The gcLi faculty is comprised of an internationally
renowned expert on learning and brain science,
who serves as the Institute Scholar, and distinguished educators from across the country, who have been pioneering leadership development methods in schools.
To learn more about our faculty, please click on the names to the left.
Executive Director, gcLi
Ted Fish, Ed.D., M.B.A. has had a wide-ranging career in education. He has served as a school founder and director; a teacher of English, History and Math; and an educational consultant who has worked with independent schools, public school districts, and non-profit organizations internationally. He specializes in leadership, literacy and organizational change. Dr. Fish began doing research and evaluation for the gcLi in 2005, the inaugural year of the Lab. He continued in that capacity for the next four years, until his appointment as executive director in July 2009. Dr. Fish has served on various committees, helping to provide strategic guidance to the Santa Fe Public School District. As president of the nonprofit Link Hands for Humanity, he helps to oversee philanthropic projects in education and medicine in India and Thailand. Dr. Fish holds a doctorate in educational leadership and a master's in philosophy and education from Teachers College, Columbia University; as well as a master's in business administration from the University of New Mexico. He is the author of numerous magazine articles, including "Flaring the Flame: teaching leadership in our schools," published in the Winter 2007 edition of Independent School magazine, and “The Educational Challenge of Our Times” (Winter, 2011).
Institute Scholar, gcLi
Author and Educational Consultant
JoAnn Deak, Ph.D., has spent more than 20 years as an educator and school psychologist. She began her career as an elementary teacher and then received her Ph.D. from Kent State, one of only three universities in the United States to have a specialty in preventive psychology. At Kent, she focused on how to assess environmental, school and family patterns that lead to the healthy development of children and conversely, those patterns that cause issues, problems and disabilities. Following her graduate work, Dr. Deak spent several years in private practice and then served as the director of the lower school and middle school at the Laurel School in Ohio. She was also Laurel’s founding director of early childhood. She left Laurel in 1999 to expand her role as a consultant to schools worldwide on issues of brain development, gender equity and optimal learning environments for boys and girls. Dr. Deak has been an advisor to Outward Bound, a past chair of the National Committee for Girls and Women in Independent Schools, on the advisory board for the Center on Research for Girls [Laurel School], for the Seattle Girls’ School, Bromley Brook School, the Red Oak School, Power Play and GOAL. She consults with organizations and schools across the United States. Most recently, she has worked internationally with schools, organizations, associations and parent groups in every continent [except Antarctica!]. This includes: Argentina, Australia, Borneo, Canada, China, Denmark, England, Ethiopia, France, India, Kenya, the Philippines, Morocco, Nepal, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Portugal, Scotland, South Africa, Switzerland, Taiwan, Tanzania, Thailand, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates. She has been awarded the Woman of Achievement Award by the National Coalition of Girls’ Schools, was given the first Female Educator of the Year Award by Orchard House School, and the Outstanding Partner for Girls Award from Clemson University. She has been named the Visiting Scholar in New Zealand, the Visiting Scholar for Montessori Children’s House and has been the Institute Scholar for the Gardner Carney Leadership Institute in Colorado Springs since its inception. Dr Deak has written three books: Your Fantastic Elastic Brain, Little Pickle Press, 2011. [also available in Mandarin, 2012, from The DEAK Group or Jiangxi Universities and Colleges Press] How Girls Thrive, Green Blanket Press, 2010. Spanish Version: Assi alcanzan el exito las ninas, Green Blanket Press, 2011. Girls Will Be Girls: Raising Confident and Courageous Daughters, Hyperion, 2002. [now available on ebooks]
Dean of Faculty of the gcLi
Head of School, Kents Hill School
LaCasse is currently head of Kents Hills School in Kents Hill, ME. He graduated with a B.A. in History from Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine; and from the Klingenstein Center, Teachers College at Columbia University with a M.A. in Private School Leadership. LaCasse held the Shotwell Chair for Leadership and Character Development at Berkshire School. He also directed the Ritt Kellogg Mountain Program; served as dean of the sixth and fourth forms; taught European History and Medieval History; and coached the ski and crew programs. Following Berkshire, he was the dean of students at Fountain Valley School of Colorado, and following FVS, he was the head of senior school at Shadyside Academy in Pittsburgh, PA.
Incoming Upper School Director, Calverton School
Jordan is the Upper School Director of the Calverton School in Huntingtown, MD (effective July 1). He comes to Calverton with a rich educational background, including having been Academic Dean and Director of Leadership Development at the Pine School in Hobe, Fl; Dean of students at the Pomfret School in Pomfret, Conn; a high school director with High Tech High, a charter school organization in San Diego, California; and director of the leadership program, as well as teacher, dorm head and coach at Suffield Academy in Connecticut. To the gcLi, Jordan brings a wealth of hands-on experience helping students and teachers develop ways of thinking, skills, and habits that enhance leadership qualities. He earned his B.A. in classics from Haverford College and his M.A. in education administration from the Klingenstein Center, Teachers College, Columbia University.
