The Long Ridge School

Board of Trustees

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The Long Ridge School’s Board of Trustees is responsible for the long-term well-being
of our school, and board members serve as guardians of our mission.

Trustees oversee Long Ridge’s financial operations, and through strategic planning,
they set the course for our future development. Trustees are not involved in the day-to-
day running of school operations, nor are they involved in the admissions process. Each
trustee gives a tremendous amount of their time on behalf of the school and each
considers it an honor to do so. Other than the gratitude of our school community, there
is no form of compensation or tuition reimbursement.

The board is comprised of members chosen from current parents, alumni and alumni
parents, and community members whose expertise is of value to the school. The head
of school serves as a member of the board. Each elected trustee typically serves up to
two three-year terms. Each trustee generally serves on at least two committees (which
meet anywhere from two to five times per year). In addition, there are eight full board
meetings.

2020-2021 BOARD OF TRUSTEES Officers

Christopher Ferraro - President (2nd Term)

Chris was at LRS for 4 years with his son Leonardo (class of 2020) and his daughter Annabella (class of 2022).

Christen DeSantis - Vice President (1st Term)

Christen DeSantis is the mother of Miles ‘17 and Will ‘21. She co-chaired the Parents Group for three years. She holds an undergraduate degree in Business Administration and Management from North Carolina State University and a M.A. in Human Nutrition from the University of Bridgeport. She opened her business Christen DeSantis Nutrition in 2009. Previously, she worked at Diageo, Equitable Life, and Bain Consulting. She joined the Board in 2015 and serves as the Chair of the Finance Committee and is the Treasurer of the Board.

Guy Bailey - Secretary (3rd Term)

Guy Bailey joined the LRS faculty in 1971. He served as a teacher, Assistant Head, Business Manager, and Head of School, departing in 1989. He then worked at the Mead School as the Administrative Manager from 1989-1996. Guy returned to St. Luke’s School where he had begun his career in 1968, and served there until 2014, retiring as Assistant Head of School. Guy’s son, Andrew, is an LRS alumnus, and his wife, Kathy, taught at LRS for 20 years in the 80s and 90s. Guy joined the LRS Board of Trustees in 2015 and currently serves as Secretary. He is also the Director of Accreditation Services for the Connecticut Association of Independent Schools.

Anne Mengden - Treasurer (2nd Term)

Anne began her association with The Long Ridge School in 2001 as a parent of Christian ’05. After a career in the investment management field, she rediscovered her love of teaching and obtained an MS Ed. from Sarah Lawrence College. Anne joined the LRS faculty in 2002 as a Science specialist until 2014. She became a Trustee in 2015 and now serves as the Treasurer and chair of the Finance Committee. Anne has a BA from the University of Michigan and an MBA from the Tuck School of Business.

Trustees

Aditi Shrikam

Aditi is the mother of Om ‘17 and Dev ‘20. She co-chaired the Auction in 2012 and 2013. Aditi also has been involved as a Room Parent, co-chaired the Annual Fund, and many other activities. A graduate of Ohio Wesleyan College, she spent a post graduate year at Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies in Mumbai, India. Aditi works with Malabar Bay, a family-owned business. She was elected to the Board in 2012 and has served as President for three years.

Hayate Boujid

Bio to Come

Samantha Brown

Samantha Brown is mother to three daughters (Alexandra, Reagan, and Olivia) and has been an LRS parent since 2014. She has coordinated Mom’s Night Out, served on the Auction Committee, organized the LRS baby club, and partnered as a class parent. She holds a BA from Vanderbilt University, an MS from TWU, and a Post-Professional Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Washington University School of Medicine. Her professional experience includes working in a variety of healthcare settings, as well as serving as Director of Rehabilitation for an in-out patient facility and professor at the University of Rhode Island. She joined the Board in 2020 and serves on both the Finance and Advancement Committees.

Shanti Hagemen

Shanti Hageman is a mother to three LRS boys, joining the school in 2013. She spent nine years as a federal litigation attorney in Washington DC prior to her second child’s birth. She is a past Chair of the LRS Parents Group and is an enthusiastic volunteer at LRS and elsewhere. Shanti is a graduate of Hamilton College and Brooklyn Law School.

