ELAS Ed-visor Bios


Stephen M. Clement, III Dr. Marjorie Goldsmith Steven Hahn Chuck Hertrick Josie Holford


Diane Hulse Dorothy A. Hutcheson William G. Morris, Jr. Paul M. Ness


Dane L. Peters Mary Claire Ryan Joan S. Shell Roanna Shorofsky


Stephen M. Clement, III

After 28 years as a celebrated and distinguished Headmaster, Stephen M. Clement, III recently retired from The Browning School, a K-12 school for boys in Manhattan. Prior to Browning, he was the Director of the Walden School and Assistant Headmaster of the Dalton School. He has been sought after and served on numerous boards, currently the Millbrook School and Robert College in Istanbul, Turkey. He has also served on the Boards of The Brearley School, Brick Church School, The Episcopal School in NYC, and George Jackson Academy.

Steve has assumed leadership roles in associations that support the work of independent schools as Past President of the NYSAIS Board of Trustees, The Guild of Independent Schools (NYC), Interschool (NYC), Independent School Multi-Media Center, Headmasters Association, as well as the Chair of NYSAIS Commission on Accreditation.

Although based in NYC, Steve has deep personal roots in Western New York and strong ties to the Hudson Valley. He attended the Nichols School in Buffalo and The Hill School in Pennsylvania prior to his undergraduate years at Yale and his graduate years at The Union Theological Seminary where he completed his M. Div. He completed his education at the Harvard University School of Education and earned an Ed.M. and an Ed.D.


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Dr. Marjorie Goldsmith

Dr. Marjorie Goldsmith has been the Director of The Rockefeller University Child and Family Center, The First Presbyterian Church Nursery School and most recently retired after her seventh year as Director of All Souls School, NY.

She presented at many conferences sharing her expertise in Early Childhood Education and leadership in this field. She has been a presenter at The National Coalition for Campus Children’s Centers, New York State Conference on Infancy, New York State Association for the Education of Young Children, the Annual Reconceptualizing Early Childhood Education Conference in Oslo, Norway and the Bank Street College Infancy Institute among others. Among her areas of expertise are program and staff development.

Dr. Goldsmith received her Ed.D at Teachers College, Columbia University in Curriculum and Teaching with specialization in Early Childhood Education.  She has taught at City College, NY, Hunter College and The College of New Rochelle.  Additionally, she was a member of the Board of Trustees of The Independent Schools Admissions Association of Greater New York (ISAAGNY). She also serves on the Board of Trustees of Resurrection Episcopal Day School (REDS) in NYC.


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Steven Hahn

In addition to having been Head at Portledge School (2006-2012), Hamden Hall (2004-2005), and Lawrence Academy (1984-2003), Steve served as a trustee at Applewild School (1985-2004), Fenn School (1992-1998), and Nashoba Brooks School (1998-2004), so he has extensive and varied experience in boarding and day schools, pre-nursery through twelfth grade. Steve has chaired several visiting accreditation committees in the United States and abroad, has led strategic planning processes, been active in admissions and development, pioneered orientation programs for new students, and worked with faculty in the areas of experiential education and 21st-century skills.  Consistent with those skills, his leadership style is one of active listening, collaboration, and cooperative problem-solving. Throughout. Steve has been involved in outdoor education and student-travel, especially as co-director of Crossroads International in the 1970s.


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Chuck Hertrick

Chuck Hertrick served for twenty-three years as Headmaster of Allendale Columbia School, during which time the school expanded its curricular offerings, built or renovated every major building on campus, and increased its endowment through three capital campaigns. He served as President of the New York State Association of Independent Schools and was a Commissioner on Accreditation for eight years. He was a Visiting Fellow at the Klingenstein Center, Teachers College and is a member of the Country Day School Headmasters’ Association. Currently, he is an adjunct faculty member in the Humanities at SUNY Geneseo. Chuck has consulted to a number of non-profits, including independent and charter schools and community associations on governance and strategic planning. Partnering with a regional fundraising consulting firm, he has conducted feasibility studies, undertaken development assessments, and managed capital campaigns. Chuck consults on governance, fundraising, and strategic planning.


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Josie Holford

Josie Holford has had a distinguished career as a leader in independent school education beginning in London. She was the Director of both the Trevor Day School Middle and High School, and most recently the Head of School at Poughkeepsie Day School, retiring after ten years in that role. Among her areas of expertise are board structure and leadership, strategic planning and diversity work.

