Board of Trustees

The Board oversees the financial management, long-range planning, and school policies of International School of Brooklyn, as well as setting school policy. The Board comprises both parents and community members, all of whom are dedicated to the positive development of ISB. Members serve for three year terms, and for no more than two consecutive terms.

Board of Trustees Mission Statement

  • Be an ambassador for ISB
  • Lead and support the initiatives of ISB
  • Govern and ensure the sustainability of ISB
  • Develop the ISB Board of Trustees and ISB Board committees to meet ISB expansion
ISB Board of Trustees

Sophie Panchal
President, Board of Trustees
Ms. Panchal was born and raised in France, but settled in London after her studies, where she lived for 16 years. Her career has been spent in the financial world, first in product accounting and later as an investment professional. She has worked for a number of prominent financial institutions, including Goldman Sachs, Aon Consulting, and UBS. She moved to Brooklyn in 2012 and now spends her time consulting on hedge fund matters, as well as applying her financial knowledge to various charitable enterprises. She holds a MSc in Finance from HEC in Paris and is Chartered Financial Analyst. Ms. Panchal joined the Board in 2014.

Daniel Paccione
Vice President, Board of Trustees
Mr. Paccione is the Director of Global Engagement and Product Innovation for EF Educational Tours. He works with schools to develop experiences abroad for students and teachers which develop global competence through action, critical thought, and reflection. Prior to this role, Daniel worked with the International Baccalaureate to help promote its mission of an “education for a better world” with schools and districts. Daniel completed his bachelor’s degree at Hunter College in Literature and French, and holds a graduate degree in International Education Development with a focus on Peace Education from Teachers College, Columbia University. He is a passionate educator and believes in the power of education to promote global understanding and peace. Mr. Paccione joined the Board in 2014.

Bradlee Benn
Treasurer, Board of Trustees
Mr. Benn has broad and diversified experience in the financial services industry. He currently works for J.P. Morgan, where he leads sales and business development within the firm’s Commerce Services division. Prior to J.P. Morgan, he worked at American Express in a number of different executive roles both domestically and internationally. Mr. Benn also spent two years leading a venture backed mobile technology company. He serves on the Board for The Hospital for Special Care, an acute care hospital in Connecticut and is the founder of the Thumbs Up Foundation. Mr. Benn received his MBA in International Business and Corporate Strategy from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, and he holds a BBA in Finance and Marketing from the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business. Mr. Benn is originally from Toronto, Canada but grew up in Hartford, Connecticut. Mr. Benn joined the Board in 2015.

Mónica Burgos
Secretary, Board of Trustees
Ms. Burgos, originally from Bogotá, Colombia, studied Theater Production at Fordham University. She also graduated from the French Culinary Institute with a Grand Diplôme in Classic Pastry Arts. As a professional chef, Ms. Burgos has worked with well-known pastry artists and cake decorators, in addition to running her own specialty cake business in Brooklyn. She also works as an English/Spanish translator for various Public Relations and Special Events projects. Ms. Burgos joined the Board in 2012.

Isabelle Jouanneau-Fertig
Member and Past President, Board of Trustees
Ms. Jouanneau-Fertig joined ISB’s Board of Trustees in 2009. As President, she managed ISB’s Board activities, assisted in development, and spearheaded fundraising events. A native of the Loire Valley in France, she has lived in the United States since 1977. She is a full time faculty member of the French Department at Barnard College, Columbia University, where she has been teaching language and culture courses since 1987. Previously, she taught at Yale University, Bryn Mawr College in France and the University of Texas in Austin. She was active in Parents Associations at her sons’ schools as well as in other volunteer work throughout NYC. Ms. Jouanneau-Fertig holds a B.A. and a M.A. in English and American Studies from the University of Paris VII. In January 2016, the French Government named Isabelle Jouanneau-Fertig a Knight of the National Order of the Legion of Honor.

Nancy Woodruff
Member and Past President, Board of Trustees
Ms. Woodruff has more than twenty years of experience in education, having taught at Columbia University, SUNY – Purchase, Richmond American International University in London and New York University. She holds a BA in English from the University of Iowa and an MFA in Writing from Columbia University, and is the author of two novels, Someone Else’s Child and My Wife’s Affair. A citizen of both the US and UK, she lived with her family for eight years in London, where her two older children attended IB and international schools. Ms. Woodruff joined the Board in 2011.

