Board of Trustees

Professional Children’s School is a not-for-profit independent day school governed by a self-perpetuating Board of Trustees. The Board of Trustees is responsible for the financial stability of the school. The Board hires the Head of School. The Head is responsible for administering the school and designing and implementing the curriculum. The Board, together with the Head of School, provides leadership and the framework within which the faculty serve the mission of the school each day as they teach their students.

Board Meeting Dates

​Thursday, September 28, 2023

Thursday, December 7, 2023

Thursday, January 25, 2024

Thursday, March 7, 2024

Thursday, May 16, 2024

Melanie Harris*

Melanie Harris*

Chair

Melanie Harris

Chair

Melanie Harris is a graduate of Professional Children’s School.  She trained at the School of American Ballet and studied ballet while attending PCS.  Melanie received her Bachelor of Science in Marketing and Organizational Communications from Emerson College.  She has spent over 15 years as a private equity professional focused on Investor Relations. She is currently the Head of Marketing & Investor Relations at Centerview Capital, a private investment firm focused on the consumer and technology sectors. Melanie has served on the Board of Trustees since 2015 and was elected Board Chair in 2019.

Stephanie J. Hull

Stephanie J. Hull

Treasurer

Stephanie J. Hull

Treasurer
Stephanie was elected to the Board in 2007. She is President and CEO of Girls, Inc., the organization that inspires all girls to be strong, smart, and bold through direct service and advocacy. Prior to joining Girls Inc., Stephanie was the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at the WW Foundation and was Head of The Brearley School from 2003-2011. She received her B.A. in French Literature from Wellesley College and her Ph.D. in Romance Languages and Literatures from Harvard University. Prior to Brearley, Stephanie served as Assistant to the President of Mount Holyoke College and was Secretary of the College and Adjunct Assistant Professor of French. She has taught French at Wellesley College and later at Dartmouth, where she also served as Assistant Dean of the College. She currently serves on the Boards of NYSAIS, Humanity in Action, and Code Nation, and is on the advisory board of Culture of Respect. She has served on the Board of Directors of the Guild of Independent Schools, was Secretary of the Head Mistresses Association of the East, and served on the Executive Council of the National Association of Principals of Schools for Girls (NAPSG).

Diane Kenney

Diane Kenney

Secretary

Diane Kenney

Secretary
Diane was elected to the Board of Trustees in 2006. She currently serves as Secretary of the Board, a position she also held from 2014 to 2016. She is a past Vice Chair and has served on the Governance Committee since 2006, serving as co-chair of the committee from 2007 to 2016. Diane has extensive human resources experience, most recently as Senior Vice President at Random House, Inc. Prior to that Diane was a senior vice president of human resources for the music division at Time Warner; Warner Music Group. She serves on the Board of the Bottomless Closet, a non-profit providing career coaching and training for women transitioning to the workforce, and was President from 2009-2012 and then Chair from 2012 to January 2015.

Amanda Bhalla

Amanda Bhalla

Amanda Bhalla

Amanda Bhalla is a strategist and practitioner in the areas of organization and culture change; employee experience; and employer branding. She is currently a Managing Director at Goodwin Procter, a global law firm, where she oversees the Goodwin Experience for its lawyers and professional staff. The  Goodwin Experience is principally focused on ensuring that members of the Goodwin community experience the firm as a place where they can do engaging work, develop in their careers, be appreciated and recognized, achieve balance and wellness, and feel a sense of inclusion and belonging.

Prior to joining Goodwin, Amanda worked for over 10 years at Prophet, a global transformation consultancy, where she was a Partner and a leader in its Organization & Culture practice. At Prophet, she led multidisciplinary, global teams to advise clients and design compelling, creative solutions to drive human-centered transformation. 

Amanda earned her BS at Duke University, majoring in Economics and minoring in Chinese. She holds a Master of Business Administration from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. Amanda was elected to the Board of Trustees in October 2018.

