Board of Trustees
Charles H. Smith III, MPA.H.
Charlie is currently employed as the Financial Administrator at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs in the Faculty of Arts & Sciences, Harvard University. For five years he was an instructor in the Health Management program at Northeastern University. He has extensive volunteer experience with the Special Olympics Massachusetts, including several years as Co-Director of the SOMA Summer Games, and as an evaluator for various SOMA events. In recent year he has volunteered in the Son-Rise play-therapy program with a young boy with autism. Charlie received his Master’s in Public Administration with a Health concentration from Suffolk University in 1991.
Patty James, M.B.A
Patty volunteered in a parent-directed Son-Rise play-therapy program with a young boy with autism from 2006-2008. She is the parent of two daughters who attended the Waldorf School in Lexington from kindergarten through 8th grade. While her children attended The Waldorf School Patty was involved in all aspects of school activities, including studying the Waldorf philosophy of education and how the curriculum supported children’s developmental stages socially and emotionally. She also volunteered part-time in the business office. In 1982, Patty received an MBA from Simmons Graduate School of Management, and held positions of Paralegal in a large Boston law firm and Executive Assistant to the President of a small consulting firm in the Boston area.
Timothy B. Lee, Ed.M.
A Certified Educational Planner, Timothy B. Lee has guided young people to make informed educational decisions for over three decades. Before entering private practice, he was associate director of admissions for two years and placement advisor for five years at two leading New England schools. Mr. Lee graduated from Harvard College and received a master’s degree in adolescent development from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. As the director of educational services at Advocates for Human Potential, Tim worked with students to find the best fit for an independent school or college as well as with those seeking alternatives to meet their learning or emotional needs. He is an active member of the Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA) the professional association for independent educational consultants. Tim served on the Board for Directors for 9 years. Elected to the executive committee he was Vice President of Ethics and Practices and served as President for 2 years. He is a member of the New England Association of College Admission Counseling, National Association for College Admission Counseling, and American Institute of Certified Educational Planners. Tim currently works as an independent educational consultant for the North Bridge Advisory Group.
Christopher F. Brown, AIA
Chris is an Associate with Flansburgh Architects, an international, award-winning, architectural planning & design firm specializing in educational facilities. Chris has over twenty-five years experience designing independent, charter, and public schools, mixed-use buildings, multi & single-family residential projects, and two national memorials.
Chris earned his Masters in Architecture from the University of Maryland and Bachelor’s from Colby College. He is NCARB certified and a registered architect in Massachusetts, the District of Columbia, Maryland, Virginia and Pennsylvania. He is a member of the US Green Building Council and Cascadia.org. Chris has served as a studio instructor, thesis advisor, and student mentor at the Boston Architectural College since 1995.
Charles E. Combs, Ph.D.
Charles is currently a Higher Education Consultant with The Education Alliance and President of Arts|Learning, a non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the Arts in Massachusetts K-12 schools. Prior to his retirement, he served as chair of the Liberal Arts Department at Berklee College of Music from 1990 to 2006.
While on leave from Berklee Dr. Combs served as Interim Associate Director of the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education (CIHE) of the New England Association of School and Colleges (NEASC). Before coming to Berklee, he was an Associate Professor at Plymouth State University (NH), where he co-founded the Music & Theatre Department, founded the theatre major and served as Director of Theatre for 12 years. In addition, he was a team leader in developing and planning the new Silver Center for the Arts. During that time he was also editor of the Children’s Theatre Review and the Youth Theatre Journal, and founding editor of the New England Theatre Journal. Additionally, during the 1980s, he was also a Senior Lecturer in Lesley University’s Creative Arts in Learning graduate program.
Prior to coming to New England, Dr. Combs taught at the Secondary level, the University of Oregon, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he received his Ph.D. in Theatre & Drama, Educational Psychology, and Curriculum & Instruction.
Susan Diller has been the head of school at Touchstone Community School since 2011. Prior to Touchstone, Susan served as co-director at the Atrium School and as Director of Marketing and Admissions at the Rashi School. Susan believes deeply in the power of progressive education having worked and taught at the Atrium School, the Rashi School, Winsor School and Cambridge Friends School. Susan is happy to serve on the Tremont Board, having learned about Tremont at its inception and over its start-up years.
Andrew Flagel, Ph.D.
