Penny AbrahamsSenior Consultant & Advancement Department Head, ISM
Penny Abrahams first joined Independent School Management in 2010 as a member of the Advancement Academy’s founding faculty. As a senior consultant, she specializes in marketing communications, enrollment management, and development. Her experience in these areas comes from working in private independent schools and other nonprofits for more than 20 years. Penny also serves as the advancement department head, ensuring effective content development and service delivery for ISM’s enrollment, marketing communications, and development consulting.
Penny began her career in schools at Ravenscroft School as an annual fund director and then as director of communications. She then served as the director of admissions & marketing at Academy at the Lakes in Tampa, FL.
She graduated with a B.A. in journalism and mass communication from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and holds a Digital Marketing Certificate from the University of Vermont. She also attained International Advancement Program—Leader certification in 2012. Penny has served on the board of trustees for Ravenscroft since 2018, and currently chairs the advancement committee.
Palmer BallPresident, Palmer Ball Consulting
Palmer is the assistant to the head for finance at St. Joseph’s Catholic School in Greenville, SC, and served as business manager at Spartanburg Day for 21 years. Palmer taught the school finance class at Klingenstein (Columbia University) with NBOA and is the executive director of PAIS, representing independent schools in SC. She also consults with independent school financial operations.
Palmer received NBOA’s prestigious Ken White Award, served two terms on NBOA’s board of directors, and was elected to ABOIS. She has served on the faculty of NBOA’s Business Officer Institute multiple times, served as a faculty mentor for NBOA’s 2021-22 and 2022-23 Leadership Academy with Vanderbilt University, and has given numerous presentations at national and regional conferences.
Glyn CowlishawHead of School, Providence Day School
Dr. Glyn Cowlishaw is head of school at Providence Day School. Before PDS, he served as head of school, teacher, and coach at Pinewood Preparatory School. During his tenure, he initiated and implemented a K-12 curriculum, guided the school to its inaugural SACS accreditation, doubled enrollment, supervised the construction of a campus consisting of one construction project per year, and developed a climate of giving via annual and capital funds and endowment.
Glyn began his teaching career in 1980 in the United Kingdom. He taught in high school and middle school and lectured in a college before entering the world of international education in 1986 with a teaching position in Kuwait. He taught kindergarten through 12th grade before taking a school administrative role in 1988. He served as a high school principal in Cairo, Egypt, from 1991 to 1995, before taking a graduate assistant position at the University of Bath. In 2005, Glyn received the Dr. Charles Aimar Educational Leadership Award.
Glyn earned his B.Ed. from the University of Reading (U.K.), his M.Ed. from the University of Leeds (U.K.), his Ed.S. from The Citadel (SC), and his Ed.D. from South Carolina State University. He also served as a Visiting Fellow at the Klingenstein Center at Columbia University (N.Y.).
DuBose EglestonHead of School, Porter-Gaud School
D. DuBose Egleston, Jr. is the sixth head of school of Porter-Gaud and has served in this role since 2009. He serves on the board of trustees for SAIS and the governing board of NAES. Previously, he served as PG’s assistant head for finance and operations and as director of technology. He has more than 20 years of experience in independent schools.
As a student, DuBose attended O’Quinn and then Porter-Gaud for 12 years, graduating in 1993. He then studied chemistry and biology at Furman University, received a M.B.A. at The Citadel, and studied as a Klingenstein Fellow at Columbia University.
Phil HigginsonConsultant, ISM
Phil Higginson, IAP-L, will join ISM as a full-time development and fundraising consultant on July 1, 2023. A nationally recognized independent school development leader, Phil brings tremendous experience in annual giving, major gifts, capital campaigns, and endowment.
Phil most recently served at Ravenscroft School in Raleigh, NC. In over 20 years with this school, starting as the director of development and transitioning to the associate head of school for philanthropy, he helped establish 75 new endowments equating to nearly $14M raised in outright and deferred gifts. He started his career in 1987 at Washington International School, Washington DC. During his 36 years of independent school advancement work, he has also served at Sandy Springs Friends School, MD; Landon School, MD; St. Albans, Washington, DC; and Norwood School, MD. In addition, he served as a member of the CASE District III Board. He chaired the CASE/NAIS conference in 2008 and is a member of the CASE Laureates.
Ken HydeDirector of Admission and Enrollment, Porter-Gaud School
Ken Hyde serves as the director of admission and enrollment at Porter-Gaud School, overseeing the enrollment management program at a 1-12 co-ed day school with two satellite preschool campuses. He has over 25 years professional experience in independent schools ranging from teacher, coach, advisor, dorm head, dean of students, and presently, enrollment professional. Ken earned a B.A. in economics from UNC at Chapel Hill and his master’s in school administration from UNC at Greensboro.
Chris LukachCEO, AKCG – Public Relations Counselors
Chris Lukach, APR, is CEO and owner of AKCG – Public Relations Counselors, a national public relations firm specializing in issue and crisis preparedness and response. Chris has been instrumental in developing issue and crisis communications plans and advising independent school clients.
