ACCIS Leadership Team


Board of Trustees

 

Emmi Harward
ACCIS Executive Director
ex officio member

Emmi Harward is the Executive Director of the Association of College Counselors in Independent Schools (ACCIS). After serving in this role in a part-time, volunteer capacity for three and a half years, she became the Association’s first full-time employee in January 2017. As executive director of ACCIS, Emmi is tasked with day-to-day operations of the Association, whose mission is to support the essential role of college counselors as leaders in independent schools through professional development and support. She is a frequent presenter and panelist at regional and national conferences and speaker at professional meetings. Emmi’s experience in college admission and counseling spans more than 20 years in the profession. She learned college admissions during five years as a member of the undergraduate admission offices at Emory University in Atlanta and Vanderbilt University in Nashville. Emmi moved back to her home state of Virginia and to Hampton Roads Academy for her first role in an independent school, serving as director of college counseling, government teacher, swim coach, testing coordinator, and "other duties as assigned." Emmi joined The Bishop's School in La Jolla, California in the fall of 2006, where she helped to grow the department from two co-directors to a team of four full-time college counselors; it was also at Bishop's where she began her involvement in ACCIS as a committee member, chair, and ultimately executive director. Emmi holds degrees from Emory University with a BA in Political Science and Psychology and an M.Ed. from The College of William and Mary. She is based in San Diego, California.

 

Ashley Armato
Palmer Trinity School, Palmetto Bay, FL

Ashley Armato joined the ACCIS Board in 2021. She is the Senior Associate Director of College Counseling and Co-Coordinator of Equity and Inclusion at Palmer Trinity School in Miami, Florida. She has also worked with the CBO Thrive Scholars as their Summer Academy Director since 2018. Prior to joining the college counseling department at Palmer Trinity in 2010, she worked in college admission at Amherst College. Ashley served on the ACCIS Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Committee from 2018-2021.  From 2017 -2019 she served as Co-Chair of the Latinx Special Interest Group for SACAC and joined the SACAC Board in 2019. 

 

Lisa Clay
Out-of-Door Academy, Sarasota, FL
Board chair-elect

Lisa Clay joined the ACCIS Board of Trustees in 2020. She has served ACCIS as Summer Institute Chair since 2016, having previously served as chair of Organizational Advancement. She is currently the Co-Director of College Counseling at The Out-of-Door Academy (FL). Prior to her recent move to ODA, Lisa was the Director of the Center for College and Life Planning at Parish Episcopal School (TX) for two years and also served as the Associate Director of College Counseling for three years. Before arriving at Parish, Lisa served as a College Counselor at Casady School (OK). Before college counseling, Lisa was a Senior Admission Counselor at Texas A&M University (TX) and an Admissions Counselor at the University of Texas at Austin (TX).

 

Gabrielle Dorsey
Shero's Rise; Bridges Educational Consulting

Gabrielle Dorsey joined the ACCIS Board of Trustees in 2019. She is the Director of Educational Partnerships and Content Writer for Shero's Rise and the Executive Director of Bridges Educational Consulting. Gabrielle formerly served as the Director of College Guidance at The Archer School for Girls in Los Angeles. Prior to her move to Archer in 2017, Gabrielle served as Associate Director of College Counseling at Marin Academy.  She has served ACCIS on the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee and the Audit and Review committee in the past. She previously worked in college admission at American University and Rice University, tackling both domestic and international admission work.  

 

Rafael S. Figueroa
Albuquerque Academy, Albuquerque, NM
Governance & Nominating Committee chair

Rafael S. Figueroa joined the Board in 2020. He is Dean of College Guidance at Albuquerque Academy in New Mexico and a former admission officer at Occidental College in Los Angeles and Wesleyan University in Connecticut. He is former President of the Rocky Mountain Association for College Admission Counseling. He has served on the numerous committees for the National Association for College Admission Counseling, including the Governance and Nominating Committee, the Ad Hoc Committee on Leadership, the Task Force on Standardized Admission Testing for International and US Students, the Steering Committee on Admission Practices, and the Commission on the Use of Standardized Testing. He is a former Board Member of the Common Application and served on the Common Application Outreach Advisory Committee.

 

Jeff Fuller
Strake Jesuit College Preparatory, Houston, TX
Finance Chair/Treasurer

Jeff Fuller joined the ACCIS Board in 2019 as Treasurer. He currently serves as the Director of College Counseling at Strake Jesuit College Preparatory in Houston, Texas. In this role, Jeff oversees all college counseling department initiatives while also leading a team of 5 professionals. Before joining Strake Jesuit in 2017, Jeff served for 24 years at the University of Houston in a variety of roles in UH’s admissions office ultimately serving as Director of Student Recruitment and Admissions. Jeff has been actively engaged in both NACAC and Texas ACAC, serving as president of both in 2015 (NACAC) and 2007 (TACAC). Jeff previously served as NACAC’s Finance Committee Chair and TACAC Treasurer. 

