Consulting for Independent and Charter Schools Biographies
Dr. Gary Gruber has served in every capacity in independent schools – teacher, coach, department head, head of school, parent, trustee, and grandparent. He has taught in college and university settings, co-authored a book Understanding & Enjoying Adolescence (1988) and published two recent ones,Seven Decades: A Learning Memoir (2013) and Your Child, Your Choice: Finding the Right School for Your Child. (2014). Gary served as a Chaplain and Department Head at Choate Rosemary Hall, was the Head of School at The Shipley School in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, and was the founding head of Bosque School in Albuquerque, where he served recently as the Interim Head of School during the 2010-11 school year.
Gary was the founding Board Chair of Monte del Sol School in Santa Fe and for the past sixteen years he has been an executive search consultant and management consultant to schools in the United States and abroad. Gary spent two years as the interim Principal at the American School in London and fulfilled three other interim assignments in Princeton, New Jersey, Hershey and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
As the founder of a non-profit group, the “Southwest Institute for Educational Research and Professional Teacher Development,” Gary was instrumental in that entity evolving into “The Santa Fe Leadership Center.” That group merged with “Leading is Learning” to produce the current organization known as “Leadership and Design.” He served on the original boards of all three groups and is currently one of the collaborators for L+D.
He holds a B.A. from Miami University, an M.Div. from Princeton Seminary and an M.S. and Ph.D. from Penn State University. Gary and his wife, Susan Richardson, make their home in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where they have resided for the past 20 years. They are the parents (and step-parents) of seven adult children and share their thirteen grandchildren.
Personal interests include travel, writing, fishing and other outdoor activities with a little gardening when possible.
His TEDex talk is available on YouTube: Seven Decades of Learning: The Beat Goes On
Lissa Blaschke is the Executive Director of the deadCenter Film Festival in Oklahoma City and the former Director of Development of the Oklahoma School of Science and Math in OKC where she currently serves on the Board of Trustees. She has also served as the Director of Development for the Albuquerque Community Foundation in New Mexico. She has also been a development director of a Montessori School and for a non-profit health foundation. Lissa has been an officer in the ABQ chapter of AFP (Association of Fund Raising Professionals) and enjoys an extensive network of contacts in the field of fund raising, development and institutional advancement. She is a graduate of Santa Fe Preparatory School and the University of Oklahoma with a B.A. in journalism and has been a consultant for the past several years working with schools and other non-profit organizations. Lissa lives in Oklahoma City with her husband, a cardiologist, and their two young children who attend an independent school there.
Peter G. Cheney
Peter G. Cheney – Independent School Leadership and Governance
Areas of Expertise: Career and Leadership Coaching; School Leadership Transition; Governance & Board/Head Partnerships; Group Facilitation and Conflict Resolution; School mission, governance and leadership.
Peter has been in the fields of education and ministry for 38 years. He recently retired after serving for five years as a Senior Search Consultant with Carney, Sandoe and Associates, headquartered in Boston MA. During the 2007–2008 school year, he worked as the Interim Head of School and Search Coordinator at St. Richard’s Episcopal School in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Peter led the National Association of Episcopal Schools, headquartered in New York City, as its Executive Director from June of 1998 until July of 2007. While leading NAES, he worked with Episcopal schools throughout the United States on matters of mission, governance, leadership, Episcopal identity and religious life. Previous to his work with NAES, he served for over five years as Senior Associate Priest and Director of Development at St. Philip’s In The Hills Parish, a 2,500-member congregation in Tucson. He worked for ten years at St. Paul’s School, Concord, New Hampshire in a variety of roles, but principally as Chaplain and School Counselor, and as Director of Admissions. He is now a Trustee at St. Paul’s and chairs the Board’s Trustees and Governance Committee.
Peter graduated from The Gunnery School in Washington, CT; from Transylvania University in Lexington, KY with a BA in Economic and Business Administration; from Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria, VA with a Masters of Divinity; was ordained in the Episcopal Church in 1975; and was the recipient in 2003 of an honorary doctorate from the University of the South in Sewanee, TN. He also received graduate certification in pastoral counseling with an emphasis on adolescent development from Moravian Theological Seminary in Bethlehem, PA, and is a clinical member of the American Association of Pastoral Counselors. He has extensive training and experience in mediation and conflict resolution.