Jérôme Barth
Member, Board of Trustees
Mr. Barth is a graduate of the Institut D’Etudes Politiques de Strasbourg, and holds an MBA in Management and Marketing from the Stern School of Management at NYU. Mr. Barth spent most of his career at Bryant Park Corporation and specializes in public private partnerships, urban revitalization and events programming. Today, Mr. Barth is the Vice President for Finance and Administration for the Times Square Alliance and is the Principal of the consulting and management firm Town Square Consulting. His two children attend ISB. In collaboration with other partners, he also released the “Parentsmart” iPhone app. Mr. Barth joined the Board in 2012.

Yvonne Martínez Brathwaite
Member, Board of Trustees
Ms. Brathwaite is a native New Yorker, raised in East Harlem. She is the Director of Programs for Global Kids, a nonprofit educational organization that provides global learning opportunities for middle and high school youth from underserved areas in NYC and Washington, D.C. She oversees after school and school day global education, leadership, social action, digital media, and service learning programs that provide youth with the knowledge, skills, experiences and values they need to succeed in school, participate effectively int he democratic process, and achieve leadership in their communities and in the world.  Prior to this role, she worked for nearly 20 years at the Partnership for After School Education (PASE), a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting high quality after school programming for youth, particularly those from underserved communities. She serves as a member of the NYC STEM Education Network and is a certified STEM DoS Observer. She formerly served as a board member of The New York State Network for Youth Success and Global Kids.  Ms. Brathwaite started her career working directly with youth, running social service and leadership development programs. She holds a BA from Wesleyan University and a MPA from New York University. In 2013, Ms. Brathwaite was honored by the Tanenbaum Center with the Adam Solomon Award for Excellence, which recognizes education leaders who are committed to fostering and creating equitable and inclusive learning environments. Ms. Brathwaite joined the Board in 2015.

Susan Breton
Member, Board of Trustees
Ms. Breton is a practicing clinical child psychologist and an assistant professor at SUNY’S Fashion Institute of Technology. She received her PhD from Clark University and has held clinical, teaching, and research positions at Mount Sinai Adolescent Health Center and Columbia University Medical Center in New York City, The Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne, Australia, and Yale University Child Study Center. Ms. Breton joined the Board in 2012.

Gretchen Graf Drobnyk
Member, Board of Trustees
Ms. Drobnyk was born and raised on a cattle ranch in Montana. She studied elementary education with a focus in early childhood development at Montana State University and then moved to Washington, DC, to pursue a career in politics. After working on legislative issues in the US Senate, Ms. Drobnyk changed her focus to grassroots & political advocacy, and she worked for ten years as VP of Political Affairs for the Credit Union National Association. In 2008, she and her family moved to London and later settled in New York City in 2011. She and her husband Christian have three children at ISB in the Spanish track. Ms. Drobnyk was a class parent for four years and served on the Parent Association for three years in the roles of Events Chair, Vice President, and President.

Paul Edelstein
Member, Board of Trustees
Mr. Edelstein is a graduate of State University of New York at Albany and holds a JD from Brooklyn Law School. He is a managing partner at The Edelsteins, Faegenburg & Brown, LLP, a civil litigation practice in New York. He has received numerous distinctions as an attorney, including being voted as a New York Top Attorney and New York State Super Lawyer (2011-2015).  As a lawyer, Mr. Edelstein has donated his time to the Trial Lawyers Care 9/11 Project, also volunteering as an attorney for Hurricane Sandy victims. Outside the courtroom, he enjoys spending time outdoors and with his family, and is the president and founder of Catskill Clean Water Fund, an environmental non-profit formed in 2008 to combat an invasive plant species in Catskill Lakes. Mr. Edelstein joined the Board in 2015.

Julio Salcedo-Fernandez
Member, Board of Trustees
Mr. Salcedo-Fernandez was born in Madrid, Spain. He holds a Master of Architecture degree from Harvard University and a BA in Architecture and Sculpture from Rice University. In addition to being a tenured Associate Professor at City College, Julio is the principal of Scalar Architecture PC, an international award winning design firm based in New York City. His work, including the 2011 book Generic Specific Continuum, has been exhibited and widely published in Europe, Asia, and the United States. Mr. Salcedo-Fernandez joined the Board in 2015.