Nikki Magaziner Mills
St. Albans School, Washington, DC

Nikki Magaziner Mills joined the ACCIS Board of Trustees in 2018. Since 2005, she has served as the Director of College Counseling at St. Albans School in Washington DC. Prior to St. Albans, she worked as Director of College Counseling at TASIS, The American School in England and as Assistant Director of Admissions at both Rice University and Washington and Lee University.

Greg Miles
Waterford School, Sandy, UT

Greg Miles has been the CFO at Waterford School (K-12, Sandy, UT) since 2004. Prior to working in the non-profit school world, he worked in "corporate America" for 6 years. He has served on various accreditation teams as part of the Northwest Association of Independent Schools (NWAIS). 

Megan Murphy
National Coalition of Girls' Schools, Charlottesville, VA

Megan Murphy serves as the executive director of the National Coalition of Girls’ Schools (NCGS), the leading advocate membership organization for K-12 girls’ schools. Previously, Megan served as the chief advancement officer and/or chief enrollment officer at several institutions, including her alma mater, Allegheny College; Semester at Sea, a non-profit global education program in partnership with the University of Virginia;
and at NCGS and ACCIS member Marlborough School.

Amy Rogers
Miss Porter's School, Farmington, CT
Board Past-chair

Amy was elected to the Board in 2016 and now serves as past-chair of the Board of Trustees. She has worked in admissions and college counseling for over 20 years, at a variety of levels, including independent boarding and day schools, and higher education. She has worked with students in the college process at Taft, Chase Collegiate, and Miss Porter's School, where she has led the College Office for the past ten years. As a member of ACCIS, Amy has served as Co-Chair of the 2017 Summer Institute at Trinity College and served on the Finance and Governance & Nominating Committees of the Board of Trustees.
 

 

Rod Skinner
Milton Academy, Milton, MA
Strategic Planning chair

Rod joined the ACCIS Board of Trustees in 2020. He is currently Dean of College Counseling at Milton Academy, where he just finished his 21st year. In his 40+ years in secondary education, Rod has worked at schools in Boston, Connecticut, California, and Florida. During those years, he has coached football, wrestling, lacrosse, and soccer; sponsored on-campus singing groups; run dormitories; chaired curriculum committees; taught English, European history, and ethics; organized Special Olympics basketball tournaments; written on educational and counseling matters for alumni magazines and other journals; and served as a faculty trustee. Rod has also chaired the NACAC and NEACAC Admission Practices Committees. While in Florida, he directed the SACAC Summer Institute for Secondary School Counselors. Presently, Rod teaches on the faculty of the Harvard Summer Institute on College Admissions, chairs the advisory board and oversight committees for the Mountain School in Vershire, Vermont; and serves on the board of Boston Collegiate Charter School and on the national selection committee for United World College.

Vicki Thompson
Mercersburg Academy, Mercersburg, PA
Board chair

Vicki Thompson joined the ACCIS Board of Trustees in 2018 and currently serves as its chair.  Vicki moved to Pennsylvania in the summer of 2021 and is now part of the college counseling team at Mercersburg Academy. Prior to that, she served as Dean of College Counseling at St. Mary's Episcopal School in Memphis, TN for six years and as Dean of College Counseling at Lake Highland Preparatory School in Orlando, FL for thirteen years.  She is a Past-President of SACAC and a former member of the NACAC Governance and Nominating Committee.

 

Louis Trujillo
Saint Ann's School, Brooklyn, NY

Louis Trujillo joined the ACCIS Board of Trustees in 2021. As a member of ACCIS, he served on the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee and the Data, Trends, and Analytics Committee. Currently, he is a college counselor at Saint Ann's School (NY). Before Saint Ann's, he was an Associate Director of Admission at Brown University, responsible for domestic and international recruitment.

Sharon Williams

University of Chicago Laboratory Schools, Chicago, IL

Sharon Williams was elected to the ACCIS Board in 2021 after serving on the inaugural ACCIS DE&I committee for three years. Currently, Sharon is a College Counselor at the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools and serves her school community as a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Coordinator. Sharon has worked on the high school side of college counseling at Maret School, Chatham Hall, and Elgin Academy. She began her career in college admissions as an Assistant Director at Binghamton University responsible for admissions to the Educational Opportunity Program and moved to the University of Rochester as an Associate Director overseeing Minority, Transfer, and International Admissions. Sharon has been a member of NACAC throughout her career, and active in NYSACAC, and PCACAC, She was elected to the Board of IACAC in 2020, where is currently a Delegate Director – Secondary, member of the New Counselor Institute Committee, and co-chair of the Equity and Access Ad-Hoc Committee.

