fifth grader and a first grader. At Gordon, I have served on the Design Team for the 2018-19 Strategic Planning Process and am currently on the Education Committee and serving as co-chair of the Parents of Students of Color group.

What do you like best about Gordon?
What I like best about Gordon is that, through the multicultural curriculum as well as the inclusive community of care that permeates all interactions, my children and I can each bring our full selves to Gordon spaces. We love to be among Gordon folks!

Tell us something about yourself or your family.
Although at heart, I may always be a city person, one of our family's favorite places in R.I. is the Fantastic Umbrella Factory in Charlestown (plot twist: it is not an umbrella factory). We fell in love with this place while living in “South County.” With emu, goats, and chickens and a stunning bamboo forest, it's been a wonderful rediscovery during the (still) challenging months of social distancing.

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Katie Sklar

Tell us about your connection to Gordon?
Current parent

Share a fond Gordon memory.
DiDi being embraced by Maryjane Heymann on the first day of Nursery. She remains a beloved teacher.

What do you like best about Gordon?
Community of parents and kids; open door policy of administration.

Tell us something about yourself or your family.
Our family's favorite spot is Tappan’s Beach in Little Compton. You’ll find us there most weekends in August.

Share a fun fact about yourself.
The top of my bucket list is to visit all fifty states. And actually visit - airport pass-through does not count!

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Stephanie Soto

Tell us about your connection to Gordon?
My daughter Victoria is starting first grade, her fourth year at Gordon.  This is my second year on the Board of Trustees, and I chair the Personnel Committee. My husband Victor and I are also the first grade representatives.

Share a fond Gordon memory.
When we visited Gordon before joining, the school was getting ready for a play. As we walked from classroom to classroom, we saw actors memorizing lines, music class practicing the score, art class making props. The entire school was working towards this one objective, each individual contributing with their own passion and talents. I knew at that moment this was a very special place.

Tell us something about yourself or your family.
We love to vacation on Cape Cod!

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Krystle Tadesse

Tell us about your connection to Gordon.
I am a current parent of a first grader. This is my third year as a Gordon parent. I also serve as the co-chair of the Trusteeship Committee.

What do you like best about Gordon?
I love the community at Gordon. Everyone is incredibly welcoming and goes out of their way to make you feel included. I also love that Gordon “walks the walk.” It is easy for institutions to claim commitment to diversity and multiculturalism. Gordon has truly made that commitment and it is reflected in every facet of the school.

Share a fun fact about yourself.
I grew up in Anchorage, Alaska. My parents moved there from Texas when I two years old and I lived there until I left for college. Most of my immediate family still lives there, so we try to visit at least once a year.

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Karan Takhar ’05

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Amelie Tartaglione

Tell us about your connection to Gordon?
As a Rhode Island native, I have always known of Gordon. My husband graduated from Gordon in 2000 and up until our son became a student at Gordon, everything I knew was from what he shared with me. Now we are entering our fourth year as Gordon parents. Last year I volunteered as representative for my son's class. I am a member of the Education Committee and this year I am excited to be one of the GCA co-presidents.

What do you like best about Gordon?
I love Gordon’s approach of meeting every child where they are. To ensure every child is seen, heard, and provided the tools needed to succeed in their own way. Gordon doesn’t see education as a one size fits all mentality, rather as an opportunity to foster every child’s unique and innate curiosity. Gordon teaches kids how to learn and not just what to learn. Additionally, from the very beginning and continually at every stage, Gordon goes beyond the classroom and engages students as individuals while simultaneously teaching them the importance of their role and responsibility in the community at large. This multifaceted approach to education is just one of the many things our family loves about Gordon.

Share a fun fact about yourself.
I love to paint and do so every chance I get!

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Alexis Thompson

Tell us about your connection to Gordon?
My partner Sarah and I have two kids at Gordon - Holden in fifth grade, and Petra in third grade… both have been here since Nursery!

Share a fond Gordon memory.
My family has been lifted up by the community at Gordon many times in many ways.

Fond memories include watching the whole school cheer on Damon Ray playing the school song on piano at the all school assembly- one of many times I’ve cried on the bleachers at those events!

Another, that will stay with me always, was the enveloping hug and reassurance from Julie Parsons the day after the 2016 election  with the quiet words “we’ve got this, and WE’VE got your kids.”

What do you like best about Gordon?
The people!

Share a fun fact about yourself.
I REALLY do not like crumbs, and would do well to have a go-go-gadget dustbuster attachment on my right arm. 

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Sarah Verado

Tell us about your connection to Gordon?
This is my fifth year as a Gordon parent. My sons are in fourth grade and Kindergarten. I’ve been on the Marketing and Enrollment Committee for the past two years.

Share a fond Gordon memory.
When I think of fond memories the first that come to mind are the many drop offs we’ve done over the past five years. From the first days in Nursery, to my son running into the classroom to tell his teacher a story, or our daily greetings from Ms. Pieri. It means so much to see my kids so joyful every morning.

Share a fun fact about yourself.
My profession is in digital marketing, but in my spare time I love to paint. My favorite subjects are the beaches of Rhode Island (and the unsuspecting surfers in the water).

Board Committees

Executive Committee
Chair: Amanda Riegel 

Buildings & Grounds Committee
Chair: Alexis Thompson

Diversity Committee
Co-chairs: 
Eugene Johnson ‘87
Joshua Wynn

Education Committee
Chair: Jennifer Sherer

Family Engagement Committee
Co-chairs:
Serena Manny
Carly Keehn-Schupp

Finance Committee
Chair: Sean Zierak

Gordon Giving Committee
Co-chairs:
Katie Sklar
Harmony Bodurtha

Investment Committee
Chair: Jordan Frank

Marketing & Enrollment Committee
Co-chairs:
Martha Palan
Sarah Verardo

Personnel Committee
Chair: Stephanie Soto

Trusteeship Committee
Co-chairs:
Amy Orth
Krystle Tadesse