Director of Institutional Advancement
Mary K. Carrasco joined Sidwell Friends as Director of Institutional Advancement in June 2012. Mary has broad experience in the world of advancement and is widely recognized in the field as a leader in independent school development programs. Before coming to Sidwell, she served for five years as the Assistant Head of School for External Affairs and Chief Development Officer at Mercersburg Academy in Pennsylvania. She had previously served as the school’s Director of Capital Programs for eight years. Mary has also worked in advancement at Georgetown University, Aiglon College: The British International School of Switzerland, the Community Foundation of Greater Washington, Maret School, and the Virginia Tech Alumni Association. She holds a degree in communications from Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University.
Andrea joined the Institutional Advancement Office as Office Manager and Advancement Services Coordinator in August 2012 and was promoted to Stewardship Coordinator in January 2013. While attending the Catholic University of America, she interned for the Advancement Office of the Pontifical North American College (PNAC). After earning her bachelor’s degree in politics, Andrea joined PNAC full time as the Executive Assistant, a position she held for three years.
Director of Communications
Jackie Conrad joined Sidwell Friends as the school’s first Director of Communications with extensive experience in marketing and communications. She has held various positions including running marketing at two successful (acquired) start-up companies where she was responsible for all communication functions. Most recently, Jackie spent eight years at The Washington Post where she was the Director of Marketing and managed an analytical and strategic team. A native Washingtonian, Jackie attended a local independent school and is passionate about education. Jackie holds a BS in Communications from Northwestern University and a MBA from New York University.
Mihara joined Sidwell Friends School in June 2013 as Office Manager. She has over 10 years of executive assistant experience and support to high level executives, ranging from direct support to political and government officials to support of senior partners, associates, staff attorneys and paralegals in many of the prime law firms in the Washington DC area. Being of Caribbean descent, Mihara visited Jamaica frequently as a child but grew up in Belton, South Carolina and attended the University of Phoenix online studying business and computer technology. Mihara is also an aspiring vocalist.
Director of Special Events
Jessie joined Sidwell Friends School in September 2011 as Assistant Director of Special Events and was promoted to her current position in September 2012. Prior to her arrival at SFS, she served as the Program Coordinator at Starlight Children’s Foundation in Los Angeles, where she coordinated events for seriously ill children and their families and also managed the volunteer program. Jessie graduated cum laude from American University with a bachelor’s degree in public communication and a minor in art history. In 2012, she earned her certification in event management from George Washington University.
Director of Annual Giving
Dia joined the Institutional Advancement Office at Sidwell Friends School in May 2014 as the Director of Annual Giving. Prior to her arrival at SFS, she served as the Associate Director of Membership and Annual Giving at Ford’s Theatre, where she managed all giving and membership programs for donors at $10,000 and below. Dia has also worked in Development offices at MIT and Cornell University, focusing her energy on annual giving programs. Dia completed her Master’s Degree in Arts Administration at Boston University, where she also earned a certificate in fundraising. She spent her undergraduate years at Penn State University studying classical history and psychology.
Jackie LaFrance joined the Institutional Advancement Office at Sidwell Friends School in January 2014 as the Digital Specialist. Prior to working at Sidwell Friends, Jackie worked as the Communications Manager for the Atlas Economic Research Foundation. She also interned at Search for Common Ground and the Elizabeth Stone House. Jackie is a graduate of American University with dual bachelor’s degrees in print journalism and history.
Young Alumni Coordinator
Anna joined the Office of Institutional Advancement in July 2013 as the Young Alumni Coordinator. Prior to working at Sidwell Friends, Anna worked in government relations and political fundraising. She grew up in New York City and Cambridge, Massachusetts, and attended Choate Rosemary Hall in Wallingford, Connecticut. She earned a BA in political science from the University of California, Los Angeles as well as a Master’s Certificate in political management from the George Washington University. Actively involved with Choate’s Alumni Association, Anna currently serves as the co-chair of Choate’s regional alumni club in Washington, DC.
Maria Mihalik brings more than 25 years of experience writing and editing for print and online mediums. She began her career at Rodale, Inc., where she was on staff with three magazines, including Prevention, the nation’s 18th largest at the time. She then became a senior editor with monthly magazines Destination Discovery and TLC Monthly; copyeditor for Discovery Channel Online; and an editor with Discovery’s book division in partnership with Random House. Maria served as a reporter in Stuttgart, Germany, for the U.S. Army’s community newspaper, until becoming the director of corporate communications for a large nonprofit in Colorado.
Prospect Information Manager
Caitlin joined the Institutional Advancement Office in January 2013 as the Prospect Information Coordinator. A Virginian for most of her life, Caitlin graduated cum laude from the College of William and Mary with a BA in American Studies in 2009. Following this, she spent time working as a paralegal in Richmond before deciding to pursue a master’s degree in gender studies at the University College of London, which she completed in November 2012.
Director of Development
Melissa joined the Institutional Advancement Office at Sidwell Friends School in April 2013 as Director of Development. Melissa started her development career in 1998 at The Holton-Arms School, where she served for three and a half years as the Director of Annual Giving and then the Interim Campaign Director. Melissa went on to serve as Director of Development for BlackRock Center for the Arts, The Ivymount School, and Christ Episcopal School. In January 2009, Melissa returned to Holton-Arms to serve as the Director of Leadership Giving. She holds a degree in sociology and African-American studies from the University of Maryland.
Prospect Information Coordinator
Jason joined the Institutional Advancement Office in September 2013 as the Prospect Information Coordinator. Prior to his arrival, he interned at the New America Foundation and the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). A native of New Jersey, Jason graduated from Columbia University with a B.A. in History and American Studies, and he received an M.A. in History from Emory University.
Director of Advancement Services
Chris joined the Institutional Advancement Office in April 2013 as the Director of Advancement Services. Prior to her arrival, she spent seven years as Director of Development Services at Hanover College in Hanover, Indiana. She has had a varied career in data management, information services, and advancement, having previously worked for the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida; Santa Catalina School in Monterey, California; and Belterra Casino, Resort, and Spa in Florence, Indiana.
Director of Leadership Giving
Elizabeth joined the Institutional Advancement Office at Sidwell Friends School in November 2010 as Assistant Director of the Annual Funds. She was promoted to her current position in September 2012. Prior to coming to Sidwell, she worked in development for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Elizabeth grew up in Wilmington, North Carolina, and attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she earned her BA in communications with a minor in art history.
Director of Alumni Relations
Maria has nearly 20 years of experience working in independent schools. Before joining the staff of Sidwell Friends School in August 2006, Maria was the Director of Alumni Relations at The Potomac School in McLean, Virginia. She also worked in admissions in New England boarding schools for nine years, including at her alma mater, Lawrence Academy, where she serves on their Board of Visitors. In addition to admissions, she also taught ESL and directed the Lawrence Academy International Summer School. She holds bachelor's and master's degrees from Saint Michael’s College.