Robert B. Cunningham, Executive Director
Bob Cunningham is a nationally recognized education leader and advocate for students with learning differences and their families. In addition to his role at Purnell, Bob serves as Executive Director at the Robert Louis Stevenson School in New York City and as an advisor on learning and attention issues for Understood.org and the Reimagine Learning Fund at the venture philanthropy firm, New Profit. He also frequently consults with schools, foundations, governmental agencies, and other organizations on matters related to education and learning disabilities. He is a professional advisory board member for the National Center for Learning Disabilities, the NVLD Project, Story Shares, and several other education-related nonprofits.
Previously, Bob was Head of the Gateway School in New York City. He led the school’s effort to develop new programs and to build a state of the art facility on the Upper West Side. Upon completion, the building was recognized as the first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certified school in Manhattan. In 2011, Bob was honored by The Huffington Post as one of the 100 top Impact and Education Game Changers for his work in LD education.
Bob has also been a teacher, evaluator, and administrator in several public school districts. He holds a B.S. in education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and two master’s degrees from Teachers College, Columbia University, where he also served as an instructor in the Learning Disabilities Program and the Department of Curriculum and Teaching.
Anne M. Glass, Head of School
Throughout her career, Anne Glass has been an ardent supporter of single-sex education for young women and a strong advocate for students with learning differences.
Prior to joining Purnell, Anne was a Reading and Learning Specialist at The Chapin School in New York City where she provided individual assessment and academic support and was a member of the Admissions Committee. While at Chapin, Anne led a task force to conceptualize and enact a model of academic support for students from kindergarten through grade 12 to optimize access to curriculum and engagement for all learners. Anne has also been an adjunct lecturer in the Department of Special Education at CUNY Hunter College and in the Learning Disabilities Program and the Department of Curriculum and Teaching at Teachers College, Columbia University.
Anne received her undergraduate degree from Wellesley College, and earned a Master of Arts in Reading and a Master of Education in Learning Disabilities from Teachers College, Columbia University. During the summer of 2015, she was awarded a fellowship to the Neuroscience of Reading Institute at MIT to study what is currently known about the brain basis of reading development and disability as well as implications for early identification and intervention.
Victoria Browne, Director of Student Life
Vicky Browne’s educational philosophy has always centered on building an inclusive and respectful environment in order to foster student-centered excellence in education.
Prior to joining Purnell, Vicky taught and coached at Greenwich Academy in Connecticut, after relocating from the UK. Vicky has held administrative positions for 14 years in both academic and student support. Prior to her move to the U.S., she was the Director of Tutoring and Wellness at Nescot College, where she was responsible for leadership across the school on student life and well-being, as well as coordinating a whole school approach to student development. Vicky has 16 years of teaching experience, including lecturing and co-writing a Foundation Undergraduate Degree in Sports Coaching and Performance in the Department of Sport at Berkshire College of Agriculture and Buckinghamshire Chilterns University College.
Vicky received her undergraduate degree from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Postgraduate Teaching Certificate from Oxford Brookes, and Graduate Diploma in Management Studies from Buckinghamshire Chilterns University College. She also earned a Master of Education in Leadership and Management from Chichester University. Vicky has also represented England in Field Hockey and coached for over 30 years, winning two National Championships back to back before relocating to the USA.
Donna Andeskie, Dean of Students
Donna Andeskie is an accomplished and innovative educator and artist. Since joining the Purnell community in 2005, Donna has distinguished herself as a steady and compassionate steward for students and a leader in establishing a vibrant and caring school climate.
In addition to her role as Dean of Students, Donna teaches and acts as Chairperson of the Studio Arts Department. She also directs our Off Campus Studies and develops the Project Exploration travel curriculum. Donna has experience teaching art history and studio courses in many disciplines, and her previous teaching experience includes roles at DuCret School of Art, Middlesex County College, Middlesex County Arts High and Middle School, and The Center for Visual Arts.
Donna holds a BFA from Syracuse University and an MFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art. Outside of Purnell, Donna is an avid equestrian. She keeps and trains her horse at a nearby cooperative stable where she describes herself as a part-time farmer. She also paints and creates ceramic works of art.
Kate Davis, Director of Admissions
Kate Davis joined Purnell as Associate Director of Admissions after three years working as a Regional Admissions Representative for Plymouth State University in Plymouth, New Hampshire. Kate was instrumental in increasing the enrollment and awareness of PSU among families and secondary schools throughout New Jersey.
Prior to beginning her work in the admissions field, Kate spent twenty years at home raising her two daughters and volunteering in a variety of capacities, including serving as president of her local chapter of Philanthropic Educational Organization. PEO is an organization which celebrates the advancement and education of women through scholarships, grants, awards, loans, and stewardship of Cottey College. Kate also served as president of her church’s chapter of the United Methodist Women, an organization which supports domestic and international projects improving the lives of women and children. Kate received the United Methodist Special Mission Recognition Award by The Women’s Division General Board of Global Ministries of the United Methodist Church.
Kate earned her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Criminal Justice from Central Connecticut State University. She is also a Purnell parent whose daughter is a member of the Purnell Class of 2018.
Donna Martin, Director of Alumnae Relations
Donna Martin was hired by Lytt Gould, Purnell’s first Head of School, in October of 1966 to oversee Purnell’s riding program and has remained an active member of the community ever since.
Donna was the sole member of the Advancement/Alumnae Office for its beginning years, and still oversees alumnae relations. She also organizes the school’s special events and traditions, which create a bond for Purnell students across generations. Donna continues to be the Equestrian Program Coordinator for Purnell. She teaches Hunt Seat Equitation classes as an adjunct professor at Centenary University. She has known and worked with all of Purnell’s leaders and is connected with many alumnae, families, and friends from throughout Purnell’s proud history. Donna’s daughter, Kelly, graduated from Purnell in 1988, and her granddaughter is a member of the Class of 2019.