 

Program/Operations Committee Chairs

Leilani Arita-Takayama
'Iolani School, Honolulu, HI
New Counselor Workshop and Series

Leilani Arita-Takayama joined the ACCIS leadership team in 2021 as the New Counselor Workshop and Webinar Series Chair and has served on the faculty since 2020. She has been a member of the college counseling team at ‘Iolani School in Honolulu, Hawaiʻi since 2017, serving as Associate Director of College Counseling. Before this current role, she also served as Academic Dean and College Counselor at another institution in Hawaiʻi and has spent time in graduate advising at Hawaiʻi Pacific University. 

 

Robert Awkward
Marin Academy, San Rafael, CA
Advisor to the Executive Director

Robert Awkward is the Advisor to the Executive Director of ACCIS, an appointed role that also serves as an Ex-officio Board Member. Before moving to California to join the college counseling team at Marin Academy, Robert helped to establish the college counseling program at The Post Oak School, an IB-Montessori, PreK-12 school in Houston, Texas. Previous to his work in independent schools, Robert worked in admissions at Southwestern University (TX) and his alma mater Earlham College (IN).

Lisa Clay
Out-of-Door Academy, Sarasota, FL
Summer Institute

Lisa Clay joined the ACCIS Board of Trustees in 2020. She has served ACCIS as Summer Institute Chair since 2016, having previously served as chair of Organizational Advancement. She is currently the Co-Director of College Counseling at The Out-of-Door Academy (FL). Prior to her recent move to ODA, Lisa was the Director of the Center for College and Life Planning at Parish Episcopal School (TX) for two years and also served as the Associate Director of College Counseling for three years. Before arriving at Parish, Lisa served as a College Counselor at Casady School (OK). Before college counseling, Lisa was a Senior Admission Counselor at Texas A&M University (TX) and an Admissions Counselor at the University of Texas at Austin (TX).

Michele Davis
The Walker School, Marietta, GA
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Michele Davis is co-chair of the ACCIS Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee. She is the director of college counseling at The Walker School in Atlanta, was previously a member of the college counseling team at Hutchison School (TN), and has also worked in independent schools in Maryland and Georgia. Before stepping onto the secondary school side, Michele worked in undergraduate admissions at Emory University (GA) and The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

 

Jessica Raab
Kent Denver School, Englewood, CO
Colloquia

Jessica Raab joined the ACCIS Leadership Team in July of 2018 as the Colloquia Chair. She is beginning her fourth year in the College Counseling Office at Kent Denver Schools. Prior to her time at Kent Denver, Jessica worked in college counseling at Phoenix Country Day School. Jessica spent the first half of her career working in College Admission, the majority of which was at Colorado College, and she started at Carleton College.
 

Stacy Richardson
Georgetown Visitation Preparatory School, Washington, DC
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Stacy Richardson is the Co-chair of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee. She is Director of College Counseling at Georgetown Visitation Preparatory School (DC), where she has worked since 2015. Prior to her time at Visitation, Stacy served as a college counselor at Gonzaga College High School (DC). She has held numerous positions within higher education, including Associate Dean and Director of Multicultural Recruitment at The College of William & Mary (VA) and Assistant Director of the College Park Scholars-Life Sciences Program at the University of Maryland.

 

Barbara Sams
Whitfield School, St. Louis, MO
Sponsorship

Barbara Sams has been director of college counseling at Whitfield School in St. Louis, Missouri since 2017. Prior to Whitfield, Barbara served as director of college counseling for thirteen years at Saint Louis Priory School. She has spent more than thirty years in the profession, including time in college admission, student life, and marketing.  

 
 

Janet Weller
Harpeth Hall School, Nashville, TN
Data Trends and Analytics 

Janet Weller serves as Chair of the Data Trends and Analytics Committee and has been involved with ACCIS as the former Data and Research subcommittee chair since 2017. She joined Harpeth Hall School as Director of College Counseling in 2021, having previously worked at Roland Park Country School as Associate Director of College Counseling and as College Counseling Coordinator at Garrison Forest School. She also spent two years as Media Relations Coordinator at Goucher College, and for three years was an education columnist and reporter for a weekly newspaper local to the suburbs north of Baltimore City. Janet is a past member of the Current Trends and Future Issues Committee of the Potomac and Chesapeake Association of College Admission Counselors. 

 

Staff

 

Michelle Niles, Accountant

Fitchburg, MA

 

Katrina Proctor, Accounts Payable Specialist

Lunenburg, MA


ACCIS employs one full-time employee (Executive Director) and two part-time employees. Aside from the Executive Director, all members of the ACCIS Leadership Team (Board of Trustees and Chairs) serve as volunteers on behalf of the Association.


