Meet The Team


John Silva


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John has been connected to the private and public school world since the late 1970's. After a successful college football coaching career, John made the decision to raise a family and immerse himself in academia.

For 26 years John and his wife resided in Concord, New Hampshire. Most of those years were spent on the grounds of St. Paul’s School, where they raised two children, while John taught Science, History and Humanities. Teaching Humanities proved to be a life changing experience, professionally.

During his tenure at SPS, John coached football, basketball and baseball. John also served in a number of administrative roles in various departments: Admissions, Athletics, Residential Life, Head of the Faculty Leadership Council, and Student Affairs. He provided expertise on a regional level as President of the Independent School League and President of New England Preparatory Schools Athletic Council. John has also served as the Head of School at The Burlington Day School and Charlotte Secondary School in North Carolina.

John graduated from Springfield College and went on to receive a Master’s Degree in Arts and Liberal Studies from Dartmouth College. His entrepreneurial daughter graduated from St. Paul’s School. His son graduated from Phillips Exeter Academy and now works as a photographer + videographer while helping develop the B.A.A.T.S Baseball program, a division of JSA.


Randi Dumont

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Randi joins JSA after nearly a decade at Groton School, where she served as an Associate Director of Admission by day, a coach in the afternoons, and a dorm head in the evenings. Additionally, she spent a few years as an academic support counselor, providing individualized mentorship to a range of students. Though originally from Maine, Randi is familiar with boarding school life from the perspective of a student, as well, graduating from St. Mark’s School in 2005 after arriving as a repeat 10th grader. 


Prior to landing at Groton, Randi earned a B.A. in psychology at Middlebury College, where she was a four-year member of the women’s ice hockey team and enjoyed competing in NESCAC and NCAA level contests. Following graduation, she completed a master’s in education at the University of Southern Maine, and worked as an educational technician at a public school. Remembering the positive impact of her St. Mark’s experience ultimately motivated Randi’s return to the boarding school world, to give back to the lifestyle that so deeply shaped her. 


Randi is passionate about connecting with people, and creating spaces where all people can feel seen, heard and validated - this is what drew her into JSA. She is excited to continue her journey as a lifelong learner, educator and mentor alongside young people and their families. 


Randi lives in Brooklyn with her partner, Melissa, and their sweet dog Ada - their favorite family activities are exploring the city, snuggling and playing together!


Jackie Garnett

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Jackie has been with JSA since 2017. While she takes on many roles with the company, she specializes in working with our students to develop their application essays. Jackie earned her MST in Teaching Writing from the University of New Hampshire where she studied under some of the most distinguished English teachers in the country. With our students, she stresses the importance of the full writing process to arrive at the best final draft possible. The beginning stages involve unconventional writing activities that the students always have fun completing. Jackie has experience teaching at the college level, and she is a graduate of St. Paul’s School so she often connects with our students on a personal level. At SPS, Jackie was an officer of the Missionary Society and a dormitory prefect.


Jackie now lives in Dover, NH with her husband, wildly active 7-year-old son, and two cat (who are just as crazy). Our students sporadically see the kid + cats on Zoom as Jackie loves integrating her work life with her family life. In her spare time, she teaches group fitness classes, loves to attend folk concerts, and will always take you up on a friendly game of mini golf (that she somehow makes competitive every time).


David Evans

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Joanne Ball-Burgess

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Quincy Burgess

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David has been working with schools, students and families for over 25 years. As President of Academic Study Associates and later Summerfuel, he has designed and run summer pre-college and language programs for thousands of students from a wide variety of schools both here in the U.S. and overseas. By working with students each summer and throughout the year David is in a unique position to give insight into a range of schools, their students and culture.

A product of boarding school himself, he firmly believes in the transformative opportunities that they provide and is dedicated to helping navigate the admissions process and finding the right fit for each student and family. Additionally, David has extensive experience working with some of the biggest brands in soccer and nurturing the talent of young players. He understands the benefits of furthering both academic and athletic careers on campus.

David grew up in England where he attended Bryanston School and then Colgate University. David is the father of two boys, both of whom attended private school on New York's Upper East side. He recently went through the boarding school admissions process as a father and his older son is now a sophomore at Deerfield Academy.

David lives in New York City and regularly visits schools in the tri-state area as well as New England. He has also worked with a number of boarding students each summer through a partnership with the Boys Club of New York.  David is excited to meet NYC area families and help them explore boarding school opportunities.

Joanne has been at the forefront of international education for over 14 years. Whether through Literacy or Social Studies in both middle and high school settings, she has been instrumental in engaging students at their highest level. She has served as a support teacher, in class teacher, and education officer supporting organizations in creating and expanding curricula at international schools in East Africa and Bermuda.  

