Board of Trustees
Douglas Renfield-Miller FR'71 CN'01P IT'05P ES'10P, Chair
Bryan Garman, Head of School, Wilmington Friends School, Vice Chair
John E. Creeden, SYA President
Natalia A. Bulgari ES'86
Paul Chapman, Educational Consultant
Margaret Conklin FR'74
Tom Farquhar, Head of School, Sidwell Friends School
Lane Heard CN'01P IT'06P
Coreen R. Hester, Head of School, The American School in London
Michael G. Hirschfeld, Rector, St. Paul's School (NH)
Kenneth Krushel ES'68
Peter S.W. Levin CN'03P
Jaye Morency FR'04P IT'06P
Aimeclaire Roche, Head of School, The Bishop's School
Robert J. Schiller FR'69
Kristin Lund Vosmik FR'81
Executive and Resident Directors of SYA
John E. Creeden (President) is School Year Abroad's second president and assumed his role as such in July, 2011. Jack was Headmaster of Providence Day School (PDS) in Charlotte, North Carolina, a highly regarded, independent school of more than 1,500 students in grades TK-12. For twelve years before PDS, Jack was headmaster of Fountain Valley School of Colorado, an independent boarding and day school of 235 students in grades 9 - 12.
A 1974 graduate of Holy Cross with a B.A. cum laude in English, Jack went on to the University of Wisconsin where he earned an M.A. in English Literature and a Ph.D. in Educational Administration. He has taught at the University of Wisconsin, Rutgers University, the University of Sussex in England, and the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) National Institute for New Heads. His university assignments included Associate Dean of the College, Coordinator of Minority and Disadvantaged Students, and Associate Provost for Student Affairs. He also served as resident director of Rutgers’ Study Abroad in Great Britain. Jack is currently Chair of the NAIS Board of Trustees and is the former chair of its governance committee.
Nelson K. Chase (Executive Director) joined SYA as Executive Director July 1, 2007. Chase is responsible for communication with SYA's member schools, selection of American faculty for existing SYA sites, student admissions, summer programs, and operations at SYA's schools in Beijing, Rennes, Viterbo and Zaragoza. Chase brings to SYA a wealth of experience working with young people ranging from inner city grade school students to Peace Corps volunteers in their early 20s. He holds degrees in anthropology, business administration and social work. Just before joining SYA he served for five years as Executive Director of the Odyssey School, a charter school in Denver with an expeditionary learning mission. Earlier in his career he worked for eight years as instructor and later COO of Colorado Outward Bound and served in the Peace Corps for eight years where he was recognized for exemplary leadership in the safe evacuation of the entire Peace Corps contingent from Albania when the country descended into political strife and wide-spread violence in 1997.
Hilde Becker (Resident Director, SYA China) has been a history teacher at SYA China since 2002 and is currently also the director of the SYA Summer program in China. Before joining the SYA family, she completed her M.A. and all course work for a Ph.D. in Chinese history at the University of California at Santa Cruz where she served as an instructor in the history department. A fluent speaker of Mandarin and German, Becker lived in China on numerous occasions during the course of her career, studying Chinese, leading tours and teaching both languages. Becker is genuinely committed to helping students have positive and productive experiences abroad. "I believe strongly in the importance of immersing oneself into the local environment and being willing to step out of the box and learn about different points of view," said Becker. "It was an important part of my own personal experience and I believe that SYA offers an incredible opportunity for young American students."
Denis Brochu (Resident Director, SYA France) became Resident Director for SYA France in 2007 after 24 years at Phillips Exeter Academy (NH). Brochu has been an award-winning teacher of French at all levels, a beloved dorm head and a respected administrator. Since 1983 he had served as Dean for Academic Affairs, responsible for every student's course selection, for the development of new course offerings, and for helping students who run into academic difficulty. Brochu brings a deep knowledge of French, France, independent schools, and SYA to the position. A native of Quebec, Brochu grew up speaking French as a first language and spent the first years of his life on the Magdalen Islands in the Gulf of St. Laurence. After college in New Hampshire, he taught, held administrative posts, and contributed actively to professional associations in the Franklin, New Hampshire public school district before moving to Exeter in 1983. He knows SYA well, having served as the SYA coordinator at Exeter since 1990 and having chaired the evaluation team that observed the Rennes campus in action in March 2005. Brochu earned his B.S and M.A. degrees at Plymouth State College (NH) and Rivier College, respectively.
Griffin Morse (Resident Director SYA Spain) Prior to joining SYA in 2002, Griffin Morse was a founding partner and
vice president of a Seattle software start-up and prior to that he
worked for decades as a teacher and administrator in independent
schools. His career included two summers founding and running Phillips
Exeter’s program in Mexico; nine years in the Spanish department and
administration at Milton Academy and three years as the head of the
upper school at Abington Friends School in Philadelphia. Having served
on many Boards and a variety of school administrations, Griffin is well
known for his energetic leadership, high standards and cheerful
optimism. He is a graduate of Phillips Exeter Academy, Northwestern
University and University of Virginia, where he earned his M.A. in
Spanish. After a nine years as Resident Director and one on sabbatical,
Griffin returns to the helm newly energized with a focus on IT and the
students’ and the school’s green footprint abroad.
(Resident Director, SYA Italy) taught English and served as college counselor at SYA Italy from 2002-2004, before being named Resident Director in 2005. After graduating Phi Beta Kappa from the University of New Mexico in 1986 with a double major in biology and English, Scanlon spent three years teaching English and perfecting his Italian language skills in Italy and Switzerland. While teaching chemistry, general science and English at Albuquerque Academy, Scanlon earned his M.A. in liberal studies from St. John's College (NM) in 1994. He enjoys passing on that classical education to his SYA students. At SYA he taught a literature and composition course that took full advantage of being in a country that has contributed so much to the thinking and development of the Western World. While at Albuquerque Academy, he performed a variety of administrative duties and coached nationally-ranked swimming teams. He lives in Viterbo with his wife and four children.