Board Standing Committees:

Finance Committee
Chair: Jeff Fuller; members Nikki Magaziner Mills, Greg Miles, Vicki Thompson, Emmi Harward (ex officio)
The Finance Committee advises the organization on budgetary policy and issues, revenue generation, and membership dues and fees. This committee recommends an annual budget to be approved by the Board of Trustees, assures the occurrence and quality of annual reviews, and monitors the implementation and enforcement of investment strategies approved by the Board of Trustees.

Governance and Nominating Committee
Chair: Ralph Figueroa; members Ashley Armato, Gabrielle Dorsey, Amy Rogers, Emmi Harward (ex officio)
The Governance/Nominating Committee oversees the election and appointment of new members to the ACCIS Leadership Team. It makes recommendations and vets candidates for elections. This committee also administers the bylaws and other governing documents, ensuring adherence, recommending improvements, and overseeing changes.

Strategic Planning Committee
Chair: Rod Skinner; members Robert Awkward, Lisa Clay, Gabrielle Dorsey, Megan Murphy, Nikki Magaziner Mills, Louis Trujillo, Sharon Williams, Emmi Harward (ex officio)
The Strategic Planning Committee oversees and develops long-range plans for the Association to support financial and organizational growth and sustainability. 


Program/Operations Committees:

Communications Committee
Chair: TBA
Committee members: Cristan Harris, Hawken School; Elizabeth Harris, The Urban School of San Francisco; Lesley Klecan, St. Mary's School; Samantha Schreiber, Milken Community Schools; Bartley Sides, Christ Church Episcopal School

The Communication Committee oversees content development of major Association publications in print and electronic media. The committee provides a professional voice for the college counselors through conference presentations, journal articles, commendations on good practices, and media responses. The committee shall develop appropriate means of communication with Association members, and develop and manage communication using all available technology.

Data Trends and Analytics Committee
Chair: Janet Weller
Committee members: Arielle Blumberg, Marymount School of New York; Aleny Garcia, Ransom Everglades School; Barbara Hancock, Potomac School; Gregg Murray, The Hun School of Princeton; John Reilly, Trinity School; Chris Rodriguez, The Lovett School; Sandra Sohne-Johnston, St. Anne's-Belfield School; Jake Talmage, St. Paul's School for Boys.

The Data Trends and Analytics committee (formerly the Research and Data subcommittee) coordinates research initiatives, conducts surveys to collect data about school-wide, national, and international issues in education, analyzes trends, disseminates conclusions, functions as a clearinghouse for related information, and maintains the document library on the website. 

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee
Chairs: Stacy Richardson and Michele Davis
Committee members: Juan Acosta, The Westminster Schools; Emily Berty, Wellington School; Brian Burbank, The Kinkaid School; Frank Cabrera, Brooklyn Friends School; Darling Cerna, Princeton Day School; Sharonda Dailey, Buckingham Browne & Nichols School; Allyson Diljohn, Berkeley Preparatory School; Tim Doyle, St. Stephen's & St. Agnes School; Scottie Hill, Annie Wright Schools; Jamie L. Kim, St. John's School; Joe Latimer, Northfield Mount Hermon; Christine Loo, The Stony Brook School; Linda Mathews, The Madeira School; Radha Mishra, The Hun School of Princeton; Annalise Miyashiro, Sage Hill School; Sanil Patel, Hopkins School; Ethan Percy, Loomis Chaffee School; Andrea Pien, Friends' Central School; Elizabeth Pili, Spence School; Warren Quirett, Episcopal High School; Langston Ross, Parish Episcopal School; Jamie Silver, Kingswood Oxford School; Ashley Terry, The Bay School of San Francisco; Khaliah Williams, The Berkeley Carroll School.

The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee (DE&I) works to provide programming to support counselors with the tools they need to work with diverse populations, as well as taking shared responsibility to understand how to have complex conversations and effectively negotiate issues that impact diverse populations. 

Sponsorship Committee
Chair: Barbara Sams
The Sponsorship Committee works to support the work of the Association and the programs it offers through program partnerships and sponsored content/offerings of benefit to ACCIS members. 

Program Team
Lisa Clay (Summer Institute, with 2021 co-chair Lesley Klecan, St. Mary's School); Leilani Arita-Takayama (New Counselors Workshop/Series); Jessica Raab (Colloquia); Lauren Lieberman, Shady Side Academy and Tyler Sant, Atlanta International School (New Directors Workshop)
The Program Team chairs plan, coordinate and implement all institutes and workshops of the Association, including the annual Summer Institute, Colloquia, New Counselors and Directors workshops, ACCIS college tours, and the Office Assistants Program. The chairs coordinate on the planning of programming, as well as with hosts and vendors at respective sites.