Donald B. Brant

Donald B. Brant

Donald B. Brant

Don joined the Board in 2005. He is chair of the Audit Committee and co-chair of the Governance Committee and a member of the Finance Committee. Don’s son William, a visual artist and musician, graduated from PCS in 2006 and from Wesleyan University in Connecticut in 2010. Until he retired in 2003, Don had been a partner in the law firm of Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy for 25 years, specializing in corporate and securities law. He recently retired as Chairman of National Conveyors Company, Inc., a privately-held engineering and manufacturing firm. He has served on the Advisory Committee to the Trustees of the Convent of the Sacred Heart School in New York (3 years), co-chaired with his wife, Susan, the Kent School Parents Fund (2 years) and was a member of the Connecticut College Parents Committee (4 years). He is active in Princeton alumni affairs, having served a five year term as Class Agent for his Class of 1964 and is now serving a second five year term as Class Secretary. He holds a B.A. from Princeton University, an LL.B. from Yale Law School and an LL.M. from NYU Law School. He and Susan live in Manhattan. In addition to Will, they have a daughter, Katherine, who graduated from Connecticut College in 2007 and is currently a teacher in San Francisco. (August, 2020)

Marian Brown

Marian Brown

Marian Brown

Marian Brown was elected to the PCS Board as a parent trustee in December of 2020. Marian’s daughter, Natalie, graduated from PCS in 2022 and also studied at the School of American Ballet while at PCS. A graduate of the University of Michigan, Marian is a longtime book publishing professional who specializes in publicity and marketing. Marian has worked with many distinguished authors including Salman Rushdie, Sebastian Junger, Anne Lamott and Lesley Stahl. She is currently an associate director of publicity at Henry Holt, a division of Macmillan publishing. She has also worked as an advisor to the Jewish Book Council. A lifelong New Yorker, Marian resides with her family on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. (11/2023)

Anthony Roth Costanzo*

Anthony Roth Costanzo*

Anthony Roth Costanzo*

Anthony attended PCS from grades 8 through 12, graduating in 2000. He began performing professionally at the age of 11 and has since appeared in opera, concert, recital, film, and on Broadway. He is a GRAMMY winner, a recipient of the 2020 Beverly Sills Award from the Metropolitan Opera, a winner of the 2020 Opera News Award, and Musical America’s 2019 Vocalist of the Year. Costanzo has appeared with many of the world’s leading opera houses including the Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera, English National Opera, Opera Philadelphia, Glyndebourne Opera Festival, Dallas Opera, Teatro Real Madrid, and Finnish National Opera. In concert he has sung with the New York Philharmonic, The Cleveland Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, Berlin Philharmonic, NDR at the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg, and the London Symphony Orchestra, among others. He also just finished a London run of his show "ONLY AN OCTAVE APART" with fellow performer Justin Vivian Bond. Anthony was elected to the PCS Board of Trustees in 2022 and serves on the Institutional Advancement Committee. 

Amy Crate*

Amy Crate*

Amy Crate

Amy Crate has been involved in the building and marketing of brands and nonprofit organizations for over 20 years. She is known for her innovative approach to creating unique, revenue generating opportunities for nonprofit organizations through corporate partnerships. Amy has served in senior marketing, communication, and advisory roles for Carolina Herrera, Mikimoto, New Yorkers for Children, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, and American Ballet Theater among others.

Amy began her career in advertising at Saatchi & Saatchi, BBDO, and DDB Worldwide where she helped create award winning advertisements for General Mills, Johnson & Johnson, New York Lottery, and Visa. She later had the opportunity to collaborate with Schering Plough and Veterans Aimed Towards Awareness to educate millions of veterans about their risk for hepatitis C and to encourage testing.

Amy dedicated a large part of her career to working closely with child welfare organizations focusing on awareness, development and corporate partnerships. She currently serves on the Youth Villages Massachusetts Board of Directors and she is a founding Board Member of Think of Us. Amy serves on the Board of Trustees of the Professional Children’s School in New York City.

Originally from Louisville, Kentucky, Amy moved to New York City to attend the Professional Children’s School to pursue a career in acting. She graduated cum laude from Barnard College at Columbia University, where she earned a BA in Psychology and a minor in Sociology. Amy currently resides in New York City and Hamilton, Massachusetts with her husband and four stepchildren.

