Board of Trustees

Governance of the school starts with the board of trustees, whose function is to advance Galloway's mission and objectives by developing policies and long-range plans to assure the well-being of the school; ensuring the long-term financial viability of the school; and hiring and working collaboratively with the head of school, who is in charge of day-to-day administration and operations.

School leadership must be forward-thinking. To sustain the school and its mission, the board identifies and studies issues and challenges that will impact the school, then forms policies to address those issues. This is accomplished through a system of standing committees, as well as strategic committees and task forces, which focus on specific areas of interest and governance designed to enhance the Galloway experience.

The Galloway School's board of trustees is composed of dedicated and hardworking volunteer members with varied skills and perspectives. Trustees are parents of current and former students, alumni, and members of the external Atlanta community. All share a deep personal commitment to the school and its future. Board members normally serve three-year terms and are eligible to serve up to two consecutive terms.

Debra Sydnor, board chair

In her sixth year as a Galloway parent, Debra has a daughter in Middle Learning, and an older son who previously attended Galloway. Over the years, Debra has volunteered in various roles, including serving as a new parents ambassador, an admissions ambassador and a classroom contact parent. She also served on Galloway’s Strategic Planning Steering Committee, and co-chaired one of the work groups. This year, in addition to serving as board chair, she chairs the executive committee and serves on the finance and trustees committees. Debra practiced law at Alston & Bird LLP from 1995 to 2013, including 10 years as a Partner in the firm’s Litigation and Product Liability practice groups. During her 18 years at Alston & Bird, she defended Fortune 500 companies in consumer class actions, pharmaceutical product liability litigation, and toxic tort litigation. Debra was a 2011 recipient of Women Looking Ahead News Magazine’s Law and Justice Award. She earned her B.S. in Economics and Business Administration at the University of Delaware (1991) and her J.D., cum laude, at Howard University School of Law (1995).

Leigh Thompson, chair-elect

Leigh and her family have been part of the Galloway community for 17 years. Her two daughters recently graduated from Galloway and her husband, Charlie, currently serves on the Alumni Parent Council. As a Galloway parent, Leigh served in roles including EL and UL Coordinator, Co-founder of the Fine Arts Booster Club, and President of the Parents Association. Returning to the board after a previous service in her role as PA President, Leigh is a member of the finance and trustee committees. Leigh also serves on the board of Mount Vernon Presbyterian Church. Professionally, Leigh is the founder of Launchgrad, LLC, where her work focuses on helping young people gain career direction and launch successful careers. Leigh earned a BA in Economics from UVA and an MBA from UCLA.

Alan Taetle, treasurer and finance chair

Alan is the parent of two daughters; both are Galloway graduates (2014 and 2017). He previously served on one of Galloway’s Strategic Planning work groups. He is chair of the finance committee and also serves on the executive committee in his fourth year on the board. Alan is a General Partner at Noro-Moseley Partners. He joined NMP in 1998 and has focused his investment activities on software and information technology companies. Prior to joining NMP, Alan was the Executive Vice President of Marketing and Business Development for MindSpring. Alan currently serves as Chairman of Venture Atlanta and is Past Chair of the Florida Venture Forum. Alan serves on the Board of Advisors of the Georgia Tech College of Computing, and on the Board of Directors of GivingPoint, a nationwide community-based youth development organization. He previously served as board chair at Cliff Valley School. Alan received a BA from the University of Michigan and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Ginny Little, secretary

Ginny has been a Galloway parent for 17 years. She has two daughters who are Galloway alums, graduating in 2014 and 2017, and one daughter in Upper Learning. She volunteers in various roles such as school store volunteer and contact parent. In her sixth year on the board, the first of which was as president of the Parents Association, she serves on the audit, finance and trustee committees. Ginny earned a bachelor’s degree and an MBA from Wake Forest. Professionally, she is a former CPA and was an auditor at Price Waterhouse and internal auditor for Wake Forest University. She is trained in the Orton-Gillingham approach to reading instruction and volunteers with Los Ninos Primero, an educational program serving preschoolers and their families in Sandy Springs.

Suzanna Jemsby, president

Suzanna Jemsby is Galloway's Head of School and you can find more information about her, and read her blog, on her page.

Jane Blount

Jane has boy/girl twins, Whit and Greer, who are seniors at Galloway. She serves on the Development and Diversity/Inclusivity committees of the board. In addition, she serves on the boards of the Georgia Lawyers for the Arts and the Georgian Chamber Players.

She has served on the boards of Georgia Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children and The Atlanta Lawyers' Orchestra. Since 2010, Jane has been outside counsel to The Coca-Cola Company for global marketing and international licensing. Prior to that position she was in-house marketing counsel for the International Olympic Committee and for the American Cancer Society. She has a BA in French and Economics from UGA, and a Masters degree in International Relations and a J.D. from GSU.

