Since joining EMA, Heather has led efforts to modernize the association’s technical infrastructure, update EMA’s signature assessments (notably the gold-standard SSAT), upgrade association services (improved professional development, global services, annual conference), and enhance core products (The Standard Application Online/SAO). Additionally, Heather has led EMA to launch new services for schools and families including: the online Character Skills Snapshot; EMA’s Practice Portal; the SSAT At Home (for use during COVID lockdowns); EMA’s online communities and data dashboards; and groundbreaking national research and special reports for the industry. Presently Heather is working with EMA’s DEIJ Think Tank, to shine a spotlight on innovative, inclusive enrollment practices within EMA’s 1,200+ member school community.
An industry thought leader, Heather has personally led the charge to reposition the work of enrollment management as both strategic and foundational to institutional success. She has written for Independent School magazine and NBOA’s Net Assets, and more recently has contributed a chapter in The Business of Independent Schools publication. She has been cited by the Wall Street Journal, Town and Country magazine, the New York Times and the Washington Post in stories on independent school enrollment trends. Heather speaks often to national and regional audiences on topics related to enrollment management and business matters. Heather is proud to have received NBOA’s 2023 Sarah Daignault Award honoring “outstanding support of independent schools, and generous support of NBOA and independent school business officers” – particularly given her commitment to strong partnerships between executive, finance, and enrollment leaders.
Heather’s career began in independent schools as an administrator, student advisor, and teacher at George School (Pennsylvania) and her alma mater Westtown School (Pennsylvania). She then embarked on a successful 23-year tenure in leadership roles with two of the world’s largest nonprofit independent school associations: first as associate director of The Association of Boarding Schools (TABS), then as director of admission and marketing services for the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS), leading to a vice presidency at NAIS overseeing membership, corporate affiliations, customer service, and the annual NAIS Conference.
Heather holds a B.A. in art history from Mount Holyoke College and a Master’s degree in educational administration from Harvard University. She has been a board member for over a dozen independent schools and independent school associations. She currently serves on the boards of United Educators, the New Jersey Association of Independent Schools, Viewpoint School (CA) and Sandy Spring Friends School (MD).