Board of Trustees

The Sumner Academy Board of Trustees, based in Gallatin, Tennessee, along with the Head of School, is charged with setting long-range goals designed to support and further the school's mission. Its members are volunteers who lend their expertise and perspective for the purpose of developing, achieving and supporting the school's goals and mission. The Sumner Academy Board of Trustees is self-perpetuating and seeks to build a strong tapestry of skill sets within its membership.

The Board "holds in trust" the future mission of the school and while the tasks required are many, the following items highlight primary responsibilities:

  1. The Board engages in long-range strategic planning. Planning for the future is an ongoing process involving all constituency groups of the Sumner Academy family. The plan is used as a guide for program implementation and for growth and expansion. The operating budget is tightly linked to strategic planning in that goals stated in the plan are a budgetary priority.
  2. Along those lines, The Board is responsible for the financial health of the school and establishes policy that supports growth as well as financial soundness.
  3. The Board hires and evaluates the Head of School. It is The Board's responsibility to hire the Head of School and support that individual as he implements stated goals, hires and trains faculty, and sees to the day-to-day operations of the school. The Board keeps its "eye on the big picture" while trusting the Head to manage program delivery, professional development, and many other daily tasks.
  4. The Board supports the accreditation process and seeks to maintain good standing with the school's accrediting agencies: AdvancEd (formerly SACS) and the Southern Association of Independent Schools. (SAIS)
  5. The Board governs itself according to its bylaws and best practices as stated in the National Association of Independent School's (NAIS) Trustee Handbook.

With carefully selected trustees and a written strategic plan, the Sumner Academy Board of Trustees endeavors to provide an excellent academic experience for its students, both those currently enrolled and also those who will join the Sumner Academy family in the future.

Board Officers

Dan Shockley, President

Kelly Smits, Vice President

Mandy Belote, Secretary

Jonathan Wallace, Treasurer

Board Members

Mikele Goodchild

Jonny Lee

Carl Monaco

Erin Palmer, PTO

Grace Tomkins

Steven Whitaker

Educating independent thinkers since 1973.


We believe in teaching a love of learning.


We believe in teaching with patience.


We believe in valuing the differences each student brings.


We believe in collaborating with parents.


We believe in creating and promoting a safe environment.


We believe in fostering social and personal responsibility.

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