Dr. James Dawson

Dr. James Dawson

Head of School

Dr. James Dawson

Head of School
James has served as Head of School at Professional Children’s School since July 1995. He received his Ph.D. in Behavior and his B.S. in Biology from the State University of New York at Albany where he also served on the faculty. James was elected to the Board of Trustees of the New York State Association of Independent Schools (NYSAIS) in November 2013 and currently serves as President; he served one year as Vice-President from 2015-2016 and he continues to serve on the Membership Committee; in 2014, he was also elected and continues to serve on the NYSAIS Health Insurance Program Advisory Council, the governing body of the NYSAIS Health Consortium. He was a trustee of The Caedmon School from 2012-2015, at The Brearley School from 2009-2011, where he served on the Development and Affordability Committees, and at The Spence School from 2000-2008, where he served on the Personnel and Long Range Planning Committee, the Diversity and Student Life Committee, and was Chairman of the Head Search Advisory Committee during Spence’s two-year national search in 2005-2006. He served two years (2006-2008) as Secretary of the Board of Directors of the HMAE, the oldest National Association of Independent School’s organization for heads of school, with over 100 active members who are heads of girls and coed schools along the Atlantic coast, along with over 50 affiliate and associate members from throughout the nation. He was co-Chair of the HMAE national conference in Princeton in November 2010. James served as a member of the Educational Advisory Committee for the American Boys Choir School in Princeton, New Jersey from 2009-2010. He is a past director and President of the Board of Directors of the New York City Guild of Independent Schools. He was as a member of the New York State Association of Independent Schools (NYSAIS) Professional Development Committee and served on the faculty of the Beginning Teachers’ Institute. He was selected as a member at large of the Heads Network (formerly the National Association of Principals of Schools for Girls (NAPSG)) Council from 1998 to 2000. James was a member of the Advisory Board of The Mountain School in Vershire, Vermont; he served on the Middle States Association of Independent Schools, Commission on Secondary Schools; and he served as Chair of a five-year NYSAIS evaluation team in 2008 and as Chair of a decennial NYSAIS evaluation in October 2015, both teams assigned to independent day schools in New York City. Prior to his appointment as Head of School at PCS, he served as Head of Upper School at Spence from 1988-1995. A long-time advocate for people with HIV and AIDS, he was the Director of Development for the Hands of Hospice 1990 Designer Showhouse in Sharon, Connecticut and frequently spoke about HIV and AIDS to high school students at other independent schools from 1998-1999.

Charlotte M. Ford

Charlotte M. Ford

Honorary Life Trustee

Charlotte M. Ford

Honorary Life Trustee
Charlotte is a best-selling author, successful businesswoman, and dedicated volunteer who devotes much of her time and efforts to charitable organizations. She served on the PCS Advisory Council from 1988 until her election to the Board in 1990. Charlotte was a member of the Head Search Committee in 1994-95 and was named the first Lifetime Trustee upon completing her third term as trustee in 1999. She has been a member of the Board of Trustees of New York-Presbyterian Hospital for over 30 years and is involved in a number of committees. She was named Trustee of the Year in September 1989 and in 2001 was elected as Vice Chairperson of the Board of Trustees, the first woman selected for this position. She also serves on the Board of Overseers of Weill Cornell Medical College and has served on the Board of the Rogosin Institute since 1993. Her first book, “Charlotte Ford’s Book of Modern Manners” (Simon & Schuster 1980), became an instant best-seller. Less than a decade later, public demand for an updated version resulted in another best-seller, “Etiquette, Charlotte Ford’s Guide to Modern Manners” (Crown 1988). Lyons Press published Ms. Ford’s latest book, “21st Century Etiquette” in 2001. She is the recipient of numerous honors and recognition including the American Cancer Society’s Mother of the Year (with her sister Anne), United Hospital Fund’s Distinguished Trustee Award and the American Jewish Congress’s Louise Waterman Award. Charlotte has one daughter and four grandchildren and maintains homes in New York and Sun Valley, Idaho.

Isaac S. Greaney

Isaac S. Greaney

Isaac Greaney

Isaac S. Greaney is a partner in Moses Singer's Litigation practice group. Isaac focuses his practice on commercial litigation and disputes, with a concentration in securities litigation, and the defense of securities enforcement investigations. Isaac was formerly a partner in the litigation group of Sidley Austin in New York. He lives in Mamaroneck with his family, which includes 5 children, ranging in age from 7th to 12th grades. Mr. Greaney has been active in Swim Across America, a community based organization that raises money to fight cancer, the Mamaroneck Schools Foundation awarding grants within the school district and is a volunteer basketball coach. He was elected to the PCS Board of Trustees in July 2021.

Alyssa Grikscheit

Alyssa Grikscheit

Alyssa Grikscheit 

Alyssa was elected to the Board of PCS in 2023 and is a member of the Governance Committee. She is a partner at Sidley Austin LLP, where she specializes in alternative investment funds and complex transactions. Alyssa is the Chair of Sidley’s Latin American Working Group. She actively represents Accion International and Women’s World Banking in impact investing projects in emerging markets on a pro bono basis. Alyssa has an A.B. in philosophy from Harvard College, a Diploma of Advanced European Studies from the College of Europe and a J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School. Alyssa and her husband Mauricio raised two daughters in Manhattan who are studying at Williams College and UCLA. She is an avid open water swimmer and skier. Alyssa loves traveling, visiting museums and going to the theater.

