Board of Trustees

Strong governance drives student success. Below is a message from the Chair of the Board of Trustees. 
Trustees of Rippowam Cisqua School are fiduciaries to the institution as a whole and are collectively responsible for overseeing the welfare of the School and the pursuit of its mission.

A vital part of that oversight is ensuring that all legal obligations are met and that sound financial management is provided for both current and future operations. Although trustees often have other relationships with the School – as alumni, parents, or relatives of current or former students – each trustee must put aside these personal relationships and concern him or herself solely with what is in the best current and long-term interests of the institution as a whole. The Board monitors the success of the School in fulfilling its mission and works in partnership with the Head of School to establish principles that will best serve the School, while the Head of School implements the policies and procedures to fulfill these principles on an operational basis.

Board members are nominated by the Committee on Trustees and elected by the full Board. New Board members are selected based upon the immediate and long-term needs of the School. Each trustee candidate must demonstrate commitment and service to the institution. The full Board meets at least five times a year, on and off campus, to receive and discuss reports from the Head of School and other administrators, Board Committees, and outside consultants where appropriate.

2021-22 Board of Trustees

List of 5 items.

  • Peter B. Freund '91, Chair

    Peter Freund joined the Board of Trustees in 2013 and serves on the Executive Committee as Vice Chair. He is also the Co-Chair of the Campaign Steering Committee and serves on the Advancement Committee, the Committee on Trustees, the Compensation Committee, the Finance & Audit Committee, the Investment Committee and the Master Plan Task Force.

    Peter is the principal owner of Trinity Sports Holdings, a portfolio company which both owns and operates professional sports teams and venues throughout North America. Trinity Sports Holdings portfolio includes interests in Major League Baseball’s New York Yankees and Minor League Baseball’s Memphis Redbirds, Charleston RiverDogs and Williamsport Crosscutters.  

    Peter lives in Katonah and is the father of Winnie ’23, and Wren ’23. A member of the RCS class of 1991, Peter received a B.A. in History from Dartmouth College.
  • Whitney Brown, Co-Vice Chair

    Whitney Brown joined the Board of Trustees in 2014 and has been a member of the Executive Committee since 2015. She is the Chair of the Marketing & Enrollment Committee, Chair of the Committee on Trustees and she serves on the Diversity and Inclusion Task Force. Most recently,  Whitney led the Board’s efforts to revise of our School’s Mission Statement.  

    Whitney serves as Vice President of the Board of Trustees of the Lawrenceville School on which she has served since 2006 and was Co-Chair of their recent Head of School Search Committee. An active and dedicated RCS parent volunteer, Whitney is a former Parents Association Executive Committee member, and a Co-Chair of the 2014 Celestial Auction.

    Whitney and her husband Lee live in Bedford with their three children, Hale ’19, Henry ’22, and Millie ’25. Whitney received a B.A. in Political Science from Duke University.
  • Abby Gerry, Co-Vice Chair

    A graduate of Duke University with a Masters in Childhood Education from New York University, Abby is the mother of two children at RCS -- Stephanie ’27 in second grade, and Charlie ’30 in SPK. After teaching for five years in New York City at the Little Red Schoolhouse, Abby and her husband, Lloyd, moved to Pound Ridge to raise their family. They chose RCS because of the strong sense of community that they felt right when they arrived. “It is a magical place focused on the ages of my kids, and it became obvious there is no better place to build a foundation for a love of learning.”  

    Her time teaching in independent schools coupled with her passion for philanthropy has allowed her to take on many roles at RCS. As a volunteer for the Foundations Auction in 2016, in both the Auction Office and on the Special Projects Team, she went on to co-chair all auction donations for the Imagine Benefit in 2019.

    Since joining the RCS Board of Trustees in 2017, Abby has devoted time to chairing the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion committee, and, most recently, chairing the Campaign for Together 2020. With an opportunity to gather enthusiastic volunteers while expanding the infrastructure of the Cantitoe Street campus, she shares that “this is a momentous time.” She adds, “We have the power to enrich the academic environment, to personalize each child’s experience, and to shape the future for the next generation of students. I am excited to have new families, past families, alumni, and grandparents joining us as we reach our goals.”

    Abby also serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the Bedford Historical Society, and she serves on the Board of Visitors of Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment as well as the National Council of the World Wildlife Fund.
  • Charlene Sy Ryan, Treasurer

    Charlene is currently a Partner at Chart Capital, a New York-based private equity firm. She has had an extensive career within private equity and corporate finance. During her fifteen-year tenure at Chart Capital, Charlene has led investments within the health and wellness, energy infrastructure, and manufacturing sectors. She has also served as a Board Director and/or board observer of multiple portfolio companies at various stages of growth and maturity. In addition to investment responsibilities, Charlene oversees Chart Capital’s compliance and finance functions, and manages relationships with the firm’s investors, which include major state and city pension funds, leading educational endowments, and family offices. Prior to joining Chart, Charlene executed senior and mezzanine leveraged credit transactions at Credit Agricole, a French financial institution.
    Charlene is an active member of the Bedford community. She volunteers at local organizations including Healing the Children North East, an organization that provides critical medical and surgical care to children around the world. Charlene also serves as a member of the Rippowam Cisqua Campaign Steering Committee.
    Charlene attended Phillips Exeter Academy and received a B.S.B.A. from the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University. Charlene and her husband, Daniel Ryan ’93, live in Bedford with their two children, Reed ’27 and Morgan ’29.
  • Ben Harris, Secretary

    Ben currently serves as President of Gramercy Property Trust, a New York-based REIT. Ben was part of the three person management team recruited to take over Gramercy in 2012. Prior to his current job, Ben was Head of U.S. Investments at W. P. Carey & Co. LLC, a New York based real estate investment firm. Ben grew up in Westport, Connecticut, and Ontario, Canada, and graduated from the University of King’s College in Canada. Ben and his wife, Laura, live in Bedford with their three children, Louisa ’24, Theodora ’25, and George ’29.
Sonja Bartlett
Christina Bresani
Jonathan Childs
Kelly Coles
Nancy Dwyer Eaves ’92
James Fayed
David Gordon
Harry Grand '93, RCSAA Chair
Amy Harsch
Richard C. Mugler III
D. Bryce O'Brien
Christopher H. Pachios
Will Reeve '07
Sara Slocum
Daniel van Starrenburg
Page Vincent '79

Ex Officio

Colm MacMahon, Head of School
David Brown, Director of Finance
Julie Cooper, Parents Association Chair
Daphne Viders, Director of Development
Rippowam Cisqua School
439 Cantitoe Street 
Bedford, NY 10506
phone: (914) 244-1250
Rippowam Cisqua School is a PreK-Grade 9 independent day school in Westchester County, New York. RCS offers challenging academics built on innovation, fine and performing arts, competitive athletics, wellness, leadership, service learning, and a wide selection of extracurricular activities.
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