Meet Our Team

Claire Leheny
Executive Director


Claire joined AISNE in 2015 as the organization's Executive Director. Prior to joining AISNE, Claire was the founding Executive Director of the National Network of Schools in Partnership (NNSP), which brings together public and independent schools to build partnerships that expand opportunities for students. Claire began her career as an independent school teacher, coach and administrator and then spent over a decade as a senior executive for two media companies based in London and Washington, D.C. Claire holds degrees from Oberlin College and Georgetown University.

Kristin Bedard
Director, Communications & Member Engagement


Kristin brings a valuable combination of marketing, communications, and independent school experience to AISNE. She began her career at The Boston Globe and Boston.com, developing and marketing new products. Kristin's passion for the convergence of marketing and technology, along with the rise of social media and marketing automation, took her to Forrester in 2012, where she helped lead Forrester's CMO Group, a membership-based peer network for chief marketing officers.

A 1997 graduate of Dana Hall School in Wellesley, MA, Kristin served as president of the school's alumnae association, 2011-2017, and she currently serves on the school's Board of Trustees. These experiences give Kristin first-hand perspective and appreciation for the emerging needs and interests of local independent schools. Kristin lives in Newton, MA with her husband Rob and their two sons. She is a graduate of Boston University.

Sara Wilson
Director, Accreditation


Sara began her work in education as a kindergarten teacher in public and independent schools before training to become a Montessori Early Childhood teacher and teaching in charter and independent Montessori schools. Sara has served on the Executive Committee of the National Council for Private School Accreditation (NCPSA) and on the boards of state private school accrediting agencies including the Virginia Council for Private Education (VCPE). Prior to joining AISNE in the spring of 2018, Sara was Senior Director of School Accreditation & School Improvement at the American Montessori Society.

Sara is a graduate of Northfield Mount Hermon School and the University of Virginia. She earned her Masters of Education from Harvard Graduate School of Education. Sara lives in Beverly, MA with her daughter.

Becky Biggs
Director, Professional Development


Becky began her career as a teacher, working at both independent and public schools in Maine. Becky's passion for professional development traces back to these early assignments, demonstrated by her active participation in programs aimed at supporting the advancement of the teaching profession. In 2012, Becky turned from teaching to admissions, where she was able to apply her development and enrichment experiences towards designing programs for parents and students. Prior to joining AISNE in the summer of 2018, Becky was Dean of Lower School Admissions at Moses Brown School in Providence, Rhode Island.

Becky is a graduate of Colby College. She earned her Masters of Education from Lesley University. She lives in Providence, RI with her husband and three children.

Shauna Betof
Manager, Program & Sponsorships


Shauna manages our corporate partner and sponsorship programs and relationships. In addition to her work at AISNE, Shauna has previously held the role of co-coordinator for the NAIS Families First Program, supporting head of school and their spouses, across the country. She's worked and lived at several independent schools, most recently as Assistant Athletic Director at George School. She has also served as an ODP soccer coach and a soccer club director. Shauna has B.S. in Human Development from Cornell University and studied Sport and Exercise Psychology at Springfield College while serving as an assistant coach for their women’s soccer team. She is a member of the Brookline Education Foundation board. Shauna lives in Brookline, MA with her husband and their two daughters.

Michelle Pateras
Manager, Finances & Bookkeeping

Michelle brings an impressive set of expertise, both in financials management as well as strategic and tactical process improvement leadership to our team here at AISNE. Most recently, Michelle held financial analyst and partner roles for six years at Harvard University. Prior, she contributed to analytics, process and procedure innovations at NSTAR and Boston Scientific. Michelle is a Boston College graduate and holds her Masters of Business Administration from Simmons College. She lives in Quincy with her family.

Betsy O'Brien
Manager, Program & Communications


Betsy serves an essential role on our team, supporting communications and resources across all parts of our association: professional development, events, accreditation and membership, as well as our outreach and support to families interested in New England independent schools. She joins AISNE from Boston Globe Media, where she was immersed in the ever-changing, cross-channel media landscape, giving her great perspective on the ways in which today's organizations connect and engage with their target consumers. Betsy brings a passion for educational equity and inclusion, having dedicated a year of AmeriCorps service through City Year Boston following her 2011 graduation from Fontbonne Academy in Milton, MA. As a Fontbonne alum, Betsy understands first-hand the profound impact an independent school education has on a person's social and emotional health and well being. Betsy is a John Carroll University graduate, and she hails from Milton, MA.