UCDS Institute

Board of Trustees

Board Responsibilities

Guided by best practice standards of our accrediting bodies, NAIS (National Association of Independent Schools) and NWAIS (Northwest Association of Independent Schools), the UCDS Board works as a strategic-planning and policy-setting group for the school.

Election to the UCDS Board of Trustees carries with it a responsibility of stewardship. By definition, Trustees are the custodians of the school’s integrity and fiduciary responsibilities. They hold in trust the school’s reputation as created by its founders, and as developed by those who have previously shaped the school. Current Trustees accept the obligation to preserve and evolve this institution.

Trustees are called upon to contribute their time, thought, and energy, as well as financial resources to support the viability and growth of the school.

Current Board of Trustees


Chair: Will Kiefer
Co-Vice Chair: Katie Jordan
Co-Vice Chair: Howard Burton
Secretary: David Brannon-Cirone
Treasurer: Greg Headrick


Darius Cayetano
Joe Gruber
Jill Im
Sean Holmes
Jill Jackson
Kristen Johnson
Van Katzman
Lisa Lewis
Jeanne Nguyen
Alexis Rubenstein (ex-officio)
Eric Sanderson
Amy Smith
Tony Stewart
Rebecca Stuart
Emily Thorpe
Jen Vary (ex-officio)

Strategic Plan

Every 5 years, the UCDS Board goes through the process of creating a new strategic plan for the school. This is a living document that is consistently reviewed and used to guide the school’s financial and educational decisions. The current plan was drafted in 2015 and had three areas of focus:

  • Invigorate Teaching Innovation: Extend our professional development outreach
  • Sustain Community Culture: Expand endowment and foundation funding
  • Influence Educational Quality: Establish a Masters Program in Education

To learn more about the details associated with each area of focus, click the link below and see the 2015 strategic plan document.