Amir Farokhi '96, diversity/inclusivity chair

Amir was a student at Galloway for thirteen years, graduating in 1996. He previously served on the board from 2005 until 2010. He chairs the diversity/inclusivity committee. Amir is Director of Strategy at BrightHouse, a division of Boston Consulting Group. Previously, he was Founder and Executive Director of GeorgiaForward and practiced commercial litigation with an Atlanta law firm. In 2011, 2012 and 2013, Amir was named among the Most Influential Georgians by Georgia Trend Magazine. He was a 2011 Marshall Memorial Fellow and is a Term Member with the Council on Foreign Relations. Amir is a graduate of Duke University and Duke University School of Law.

Stuart Fierman

Stuart’s two children, currently in 6th and 9th grade, have been at Galloway since they were 3 years old. He has been involved with Galloway’s development efforts since his first child started back in 2005. By proving himself incapable of saying “no,” he has worked his way down from caller, to grade captain, to level chair, and ultimately to chairperson of the Annual Giving Campaign in 2015/16 and 2016/17. He sees the bright side of his weak spine in Galloway’s first ever Million Dollar Year.

A graduate of the University of Texas Austin with a degree in Advertising, Stuart decided to forgo the Marketing path, instead pursuing a career in ski instruction, and ultimately hospitality. He is a Managing Partner with Fifth Group Restaurants overseeing the day to day operations of their 8 restaurants. He has worked with the Hospitality Committee of the Atlanta Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, and serves on the Board of Directors for the Georgia Restaurant Association.

Jenny Gruel, Parents Association president

Jenny and her family have been part of the Galloway community for six years. She has a son in Middle Learning and a daughter in Early Learning. Jenny has been an active volunteer serving as Fall Fun Fest chair for two years, Early Learning coordinator, contact parent, soccer coach, new parent ambassador and currently Parents Association president. After moving to Atlanta 13 years ago, she began her career in print, design and displays. Jenny took a six-year “break” to be a stay at home mom. Recently, Jenny co-founded Stratus Collective, a display and design company, with her husband. She is active in the Beyond Type-1 and Tour de Cure charities. She loves her family, her dogs and making art in her free time.

Peter Hartman

Peter’s daughter attended Galloway for fourteen years and graduated in 2014. This is Peter’s second year on the board; he chairs the facilities and space committee and also serves on the executive and finance committees. Professionally, Peter is a partner at Hartman, Simons & Wood, LLP, an Atlanta based law firm which specializes in commercial real estate. Peter is also a trustee of the Georgia Conservancy. He has a B.A. from Vanderbilt University and a J.D. from Antioch School of Law.

Jim Kieffer, development chair

Jim has been a Galloway parent for eleven years and has two daughters, one in Upper Learning and one in Middle Learning. In his fifth year on the board, he is chair of the audit committee, a member of the trustees committee, and also serves on the Head of School’s Innovation committee. Jim is a managing director of Artisan Partners, an investment management firm. Jim earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from Emory University.

Maggie Klein

As the mother of young children and the daughter and granddaughter of educators, the opportunity to serve on the Galloway School board was a natural fit. Maggie will lead the special project on Messaging and Communications and brings with her more than 12 years of public relations, communications, and marketing experience. She is the founder of Magpie Messaging, a branding and PR firm and spent 10 years at Spanx as Senior Director of Global Marketing and previously head of PR. While there, she helped turn the brand into a household name and led omni-channel marketing and content strategy. She also serves on the Board of Directors for The Packaged Good, a nonprofit dedicated to empowering kids to give back. She graduated from Louisiana State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication/Public Relations and lives in Atlanta with her husband, two sons and rescue dogs.

Sandy McCauley

Sandy has been a Galloway parent for 14 years. She has four children at Galloway; a son and daughter in Upper Learning and two daughters in Middle Learning. Now in her third year on the board, the first of which was as president of the Parents Association, she is chair of the Trustees Committee and serves on the diversity/inclusivity committee.Sandy works part-time in the Development Department as Alumni Coordinator for The Schenck School. Prior to this, Sandy worked as Marketing Director and Account Supervisor at an Atlanta graphic communications agency specializing in investor relations. Sandy holds a Bachelor of Science in Journalism with a minor in Political Science from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University.

Allen Mendenhall

Bio coming soon.

Seth Morganstern '01, alumni association president

Seth’s association with Galloway began when he was a student in seventh grade. He graduated from Galloway in 2001 and went on to earn a BS in Environmental Science from The Evergreen State College and an MS in Geographic Information Science from University of Southern California. His professional career is in timberland investments and he is currently Business Analyst/ Project Manager at Weyerhaeuser Company. In his second year on the board, he serves on the development committee. He has also served on the Alumni Council since 2009 and is the current president.

Michael Morrissey

In his fourth year on the board, Michael is the parent of a son in Early Learning and a daughter in Middle Learning. He is a member of the finance and diversity/inclusivity committees, and has served on the Director of Technology’s tech advisory group. He will lead the special project on Communication and Collaboration.

