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.

Eliza Alexander
Managing Director, Northern New England

Eliza has worked in independent schools for over twenty years leading a wide array of educational initiatives. A common thread across her career is a commitment to collaboration among schools, teachers and administrators to maximize educational outcomes. Raised in mid-coast Maine, Eliza began her career as a Spanish teacher specializing in Central America and Mexico. As Director of Community Engagement and Partnerships at Maret School in Washington DC, Eliza oversaw an E.E. Ford Foundation grant to infuse K-12 curriculum with service learning. She also developed and led a nationally recognized race and equity training program for independent school faculty and administrators. More recently, she designed and managed professional development for teachers implementing equitable teaching practices. Eliza has presented and worked extensively with independent school administrators, as well as leaders in higher education, government and non-profit organizations. She is thrilled to return to her home state of Maine with her husband and two children.

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, 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.

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.

Tedda LaChance
Director, Member Support and Operations, Northern New England

Tedda is a graduate of John Bapst Memorial High School in Bangor, ME and received a BA in Political Science from the University of Maine. She holds a graduate certificate in Nonprofit Management from the Muskie School of Public Service, a certificate in Grant Writing from the University of Southern Maine and is a Notary Public. Tedda came to ISANNE from previous nonprofit positions and most recently worked in development at Thornton Academy. Tedda lives in Gorham, Maine with her husband and two daughters.

Alexander Noren
Manager, Finance

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.

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.