A Board of Trustees governs Oak Hill School. The responsibilities of the Board are to determine and guide the character, mission, and culture of the School, to establish overall policies for the School, to assure the financial sustainability of the School, and to cause the policies that the Board adopts to be effectively implemented. Board members volunteer their time and resources to further the Oak Hill School mission “to provide the best K-12 education, creating caring and responsible critical thinkers,” and ensure the school’s success.
The Oak Hill School Board of Trustees consists of 5 committees. All committee memberships, with the exceptions of the Executive Committee and the Governance Committee, are open to Oak Hill School constituent groups (parents, alumni, alumni parents, grandparents, friends), given they possess the appropriate background, expertise, and interest.
• The Development Committee: Responsible for all areas of fundraising for the school. Includes oversight of the CSA and alumni association and any other ad hoc or regular groups that support the School.
• The Executive Committee: Leads the Board, members are the Chair, Vice Chair, Treasurer, and the Secretary. Authorized to act on behalf of the board in matters that require immediate action and in between board meetings. Ensures that policy changes are carried out. Oversees the evaluation of the Head’s performance.
• The Facilities Committee: Ensures adequate facilities and oversees the maintenance of the physical plant of the school. Guides master planning, and researches avenues for appropriate and proactive growth.
• The Finance Committee: Guides financial reporting. Ensures fiduciary responsibility and oversight.
• The Governance Committee: Recruits/orients/assesses Board members and Board performance, regularly reviews the school’s bylaws, and plans the annual retreat.
The Board and the Head of School are partners in carrying out the mission and vision of the school. The Board is concerned with sustainability, which allows the administration and faculty to provide the exceptional curriculum and teaching that define the Oak Hill School experience. The Head of School can be considered the CEO of the school, and he/she provides for the long-term implementation of the Board-driven strategic vision for the school in respect to the daily affairs of the school.
• developing a strategic vision
• policy development and approval
• hiring and working collaboratively with, as well as overseeing, the Headmaster
• approving an annual budget, including salary package and tuition setting
• overseeing financial accountability
• ensuring that in broad terms the school is fulfilling its mission
• works with the board of trustees to establish and refine the mission
• articulates the mission to parents, faculty, staff, students
• oversees the shaping of the school’s program and the quality of life in the school community
• effectively leads the school, involving members of the administration and faculty in decision making
• responsible for attracting, retaining, developing, and evaluating qualified faculty and staff (hiring and firing)
• guides financial management, maintenance of the physical plant, strategic planning and fundraising
• serves as an ambassador of the school within the greater community
• serves ex-officio as a member of all committees
Meet our Board
Terry Niegel, spouse Donna Niegel, and son Tanner Niegel (7th grade) have been active members of the Oak Hill community for many years, starting when Tanner started attending Oak Hill in 1st grade. Terry is a CPA at Kernutt Stokes LLP in Eugene. He is currently the Chair of the Board of Trustees and serves on the Finance committee as well. What he loves the most about our school is the creative learning environment that is fostered throughout every aspect of Oak Hill.
Cynthia Morris is the mother of Mark Curtis (6th) and David Curtis (5th). Her family came to Oak Hill in 2010 looking for a community with differentiated learning in the classroom and a superior and personalized student/teacher ratio. Cynthia and her husband Craig Curtis run a wholesale distribution warehouse called Petersen-Arne, providing weekly replenishment to retail stores and ecommerce fulfillment in the sewing and crafting categories. Cynthia serves on both the Finance and Facilities committees of the Board of Trustees. She has been a driving force, together with Jesse Elliott, for the six major campus improvement and building projects we’ve experienced every year since 2012, including this school year’s completion of the Hill Art Studios and barn renovation complex, remodeling of the MacDonald building creating new classrooms, and repurposing of the Cottage and Gonyea House into our new administrative core at the heart of campus. What Cynthia loves most about Oak Hill is that it provides what she wishes every kid could have: a caring community of bright and tolerant-minded professionals, dedicated to supporting every child to be the best they can be, while exploring all facets of academic and creative achievement in a safe, supportive, and inspiring natural setting.
