Jan is an experienced communications professional, former parent and current trustee in independent schools.

Jan Abernathy is the Chief Communications Officer at Browning School (NY) a K-12 all-boys school with 400 students. She is also the president of the New York City Independent School Communications Professionals, which has over 120 members throughout the tri-state area, and is the principal of a consulting firm, Jan Abernathy Strategic Communications. A trustee of Grace Church School, Jan also chaired CASE-NAIS 2022 in Denver and has written for the NAIS’ Independent Schools magazine on crisis communications and how schools responded to the “Black at” movement. Jan has presented at the NAIS’ New Heads Institute, CASE-NAIS, the NYSAIS Advancement Conference and the NJAIS Diversity Conference.

Courtney is an alum of independent schools and an experienced advancement professional.

Courtney Archer-Buckmire has worked in non-profits and independent schools for over a decade and currently serves as the Chief Advancement Officer for Grace Church School, a JK-12 school with over 770 students. Previously, she was the Director of Major Gifts for Poly Prep, her alma mater, and Director of Annual Giving for the Chapin School (NY). Her career in education includes experiences at the Ethical Culture Fieldston School, Achievement First and Trevor Day School. A native New Yorker, Courtney is an alumna of Prep for Prep. She has served on Prep for Prep’s board of trustees, Associates Council, Alumni Association Council and co-chaired its Alumni Giving Campaign. Courtney has presented on creating inclusive fundraising and alumni engagement programs at the NYSAIS Advancement Conference, NJAIS Advancement Conference and NAIS People of Color Conference.

Marjorie is a skilled development professional and parent in independent schools.

Marjorie Jean-Paul is the Chief Community Engagement Officer at Buckley Country Day School where she heads up development and alumni relations, and diversity equity and inclusion at Buckley Country Day School (NY) a K-8 co-ed school with 350 students enrolled. She is an experienced fundraising professional working within corporate and nonprofit settings.  During her professional career, she has raised support for independent schools, colleges, universities and other nonprofits. Prior to joining Buckley, Marjorie served as the Director of Development and Alumni Relations at the Waldorf School of Garden City (NY) where she had a successful tenure.  Marjorie has extensive experience working as a philanthropic and management consultant including as a Senior Director at Changing Our World, a fundraising consulting firm specializing in major fundraising campaigns and corporate philanthropy. She is a graduate of Cornell University. She also obtained a Master of Science in Nonprofit Management and Organization Development from The New School.  Marjorie recently completed the DEI certificate program at Cornell University. She is also a member of the 2021 Cohort of NYSAIS Justice Equity Diversity Institute, a year long program for administrators at independent schools.