Sonja Kostich*

Sonja Kostich*

Sonja Kostich*

Sonja Kostich ’90 is Executive Director of the Baryshnikov Arts Center, an arts complex founded by Mikhail Baryshnikov in 2005.  She is the former Chief Executive & Artistic Officer of Kaatsbaan Cultural Park in Tivoli, NY.  In her professional dance career spanning over 20 years, Sonja danced with American Ballet Theatre, San Francisco Ballet, Zurich Ballet, White Oak Dance Project, and in multiple projects with Peter Sellars and Mark Morris.  She holds a BBA in Business Administration and a Master of Arts degree in Arts Administration from Baruch College.  She worked at Goldman Sachs in the Finance Division and has held arts administration posts at New York City Center and the Mark Morris Dance Group and was a co-founder of the OtherShore Dance Company.  Sonja was elected to the PCS Board of Trustees in September 2022.

Bo Lauder

Bo Lauder

Bo Lauder 

Robert (Bo) Lauder is the 35th Principal of Friends Seminary, an independent K-12 Quaker school, in New York City. Bo is in his 22nd year at Friends, previously serving as Upper School Principal and Dean of Students at Sidwell Friends School in Washington, D.C. Bo started his career at the Virginia Episcopal School as a Dean and music teacher. At Friends, Bo has led construction and renovation initiatives that have transformed the entirety of the School's campus; launched and concluded two Capital Campaigns that went substantially over goal; and oversaw the creation of a comprehensive Arabic language program. Bo is a graduate of Auburn University and University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. He is the past President of the New York City Guild of Independent Schools and is an active member of the Heads Network, The 1911 Group, the National Arts Club and Soho House. Bo’s fellowships include the Joseph Klingenstein Institute at Columbia University and a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities which allowed him to travel to Vienna to study the paintings of the composer Arnold Schoenberg. Bo is in his 38th year as an independent school educator. In his spare time he gardens, visits museums and galleries and reads.

Eleena Melamed*

Eleena Melamed*

Eleena Melamed*

Eleena Melamed is the Global Chief Operating Officer of Distribution and Head of Client Strategy for Carlyle, a Global Investment Firm with $400 billion of assets under management. She is also Co-Chair of the New Products and Distribution Committee and a member of Carlyle's Operating Committee.

Prior to joining Carlyle, Eleena was most recently at KKR where she was the Head of Business Strategy for the Client and Partner Group and a Product Specialist in the Customized Portfolio Solutions Group. In addition to her business strategy focus, Eleena oversaw a portfolio of KKR's multi-asset Strategic Partnership Investments, including product design, portfolio construction, relationship management, and investment implementation. Prior to KKR, Eleena was at Bridgewater Associates where she was Chief of Staff to the Head of the Client Service Department and an Associate Client Advisor for the firm’s key strategic partners. Eleena began her career as an investment professional in Lehman Brothers’ Private Equity division. After Lehman’s bankruptcy, Eleena remained at Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc, where she worked on the restructuring and sale of Lehman’s Principal Investments, Private Equity, and Hedge Fund portfolios.

Eleena received her bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Columbia University where she graduated with departmental honors, summa cum laude, phi beta kappa, and as Valedictorian of her class.

Eleena is a former ballerina with the American Ballet Theatre and trained for ten years at the School of American Ballet before being invited to join the Company at the age of 17. Throughout her career, she worked with legendary choreographers and directors including Jerome Robbins, Twyla Tharp, Mark Morris, Christopher Wheeldon, and Kevin McKenzie. She also appeared in film and television, including Columbia Pictures’ “Centerstage” and Nova’s documentary, “Dying to be Thin.” She is currently on the Board of the Professional Children’s School.

 

Bob Musiker

Bob Musiker

Bob Musiker

Trustee
Bob Musiker has worked in US and international education management for over 40 years. He is a founder and owner of Summer Discovery and Summer Institute for the Gifted (SIG), a pre-college enrichment organization that partners with several prestigious universities to operate their high school and middle school summer programs.

Summer Discovery manages the official high school summer programs for The UCLA Anderson School of Management, University of Pennsylvania, The Wharton School, Penn Law, UC Santa Barbara, University of Texas, University of Colorado, Yale NUS Singapore, and others.

Bob received his BA in Political Science and Education from Colgate University. He has served on the Board of Directors of the REACH Charter School, Roads to Success after-school programs, Oasis Children’s Programs and the Joyce Theater Foundation. He is a native New Yorker and resides in Manhattan.

Bob was elected to the Board of Trustees in January 2021.