Born and raised in Warwick, Bermuda Joanne has a unique gift for seeing the greatness in students and drawing this greatness out of them using various strategies from her experience. As an educator and performing artist, she is skilled with fusing these industries inside and outside of the classroom to support learners of all kinds. She also has broad experience in writing and broadening curricula for the purpose of incorporating kinesthetic learning and cross-subject learning for a holistic learning process. Creativity and critical thinking are paramount in Joanne’s teaching pedagogy across all academic disciplines. 

For the past ten years, Joanne has lived in Kenya where she founded and serves as head administrator at The Cottage School Kenya: a micro-school that offers a multidisciplinary approach to learning through the infusion of performing and visual arts.

Joanne holds a M.Ed. from Endicott College, is currently pursuing a doctorate degree in Educational Leadership and is the author of 3 published works, 5 singles and 1 album.

Quincy Burgess was born and raised in Bermuda and began his higher education journey as a student at Acadia University in Nova Scotia. After completing his B.Sc., Quincy earned his M.Div. at Oral Roberts University as well as a M.Sc., at Hebrew University. His earliest experiences teaching occurred in the public schools of his home country, where Quincy focused on practical application of his love for agriculture. When he and his family moved from Bermuda to Kenya, he became acquainted with the international school circuit namely the International School of Kenya, Peponi House Preparatory School and Rosslyn Academy. He has taught in many capacities as a head of History, Year 5 class teacher and substitute for Grade 5-12 for all subjects in US and British curriculum, AP and IB. Together with his wife, Joanne, Quincy founded The Cottage School, where he pioneered the introduction of the UK's largest assessment platform in Kenya - an assessment that evaluates a student's potential versus achievement.


Laura Cook

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Laura has been an educator for 30 years. She teaches music, English, and History to students of all ages. She received her Bachelor of Music Performance in viola from the Aaron Copeland School of Music, Queens College, CUNY. She earned a Master’s Degree in English - Rhetoric and Composition from the University of North Carolina - Charlotte. She also has National Board certification in Early Childhood Music and teaches violin, viola and piano privately.

Laura is a National Paideia Faculty consultant and trains teachers and principals in the Paideia method whereby critical thought and civil dialogue are taught and practiced. As Head of High School at a secondary charter school, she trained staff and students to fully implement a Paideia program in the school and was instrumental in planning and writing high school curriculum as the school grew.

Laura served as Vice President and President of the Piedmont North Carolina chapter of the American Orff-Schulwerk Association and is a published author in the Orff Echo. Her memoirs about living on Long Island have been published in Dan’s Papers.

Laura is passionate about teaching and believes that learning for a lifetime is the vital key for living a good and worthy life. She has twice been Teacher of the Year and a finalist for the Harris Educator Prize and the Ben Craig Award.

She and her husband live in North Carolina and have four grown children - three of whom are educators - and three beautiful granddaughters.  

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Brett Silva

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Brett is a graduate of Phillips Exeter, where he played starting goalie of the soccer team, and of Elon University, where he majored in Broadcast Communications. Upon graduation Brett immediately went to work for the NBC affiliate in Wilmington, North Carolina, and then quickly received a call from CBS to report to a larger market in Greensboro.  After a couple of years in his adoptive state of North Carolina, ABC news came calling with an offer of employment located in Phoenix, Arizona, one of the top twelve markets in the country. There he was promoted to Sports Producer and produced weekly sports shows for millions.


Brett has since gone on to found his own independent studio under the name of Desert Peek Productions.


Brett’s personal career highlight was when he was asked by ABC to “shoot” his hometown New England Patriots, from the field, in Super Bowl XLIX, where he captured footage, particularly of the dramatic ending in his own unique style. (Click here).


Brett now joins JSA to guide our organization through his unique skills of communications, videography and journalism, creating videos for both schools and students.


Effie Katsoudas

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Effie has over 25 years of Project Management experience. She received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Management from Pace University in Pleasantville, NY.  

Her 25 years of work experience include managing project plans and finances for Business Process Re-engineering providers for government agencies and for a Fortune 500 scientific and technology applications company while living in Washington DC. In addition, Effie worked at developing and managing collective work plans to ensure timely project roll out for a Pioneer Internet Service Provider in International Web Hosting.

Effie brings to JSA a demonstrated ability in coordinating the logistical processes between client-families and schools. Her unwavering commitment to detail and timeliness assures our client-families will experience an efficient and well organized tour schedule for their school visits. Her excellent communication, interpersonal and follow-through skills are a driving force for Effie as she is committed to making sure our client-families have a positive experience that they will want to tell their friends about.

She and her husband live in North Carolina. They have a son who attends a private school and plays competitive golf.