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The Commission on Independent Schools is made up of school heads, senior administrators and public members. Members are elected 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.


*Indicates second term concludes

Chair of the Commission

John J. King (2020*)
Brunswick, ME
[Retired Head of School, Hebron Academy]

Commission Members

Elaine Beam (2019)
Principal, St. Michael School, Brattleboro, VT

Lisa Braiterman (2019)
Chief Financial Officer, Brewster Academy, Wolfeboro, NH

Charles Cahn (2019)
Headmaster, Suffield Academy, Suffield, CT

Brian Cordeiro (2018)
Principal, St. Philomena School, Portsmouth, RI

Sean Dillon (2019)
Principal, Nativity School of Worcester, Worcester, MA

Daniel J. Ferris (2020)
Superintendent of Catholic Schools, Diocese of Providence, RI

Lawrence Fitzgerald (2018)
Principal, Saint John Paul II Regional School, Middletown, CT

William Gartside (2018)
Head of School, Saint Columbkille Partnership School, Brighton, MA

Michael Henriques (2020)
Head of School, Proctor Academy, Andover, NH

Michael G. Hirshfeld (2018)
Concord, NH
[Retired Rector, St. Paul's School]

Laurie Hurd (2020)
Executive Director, Independent Schools Association of Northern New England, Bath, ME

Christopher W. Keavy (2018)
Head of School, St. John Paul II High School and St. Francis Xavier Preparatory School, Hyannis, MA

Lisa Lanni (2020)
Principal, Holy Trinity Catholic Academy, Shelton, CT

Lisa Mahar (2018)
Keene, NH
[Retired Director of Development, Monadnock Waldorf School]

Denis Mailloux (2017)
Principal, St. Joseph Regional Junior High School, Manchester, NH

Maria O'Neill (2018)
Math Teacher, Kolbe Cathedral High School, Bridgeport, CT

Christopher Osgood (2019)
Public Member, Putney, VT

Vittoria Pacifico (2018*)
Interim President, Jackson Walnut Park Schools, Newton, MA

Angela Pohlen (2018)
Principal, Christ the King School, Burlington, VT

Jennifer Rowe (2019)
Head of School, Friends School of Portland, Cumberland Foreside, ME

Stephen Wilkins (2018)
Head of School, Carroll School, Lincoln, MA

Katherine G. Windsor (2018)
Head of School, Miss Porter's School, Farmington, CT

Elsie R. Wright (2018*)
Barrington, RI
[Retired Head of School, Barrington Christian Academy]

Alex Zequeira (2019)
Head of School, St. John's High School, Shrewsbury, MA

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Commission Actions

The Commission on Independent Schools meets three times a year to review reports from schools and visiting teams.

Upcoming Commission meetings:
November 5-6, 2018
February 4-5. 2019
June 24-25, 2019

View Recent Actions