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.

Yvonne Martínez Brathwaite
Secretary, 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.

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 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. Ms. Drobnyk joined the Board in 2017.

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, Paul 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.

Juliette Dellecker Michaelson
Member, Board of Trustees
Ms. Michaelson is executive vice president at Regional Plan Association, a civic urban planning organization focused on growth and sustainability in the New York tristate area. Ms. Michaelson led the production of the 2017 Fourth Regional Plan, a long-range, comprehensive plan to promote prosperity, equity, health and sustainability in the region. As executive vice president, Ms. Michaelson also oversees RPA’s operations, including strategic direction, external communications, development and finance. Ms. Michaelson received a bachelor's degree in political science from Princeton University and a Master's in Urban Planning from Columbia University.

Julio Salcedo
Member, Board of Trustees
Mr. Salcedo 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, Mr. Salcedo 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 joined the Board in 2015.

Teresa Santamaria
Member, Board of Trustees
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.

Joe Santos
Head of School, Member, Board of Trustees
Mr. Santos manages daily operations at the school including admissions, fundraising and strategic development. 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. Prior to joining ISB in 2013, Mr. Santos worked in schools in Gibraltar, the UK, Mexico, China, Brazil, and Spain. Mr. Santos joined the Board in 2017.

Rebecca Skinner
Founder and Life Trustee Ex Officio

Ms. Skinner served as Head of School from ISB's founding in 2005 to December 2017. 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. Ms. Thompson joined the Board in 2017.

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. Ms. Walker joined the Board in 2017.

At its June 2018 meeting, the Board approved the creation of a Committee of the Trustees Emeritae/i, whose membership comprises all past Trustees of ISB. The members of this committee are given below.

Committee of the Trustees Emeritae/i
Jérôme Barth
Natalie Bouillon
Dr. Habiba Boumlik, Past President
Susan Breton
Monica Burgos
Catherine Colton
Jennifer Henriquez
Isabelle Jouanneau-Fertig, Past President
Tamara Malkin-Stuart
Charles Ruoff
Mike Silano
Rebecca Skinner
Muriel Stallworth
Karen Stewart
Kristopher Takacs
Natalie Ungari
Nancy Woodruff, Past President

The 4th Grade Greek Odyssey Sleep Under: An Epic Night at ISB

Did you know that George O’Connor’s graphic novel series, The Olympians, is the most popular series in the ISB Library? This inspired the Library team and the Middle School Booklets Club to host an immersive extravaganza that would transport 4th Graders to Ancient Greece!

Literacy Week 2018

Amid the frenzy of Election Day and Parent Teacher Conferences, the ISB community came together to transform the gym for the 14th Annual Multilingual Book Fair: a forest of enticing French, English and Spanish literature, and to celebrate Literacy Week. The enthusiasm for the events stretched far and wide.