Board of Trustees
Wakefield School's Board of Trustees serves as the guardian of the school's mission. Our Trustees bring their varied and valuable wisdom and expertise to the table, helping guide the school's long-term strategic vision and fiduciary health.
Wakefield follows the general Board Committee structure as recommended by the National Association of Independent Schools. Board committees include: Executive, Finance, Compliance, Trustee, Development, and Mission and Excellence.
- Eileen Quenell, Chair of Board
- Piers Carey, Vice Chair
- David Bassam, MD, Treasurer
- Karen Way, Secretary
- Jay Bryant
- Leon Bushara
- Kevin Cole
- Rustom Cowasjee
- Ashley Harper
- Kevin Handford
- Brenton Lewis
- Stamatina McGrath, PH.D.
- Darrin Mollett
- John Neff
- Molly Dunning Ohrstrom
- Linda Rich
- Gracie Withers
- Mark Wyatt
Eileen is Managing Director of Health and Benefits at Aon Hewitt, where she helps companies and health care systems improve the cost and quality of health care. She has 26 years of experience in the field of employee benefits, health strategy and workforce health improvement. Eileen has a B.A. in Psychology and Economics from St. John Fisher College in her hometown of Rochester, New York.
Eileen has three children: Max ’12, Mia, Class of 2022, and William, Class of 2024. She is married to Steven Penders and resides in Warrenton, VA.
Piers is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Teneo, a Specialist Integrator of Next Generation Technology who focus on Networking and Security for Enterprise customers around the globe. He was educated in the United Kingdom at Reading University and holds a B.A. degree with honors in Geography and English. Piers has two children: Joshua, Class of '21, and Sophia, '22, Piers is married to Amber and they reside in Middleburg, Va.
Dr. David Bassam is a native of Northern Virginia having grown up in Alexandria and graduating from Virginia Tech (B.S. 1993) and The University of Virginia (M.D. 1997). Dr. Bassam is the principle founding partner of a specialty medical practice focused on the care of spine conditions in Manassas, Virginia. Dr. Bassam’s professional interests include efforts to combat the ongoing opioid epidemic through advocacy and education. Dr. Bassam has served on the Virginia Board of Medicine as well as other area civic organizations. Dr. Bassam sponsors rising Wakefield seniors interested in pursuing medicine with summer internship opportunities through the Wise program. He and his wife Laura are strong advocates for independent schools and active members of the Wakefield community. Dr. Bassam has four children at Wakefield (graduating classes of 2026, 2027, 2029, and 2031) who have been enrolled since JK.
Karen's professional background focused on real estate development, urban planning and revitalization, and environmental issues, both as an urban planner and thereafter, a lawyer. She has always had a strong commitment to pro bono activities and enhancing the lives and infrastructure in urban and rural communities. After a ten year tenure with law firm DLA Piper in Chicago, her family moved to Virginia in 2007. She has her own Virginia pro bono practice serving those in our larger community to find creative solutions to legal problems.
Karen Way has one son and is Godmother to three Wakefield students. In addition to spending time with her husband and son, she is known for her friendly cows and leading hiking adventures around her family's farm, Ovoka in Paris, Va.
Leon is an independent consultant and board member to companies, investors and non-profits within the bio-pharmaceutical sector. Previously, he was CEO of Astex Pharmaceuticals in Cambridge, England and a senior executive at Serono S.A. in Geneva, Switzerland. He holds an A.B. degree with concentrations in Economics and English & American Literature from Brown University. Leon is married to Daniela and has four children, including Byron '16, Sadie '18, and Horatio, Class of 2022. They reside in Warrenton, Va.
Kevin has been in the construction industry for more than 30 years working as an engineer initially, then serving an apprenticeship and working his way up to CEO of an electrical contracting company. He is also active in various industry associations serving on the boards of the Associated Builders and Contractors, and the Career and Technical Education Foundation.
He is also very active with various children's charities including the Rainbow Therapeutic Riding Center (a charity serving neuro-atypical children and wounded veterans) and on the board of directors of Youth For Tomorrow (a charity serving at risk youth in a residential educational facility, in outpatient facilities and with foster care programs throughout Northern Virginia.
Kevin and his wife, Karen, have three children all of which are Wakefield graduates. They are Rachel '11, Hannah '16 and Jared '18. Rachel graduated from American University. Hannah attends JMU and Jared attends ODU.
Mr. Cowasjee is currently responsible for the development, design and construction of the Washington, DC, Chicago and Boston portfolios. Since joining Tishman Speyer in 1999, he has been responsible for the design and construction of the company’s projects in Northern Virginia, District of Columbia, Chicago, Philadelphia and Boston. He has also been responsible for setting up Tishman Speyer’s design and construction departments and projects in India. Prior to joining Tishman Speyer, Mr. Cowasjee worked for London & Leeds Development Corporation and was responsible for the design and construction of the commercial office building portfolio and hotels in the Americans, including in Canada, the Caribbean and South America. He has also worked as an architect for I.M. Pei & Partners in New York. Mr. Cowasjee graduated from Cornell University with a B. Arch and earned an MAUD in architecture and urban design from the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University.
