GDS Board Nominees

Dear GDS Parents:

The Nominating Committee is pleased to announce its nominees to the GDS Board of Trustees. We would also like to take this opportunity to clarify the nominating process and to thank all of you who put forth names for our consideration.

In accordance with the by-laws and the spirit of Georgetown Day School, members of the Board of Trustees are elected by parents after receiving recommendations from the Nominating Committee. As per the by-laws, the Nominating Committee is made up of three board members along with six representatives who do not serve on the board. The current committee representatives are: Erik Smulson ’85, Anu Tate, and Shawn Davis-Wilensky (board members) and Phil Bronner, Amy Dixon, Todd Klein, Julie Lopez, Amy Oberdorfer Nyberg ’91 and Lee Satterfield (non-board members). In order to ensure continuity, the non-board members on this committee serve two-year terms.

The process begins when the committee asks for nominations from the entire GDS community. Typically, the number of very capable people who are interested in serving exceeds the number of new board members needed, so we consider these individuals not only for the upcoming year, but also for future years of service on the board. From this pool of highly qualified people, the committee invites prospective candidates to meet with the committee in order to match candidates’ backgrounds with specific board needs in any given year.

In its deliberations, the committee seeks candidates who are committed to sustaining the School’s core values and mission and who can contribute relevant professional expertise and leadership as well as the substantial time commitment required to attend full board and committee meetings regularly. We believe the committee is nominating an excellent slate of individuals who meet these criteria while replacing the talents and attributes of those who are leaving the board. We think that they will serve the School well, building on existing strengths and helping to improve communication between the board and other members of the parent and alumni communities.

After discussion of the criteria for selecting our slate of board nominees and consideration of many outstanding candidates, we offer these individuals as nominees for open seats on the board:
  • Ciera Ashley
  • Ketanji Jackson
  • Kenyan McDuffie
  • Jim Shelton
  • Sarah Rosen Wartell
Four current board members, Sid Banerjee, Ben Soto, Phil West and Shawn Davis-Wilensky, are eligible for another term, and we are nominating them for re-election.

The School’s by-laws provide an alternative process for other persons to be nominated for the board. Any group of fifteen members of the Parent Corporation may submit to the chair of the Nominating Committee a written petition for an additional nominee, at least 21 days before the election. Such additional nominees, if any, shall be placed on the ballot along with those selected by the Nominating Committee. Petitions should be delivered to the Head of School’s office at either the High School or the Lower/Middle School, c/o Erik Smulson, Chair of the Nominating Committee, no later than May 9. Anyone considering nominating a candidate by petition is encouraged to contact a member of the Nominating Committee, as the goals of this potential nomination may have already been addressed by the committee.

In May, parents will receive in the mail brief biographies and statements of purpose from each of the board nominees put forth by the committee. Again, in accordance with GDS’s by-laws, board members are elected by the parent community. Therefore, we urge you to take action when you receive the recommended slate, and that you send in your vote on or before May 31.

The committee takes seriously its responsibility to recommend board members who will serve our School well. Please feel free to contact me or any other member of the committee with questions or concerns.


Erik Smulson ‘85
Chair, Nominating Committee


4530 MacArthur Boulevard, NW, Washington, DC 20007


4200 Davenport Street, NW, Washington, DC 20016

Georgetown Day School is a coed, preK-12, non-sectarian private school in Washington, DC with small class sizes and a diverse school community. Our comprehensive, innovative curriculum includes hands-on learning, honors and AP classes, as well as advanced-level math and STEM courses. An education is not just college prep and SAT scores. GDS teachers focus on providing the best education for each child, from elementary grades through high school. The school performing arts program includes theater, dance, and music. The athletics program offers competitive sports for student athletes, including cross-country, track, soccer, lacrosse, and crew/rowing. With our strong commitment to financial aid, an independent school tuition is affordable.