Currently, Josie serves as a member of the NYSAIS Board of Trustees, a member of the Board of the Independent Curriculum Group, and an Educating Modern Learner advisor. She is also a blogger with a robust following.


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Diane Hulse

Diane Hulse served independent schools for nearly forty years as head of school, division head, college counselor, and admission director.  She is currently an organizational consultant and executive coach whose passion and expertise is leadership development in schools and other non-profits. Her board service includes NYSAIS, The Guild of Independent Schools of New York City, Boys Schools: An International Coalition, Snug Harbor Cultural Center, Project Hospitality,  the Caedmon School, and the Alexander Roberson School.  After completing her third headship, Diane retired as Head of School at Staten Island Academy and set up a highly-respected consulting business. Diane has chaired numerous accreditation committees and, as a sixteen-year member of the NYSAIS Commission on Accreditation, has reviewed the accreditations of every independent school in the State of New York. Diane’s consulting experience includes leadership coaching, school assessment, board and administrative retreats, strategic planning, and board and leadership team development.  She holds membership in the Country Day School Headmasters Association, Headmistresses of the East, and the Heads Network.


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Dorothy A. Hutcheson

Dorothy A. Hutcheson was the founding head of The Greene School, a new pre-K through 4th grade independent school in West Palm Beach, Florida that opened in September, 2016. From 1992 until 2012, Dorothy served as Head of the Nightingale-Bamford School, a K-12, all-girls’, independent school in Manhattan with 550 students, 150 faculty and staff, and over 2500 alumnae. Upon her retirement the Board of Trustees named Dorothy Head of School Emerita.

Dorothy graduated in 2015 from the Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York with a Master of Divinity degree and served as the Interim Chaplain at Trinity-Pawling School, an all-boys’ boarding school in Pawling, NY, from 2015-16. 

A highly regarded leader in independent education, Dorothy has served on numerous educational boards, including the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS), the Klingenstein Center for Independent School Education at Teachers College, the New York State Association of Independent Schools (NYSAIS) Commission on Accreditation, the Cathedral School of St. John the Divine, the Brick Church School, Grace Church School, and St. David’s School. She was the president of several heads’ organizations, including NYSAIS, the Head Mistresses Association of the East, the New York City Guild of Independent Schools, and the Country Day School Headmasters’ Association. She continues to serve as a trustee of George Jackson Academy, a grades 4-8 independent school for academically talented boys from underserved communities, and is a trustee of St. Paul’s School in New Hampshire.

Since stepping down from her position at Nightingale, Dorothy has maintained her connection to elementary and secondary education by consulting to schools on board governance and strategic planning, and by mentoring new heads of school.


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William G. Morris, Jr.

After thirteen years as the respected and beloved Head of School, Bill Morris recently retired from Friends Academy in Locust Valley, NY on Long Island, a nursery through grade twelve coeducational Quaker day school. Bill brings to the ELAS group expertise in areas such as trustee education, school leadership, strategic planning, achieving diversity, fundraising and finance. Bill has long supported NYSAIS member schools in his role as the Chair of the NYSAIS Commission on Accreditation and as a member of the NYSAIS Board of Trustees. The newly revised version of the NYSAIS Manual for Accreditation is dedicated to Bill and quotes him as saying about his work for and in schools “Do it for others and do it well.”

Prior to Friends Academy, Bill worked at the Taft School in Connecticut where he performed many roles: Dean of Academic Affairs, Director of College of Counseling and Assistant Director of Admissions and Director of Financial Aid and history faculty member. He is a member of the Headmaster’s Association, and the Country Day School Headmaster’s Association. Bill has been a consultant to a number of day and boarding schools, as well as a trustee. He currently serves on the Board of Trustees of the Brooklyn Friends School.


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Paul M. Ness

Paul Ness has had a long and distinguished career in independent school leadership, serving as Chief Financial and Operating Officer of the Bronx Preparatory Charter School, Director of Finance and Operations at Collegiate School (NY) and Concord Academy (MA) where he also taught mathematics. Paul has been active in national and regional independent school organizations as chair of various committees for the New York State Association of Independent Schools and Independent School Association of Massachusetts, and on numerous visiting committees. He has served on the Personnel Board of the Town of Concord, MA (Chair)  and on the boards of Fayerweather Street School (Cambridge, MA), Gay Lesbian and Straight Education Network (NYC, Treasurer) and currently the Bloomingdale School of Music (NYC: Secretary, Vice-President, President) and the Rochester Philharmonic League (Treasurer).