Ashley Harper is Head of School at Wakefield School. Ashley's career in education spans teaching, college admissions, lower and middle-school division leadership, and development. Ashley has a B.A. in Economics from Florida State University, and a M.A. in Teaching and Learning/Curriculum and Instruction from Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. She was a National Association of Independent Schools Aspiring School Heads Fellow from 2011-2012.
Ashley and her husband, Doug, have two children: Jack and Riley (Class of 2024).
Kevin joined Wakefield’s Board of Trustees in 2013. Kevin is a Certified Financial Planner, and the owner of Handford Financial Strategies, a financial management firm. He is a graduate of the Virginia Military Institute with a degree in Economics. He is a strong believer in small schools such as VMI and Wakefield School, and the community and networking that can be fostered in such an environment.
Kevin and his wife, Jennifer, have three daughters: Gabriella and Brianna, Class of 2020, and Natalie, Class of 2025 . The Handford family has been at Wakefield for eleven years.
Stamatina McGrath was elected to the Wakefield Board of Trustees in 2018. Stamatina earned her B.A. in History at The College of William and Mary, and both her M.A. and PhD (Byzantine History) at The Catholic University of America. She teaches History at George Mason University. Dr. McGrath is very active in the Wakefield community and looks forward to continuing to help improve the educational experience for all students.
She and her husband Jim have two children: Nicholas '17, and Anna, Class of 2021. The McGrath’s have lived in the Centreville area for the last twenty-six years.
Darrin is the Owner/Founder of Beverly Equestrian. She was instrumental in bringing together an Equestrian Program at Wakefield School and serves as Co-Chair for the Great Meadow Eventing Committee. Darrin is an attorney and has worked in the field of litigation with an emphasis on employment and intellectual property law. Darrin holds a B.A. and J.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles.
She and her husband, Bill Ballhaus, have two children: Brooke, Class of 2022, and William, Class of 2025.
John is a partner at Akre Capital Management in Middleburg, Va. Prior to coming to this area, John worked for William Blair & Company in their equity research department. He holds a B.A. in English from Colgate University and a M.B.A. from the University of Chicago. John and his wife, Jennifer, have two children: Michael , Class of 2020, and Kate, Class of 2023.
Linda is a Senior Managing Director for Government Relations and Legislative Affairs for the CME Group. She is responsible for developing and implementing CME Group’s U.S. and global legislative and policy strategy. Linda has also worked on Capitol Hill as a Senior Counsel to the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Financial Services and Commerce. She holds an A.B. from Brown University and a J.D. from George Washington University.
She and her husband, Peter, have three children: Mackie '18, and Will and Walker, Class of 2021.
- Lieutenant General John S. Fairfield USAF (Retired)
- Guy Gravett
- Susan W. Lewis
- Paul J. Mayer
- Mark J. Ohrstrom
- Gary Squire
- James Treptow
John joined Wakefield's Board of Trustees in June 2004. John served in the Air Force for 35 years where he had extensive combat and Pentagon level assignments. Upon retirement in 1997, John worked for DynCorp and the Computer Science Corporation. For the past ten years, he has served as the Director of IBM's Strategic Business Relationships Team. He holds a bachelors degree in Social Sciences from San Francisco State University and has advanced studies at Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
John became a Trustee Emeritus in 2016.
John and his wife, Donna, have one daughter, Kelsey, and one granddaughter, Mariah '13.
Susan joined Wakefield's Board of Trustees in 2005 and took over as Chairman in 2008. Professionally, Sue had a 25-year career in banking and commercial real estate investment. She retired in 2005 as Executive Vice President and Chief Real Estate Investment Officer for Citigroup's Alternative Investment Group where she managed their $12 billion portfolio of worldwide commercial real estate investments and partnerships. Sue holds a Bachelor's Degree in Finance from Rollins College.
Sue became a Trustee Emeritus in 2017.
She and her husband, Steve, have two children: Kelly, and Brenton '09.
Paul joined the Board in 2003. Paul is Senior Vice President of Corporate Development (M&A, strategy) for Navient, which was created via a recent spin-off from Sallie Mae. Before Sallie Mae, Paul was a partner with a strategy consulting firm, and also worked at J.P. Morgan and for a member of Congress. As a consultant, Paul served a number of education-related clients, including the College Board and Educational Testing Service. He has a B.A. degree from Cornell University, and an M.B.A. from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
Paul became a Trustee Emeritus in 2016.
Paul and his wife Susan Southard have one daughter, Juliet Mayer '14. He lives in The Plains, and enjoys tennis and Nationals baseball.