Chris also leads the firm’s spokesperson training team, guiding subject matter experts to be effective communicators in today’s nuanced and challenging media landscape.
Chris is a past president and chair of the Philadelphia Public Relations Association and the youngest leader in the association’s 70-year history. He remains active with the organization, serving as a director and a past-presidential board appointee. A graduate of Rowan University and an active member of the school’s alumni community, Chris was named the university’s “Distinguished Alumnus” in 2018. In 2019, Chris earned his master of legal studies degree from Drexel University. He serves on the board of WHYY, Inc. the Philadelphia area’s NPR affiliate.
Georgy Ann PeluchiwskiPartner, Greenwich Leadership Partners
Georgy Ann Peluchiwski is currently a partner at Greenwich Leadership Partners. She brings three decades of experience spanning financial services, nonprofit board service, and independent school leadership to her work as consultant and coach, advising boards and heads of school and serving as faculty for the GLP Women’s Leadership Summit. Georgy Ann’s areas of expertise include governance, finance, strategic planning, and organizational design.
Georgy Ann has served on many board committees, including leadership roles in the parent association and capital campaigns. She currently serves on the board of The Independent School Chairs Association.
Prior to her work in the nonprofit sector, Georgy Ann’s professional experience included roles in commercial banking, structured finance, and forensic financial analysis and consulting. She has a B.A. in liberal arts and B.B.A. in finance from the University of Texas and a Master’s of Management in finance and marketing from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University.
Stephanie RogenPrincipal & Founder, Greenwich Leadership Partners
Stephanie Rogen is a consultant, coach, and facilitator to educational and not-for-profit leadership. Her work integrates more than twenty-five years’ experience in the corporate, educational, and not-for-profit sectors. Stephanie brings a fresh approach to strategy, leadership development, and transformational change in schools and organizations. An experienced executive coach and facilitator, she works with a diverse range of nationally recognized schools and not-for-profits ranging from Columbia University to The White House Project and Northwell Health.
Stephanie serves as an instructor at the UPenn Graduate School of Education. She earned a B.A in economics with a minor in organizational behavior from Brown University and a M.Ed. in administration and policy from Harvard University. She received her certification in executive and organizational coaching from Columbia University in 2011.
She has served on the boards of Blair Academy, St. Luke’s School, the Greenwich United Way, and Year Up.
Sonja TaylorAssistant Head for Academic Affairs, Charlotte Latin School
Sonja has been the assistant head of school at Charlotte Latin School since 2019. She transitioned into the assistant head’s role after serving as Latin’s director of diversity and inclusion for two years. Prior to Latin, Sonja held several roles in public and boarding schools, including diversity and inclusion leader, department chair, and high school teacher of chemistry and physics. Sonja also spent more than 12 years working in educational publishing both as a science content writer and developer, and a manager of curriculum and assessment projects in several states. Early in her career, Sonja worked as a analytical chemist in industrial settings and in consulting firms.
Derrick WillardHead of School, Augusta Preparatory Day School
Derrick Willard is the head of Augusta Preparatory Day School which serves 450 PK-12 students from the Augusta, GA, area. He is a U.S. Army veteran who has become a career educator passionate about creating optimal learning environments within our brick-and-mortar schools as well as creating productive virtual learning environments online.
During his four-year tenure at Augusta Prep, Derrick helped increase enrollment by 20%, grow the endowment 15%, double alumni giving, raise 9.3 million dollars for a capital campaign, and start construction on a unique sciences and engineering facility.
Before assuming the role as head of school at APDS, he was at Providence Day School in Charlotte, NC. He served PDS for 22 years in various roles including science teacher, soccer coach, honor council chair, curriculum coordinator, department chair, accreditation coordinator, director of professional development and assistant head of school for academic affairs.
Derrick began his teaching career in Sanford, NC, in a public high school teaching science and coaching soccer. Before becoming an educator, Derrick served as a U.S. Army Armor Officer for a little over four years, leading armored cavalry units in the Republic of South Korea and at Ft. Bragg, NC.
Derrick earned his B.S. in biology from Davidson College, and his M.Ed. from the Winthrop University.
Twitter (head of school)
Debra WilsonPresident, SAIS
Debra joined the SAIS staff in July 2019. She grew up in Connecticut, where she graduated from the Williams School, an independent school located on the campus of Connecticut College. Debra received her B.A. in English from Sewanee, The University of the South, and her J.D. from the University of South Carolina at Columbia. She previously served as general counsel for NAIS for 19 years. Before joining the NAIS staff, Debra was a tax litigator at the Department of Justice. Her past and current board service includes EMA-The Enrollment Management Association, GEB-Global Education Benchmarking, MISBO-Mid-South Independent School Business Officers, and NNSP-National Network of School Partnerships. She is an avid reader, photographer, and cook who loves to be outdoors in the low country of South Carolina.