Sebastien Katch

Sebastien Katch is an Operating Partner at L Catterton. Sebastien has a broad range of consulting and operating experience with a deep background in Operations Excellence and Transformations. Prior to joining L Catterton, Sebastien served clients at McKinsey & Company for six years, where he focused on Manufacturing, Supply Chain, Procurement, and Service Operations Excellence in consumer, aerospace, mining, and public sectors. Prior to business school, Sebastien held a number of operating and design positions in the commercial and military aerospace industry.

Sebastian earned an M.B.A. from Carnegie Mellon University, a master in Aeronautics and Astronautics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a master in Finance from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and a Bachelor in Mechanical Engineering from McGill University, Canada.

William Knauer

Bill Knauer is currently in his fifth year as the Head of School at The Harvey School in Katonah, NY. Bill has spent more than 30 years in independent and international schools as a teacher, technology specialist, department head, and senior administrator.

He began his career in education at the Munich International School as an English teacher before returning to the U.S., first as a teacher at the Riverdale Country School and then at the Packer Collegiate Institute as Director of Technology and later Assistant Head of School. Bill and his family left Brooklyn and spent four years in Barcelona, where he was Head of the Benjamin Franklin International School.

Bill and his wife, Eileen, also an educator, are the proud parents of Emiliana, who is currently a 10th grader at Harvey.

Patty Litzen

Patty Litzen is the proud mom of two LRS grads. She has served on the Board since 2017. She holds a M.S. in Communicative Sciences and Disorders from New York University.

John Ora

John Ora was Long Ridge’s Interim Head of School from 2018-2020 and now serves on the School’s Board of Trustees. He is a seasoned school leader with experience as a teacher, administrator, and Head in preschool-grade 12 independent schools. From 2007-2016 he served as the Head of School at the Woodland School in Portola Valley, CA.

John has completed doctoral coursework in Educational Leadership at Teachers College, Columbia University; holds a Master of Arts in Educational Administration, Policy and Analysis from Stanford University; teaching credential from the University of Washington; and a BS in Biology from Seattle University.

He has engaged in numerous professional development opportunities and has received a number of awards and achievements, notably a Klingenstein Fellowship from Teachers College, Columbia University.

Marietta Morelli (Faculty Trustee)

Marietta Morelli is the faculty representative for the Board of Trustees and joined the faculty at The Long Ridge School in 2001. She earned her B.S. from the University of CT and her M.Ed from Wheelock College. Prior to teaching, Marietta worked for seven years in the Child Life Play and Preparation Program at Yale New Haven Hospital with pediatric patients.  She is the proud mother of 3 LRS graduates, Alex’02, Nick ’05 and Annie ’09.  After many years of teaching, in September of 2017, Marietta became the new librarian at  LRS.  Marietta is the recipient of the 2010 Stepping Stones Playful Practices in Teaching Award. She serves on the Boards of The Friends of the Ferguson Library.  In 2018 Marietta became a certified school librarian through the Connecticut Alternate Route to Certification for Library Media Specialists.

Carissa Lewis—Head of School

Carissa Lewis is the Head of School and joined The Long Ridge School in 2009 as a 2-3 classroom teacher.  She has a B.A. in Anthropology from State University of New York at Oswego and a M.S. Ed. from Sarah Lawrence College.  In 2014 she became the Science Specialist and in 2016 started the robotics program for the school. Prior to Long Ridge she was the lead nursery teacher for the Early Childhood Center at Memorial United Methodist Church in White Plains, NY.  Carissa is the very proud mom of Jake and Zoe ‘12.

Staff

  • Kelly Falco—Assistant Head
  • Amy Pietrasanta—Chief Financial Officer
  • Julian Shettler—Director of Admissions & Marketing
  • Sarah Kwan—Director of Development

Honorary Trustees

Ronald Japha
Ronald Japha is the father of Adam ’98 and Alex ‘02. He serves as liaison to the Long Ridge School Camp and has also served on the Personnel and Facilities Committees. Ron graduated from the University of Virginia and Dickinson School of Law. He is an attorney with an office in Stamford. He has been a Trustee since 1996 and an Honorary Trustee since 2004.

Mark Davis
Mark Davis was appointed Head of St. Luke’s School in New Canaan in 2002. He holds a B.A. from Yale University and a M.A.L.S. from Wesleyan University. Mark serves on the Board of the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS). He joined the LRS Board in 2012, serves on the Trusteeship Committee, and was very involved in the strategic planning process.

Parents Group Co-Chairs (non-voting)

  • Lisa Mitchell (Cameron ’24)

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