Shannon Leventhal, Director of Admissions and
John J. Kaufman, Head of School

A Place to Belong and Become.

The accreditation team from the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) summed up our strengths well.  In awarding Middlebridge School its initial institutional accreditation, the Commission on Independent Schools, “commends the entire school community for creating an academic program and a residential community that serves well its student population…and the outstanding qualifications of the administration, teachers, and staff, as well as their dedication, energy, level of respect and collegiality, and breadth of experience.”


Elizabeth Doerr

Elizabeth Doerr received a Bachelor of Arts from Saint Mary’s College at University of Notre Dame and a Master of Arts in Teaching from Webster University. She has worked in urban classrooms as a teacher and consultant and co-authored Teach Our Children Well: Essential Strategies for the Urban Classroom. She has served on the boards of community-based organizations in San Francisco and in Latin America, and is a founder of Grantmakers Without Borders. Her son graduated from Middlebridge School in 2011.

David Donovan

David Donovan holds a Bachelor of Science in Finance from Boston College. He is a Vice President for Sapient Global Markets, a business consulting firm that supports capital markets activities through advisory and technology services. David previously spent 25 years trading equities, working for Fidelity Management and Resource and John Hancock financial services. Mr. Donovan is a major fundraiser for Boston College and has endowed an athletic scholarship, The Donovan Family Scholarship Fund, since 2003. He also supports numerous non-profit organizations such as Tower School, Girls Inc., My Brother’s Table, Learning Prep School and Marblehead Public Schools Scholarship fund. David Donovan’s daughter graduated from Middlebridge in 2013.

Adam Geiger

Adam Geiger holds a Bachelor of Science in Economics from the State University of New York at Albany. He is a CFA charterholder and a member of the Chartered Financial Analysts Institute. He is President and Chief Investment Officer of New Legacy Capital, an alternative investment firm he co-founded in 2007. Mr. Geiger has been involved in several non-profit endeavors, having participated in fundraising for several private schools and major philanthropic organizations, including Project Sunshine and the United Way. His daughter was a Middlebridge post-graduate in 2009.

Cecilia Hynes Griffin

Cecilia Hynes Griffin (“Leah”) is a founding principal of Griffin McCarthy & Rice LLP, a Chicagoland boutique law firm practicing exclusively in the area of family law. With over 23 years of experience in family law, Leah has handled numerous complex family law matters, including multifaceted business valuations, income determination issues, dissipation claims, tracing of marital and non-marital assets, as well as custody, visitation and removal disputes. Leah is trained in mediation and collaborative law and is a seasoned litigator when necessary.
Leah is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and Loyola University of Chicago School of Law.  Her daughter is currently a student at Middlebridge School.
Leah has been nominated an Illinois Super Lawyer in the area of Family Law from 2008-2016. She is a Fellow in the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. Admission to this national organization requires extensive oral and written testing, and peer and judicial recommendations. Leah has served several terms on the Board of Managers of the Illinois Chapter of the Academy and the Family Law Section Council of the Illinois State Bar Association. She is a frequent lecturer and has authored numerous articles on family law topics.

Brian Graff

Brian Graff is President, Private Finance at American Capital, LTD, where he heads the company’s Private Equity and Mezzanine investing businesses. He is the Chairman of the firms Investment Committee and sits on several portfolio company Board of Directors including American Driveline Systems, Inc., Potpouri Group, Inc., SMG and others.
Mr. Graff joined American Capital in July 2001.  Prior to joining American Capital, Mr. Graff was a Principal with Odyssey Investment Partners, a Senior Vice President of GE Equity, and a Director of Mergers & Acquistions at Automatic Data Processing, Inc.  He started his career with Coopers & Lybrand.
He holds a B.S. degree in Accounting from the State University of New York at Binghamton and an M.B.A. from NYU’s Stern School of Business.
He and his wife, Laura, have 3 boys and reside in Chappaqua, New York.

Rachel Gutow-Ellis

Rachel Gutow-Ellis is an active volunteer for the Gathering Place and served as Gathering Place Chair for two years. She has participated on the JSASIP team for the Religious School and the Bureau of Jewish Education. While her son attended Becker School, Rachel served as the Tzedakah Committee Co-Chair and chaired Pre-K Graduation. Committees that Rachel has served on at Congregation Emanu El include:  Caring Committee, Religious School Committee, Vice-Chair of the Rabbinic Search Committee, Dues Restructuring Committee, Sisterhood, and the Continuing Education Committee. Rachel also served for three years as a Trustee of the Farb Fund.
Rachel is also an active volunteer at the Emery/Weiner School having served the last two years as the Co-President of their Parent Association.  Rachel has served as Chair of the Annual Giving Fund at Middlebridge School and is a member of the Development Committee of the Middlebridge Board of Trustees. Rachel’s son currently attends Middlebridge School.

David Ives

David Ives graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Education from the University of Maine. He is the Chief Executive Officer of Northshore International Insurance Services, Inc. He serves as a current or former Trustee/Director of the North Shore Medical Center, St. John’s Preparatory School, Salem State College Assistance Corporation, The Salem (Massachusetts) Partnership, The Insurance Library Association of Boston and the University of Maine Alumni Association. His son graduated from Middlebridge School in 2010.