Nathan Mattox, spouse Leslie Mattox, daughter Samantha Mattox (6th Grade), and son Nathan Mattox, Jr. (Oak Hill School 2013) have been with Oak Hill School since Nathan Jr. entered the 8th grade in 2008, with Samantha beginning kindergarten in 2009. He is semi-retired after a 28-year career in the automotive industry, and currently owns and manages residential and commercial properties in Oregon and Alaska. His current position on the Oak Hill School board is Vice Chair and Treasurer and he also serves on the finance committee. If you ask him what he loves most about OHS, you might get a deer in the headlights look, because “when you are part of a school with so many wonderful things it is hard to pinpoint one. Today I will say it’s my impressionable daughter being taught by faculty and staff that truly care about her future and success. Tomorrow I know I will say it’s the luscious 72-Acre campus that we all get to enjoy.”
Deidre Sandvick is mother to twins Chloe and Ella (2025), who started at Oak Hill right from Kindergarten. Deidre has been working in development for over 18 years, and is currently the Senior Director of Development at the University of Oregon’s College of Education. Previously, her career in development was at arts organizations including Christie’s auction house, City Ballet of San Diego, and the renowned San Diego Opera. Deidre recently assumed the position of Governance Committee Chair at Oak Hill. The Sandvick family loves being at Oak Hill for many reasons but particularly appreciate the school’s commitment to teaching the whole child and giving every child individualized guidance.
Shalin has two children enrolled at Oak Hill: Leila (class of 2022) and Tejas (class of 2025), along with Matea who is 4. He is a kidney doctor with Eugene Springfield Nephrology Associates. He enjoys outdoor activities, table tennis, and reading.
Jesse Elliott (spouse Jeem) is father of Sydney (2022) who started at Oak Hill during her 1st Grade Year. He works primarily as a designer, project manager, and craftsman, with stints as a teacher, tour guide, and small business owner. He has lived in a number of countries and greatly appreciates cultural differences and linguistics. Jesse enjoys the arts and outdoors, a thing well done, and giving kids opportunities to thrive–all of which Oak Hill offers in abundance. He also appreciates the strong community spirit and great teachers at Oak Hill. Jesse enjoys board work as way of contributing to the continual betterment of our school, and he serves on the ever-busy facilities committee.
Ingrid Skoog is the most recent addition to the Oak Hill Board of Trustees. Her daughter Emma Miller will be starting her Junior year in the fall of 2016 after having come to Oak Hill in 2013. Ingrid is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Exercise Physiologist who specializes in performance nutrition and women’s nutritional health. Currently Ingrid is a faculty member in the College of Public Health and Human Sciences at Oregon State University where she is an instructor and coordinator of online (Ecampus) course offerings for the nutrition major. In addition, Ingrid is the owner of Momentum Nutrition Coaching here in Eugene. As a part of the Oak Hill community, Ingrid has been heavily involved in providing nutritional support for the cross country team, and serving as a parent judge for the Debate team. In addition, she has helped with Oak Hill Preview Day, faculty and staff appreciation efforts, and the annual auction. Ingrid has served on several national boards, and looks forward collaborating with the current trustees toward realizing Oak Hills short and long term goals and its commitment to providing an exceptional educational experience for all of its students.
Mr. S./Bob has been Head of Oak Hill for over five years. He has over forty years heading four independent schools, including schools in Philadelphia, Providence, and Baltimore. He has also founded two middle schools as well as having coached high school swimming and having taught English and drama in two public schools. His wife, Sally, was also a lower school teacher and maintains their home in Fredericksburg, Virginia. His son, Aram, 46, and his daughter, Caitlin, 43, attended independent schools that their dad headed. Two of his grandkids attend the Maret School in Washington, D.C. where their dad is a tech coordinator and varsity football coach. Caitlin, their mom, teaches fifth grade and coach’s lacrosse at St. Stephen’s and Agnes School in Alexandria, Virginia. Mr.S. loves the talent and dedication of the Oak Hill teachers and staff, the incredible students we have, and the focus on languages, multiculturalism, fitness, community service, respect for our environment, and the support of each other. The board specifically and the parents in general couldn’t be more caring about ensuring that our school is the best school in Lane County.