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-Executive Directors Connection
The Board and the Executive Directors 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 Executive Directors can be considered the CEOs of the school, and they provide 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
Leia works for the City of Eugene, leading the office of the Police Auditor, which provides community oversight of Eugene's police department. She received a wonderful education from independent schools, and she was drawn to Oak Hill to provide a similar educational experience for her two children. She has been part of the Oak Hill Community since 2018, and she was honored to join the Board in March of 2020. She was elected Board Chair in July of 2021, and she is deeply committed to the school and its success.
Secretary, Finance & Facilities Committees
Cynthia Morris is the mother of Mark Curtis (class of 2022). 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.
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.
Elliot Berkman, PhD, is father to two boys in the lower school. He is a Professor of Psychology at the University of Oregon, where he runs a research lab studying the neuroscience and psychology of goals, motivation, and behavior change. At UO, Elliot publishes research papers, writes textbooks, and teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in psychology, neuroscience, and statistics. He also directs Berkman Consultants, LLC, a boutique consulting firm that uses insights from research to help clients manage change. He has a PhD from UCLA and undergraduate degrees in psychology and mathematics from Stanford University.
Elliot’s experience with independent schools goes back to his childhood in Los Angeles, where he attended Stephen S. Wise elementary, an independent Jewish school, and then Oakwood High school, a member of the National Association of Independent Schools like Oak Hill. His focus on the board is to ensure that the school remains committed to its vision of academic excellence. He serves on the Governance Committee of the OHS Board and as the Board Secretary.
Boris Aust is an owner of Fall Creek Nursery, a global blueberry company headquartered in Eugene. A native of Germany, he studied banking and asset management and worked for Commerzbank AG for 10 years before moving to Oregon. Boris has earned his Chartered Financial Analyst certification, his Executive MBA from the University of Oregon, and was CFO of Fall Creek for 12 years during its build-out across four continents. He now oversees their Family Office, supports business development, and is an active board member. Boris and his wife Amelie live in Eugene with their three sons, who are 7, 5 and 2. He enjoys hiking, volunteering in the community, and believes in the power of building strong teams for high-performing organizations.
Hello! I’m Agnieszka (sz = sh). I’ve lived in Eugene/ Springfield for a long time and maintain ties with my land of birth, Poland, and Europe in general. My educational background includes a bachelor’s degree in International Relations, a Master’s in Philosophy and Religion, an ESL teaching certificate, and just as of this summer (2022) another Master’s from the UO in Conflict Resolution. I spent about 17 years teaching at the American English Institute at UO both in the classroom and online, where I developed a niche in critical thinking training which also provided me with many opportunities to travel and present workshops around the world. I am currently engaged as a program coordinator for Mediators Beyond Borders International with a focus on developing peacebuilding efforts related to Ukraine. On the lighter side, I enjoy outdoor pursuits, travel, reading, and most of all, being mom to my 5th grade son. It’s a pleasure to join the OHS Board and contribute what I can to strengthening this special school!