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Board of Trustees

The Elisabeth Morrow School is governed by a self-perpetuating Board of Trustees who plans, develops, and establishes policy and assesses the performance of the school in regards to its mission and philosophy. The Board also oversees the school’s financial health and physical plant, setting tuition and initiating capital campaigns. The Board is additionally responsible for the selection of the Head of School, who is charged with the implementation of policy and the day-to-day operations of the school.

2021–2022 Board of Trustees

A Message From Our Board President

When I think of EMS, I think foremost of the happy students, who spend their formative years here and emerge well-rounded, prepared to confidently stride through life, ready to take on its challenges and opportunities. Our school is a place where the students are known and loved, and their talents are nurtured and respected.

More than ninety years ago, when Elisabeth Morrow and Connie Chilton founded EMS, the notion of a school for very young children was an innovative and exciting idea. Much as our founders proved to be ahead of their time, so too do we seek to always be forward-thinking in all of our programs. For example, our Innovation Alley in Little School is an integrated space for science, math, technology, art, library/media, and gardening for our lower school students.

Beyond the lessons learned in the classroom or on the playing field, our students develop as life-long learners, thinkers, and leaders. The school’s emphasis on service and character education, social and emotional growth, encouraging creativity, as well as academic excellence, provides a foundation that prepares students to take their place in the global community. I see this in the development of my older son, who is now an alumnus of the school, as well as in the legions of other children who have also progressed through The Elisabeth Morrow School.

A key element of our school is the warm, diverse, and embracing community that extends across our students and their families, faculty, administration, and staff. New families are quickly welcomed into our community, where they find what a helpful resource it can be.

As president of the Board of Trustees, I believe it is the collective responsibility of the board to govern this precious institution with our hearts in the past, our minds in the present, and our eyes on the future. We must ensure that it is sustainable and able to provide, in the words of our founders, “the best of the old and the best of the new.”

When our students leave our beautiful campus, we know that they are going into their secondary schools and beyond as people of character who are also intellectually curious and emotionally confident. This is the promise of our school’s mission, which guides us in building upon a legacy of excellence in education and service to our community.

Hanita Walia


Hanita Walia

First Vice President
Greg Amerkanian

Second Vice Presidents
Joseph Agresta Jr. ’78
Dana Ranawat
Wendi Thompson

Victor Alvarez ’93

Elizabeth Gabbay ’93


Robin Dillard
Candace Gonzalez ’94
Oliver Lennox
Jamil Myrie
Jennifer Ostfeld
Jeffrey Rowbottom
Clare Sheridan
George Staphos
Wendi Hoeben Thompson
Alfonso Waller, MD
Frank Zhang

Trustees Emeriti
Sandra Borg
Joan Van Alstyne Johnson ’34*
Graham Jones
Emily Mann
Rosemary Mills Russell
Jayanne Tedesco
William Van Ness

Updated July 2021

*indicates a deceased member

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