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The Passing of the Torch

On May 2, the Board of Trustees unanimously voted Tina DiSanto as the next board president. 

This July, she will take on the role, and while Jody Brant ’87, current board president, is ready for the transition, it is not without a nostalgic look back.

“It's hard to name one thing that has been the most rewarding,” explained Brant. “I tell people this has been my favorite volunteer role and it is because of the great people I have worked with and this institution I love. It is also because it involved my kids. All those things overlapping made it the most fun I've had in a volunteer role.”

Typically the board president serves three years, but Jody took on an extra year due to the head of school transition and the fact that Head of School Rob Zimmerman ’98 was originally slated to assume the role of board president.

“One thing I am convinced of – especially after these four years – is that if you pull together a diverse group of people who care about the school, you're going to get the best possible outcome,” said Brant.

His primary goal when he took on the position was to leave the school in better shape than when he started, and he feels that was accomplished.

“Throughout all of the challenges of the past four years, it's been inspiring to see Jody’s level of commitment,” said DiSanto.

Her goal is to build on the strength that Jody has established.

“The school is on this incredible trajectory that we need to capitalize on by building a strong strategic plan as we head into our centennial. Combining our rich history and tradition with the future and what that looks like is an incredibly exciting opportunity. When we hit 100 years, I know this school will be the best version of itself.”

Jody and Tina have been working closely for the last six months to prepare for the transition but have worked together much longer than that. They served as co-chairs for the head of school search committee and are both parents at Country Day. And while Brant served on Alumni Council, DiSanto served as speaker chair on the Parents’ Association.

“My favorite thing about Country Day is that it is all-encompassing,” said DiSanto. “I didn't go to a private school, so I didn't have an experience like this. I'm in awe of the breadth of things students get to experience at school. Kids get to try out a whole bunch of things and are exposed to not just learning and academia but lifelong friendships.”

Jody couldn’t agree more.

“When I think back to when I was a student here, my favorite memories are from my time on the basketball team my senior year. I was not a great basketball player which is an understatement. No one will remember anything I did on the basketball court. I played on the junior varsity team for three years and rode the varsity bench my senior year. We had a great team that year and went 21-3. I felt like I contributed to our success through working hard in practice and supporting my teammates. That year was special because I felt like I contributed to something bigger than myself and I started to learn how to provide leadership to a group even though I served in a supporting role.”

And while he didn’t fully understand how much his time as a Country Day student impacted him until he was older, he is happy knowing his children will most likely arrive at the same conclusion.

“I don't know if my daughters look back at school as fondly as I do yet, but it has been gratifying to witness their growth and I am proud of the people they have become. Country Day had a lot to do with that. Listening to current students and alumni talk about their experiences at Country Day justifies the time we put into making this school as amazing as possible.”

In looking to the future, Jody has no doubts that the school is in great hands.

“When my family moved to Cincinnati and joined the Country Day community, I knew I wanted to get heavily involved in any way possible, especially at the strategic level,” said DiSanto. “When I was asked about assuming the role of board president, I had concerns about the time commitment but when I thought about where I wanted to spend my time volunteering, I realized it was a gift to serve a school that I feel so passionate about.”

Jody said that Tina’s name surfaced quickly in the board committee.

“One of the neat things about this transition is the contrast of what Tina and I bring to this role,” said Brant. “I'm a Cincinnati native and spent my entire elementary and high school career at Country Day. My kids have been here since kindergarten. I come from a legal background. Tina is almost the complete opposite. She comes from a background in customer service and human resources that will bring something different and special to this role. My kids have graduated while her kids are still young. She brings a fresh perspective and voice, and I can’t wait to watch this school thrive under her leadership.”