Hackley Welcomes New Members to the Leadership Team

On July 1, 2022, Hackley welcomed two new members to the Leadership Team: Erin Bernstein as the Chief Financial Officer and Basil Kolani as the Director of Academic Affairs.

Erin Bernstein
Hackley welcomes Erin Bernstein as our next Chief Financial Officer, effective July 1, 2022. With more than 30 years of experience in financial management and leadership, Erin is currently serving as the Chief Financial Officer at the Ethical Culture Fieldston School, where she began as Senior Controller in 2017.
In addition to Fieldston, Erin has worked for Edison Schools, a for-profit organization that manages public and charter schools, as well as Monroe College, where she served as controller for eight years. A resident of Irvington, Erin currently serves as a board trustee for the Irvington Union School District.
Erin’s broad experiences and perspective will be valuable assets in her leadership of the Business Office and her contributions to Hackley’s Leadership Team. Throughout the interview process, Erin not only demonstrated her strong financial management skills and understanding of independent school finances, but also a lifelong commitment to education. We look forward to welcoming Erin to the Hackley community.

Basil Kolani
Hackley welcomes Basil Kolani to the Leadership Team as the Director of Academic Affairs, effective July 1, 2022. Basil joins Hackley after working at Ridgefield Academy (RA) for the last seven years, where he currently serves as Academic Dean/Director of the Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning. Prior to RA, Basil served as Head of Technology and Innovation and Director of Information Services at Dwight School for 10 years, a role that provided him PK-12 teaching and leadership experience.
In his current role, Basil is responsible for Ridgefield’s PK-8 curriculum, professional development, and the teaching and learning culture of the school. He is the founding Director of the Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning, working closely with faculty and offering schoolwide professional development. More recently, he added the title of Academic Dean, giving him primary academic oversight at RA. Basil maintains his connection with students and the central work of the school by teaching an elective each term, with offerings ranging from the space race to ethics. In addition to helping RA respond to COVID-19 and pivot to hybrid learning options, Basil led the development of Ridgefield’s thematic learning initiative, helping the school rethink its academic program and strategic direction. Under his leadership, faculty also examined grade-by-grade skills and curricula through the lens of students in grades 5-8, work that resonates with Hackley’s Portrait of a Graduate and its outgrowth, the Competencies.
Basil’s enthusiasm for students and school life is apparent. His knowledge of student development, pedagogy, and curriculum, and his collaborative instinct and skill in bringing people together to solve problems, will be an asset as we continue implementing Redefining Excellence.