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.

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.

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

Lisa Leidy, Vice President
Agency Principal
Square Spot Design
Manchester, NH

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

John Barrengos, Ed. D.
Director of Admission &
Financial Aid
The Putney School
Putney, VT

Scott Eckstein
Director of Enrollment Management and Financial Aid
Solebury School
New Hope, PA

Catie Gibbons
Director of Enrollment Management
Garrison Forest School
Owings Mills, MD

Michele Gorman
Educational Consultant
West Hartford, CT

Gingi Sheppard
Associate Director of Admissions
Bishop’s College School
Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada

Ann Snyder
Director, Independent and International Schools
Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE)

David Tuttle
Director of Recruitment and External Affairs
Canterbury School
New Milford, CT

Matthew Woodhall
Head of School
The Woodhall School
Bethlehem, CT


Joanne Carruthers
Director of Admission
Stanstead College
Stanstead, QC Canada