Andrew Flagel is the Senior Vice President for Students and Enrollment at Brandeis University, overseeing the offices of admissions, athletics, career services, student activities, financial aid, conduct, housing, student accounts, orientation, and the inter cultural center, among others. Andrew received his bachelor degree in philosophy and psychology and his masters in education from The George Washington University, and his PhD in education from Michigan State University. Andrew started his career at GW, and subsequently worked as the director for enrollment management, public relations, and college counseling for the Congressional Youth Leadership Council. He was also previously the Director of Admissions for the University of Michigan’s Flint campus, and Dean of Admissions and Associate Vice President for Enrollment Development at George Mason University. He has additionally served as the executive director for the Washington Youth Summit on the Environment and the Washington Journalism and Media Conference, and currently as executive director for the Global Youth Summit on the Future of Medicine, and the Young Leaders Conference on Israel Studies. Andrew was national membership chair for the National Association for College Admissions Counseling, a member of the Genesee County k-20 development commission, the Blue Ribbon Panel on admissions policies for the Thomas Jefferson Magnet High School, the Fairfax County Schools Superintendent’s Advisory Council, and is currently on the U.S. News and World Report Educational Advisory Board.
In her role as PAREXEL’s Corporate Vice President, Compensation, Benefits and HRIS, Michele Fournier has global responsibility for the design and management of all total reward programs and Human Resource systems. In her more than 30 years of HR experience she has held both corporate and consulting roles in the United States and abroad, having completed several short-term expat assignments in various European offices. She has extensive experience establishing and promoting compensation and benefits strategies that includes working with boards of directors, compensation committees and shareholder services. Prior to joining PAREXEL, Ms. Fournier held a variety of senior Human Resource leadership roles. Most recently, she was Corporate Vice President of Global Human Resources and Corporate Services at PTC in Needham, Massachusetts. She has also worked as a consultant and held compensation and benefit leadership positions at Cambridge Technology Partners (CTP), William M. Mercer, and Medtronic. Ms. Fournier has a keen interest in innovational approaches to elementary and secondary education and personalized learning. Ms. Fournier earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Michigan and is a Certified Compensation Professional (CCP).
Tina Grotzer, Ed.D
Tina Grotzer, Associate Professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and Senior Researcher at Harvard Project Zero, is a cognitive scientist who studies learning in formal and informal contexts. She teaches courses in pedagogy, curriculum, instructional design and learning. She has received Career awards from the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Government for her research which identifies how assumptions about the nature of causality impact our ability to deal with complexity in our world. In addition to many articles, her published works include the book, Learning Causality in a Complex World, and the Causal Patterns in Science Curriculum series (chosen as a model by the Massachusetts Department of Education). With collaborator Chris Dede, she has developed curriculum that leverage new technologies to teach complex environmental concepts. Tina has advised educational organizations such as WGBH’s Sustainability Project, PBSKids Next Generation Advisory Board, and the Coastal Studies for Girls Program. Prior to her current position, Tina was a district-wide program coordinator and teacher in the Arlington Public Schools and a teacher at Poughkeepsie Day School. She continues to work with schools nationally and internationally. She holds a doctorate and master’s degree from Harvard University and a BA from Vassar College.
Betsy Hlavacek, M.A., NCC
Betsy’s personal and professional lives have always been connected to education. Trained as an elementary school teacher at the University of Vermont, Betsy was a classroom teacher for the first part of her career. After her two daughters were born she found multiple opportunities in and around education; as a founding member of two childcare centers, as a member of a home-based team to a one-on-one program for a 4 year old boy with Autism based upon the Son-Rise program, teaching drama, consulting to the Dean of Faculty at The Lawrenceville School on professional development, college counseling and academic support. Prior to CLP, Betsy was a board member at the National Sports Academy in Lake Placid, NY. During this time she served as a member of the admissions committee and the board coordinator of an accreditation review. Most recently, she graduated with a Master’s Degree in Counseling at The College of New Jersey.
Mark L. Virello, M.B.A.
Mark L. Virello is the Chief Financial Officer of Labouré College located in Milton, Massachusetts. Mr. Virello has over 20 years of senior level education industry experience. Other recent roles included senior financial positions at Wilberforce University and New England College. Mr. Virello holds a MBA in Financial Management from Wright State University and a BS in Management from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Early in his career he was a tutor and Business Manager at Pats Peak Academy, a tutoring program for aspiring skiing athletes. Mr. Virello has coached skiing and soccer. Currently, he is an avid cyclist.