Erica Marks Panush

Erica Marks Panush

Erica Marks Panush

Erica is the mother of Lucette Panush, who graduated from PCS in 2016. She is currently the Co-Director of Admissions at The Abraham Joshua Heschel School and served there as Alumni Affairs Coordinator from 2012 to 2016. Prior to this she was an active parent volunteer for 12 years. Erica’s career includes serving as Assistant Project Director at the Center for Children and Technology, Assistant Executive Director at PBS Learning Link, and Program Information/Viewer Services Coordinator at WNET/Thirteen. Erica studied dance for 25 years and currently serves on the Board of Directors of The American Tap Dance Foundation. She was Managing Director of Dances Patrelle (1990-1993) and then served on that ballet company’s board from 1993-2011. Erica is a past board member of Project Ezra, a social service agency on the Lower East Side and served for several years on The Spence School’s Alumnae Board. Erica graduated from The Spence School and received her B.A. from Wellesley College. She and her husband, David, have two daughters (one in college and the other a recent graduate) and live on the Upper East Side.

Erin Scanlon

Erin Scanlon

Erin Scanlon

Erin was elected to the Board in December 2019. Her daughter, Deirdre, graduated from PCS in 2018. Erin is an Audit & Assurance partner at Deloitte & Touche LLP and is the Global Audit & Assurance Clients & Industries leader and the President of the Deloitte Foundation. She previously led Deloitte’s US Telecom, Media & Entertainment Audit & Assurance practice. Erin has significant experience leading audits for global companies and has extensive experience with industry-related complex transactions, accounting issues, SEC registrations and compliance matters. Erin is a member of the Board of Directors of Big Brothers Big Sisters of NYC and serves on the Advisory Council of the Anne Welsh McNulty Institute for Women’s Leadership at Villanova University. She earned her Bachelor’s degree from Villanova University and an MBA from the Columbia Business School.

Sonya Schroeder

Sonya Schroeder

Sonya Schroeder

Sonya was elected to the Board in December 2021. She is the Co-Founder and Head of Corporate Services for iiWisdom, a company building connectivity between public companies and their institutional investors. Sonya graduated from Duke University and attended Harvard Business School. She has served as Director, Strategic Planning with The Geppetto Group, Vice President, Marketing for Youth Intelligence and Director, Consumer Marketing with Time Inc. Sonya is a past trustee of the Head-Royce School in Oakland, CA. She and her husband Darren have two sons and one daughter, Natalie, who attends PCS.

Denise Jackson Sutherland

Denise Jackson Sutherland

Honorary Life Trustee

Denise Jackson Sutherland

Honorary Life Trustee
Denise is “a proud PCS Alum, class of 1969.” She attended PCS for high school while studying for a career in ballet. Upon graduation I joined the Joffrey Ballet and enjoyed a 17 year career as a principal dancer. Denise joined the PCS Board of Trustees as an Alumna Trustee in 1987. In 1997 she became the Chairman of the Board and served in that capacity for 10 yrs. She retired from the Board in 2014, and was named an Honorary Life Trustee in 2020.

Melissa Vlak

Melissa Vlak

Melissa Vlak

Jason Weinberg

Jason Weinberg

Jason Weinberg

 

Simone Fitz Zeko

Simone Fitz Zeko

Simone Fitz Zeko

Simone Fitz Zeko, the mother of a student at PCS, was elected to the Board in 2023. She is a passionate supporter of performing arts, as well as young artists who require flexible learning options to balance their academic and professional endeavors. Simone currently is the Chair of the Board of Directors for Dances Patrelle, a non-profit ballet company that has created more than 50 original ballets. Additionally, she holds multiple
leadership roles with Zeko Partners, LLC, a global financial advisory and consulting firm. Simone is a graduate of Fachhochschule Trier in Germany where she earned her master’s degree in business and French.

NamePosition
Melanie Harris*Chair
Stephanie J. HullTreasurer
Diane KenneySecretary
Charlotte M. FordHonorary Life Trustee
Ernest H. FrankHonorary Life Trustee
Denise Jackson SutherlandHonorary Life Trustee
Amanda Bhalla
Donald B. Brant, Jr.
Marian Brown
Anthony Roth Costanzo*
Amy Crate*
James DawsonHead of School
Isaac S. Greaney
Alyssa Grikscheit
Sonja Kostich*
Bo Lauder
Eleena Melamed*
Bob Musiker
Erica Marks Panush
Erin Scanlon
Sonya Schroeder
Melissa Vlak
Jason Weinberg
Simone Fitz Zeko

*Alumni Association