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The NEASC Commission on Independent Schools (NEASC-CIS) is made up of school heads, senior administrators and public members. Members are selected for three-year terms (renewable once) at the December annual meeting of delegates. In drawing up a slate, the Commission reviews nominations submitted by heads of school, and takes into consideration such factors as the balance between elementary and secondary schools, representation of all six states, and a mix of types of school – single sex and coed, boarding and day, religious and secular, large and small, etc. – that reflects the membership. 



  • Oversee the accreditation process, policies and procedures.
  • Recommend changes in Standards to the Board of NEASC.
  • Receive reports from visiting teams and from schools throughout the decennial cycle.
  • Decide on accreditation status of schools.
  • Report to the Board of NEASC concerning candidacy, initial or continued accreditation, or removal from accreditation.


  • The Commission typically holds two-day meetings in February, June, and November.
  • Schools are reviewed by one of two committees consisting of both elementary and secondary members.
  • One member reviews the Self-study, financial data and Visiting Team Report and makes a recommendation to the Commission.
  • All Commission members have access to the Visiting Team Report and participate in discussion.

Possible Actions Concerning Schools

  • Initial or Continuing Accreditation
  • Tabling of Initial Accreditation
  • Continuing Accreditation on Warning (Special Report and Focused Visit within One Year)
  • Probation Recommendation to Drop from Membership (if terms of Probation are not met)

Follow-up Actions

  • Schools that fail one or more standards at the time of the visit must document their compliance within one year.
  • All schools must file a 2-Year Interim Evaluation Report, addressing the major recommendations in the self-study and visiting committee report, and providing information on finances.
  • All schools must file a 5-Year Interim Evaluation Report, updating the Commission on changes, reviewing compliance with the standards, presenting current long-range plans, and submitting financial information.
  • The Commission may request a Special Progress Report on any subject and timetable.
  • The Commission may schedule a Focused Visit to the school following a Special Progress Report. All schools must file an Annual Report with data on enrollment and tuition, and information on any substantive change.


Chair of the Commission

Angela Pohlen
Executive Director, Catholic Academy of Bridgeport, Bridgeport, CT

Commission Members

Noor Ali 
Principal, Al-Hamra Academy, Shrewsbury, MA

Lisa Braiterman 
Lovell, ME
[Retired Chief Financial Officer, Brewster Academy]

Kerry Brennan
Headmaster, The Roxbury Latin School, West Roxbury, MA

Linda Brodeur 
President, Bishop Guertin High School, Nashua, NH

Kai Bynum 
Head of School, Hopkins School, New Haven, CT

Charles Cahn
Headmaster, Suffield Academy, Suffield, CT

Brian Cordeiro 
Principal, Saint Philomena School of the Sacred Heart, Portsmouth, RI

Laurie Hurd
Director of Development, Lincoln Academy, Newcastle, ME

Lisa Lanni
Principal, Holy Trinity Catholic Academy, Shelton, CT

Arthur Lisi
Principal, Monsignor Matthew F. Clarke Regional School, Wakefield, RI

Lisa Mahar
Keene, NH
[Retired Director of Development, Monadnock Waldorf School]

Erin Mayo
Head of School, Fryeburg Academy, Fryeburg, ME

Doris Messina
Principal, St. Michael School, Pawcatuck, CT

Nancy Naimey
Principal, Saint James School, Biddeford, ME

Jeffery Philbrick
Headmaster, Jesse Remington High School, Candia, NH

Ryan Plosker
Headmaster and Founder, New England Academy, Beverly, MA

Jennifer Rowe
Portland, ME
[Retired Head of School, Friends School of Portland]

Jennifer Roy
Head of School, Trinity Catholic Academy, Brockton, MA

Randall Smith
Assistant Head of School and CFO, The Putney School, Putney, VT

Mark Tashjian
Headmaster, Burr and Burton Academy, Manchester, VT

Margaret Williamson
Principal, St. Mary's School, Simsbury, CT

Carrie Wilson
Head of School, Bishop John A. Marshall School, Morrisville, VT

Katherine G. Windsor
Head of School, Miss Porter's School, Farmington, CT

Alex Zequeira
Head of School, St. John's High School, Shrewsbury, MA

Commission Actions

The NEASC Commission on Independent Schools meets three times a year to review reports from schools and Visiting Teams.

Upcoming Commission meetings:

  • June 20-21, 2022
  • November 7-8, 2022