About Us

AISGW was founded in 1951 as the Association of Independent Schools of Greater Washington, an organization supporting independent private schools in Washington, D.C. and its environs. Since then, we’ve grown to a community of 78 schools educating over 30,000 students from early childhood through high school in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Washington, D.C.

Our schools are non-profit, governed by lay boards of directors, independently financed, and have non-discrimination admissions and employment policies. They serve many different types of students using many different educational strategies, providing families with a wide range of educational options, and helping to make greater Washington one of the most vibrant educational landscapes in the nation.

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AISGW, the Association of Independent Schools of Greater Washington, advances the collective interests of member schools in the capital region by promoting high professional standards and exemplary practices, encouraging cooperative endeavors, enhancing member schools’ standing in the community, and safeguarding their independence

Who We Are

AISGW is an association of independent private schools in the national capital region. The organization’s 78 member schools serve over 30,000 students in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. Founded in 1951 as the Association of Independent Schools of Greater Washington and headquartered in Washington, D.C., we are a resource for both our member schools and families seeking to learn more about independent education and the many educational options that our member schools provide.

What We Do

AISGW supports independent private schools in the national capital region by promoting high professional standards and practices, sponsoring a wide range of professional development and networking opportunities, providing research and resources on a range of educational issues, representing independent schools in the Washington, D.C. region in key public venues, leveraging the scale of our network to lower the cost of school operations, and serving as a portal for families seeking the best schools for their students.

Policies & Guidelines

AISGW’s board of trustees has established the following policies and policy guidelines to promote the collective well-being of our member schools.

Essential Principles of Good Practice

Compliance with these principles is an expectation of membership in AISGW.

The principles were created to provide guidance for schools in their admission, financial aid, and hiring work. They are intended to promote a positive image of area independent schools to families seeking a fair and rational admissions process, and among educators seeking work in our schools. They are designed to promote collegiality among AISGW member schools.

Advisory Statements

These statements on important issues for independent private schools represent the considered opinion of AISGW’s board of trustees. Member schools are not required to adopt them, but we hope that schools will use them to guide their policies and practices.


AISGW’s board of trustees has adopted the following guidelines in support of the organization’s advocacy activities.

Governance Policies

AISGW’s board of trustees has adopted the following policies to govern the organization’s operations.

Leadership Team

Amy M. McNamer, Executive Director

AMMAmy M. McNamer is the Executive Director at AISGW. Early in her career, she taught at the Casablanca American School, Morocco, and she has practiced law for twenty years in a variety of contexts in the private and public sectors.   She worked as an attorney with law firms in San Francisco and Washington before joining the United States Securities and Exchange Commission in 2004, where she was a Senior Attorney in the Enforcement Division for over ten years. Amy has also provided strategic consulting to several area non-profits as a volunteer for Compass Pro Bono, assisting non-profit boards with governance issues and strategic alignment matters. She and her husband, Jim Neill, have three children, all of whom attend or have attended local independent schools. Born and raised in Montana, Amy holds her BA in European History from Harvard and earned her JD at Georgetown.


Kevin Spence Kelso, Director of Finance and Operations

KKKevin Spence Kelso is the Director of Finance and Operations at AISGW. His operations duties entail managing all AISGW office systems in addition to leading the association’s statistics collection and dissemination initiatives. Kevin’s financial responsibilities include human resources and bookkeeping. Prior to joining AISGW, Kevin served as the Director of Finance and Communications at the Black Student Fund. In that capacity, Kevin oversaw all financial and communication functions for the organization. A native of Des Moines, Iowa, Kevin has called D.C. home “for a long time,” and is active within the community where he can be found planting trees throughout the city.


Lynn Duffy Maloney, Director of Programs and Member Initiatives

LMLynn Maloney joined AISGW in January 2015 as the Director of Programs and Member Initiatives. Most recently Lynn served for three years as a board member for the Parents Council of Washington (PCW), where she developed and implemented many of the PCW’s strategic and programming initiatives to support the organization’s mission of connecting parents, students, and administrators in D.C.-area independent schools. Lynn also worked in interim capacities in the admissions office at the Congressional Schools of Virginia and as a freelance writer in the communications office of St. John’s College High School. Prior to her work in independent schools, Lynn practiced law for twelve years at the Washington, D.C. law firm Kelley Drye Collier Shannon (formerly Collier Shannon Scott) with a focus on international trade law.

She received her JD from Fordham University and her BA from Georgetown University, where she remains active in the Alumni Admissions Program and in the stands at Hoya basketball games. Lynn’s husband Chris has been a leader and educator in local independent Catholic schools for almost 20 years, and their three daughters also attend independent schools in the D.C. area.

Board of Trustees


Jason Gray, Head of School
Capitol Hill Day School

Vice President/Secretary:

Janet Marsh, Head of School
Congressional School


Michael Saxenian, Head of School
McLean School


Marjo Talbott, Head of School
Maret School

Members At Large:

Kirsten Adams, Head of School
St. Stephen’s and St. Agnes School

Peter Barrett, Head of School
St. Patrick’s Episcopal Day School

Neal Brown, Head of School
Green Acres School

Matthew Gould, Head of School
Norwood School

Cheryl Holcomb-McCoy, Dean of the School of Education
American University

Kathleen Jamieson, Head of School
National Cathedral School

John Kowalik, Head of School
The Potomac School

Malcolm Lester, Head of School
National Presbyterian School

Russell Shaw, Head of School
Georgetown Day School

Jeffrey Sindler, Head of School
Burgundy Farm Country Day School