Small Boarding School Association

Our Mission

The Small Boarding School Association establishes a forum for personal and professional dialogue, which promotes and supports small boarding schools.

Our Purpose

While the membership in the organization has grown since its founding, its central purpose remains essentially unchanged. SBSA continues to exist today to provide those who work in and with small boarding schools of various types an opportunity to share and to learn from one another. As such, the annual conference is the centerpiece of the organization and is the primary reason most schools and consultants join SBSA. Held each spring on the campus of a member school, the SBSA conference has developed a reputation as many people’s favorite among all the conferences they attend each year. What makes this conference so attractive is its informality and its opportunities for sharing and collaborating. Attendees come prepared not to listen passively to a host of experts speak, but to actively participate in discussions whose topics are generated by the attendees themselves. They don’t have to find time between sessions to have meaningful conversations with their friends and colleagues; those conversations are the conference.

Our History

The Small Boarding School Association was founded in 1987 by a group of people who felt that small boarding schools needed their own gathering to address those issues unique to their type of school. The first conference was held at Hoosac School in Hoosick, NY. Attendees participated openly in several sessions, which focused on the benefits of small boarding schools, and ways in which their nurturing environment could effectively be marketed. Participants felt they could be candid about problems they faced in competing with schools, which offered a plethora of academic and athletic options. The feeling of camaraderie and friendships, which evolved from this conference, has sustained itself and has become a tradition. See list of locations of past conferences here.

2020 Members

Join SBSA

Board Members


SBSA is led by an elected Board made up of representatives from member schools and educational consultants. Members serve two-year terms and may be re-elected.

David Hodgson, President
Assistant Head of School
Vermont Academy
Saxtons River, VT

Nancy Nolan, Vice President
Educational and Enrollment Consultant
Richmond, VA

Carolyn Orsini Nelson, Secretary
Educational Consultant
McMillan Education
Boston, MA

David Damico, Treasurer
Director of Admissions
North Country School
Lake Placid, NY

Maureen Brennan
Educational & Therapeutic Placement Consultant
Brennan Family Consulting
Stonington, CT

Margo Cardner
Senior Recruitment Officer
Buxton School
Williamstown, MA

Ray Cross
Director of Enrollment Management
St. Andrew's School
Barrington, RI

Bernd Foecking
Hampshire Country School - Admissions
Immediate Past Head of School
Rindge, NH

Michele Gorman
Educational Consultant
West Hartford, CT

Allison Letourneau
Associate Head of School for Enrollment Management
The White Mountain School
Bethlehem, NH

Lisa Leidy
CEO
Square Spot Design
Manchester, NH

Lisa Pelrine
Director of Enrollment Management
Chapel Hill-Chauncy Hall School
Waltham, MA

C.J. Spirito
Head of School
Rock Point School
Burlington, VT

Emeritus:

Joanne Carruthers
Director of Admission
Stanstead College
Stanstead, QC Canada

Ex-Officio

David Tuttle
Director of Enrollment Management
Westover School
Middlebury, CT