Staff & Support Contact Information
Chief Financial Officer
Finances / Operations / HR
Andrew S. Cooke
Associate Director for Technology and Innovative Strategies
"The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low and achieving our mark." ~ Michelangelo
Prior to NYSAIS, Andrew spent three years as a technology specialist in a public school district, followed by two years as the technology director and systems administrator for a municipal police department. A graduate of Binghamton University, he has been published in two educational journals on innovation in teaching and recently contributed to a university-level history textbook. Andrew has spent many years as a coach, small business owner, and board member, including a term as the fundraising chair for a non-profit in upstate NY dedicated to raising scholarship money for local students. A big sports fan, avid gardener, and accomplished floral designer, Andrew spends his free time with his wife and their three children enjoying the outdoors of the Hudson Valley.
Liz J. Fernández, Ed.M.
Coordinator - Job Fair to Promote Diversity
She has served as an administrator, teacher and facilitator in the independent school community including serving as the Director of Diversity at The Dalton School, Dean of the Class of 2013, MS Ethics Department Chair and member of the Board of Trustees at the Ethical Culture Fieldston School (ECFS).
Currently, she serves as the Assistant Head of School, Ethical Education & Social Impact at ECFS. From 2000 to 2011, she served on the faculty of the National Association of Independent Schools, Student Diversity Leadership Conference (SDLC) and for eight years was a co-chair. Since 2000, she has coordinated the New York State Association of Independent Schools (NYSAIS) Job Fair to Promote Diversity designed to increase teachers and administrators of color within member schools. She began her career within the independent school community as a result of being a candidate at the very job fair she new coordinates. Her insight into hiring, recruitment, and retention has been invaluable to schools and candidates alike.
She is an alumna of and has proudly served on the Board of Directors of Bloomingdale Family Head Start Programs, Inc. a NYC pre-school program serving low-income families with comprehensive educational support services.
Ms. Fernández holds a BA in Sociology and Anthropology from Hamilton College, an MA in Social Sciences with a concentration in Sociology and Education from Binghamton University, State University of New York and an Ed.M. from Columbia University, Teacher’s College, Klingenstein Center for Independent School Leadership where was an Altman Scholar.
Maria Flores Seibert
Administrative Coordinator for Communications and Operations
"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." ~ Mark Twain
Mark W. Lauria, Ph.D.
"Leadership is creating the environment and setting the tone so that others can do their best work."
Associate Director for Professional Learning
Workshops / Institutes / Symposia
Born and raised in Buffalo, Marcy lives in NYC, and in her free time she attends theater and concerts, is an avid fiction reader, and enjoys traveling worldwide with her husband, who is a teacher at The Brearley School.
Judith Sheridan, Ph.D.
Associate Director for Evaluation and Accreditation
Evaluation and Accreditation
Experienced Leaders Advising Schools (ELAS)
She has facilitated workshops in Environmental Sustainability for NAIS, and has presented at a number of conferences, most recently about accreditation as a transformative process. Judy is the administrator of ELAS (Experienced Leaders Advising Schools), a NYSAIS program providing support for member schools. She has published articles on both educational and literary subjects. Dr. Sheridan earned a Ph.D. in English Literature from SUNY-Binghamton and holds B.A. and M.A. degrees in English Literature and History from the University of Rhode Island. She and her husband enjoy time with family, which now includes a grandson, as well as travel and tennis.
Director for Evaluation and Professional Learning
Evaluation and Accreditation
Emerging Leaders Institute (ELI)
"Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go." ~ T.S. Eliot
In addition to his work with schools, George enjoys endurance cycling and traveling the world with his wife and two children. He also blogs and writes a regular column for a national endurance cycling journal.
Barbara B. Swanson
Associate Director for Residential Professional Learning
Conferences / Workshops
Conference Planning Committees