Executive Director, Boniuk Center for
Religious Tolerance, Rice University, TX
Pardee is executive director of the Boniuk Center for Religious Tolerance at Rice University, which is dedicated to nurturing tolerance among people of all and no faiths, especially youth, and to studying the conditions in which tolerance and intolerance flourish.
He did his undergraduate work at Princeton University, earned his M.A. in American Studies from Boston University, and a second M.A. in Private School Leadership from Columbia Teachers College in New York City.
Prior to his position at Rice, Pardee served as director of character education at the Kinkaid School in Houston, Texas, and as executive director of the Leadership Initiative at Suffield Academy in Connecticut. He also has several years experience teaching and coaching at various independent schools, including Albuquerque Academy in New Mexico and Concord Academy in Massachusetts. His years of research and first-hand experience are a great asset in exploring both the theoretical and practical applications of leadership training and character development at the gcLi Leadership Lab.
Director of Multicultural Education,
Pingree School, MA
Trina is director of multicultural education at Pingree School in South Hamilton, Mass., where she facilitates discussions on social justice and equity topics with students, faculty, administrators and parents. In her role, she works collaboratively with members of her administrative team and members of both the Multicultural Education faculty and staff steering committee, and parent committee to make sure that Pingree is a community that is safe and inclusive for all students.
She also works to create educational programs and events that help the members of the community to develop the cultural competencies that are the hallmark of excellent teaching and learning environments. She earned her B.A. in urban studies with a concentration in economics from Trinity College where she graduated with the distinction of President’s Fellow and editor of the Trinity Papers, an annual publication of student writings.
During her career in education, Trina has worked and lived at Pomfret School in Connecticut and The Peddie School in New Jersey, and she has home schooled two of her children from 3rd grade to 8th grade. While at Pomfret, Trina worked as the east coast co-chair of the planning committee for the NAIS People of Color Conference. As a home schooling parent, she taught students and their parents in a cooperative learning environment. She also created her own home school curriculum. In independent schools, she has worked as an associate director of admission, a teacher, diversity consultant, adviser and dorm parent.
To the gcLi, Trina brings experience helping students, educators and parents develop the cultural competencies needed to strengthen their leadership qualities.
Director, gcLi Social Media
Incoming Head of Middle School, Fredericksburg Academy
Robert Franz is the Head of Middle School at Fredericksburg Academy in Fredericksburg, VA. Before Robert’s appointment to Middle School Head, he served as the Department Chair of History and Director of Leadership Development at the Highland School in Warrenton VA. Robert’s time at Highland school was spent crafting a mission driven leadership program for grades 8-12 and developing an interdisciplinary global studies program for grades K-12. Robert is a 2008 gcLi alum who returned to gcLi in 2011 as a gcLi Scholar and later became the Director of Social Media. Robert’s extensive work in exploring creative techniques for utilizing technology within the classroom made him a natural fit for this position. He earned a B.A. in History from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, MEd from Old Dominion University, and an Ed Specialist Degree in Administration/ Supervision from the University of Virginia. A graduate of Princeton Day School, Robert’s experience in independent schools has ranged from teacher, coach, dean, admissions officer, global studies director and assistant head of school. He brings creative practical strategies towards implementing leadership programming . Robert continues to work arduously to promote the pedagogy of leadership on a regional and national level through social media and hands on experiences.
professor pearl rock kane—Dr. Kane is the founding director of the Klingenstein Center for Independent School Education at Teachers College, Columbia University. Under her guidance, the Center has become internationally renowned for its cutting edge programs for independent school educators.
VICE-DEAN DOUG LYNCH—Mr. Lynch is the former vice-dean of the Graduate School of Education at the University of Pennsylvania. Charged with driving innovation in education, Mr. Lynch initiated programs at Penn for international CLO’s, Teach For America, and prestigious boarding schools.
Professor Ellen Condliffe Lagemann—Dr. Lagemann is the Levy Institute Research Professor at Bard College, a former dean of the Harvard Graduate School of Education and a former president of the Spencer Foundation.
Dr. Gus Lee—Dr. Lee is a nationally recognized authority on character and ethics. He serves as Chair of Character Development at West Point and Chief Learning Officer for Integware, which is a character-centric Colorado Fast 50 corporation. Dr. Lee is also the author of six best-selling books.
Rear Admiral (Ret) Ray Smith—Admiral Smith was a Navy SEAL for 31 years and for four years was commander of the 2300 SEAL force, in addition to being in charge of the training program.
Mr. Patrick Bassett—Mr. Bassett is President of the National Association of Independent Schools (N.A.I.S.), a membership organization for more than 1,400 independent (private) schools and associations of schools in the U.S. and 250 affiliated schools and associations internationally.
Ms. Mindy Meads—Ms. Meads has held senior leadership positions throughout the business world, having served as CEO and President of Lands’ End; Executive Vice-President of Sears, Roebuck and Co; and Merchandise Manager of the Limited. Ms. Meads has also served as Member of the Board of Directors of the Federal Reserve Board of Chicago.