Steve James

Steve James received a Bachelor of Science from Brown University, and a Master’s Degree in Management from the Kellogg School of Northwestern University. Steve has over 25 years of pharmaceutical, biotechnology and start-up experience in the life science industry.  In 2004, Steve joined KAI pharmaceuticals as CEO, where he and his team raised nearly $200M and established three major pharmaceutical partnerships before the company was acquired by Amgen, Inc. Steve is the President and CEO of Labrys Biologics, Inc., and serves on the board for two biotechnology companies. Steve James’s son graduated from Middlebridge in 2014.

John J. Kaufman

John Kaufman is the founding Head of School of Middlebridge School.  John graduated from Michigan State with a BS in Psychology, and continued his education at Saint Michael’s College, where he earned his MA in Clinical Psychology. After more than a dozen years working with youth and in education, John jumped at the opportunity to create a unique and much-needed program in southern Rhode Island. He moved to Rhode Island with a small group of committed educators in 2008 to start Middlebridge School. Now in its eighth year, Middlebridge School serves 74 students ages 13-19 from all over the country.

John has devoted himself wholeheartedly to creating and strengthening Middlebridge School and, because of his passion and commitment, the school has quickly developed a national reputation for excellence. An ex-officio member of Middlebridge School’s Board of Trustees, John oversees Admissions and Development for the school. He travels the country to meet with families and educational consultants and attend conferences. John is an active member of the Narragansett community, and serves as Vice Chair of the Narragansett Conservation Commission and Tree Board.

Amanda Mallory

Amanda Mallory received a Bachelor of the Arts in Cultural Anthropology and a Master’s Degree in Educational Administration and Policy Analysis from Stanford University. Amanda has worked in admissions at both the secondary school and college level, before becoming an educational consultant in 1991. Amanda specializes in elementary and secondary school counseling, covering Bay Area educational options and boarding programs all over the U.S. In addition to counseling families, Amanda has served on boards and advisory boards of several schools, and made presentations about school options and the application process to local parent groups and at schools around the Bay Area.

Mark Pelson (Chair)

Mark Pelson received a Juris Doctorate from Boston University and a Bachelor of Arts from Cornell University. He has served as Chairman of Lambert’s Cove Acquisition Corporation since its inception. He is a partner in several Providence Equity funds where he has served on numerous corporate boards. Mr. Pelson serves on the Board of Overseers of Children’s Hospital Boston and is the chairman of The Wolf School in East Providence, Rhode Island. His daughter currently attends Middlebridge School.

Roger Sippl

Roger Sippl studied Biochemistry, Immunology and Computer Science at the University of California at Berkeley, earning a BS degree in Computer Science in 1977.   Roger Sippl   is a Silicon Valley software pioneer, entrepreneur and innovator. His 30 years of contributions have helped shape the enterprise software technology landscape of today. In 1980 he founded Informix Software, and was CEO for 10 years, taking it public in 1986.  Mr. Sippl has been on over a dozen boards of directors of for profit corporations, public and private, and has also served on several non-profit boards. Public board service has included Informix, Vantive, SupportSoft and Interwoven. He was the representative of the software industry on the X/OPEN board of directors, and was a founding board member of /usr/group and the Uniform Unix trade association in the 1980’s. Mr. Sippl has also been the Chairman of the Stanford Cancer Council for over 10 years, as well as serving three school boards over the years. Roger Sippl’s daughter currently attends Middlebridge School.

Walter "Trey" Snider, III

Walter “Trey” Snider, III is the Principal/Co-President of O’Donnell/Snider Construction. Trey has over 25 years of experience in the commercial construction industry.  Specializing in Class A Corporate Interiors, his projects include major office interior projects, building renovations, medical space and retail construction totaling more than 15 million square feet. Skilled in estimating, project management and team building, he generates numerous referrals and repeat customers.  A founding principal of O’Donnell/Snider Construction, Trey oversees all aspects of the company’s business and is particularly involved in Business Development, Marketing, Finance and Project Administration. Trey is a graduate of the University of Texas with a B.B.A in Finance. Trey’s son is currently a student at Middlebridge School.

Andrew Wallerstein

Andrew Wallerstein received a Bachelor’s degree from Brown University and a Masters of Business Administration from the Anderson Graduate School of Management at UCLA. He is Chief Executive Officer of Avalon Trust in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Andrew has been involved in numerous for-profit and non-profit boards. He was the founding Chairman of the Board of The Wolf School, a school for children with learning disabilities, and a founding venture partner at the Rhode Island Foundation. Currently he is a board member of SITE Santa Fe. Andrew Wallerstein’s son graduated from Middlebridge in 2010.

Chad White

Chad White received a Bachelor of the Arts in Economics from Stonehill College. He has been in the securities industry for 30 years. Chad is currently on the investment committee of St. Andrew’s School, and is also a member of the board for AT Wall Inc., a private company. Chad is a former trustee of The Wheeler School in Providence. His daughter currently attends Middlebridge School.


Linda Atamian
Director of Remedial Language Instruction

Justin Bayles
Director of the Lighthouse Internship Program

Melanie Boggs
Director of the Postgraduate Bridge Program

Colin Brady
Director of Transition Services

Heidi Bruening
Residential Dean

Ann Foley
Director of Remedial Language Instruction

Sara Kaplan
Academic Coordinator

Dan Leventhal
Academic Dean


John J. Kaufman
Head of School

Shannon Leventhal
Director of Admissions