Greens Farms Academy

An Independent Co-Ed Day School For Grades PreK-12

Leadership Transition

A Message from the Transition Committee

We are very excited to welcome Bob Whelan as Greens Farms Academy's new Head of School.

Bob visited our campus a number of times this winter and spring to become familiar with the people and culture of GFA. Over the course of these visits, he participated in several school events and met with many key constituent groups. He enjoyed experiencing school traditions and mingling with the GFA community, including students, faculty, staff, parents, trustees and alumni. We are grateful to all of you who participated in welcoming him.

Bob arrived in Westport and officially assumed the role of Head of School on July 1, 2018. He will devote significant time during the summer months to continuing to learn about GFA. He is enthusiastic about what is to come.

We are so proud to have Bob at the helm and look forward to a future with our next great leader.


Arlene Howard and Kate Roth
Trustees and Co-chairs, Head of School Transition Committee

Announcement from the Board of Trustees

On behalf of the Board of Trustees and the Search Committee, we are excited and honored to announce the appointment of Bob Whelan as the next Head of School at Greens Farms Academy, effective July 1, 2018. He will succeed Janet Hartwell, who has provided inspired leadership and dedicated service since 2003.

Beginning last January, the Search Committee began the process of recruiting the strongest and best-matched candidates to our school from across the country and internationally. Interest in the opportunity at Greens Farms Academy was keen and the candidate pool robust. Following preliminary, confidential interviews and substantive sessions with the Search Committee, three of these applicants and their spouses were invited to visit GFA, where they met with faculty, students, staff members, parents, administrators, alumni, and trustees. On September 25th, the Search Committee presented Bob as its unanimous nominee to the Board of Trustees to serve as the next Head of Greens Farms Academy. The trustees enthusiastically and unanimously approved the recommendation.

During the in-depth interview process over several stages, Bob's energy and enthusiasm for Greens Farms and its mission were evident to all. Members of the Search Committee also undertook extensive reference checking and received glowing reports from those who have worked with Bob and have direct knowledge of his skills and qualities. The clear theme that emerged to the Search Committee is that Bob is an individual of highest character, who cares deeply about all those who comprise a school community, and who has been an effective leader in achieving ambitious goals.

We will look forward to welcoming the Whelans to Greens Farms Academy for visits over the coming months, while recognizing that Bob has continuing responsibilities at his current school and that Janet Hartwell will continue as GFA's Head through June 30th. The Board of Trustees will be appointing a Transition Committee to assist with various aspects of this leadership change, and you will be hearing more about plans to celebrate Janet Hartwell's distinguished tenure.

Thanks to the dedication of so many and their participation in the search process, Greens Farms Academy is poised for a bold and bright future.


Shelley Goldsmith

Tricia Vanacore

Co-Chairs, Board of Trustees

GFA is a place that’s all about balance: you’ll be challenged to stretch further than you ever thought you could, and then you know you’ll have support when you need it. Every time you turn around, you see someone smiling because this is a place of warmth and humor. It’s a place where your teachers are rooting for you, and most importantly, it’s a place that embraces community spirit.
Bob whelan

Transition Committee

In order to ensure that the transition is a smooth and successful one, the Board of Trustees has established a Transition Committee of faculty, staff, parents, trustees, alums, and students. This Committee will have a number of roles: further introducing Bob to GFA as well as the broader community in the months ahead; providing support and guidance throughout the first year of his tenure; and extending a warm welcome to Bob and his wife, Annie, and their children, Chloe and Ben.

Transition Committee

Arlene Howard - Trustee
Kate Roth '90 - Trustee

Ward Abel - Faculty
Carolyn Cohen - Trustee
Amy Colbert - Faculty
Ethan Furman - Student Ambassador
Gail Gibb - Staff
Shelley Goldsmith - Trustee
Beth James - Faculty
Jenn Klein - Faculty
Chris Kolovos - Faculty
Lynne Laukhuf - Trustee
Rikeh Saingbe - Student Ambassador
Candace Wagner - PA Co-President

Educators' Collaborative

Jean Lamont and John Mackenzie


Carolyn Cohen - Trustee
Lynne Laukhuf - Trustee

Shelley Goldsmith - Trustee

Sarah Bayzick - Faculty
Vani Bettegowda - Trustee
David Durkin - Trustee
Andrew Jones - Faculty
Charlie King - Faculty
Stephen Lawrence - Trustee
Tricia Vanacore - Trustee
Zac Zeitlin - Trustee


Justine Fellows - Faculty
Drew Meyer - Faculty
Samantha Mooney - Trustee

Jim Brown
Aléwa Cooper
Frances Nixon Denote
Michael Diamond
Mari Flicker ‘83
Jennifer Klein
Victor Llanque Zonta
Kate Roth ‘90
Jenny San Jose
Carolyn Skiba
Michele Whelan