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Dane L. Peters

Dane recently retired as Head of Brooklyn Heights Montessori School, a Toddler through 8th-grade school in Brooklyn, New York.  Prior to heading BHMS for eleven years, he served as Head of Mooreland Hill School in Connecticut for eleven years. He has served as the Administrator for the New York State Association of Independent School’s (NYSAIS) Experienced Leaders Advising Schools (ELAS) program.

Among his thirty-eight years teaching and coaching in independent school education, ten were served in boarding schools. A Klingenstein Fellow and former lecturer and graduate student Field Coach at the Klingenstein Center, Dane served as Director of the New England New Teachers Seminar, on the faculty of the NAIS New Heads Institute, and as a mentor with the NAIS/E.E. Ford Fellowship for Aspiring Heads. He also served as the Director of NYSAIS Beginning Teachers Institute; served on the Experienced Teachers Institute; and chaired the Professional Development Committee and the Council for Professional Learning and Collaboration for NYSAIS. He has chaired many accreditation visiting committees for both NYSAIS and the Connecticut Association of Independent Schools.

He has served on thirteen non-profit boards, three as president and two as head of school. He recently served as a Secretary on the NYSAIS Board of Trustees and the Treasurer of the American Montessori Society (AMS) Board of Directors where he is currently serving as the Vice President.

His articles have appeared in Education Week; NAIS’s Independent Teacher (currently serves on the Editorial Board), Independent School (served as chair of the Editorial Board), and The Savvy Trustee Newsletter; Montessori Life (currently chairs the Editorial Advisory Board), M: The Magazine for Montessori Families, Montessori Leadership, Parents’ League Review, Public School Montessorian (where he has a regular column), Teaching Children Mathematics, The Head’s Letter, and The Trustees Letter. His first book Independent by Design was published in 2014. You can read many of his articles on his blog, www.danesedblog.blogspot.com.


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Mary Claire Ryan

Mary Claire Ryan was the Co-Founder of the Cornelia Connelly Center on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, an NYSAIS accredited school. This pioneering school has established itself as a model for quality education for underserved middle school girls.  Most recently she served as the President of St. Aloysius School in Harlem and before that as President of the Jesuit Volunteer Corps in Baltimore, MD, Executive Director of NativityMiguel Network of Schools and Executive Director of the Bronx Charter School for Excellence.

She has served on many boards, among those are NYSAIS member schools: Cornelia Connelly Center, Cristo Rey New York High School and School of the Holy Child.  She has also served on the boards of Public Prep/Girls Prep Charter School, Nativity Mission Center, Oak Knoll School in Summit, N.J. and Connelly School of the Holy Child.  

Mary Claire brings experience in founding, leading, and collaborating to guide mission-driven schools and organizations, from start-up through growth, setbacks and strategic choices. She has a great deal of experience working with governing boards, supervision, mentoring, and professional development of staff, the ability to find common ground for setting priorities and devising plans of action within changing situations.


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Joan S. Shell

Joan S. Shell joins the ELAS group having recently retired as Director of Finance at Village Community School, following a 26-year executive banking career at three major banks. She brings broad experience and expertise in the areas of financial planning, which include budgeting, investment management, financing capital projects, debt management, retirement planning, benefit and compensation planning, facility management and financial aid planning.

Joan has served on the Board of Trustees of her alma mater, Vassar College, including membership on its Executive Committee and the Steering Committee of its Capital Campaign. In addition, she Chaired the Board of Vassar’s National Alumni Association. Joan also holds a M.A. from Brown University and a M.B.A. in Finance from Fordham University.

Joan has been active in the philanthropic sector, serving on a number of non-profit boards and their finance committees including treasurer for the Parent Board of Friends Academy on Long Island and Board member of the Youth Service Opportunities Project.


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Roanna Shorofsky

Roanna Shorofsky served as Head of the Abraham Joshua Heschel School from 1990-2014. Under her leadership the school grew from a Nursery - Grade 8 school with a student population of 224 to the current Nursery- High School student population of close to 900 and a staff of over 225 and is now housed in a state of the art one campus facility. Roanna came to the Heschel School after having served as the Director of Education at the 92nd Street Y for four years, and for ten years as Director of its Nursery School. She was a member of the Guild of Independent Schools and a trustee of New York State Association of Independent Schools. Roanna served as an advisor for the Institute for Day School Management, UJA- Federation, NY and was a member of the advisory board of Agahozo- Shalom Youth Village in Rwanda. Currently, she is an honorary trustee of the Board of the Abraham Joshua Heschel School and a member of the St. Hilda's & St. Hugh's School Board of Trustees.


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