Michael is Vice President of Engineering at Yik Yak, an Atlanta-based social networking startup. Previously, Michael was Senior Director of Engineering at Google, where for eight years he was a key driver in developing, scaling, and improving the Android platform. At Google, he focused on initiatives ranging from wireless communications and mobile security to speech recognition and mobile advertising. He moved to Google from Microsoft, where he also focused on advanced mobile devices. Prior to Microsoft, Michael worked at several pioneering startups in Silicon Valley.

Wendy Newstetter

Wendy is a cognitive and learning scientist who collaborated with Galloway faculty and administration on the design of the new science laboratories. At Georgia Tech, she is the Assistant Dean for Educational Research and Innovation in the College of Engineering. She is also a faculty member in the Department of Biomedical Engineering where she developed a problem-based learning (PBL) curriculum and an adjunct professor in the College of Computing. She sits on the U.S. Army Science Board. She has two daughters, who attended Atlanta Public schools, but she herself attended Winchester-Thurston, an independent school in Pittsburgh, PA. In her first year on the board, she serves on the ad hoc facilities and space committee.

Bill Nussey

Bill has been a Galloway parent since 2013. His son is in Upper Learning (class of 2019). This is his first year on the board. Professionally, Bill has spent most of his career as the CEO of several venture-backed software companies. After selling his most recent company to IBM in 2014, Bill was promoted to become IBM’s VP Corporate Strategy out of the company’s headquarters in NY. Bill left IBM in 2016 to write a book called Freeing Energy that seeks to help accelerate the shift towards cleaner, cheaper electric power. He plans to launch a new renewable energy company in 2018. Bill received a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from North Carolina State University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Merrick Olives


Merrick Olives is a beaming parent of two Galloway students: a son in 8th grade and a daughter in 5th. Merrick joined Galloway’s Board of Trustees in 2016 and serves on the Diversity and Finance committees. Prior to joining Galloway’s board, Merrick served as a board member with the Atlanta BeltLine Partnership and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta. His professional background is in management consulting – he is a founder and Managing Partner of Candid Partners, an Atlanta-based Management and Technology Consulting firm. Merrick grew up in rural New Mexico and graduated with a BS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. He also has an MBA from Cornell University.

Chip Reed

Chip has three teenage boys; his oldest graduated from Galloway in May 2017, his middle son is in Upper Learning and his youngest is in Middle Learning. This is Chip's first year on the Board of Trustees and he serves on the finance and audit committees. Chip is a managing director and portfolio manager with Atlanta Capital Management where he has worked for the past 19 years. Prior to joining the firm in 1998, Chip was a portfolio manager with Florida State Board of Administration where he was responsible for managing their internal special situation equity fund. Chip is a graduate of Florida State University ('89) with a degree in Finance and holds the distinction of Chartered Financial Analyst.

Neal Sumter

As a financial advisor at Morgan Stanley, Neal works closely with a network of regional and national specialists to design solutions for client needs in the areas of family governance, philanthropic strategy, tailored lending and lifestyle advisory. He joined the team in 2007 after serving for six years as Smith Barney’s Southern Division Director of Private Wealth Management , a role responsible for delivering the full spectrum of the firm’s family office services to some of the wealthiest individuals and families in the country. Prior to joining the firm in 1999, Neal was in private banking with a national commercial bank in Atlanta.

Neal received his B.S. in Industrial Management from the Georgia Institute of Technology and his M.B.A. from Georgia State University. He is currently a member of the Association of Professional Investment Consultants.

Neal lives in the Buckhead area of Atlanta with his wife and their two children. He is a trustee for The Galloway School, Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School, emeritus trustee for the Schenck School and former trustee for Trinity School and the Peachtree Road United Methodist Church.

Rachel Fox Weitz ‘01

Rachel attended Galloway for 11 years and graduated in 2001. She serves on the executive and development committees and is the school’s Alumni Giving Chair. Rachel is an attorney for Delta Air Lines, and prior to that, practiced law in the corporate department at McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP in Atlanta. She has her bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Michigan and law degree from Emory University School of Law. While in law school, Rachel served as the president of the Student Bar Association and was a research assistant on issues of federal and state housing and real estate finance laws and policies. Prior to law school, Rachel worked at a political media consulting firm where she managed media for campaigns across the country. She also worked on presidential campaigns, as well as designed and implemented communications plans for corporate, non-profit and political clients while working at a public affairs firm in Washington, DC.

Sharon Winn

Sharon’s two children have been at Galloway for 4 years. They are currently in 6th and 10th grade. This is Sharon’s first year on the Board and she serves on the Development and Diversity/Inclusivity committees. She served as the Vice Chairman of the RISD Associates, a fund raising organization for the RISD Museum in Rhode Island, prior to moving back home to Atlanta. Professionally, Sharon worked in the financial industry in New York and New Jersey as an AVP for Pershing, a back office firm for large investment houses. Since 2009, she has worked at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia, currently as the Director of Individual and Small Group Sales for the state of Georgia. Sharon has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Georgia.

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