Board of Trustees

How Norwood School Is Governed

Like other independent schools, Norwood School is governed by an independent, self-perpetuating board of trustees. The president of the National Association of Independent Schools states in the NAIS Trustee Handbook that what distinguishes independent schools from other schools is that independent schools govern themselves via a self-perpetuating board of trustees and finance themselves by setting tuition and raising money. The following is an overview of the governance of Norwood, including the composition of the board of trustees, how trustees are selected, and the manner in which the board exercises its decision-making authority.
The two principal governing documents are the Articles of Incorporation of Norwood School, Inc., and its Bylaws. The Articles provide that Norwood is governed by a board of trustees and the Bylaws provide the details on the structure of the board, the election of trustees and the exercise of the board’s power, as summarized below:
  • The board of trustees consists a minimum of 9 and a maximum of 24 voting trustees who are elected, the head of school, ex-officio, and the president of the Parents Association, ex-officio.
  • All trustees and elected officers have full voting rights, with the exception of the president of the Parents Association who is a non-voting member of the board.
  • There is an Executive Committee of the board that consists of the chair, vice chair, treasurer and secretary. The chair is elected for a two-year term and the other officers are elected by the board for one-year terms. Officers may serve for a maximum of four years.
  • New trustees and the officers of the Executive Committee are nominated by the Committee on Trustees and elected by the board of trustees by a majority vote at its annual meeting.
  • Trustees are elected by written ballot for three-year terms and may not serve more than two consecutive three-year terms. The terms expire at the conclusion of Norwood’s fiscal year (which runs from July 1 to June 30).
  • At all meetings of the board, a majority of the voting trustees then in office constitutes a quorum, and all matters are decided by a majority vote of the voting trustees present at the meeting unless a greater percentage is required by law, or required by the Articles of Incorporation or Bylaws. (For example, the Articles of Incorporation provide that a two-thirds vote of the board is required to amend, alter or repeal the Articles and the Bylaws provide that the bylaws may be amended by a two-thirds vote of the board.)
  • The board of trustees employs the head of school who serves on the board as an ex-officio, non-voting member.

The names and addresses of the trustees and officers of the board are published in the Norwood handbook every year. The 2021-2022 board consists of the head of school, 19 elected trustees, and the president of the Parents Association
Much of the board’s work is accomplished by committee, and from time to time, task forces on specified issues. Committee membership and leadership is determined by the board chair in consultation with the head of school. The 2021-2022 committees of the board are:
Audit Committee - Chair: Jeff Spigel
Development Committee - Chair: Andrew Kay
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion - Chair: Nisreen Schneider
Executive Committee
- Chair: Josh Spencer
Finance Committee - Chair: Serge Learsy
Investment Committee - Chair: Mary Pat Alcus
Site & Facilities Committee - Chair: Brad Steuart
Strategic Planning Committee - Chairs: Jeff Carswell and Frazier Schulman
Trustees Committee - Chair: Mary Pat Alcus

2021-2022 Board of Trustees

Joshua Spencer, Chair
Matthew A. Gould, Head of School
Frazier Schulman, Vice Chair
Serge Learsy, Treasurer
Mary Pat Alcus, Secretary

Jeff Carswell
Alicia Davis
Michelle Fling
Lee Anne Jillings '78
Andrew Kay
Alex Nephew
Del Renigar
Nisreen Schneider
Elinor Scully
Jen Sides
Jeff Spigel
Brad Steuart '73
Debbie Tang
Nate Tyrrell
John Woo
Melissa Zettler
Located in Bethesda, MD, Norwood School develops students in grades PK-8 into confident lifelong learners who have the academic, character, and leadership skills to succeed in high school and beyond. Recognizing that children are multi-faceted, Norwood provides many opportunities for safe risk-taking, exploration, discovery, and growth in a nurturing, supportive, and inclusive school community.