A Board of Trustees governs Oak Hill School. The responsibilities of the Board are to determine and guide the character, mission, and culture of the School, to establish overall policies for the School, to assure the financial sustainability of the School, and to cause the policies that the Board adopts to be effectively implemented. Board members volunteer their time and resources to further the Oak Hill School mission “to provide the best K-12 education, creating caring and responsible critical thinkers,” and ensure the school’s success.
The Oak Hill School Board of Trustees consists of 5 committees. All committee memberships, with the exceptions of the Executive Committee and the Governance Committee, are open to Oak Hill School constituent groups (parents, alumni, alumni parents, grandparents, friends), given they possess the appropriate background, expertise, and interest.
• The Development Committee: Responsible for all areas of fundraising for the school. Includes oversight of the CSA and alumni association and any other ad hoc or regular groups that support the School.
• The Executive Committee: Leads the Board, members are the Chair, Vice Chair, Treasurer, and the Secretary. Authorized to act on behalf of the board in matters that require immediate action and in between board meetings. Ensures that policy changes are carried out. Oversees the evaluation of the Head’s performance.
• The Facilities Committee: Ensures adequate facilities and oversees the maintenance of the physical plant of the school. Guides master planning, and researches avenues for appropriate and proactive growth.
• The Finance Committee: Guides financial reporting. Ensures fiduciary responsibility and oversight.
• The Governance Committee: Recruits/orients/assesses Board members and Board performance, regularly reviews the school’s bylaws, and plans the annual retreat.
The Board-Head Connection
The Board and the Head of School are partners in carrying out the mission and vision of the school. The Board is concerned with sustainability, which allows the administration and faculty to provide the exceptional curriculum and teaching that define the Oak Hill School experience. The Head of School can be considered the CEO of the school, and he/she provides for the long-term implementation of the Board-driven strategic vision for the school in respect to the daily affairs of the school.
• developing a strategic vision
• policy development and approval
• hiring and working collaboratively with, as well as overseeing, the Headmaster
• approving an annual budget, including salary package and tuition setting
• overseeing financial accountability
• ensuring that in broad terms the school is fulfilling its mission
Head of School Responsibilities
• works with the board of trustees to establish and refine the mission
• articulates the mission to parents, faculty, staff, students
• oversees the shaping of the school’s program and the quality of life in the school community
• effectively leads the school, involving members of the administration and faculty in decision making
• responsible for attracting, retaining, developing, and evaluating qualified faculty and staff (hiring and firing)
• guides financial management, maintenance of the physical plant, strategic planning and fundraising
• serves as an ambassador of the school within the greater community
• serves ex-officio as a member of all committees
Meet the Board
Terry Niegel and his wife Donna Niegel have been active members of the Oak Hill community for many years, beginning when their son Tanner was enrolled in the OHS 1st grade. Terry is a CPA at Kernutt Stokes LLP in Eugene. He is currently the Chair of the Board of Trustees and serves on the Finance committee as well. What he loves the most about our school is the creative learning environment that is fostered throughout every aspect of Oak Hill.
Secretary, Finance & Facilities Committees
Cynthia Morris is the mother of Mark Curtis (class of 2022) and David Curtis (class of 2023). Her family came to Oak Hill in 2010 looking for a community with differentiated learning in the classroom and a superior and personalized student/teacher ratio. Cynthia operates a wholesale distribution warehouse, Petersen-Arne, that provides weekly replenishment to retail stores and ecommerce fulfillment in the sewing and crafting categories. Cynthia serves on both the Finance and Facilities committees of the Board of Trustees. She has been a driving force, together with Jesse Elliott, for the six major campus improvement and building projects we’ve experienced every year since 2012, including the Hill Art Studios and barn renovation complex, remodeling of the MacDonald building creating new classrooms, and repurposing of the Cottage and Gonyea House into our new administrative core at the heart of campus. What Cynthia loves most about Oak Hill is that it provides what she wishes every kid could have: a caring community of bright and tolerant-minded professionals, dedicated to supporting every child to be the best they can be, while exploring all facets of academic and creative achievement in a safe, supportive, and inspiring natural setting.
Nathan Mattox, spouse Leslie Mattox, daughter Samantha Mattox (class of 2022), and son Nathan Mattox, Jr. (Oak Hill School 2013) have been with Oak Hill School since Nathan Jr. entered the 8th grade in 2008, with Samantha beginning kindergarten in 2009. He is semi-retired after a 28-year career in the automotive industry, and currently owns and manages residential and commercial properties in Oregon and Alaska. Currently, he is Vice Chair of the OHS Board of Trustees and also serves as Development Committee Chair. If you ask him what he loves most about OHS, you might get a deer in the headlights look, because “when you are part of a school with so many wonderful things it is hard to pinpoint one. Today I will say it’s my impressionable daughter being taught by faculty and staff that truly care about her future and success. Tomorrow I know I will say it’s the luscious 72-Acre campus that we all get to enjoy.”
Dan comes to OHS after a career in consumer affairs and nonprofit organization administration. He retired in 2013 after 33 years at Consumer Reports in Yonkers, NY. His work there included working with the Board of Directors and advocacy offices, facilities planning, and business policies review. His last position there was Labor Relations Director and Ethics Officer. Prior to that he worked as a consumer fraud investigator in San Diego, and was the first Executive Director of the California Public Interest Research Group (CalPIRG). He has a BA from Syracuse University and an MA from San Diego State University, both in American Studies. Between degrees he spent four years as an Air Force officer. His interests include gardening, woodworking, and current events.
Dan’s interest in OHS stems from his two grandchildren, Madeline (Class of 2027) and Jolie Moore (Class of 2030). Prior to relocating to Eugene last year, Dan and his wife, Donna, rarely missed Grandparents Day, flying out from New York for the event. He’s thrilled to have a shorter trip to OHS events, and to be part of an exceptional institution.
John O’Brien comes to Oak Hill School with over thirty-five years of experience in the independent school world. Originally from Massachusetts, he completed his Bachelor of Arts in History at Trinity College in Connecticut and his Master of Arts in American Studies at Dartmouth College. He has taught students in Grades 5-12 and has been a coach of numerous interscholastic sports teams. John’s various administrative experiences have included serving as Assistant Dean of Admission at Phillips Andover Academy in Andover, MA, Head of Middle School, Head of Upper School, and Associate Head of School at Viewpoint School in Calabasas, CA, and Head of School at both Saddle River Day School in Saddle River, NJ, and at St. Mary’s School in Aliso Viejo, CA. During his years at St. Mary’s, the school’s programs and reputation were greatly enhanced, leading to significant growth in both enrollment and fundraising activities. He has also served as the chair of school accreditation teams for the California Association of Independent Schools (CAIS).
The Oregon lifestyle suits John well, as he is an avid runner, hiker, and golfer. He also has two grown sons, Jack and Chris, who reside in Southern California. One fun fact: He and his sons are citizens of both the United States and Ireland (John’s mother was born there).