Amanda Bohnsack Named Director of Enrollment

After a five-month, nationwide search, Head of School Peter Becker ’95 has appointed Amanda Bohnsack as Taft’s new director of enrollment. Bohnsack comes to Taft with deep experience in both admissions and secondary school placement, most recently as director of admission at Deerfield Academy.

“Amanda’s love of boarding schools and the students and colleagues who comprise them, strategic thinking, leadership skills, commitment to making schools financially accessible and welcoming to first-generation students, and knowledge of the boarding school market position her to lead and grow Taft’s enrollment efforts and serve as a key member of Taft’s administrative team,” Becker said.

“When we began this search, the position description articulated a vision for a director who could deftly meld the art and science of enrollment and honor the full lifecycle of a student’s journey. We have found all of that in Amanda, and I am excited about the work we will do ahead as she leads Taft’s amazing admissions team.”

The search was led by the executive search firm Isaacson, Miller. Two search advisory committees comprised of employees and trustees helped steer the search, developing the position description, reviewing candidate materials, and interviewing semi-finalists and finalists. The employee committee included Thomas Allen, Gaby Dorval ’99, Kelly Gereski P’23, Jake Odden ’86, P’19, ’23, Kaitlin Orfitelli, Max Rosner, and Becker. The trustee committee was headed by J. Kingman Gordon ’88, P’27 and included Henry Brauer ’74, P’08,’09,’10, Katama Guernsey Eastman ’95, P’22,’24,’26, Michael Humphreys ’93, and Kate Genung Taylor ’94, P’27.

“I am tremendously thankful to those who served on the committees for their time and diligence in this search,” Becker said. “This was a thorough nationwide search with a deep pool of incredibly well-qualified candidates from both independent schools and higher education. It was wonderful to see such enthusiasm for Taft by such talented admissions professionals, as well as the dedication of our employees and trustees throughout the search process.”

“The trustee search advisory committee was thoroughly impressed with Amanda’s qualifications and experience,” said Gordon. “It’s a monumental task to follow in the steps of Peter Frew and Ferdie Wandelt, but we’re so fortunate to have found the perfect person in Amanda to move Taft’s enrollment work forward.”

Bohnsack currently serves as director of admission at Deerfield Academy, where she directly supervises a team of 12 admissions professionals and 36 faculty readers in a highly selective admissions process. She leads Deerfield’s admission and communication committee in developing messaging, branding, and marketing materials and co-chairs the board of trustees subcommittee for enrollment. Additionally, she serves on Deerfield’s Institutional Strategy and Leadership Committee and works with campus leadership to craft data-driven policies and decisions.

In her work at Deerfield, Bohnsack has led the admission team to improve workflow, metrics, and decision-making and to reduce bias for a more equitable admission process. She implemented a geographic territory recruitment model and redesigned the selection and yield process, helping Deerfield realize a record number of applications and a significant improvement in yield. Bohnsack collaborates closely with Deerfield’s director of multicultural recruitment on diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives and travels extensively to build strategic partnerships both domestically and internationally. She has also served as a dorm associate, sit-down table head, and activities chaperone at Deerfield.

Prior to her tenure at Deerfield, Bohnsack was the director of secondary school advising at Greenwich Country Day School, guiding families through the high school search and placement process. She partnered with admissions directors from 75 secondary schools and gained valuable experience looking at the admissions market from the lens of families of middle schoolers.

Before Greenwich Country Day, she served as senior associate director of admission at Hotchkiss, where she chaired admission committees, conducted interviews, developed recruitment strategies for domestic and international markets, and led teams to redesign campus visits, admission materials, and the internal evaluation structure. She served on the senior leadership team and strategic planning committee at Hotchkiss and also coached and served as a dorm parent. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Middlebury College and a master of education in enrollment management and policy from the University of Southern California.

At Taft, Bohnsack will lead the 20-member Admissions Office, working closely with Head of School Peter Becker ’95 and Taft’s senior administrative team and board of trustees. She will be responsible for maintaining and strengthening Taft’s position in the independent school marketplace, ensuring the enrollment of mission-appropriate students, and serving as a key ambassador for the school.

Bohnsack inherits a committed team and the legacy of outgoing Director of Admissions Peter Frew ’75, who has played a crucial role in shaping Taft’s admissions success since 1985. With her experience and expertise, she will continue to build on this legacy, guiding Taft through its next successful chapter.

“As we look forward to welcoming Amanda to our community in July 2024, I want to express my gratitude to Peter Frew ’75 for his dedication and contributions over the years,” Becker said. “Under his leadership, Taft has enrolled exceptional, competitive, and diverse classes, and we are grateful for his service. I know I speak for so many fellow alumni and Taft families when I express my gratitude for his holistic service to Taft and the sense of humor and positive energy he’s brought to Main Hall every day.”

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