Joe Santos
Head of School Elect (Head of School effective 1/1/18), Member, Board of Trustees
Mr. Santos is currently the Head of School Elect and in conjunction with Ms. Skinner, helps oversee the daily operations of the school. He received a BSc in Zoology from the University of Reading, a P.G.C.E from Christchurch College, Canterbury and an M.A. in Educational Management from the University of Bath. He has worked in schools in Gibraltar, the UK, Mexico, China, Brazil, and Spain.

Rebecca Skinner
Head of School and Co-Founder, Member, Board of Trustees
Ms. Skinner manages daily operations at the school including admissions, fundraising and strategic development. She received a B.A. in French and International Studies from Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas and an M.A. degree in French Cultural Studies from Institute of French Studies at New York University (NYU). Ms. Skinner is also a graduate of the Coro Leadership New York Program (XVIII) and a 2010 recipient of a Blackboard Award for Principal of the Year. Prior to starting ISB in late 2003, Ms. Skinner spent several years working in the non-profit education field, including Partnership for After School Education (PASE), The Louis Calder Foundation, and The Markle Foundation.

Donyell Thompson
Member, Board of Trustees
Ms. Thompson is a dedicated public servant. She is a Senior Trial Attorney for the U.S. Department of Labor - Office of the Solicitor, where she represents the Agency in enforcement actions pertaining to the Occupational Safety and Health Act, Mine Safety and Health Act, Wage and Hour Act, and other federal employment-related legislation. Ms. Thompson currently serves as the Special Events Coordinator for Mocha Moms Brooklyn, a support group for mothers of color, and is responsible for organizing their annual Independent School Fair and Panel Discussion. Ms. Thompson holds a BA from Douglass College - Rutgers University in Urban Management and Political Science, a MS in Social Work from Columbia University School of Social Work, and a JD from Rutgers University School of Law - Newark. Ms. Thompson is originally from Trenton, New Jersey, but has been residing in the Bedford Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn for the past 9 years. Her son is in the Spanish track at ISB.

Kate Eberle Walker
Member, Board of Trustees
Ms. Walker is the CEO of The Princeton Review, a leading tutoring, test prep and college admission services company. Prior to joining The Princeton Review, Ms. Walker spent five years at Kaplan, where she handled over 40 acquisitions and managed venture investments. She also spent five years as an investment banker at Goldman Sachs. Ms. Walker is very active in mentoring and supporting early stage edtech companies through investments and advisory roles with education-focused startups. In addition, she supports non-profit education initiatives through her Board positions with The Morgan Moses Foundation and Brooklyn Prospect. Ms. Walker holds a BA from Georgetown University and an MBA from Harvard Business School. She lives in Carroll Gardens with her husband Chris and their two daughters, who are in the French track at ISB.

Teresa Santamaria
Advisor to the Board
Teresa Santamaria joined ISB’s founding board in 2004 and has been a key figure in ISB’s development and growth ever since 2003. She served on ISB’s Board of Trustees from 2004-2011. Ms. Santamaria has held leadership positions in technology and program management for over twenty years, managing consulting teams and software implementation projects with world-class clients. She currently is managing technology infrastructure for Equities at Wells Fargo Securities. She holds a B.A. in Liberal Arts from Pennsylvania State University and an M.A. in Educational Organization and Administration from New York University’s School of Education.


Visit ISB for a Spring Tour!

Please join us for one of our weekly spring tours! Whether you are interested in applying for one of our open seats for Fall 2017 or want to get a head start on the 2017-2018 admissions process, we welcome you to come meet our exceptional staff, see our colorful classrooms, and discover our rich Nursery - 8th Grade program.


Cultural Week 2017

By Jasmine Little On April 19-21, ISB students celebrated Cultural week, an annual tradition that provides an opportunity for our community to come together to discover, celebrate, and honor cultures from around the world. As part of this highly anticipated event, ISB parents, staff, and community members lead over 50 enriching cultural workshops over the

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Ambassadeurs en Herbe North American Regional Finals

On April 3rd and 4th, ISB hosted the Ambassadeurs en Herbe North American regional finals, a debate competition among French schools from around the world. 40 students from eight different schools in North America participated in the regional finals. Participating schools included: Lycée Rochambeau of Washington, D.C., Lycée Claudel of Ottawa, Collège International Marie de France of Montreal, Lyceum Kennedy of New York, Collége Stanislas of Quebec City, International School Broward of Miami, and Lycée Francais de Toronto, and our very own International School of Brooklyn.