Cathy Shelburne Consultant, Coach

Cathy is a Consultant and Coach with our Search & Consulting Group.

Her career reflects a deep and varied background in independent school leadership, with national recognition as an expert in the areas of governance, coaching, professional development, and DEIB and antiracism training and programming.

Recent searches include Curtis School (CA), Francis Parker School (CA), Head-Royce School (CA), Lycée Français de San Francisco (CA), Saint Thomas Choir School (NY), and San Diego French American School (CA).

Previous Experience

Most recently, Cathy served as the Director of Professional Learning with the California Association of Independent Schools (CAIS) for eight years. There, she led professional development for heads and trustees of over 200 institutions, serving 94,000 students and 11,000 faculty and administrators. Significant achievements with CAIS include building the Association's capacity and networks with member schools, peer organizations, and industry leaders; leading the annual Trustee/School Head Conference; and creating two new impactful listservs. During her tenure, Cathy represented the association at NAIS PoCC and Annual Conference, NBOA, Cal-ISBOA, CATDC, and many other conferences.

Before working with CAIS, Cathy served as the Director of Upper School Admissions at Menlo School (CA) for seven years. She has also worked at Choate Rosemary Hall (CT) as Dean of Third Form Girls, Head of House, Adjunct House Advisor, Day Student Advisor, Instructor and Site Director of Summer Study Abroad, and Instructor of Spanish; at Chase Collegiate School (CT) as Marketing and Public Relations Staff Writer; at Polytechnic School (CA) as Foreign Language Department Chair, Instructor of Spanish, Advisor, and Coach; at Viewpoint School (CA) as Instructor of Spanish; and at The Elliot Pope Preparatory School (CA) as Dorm Parent, Spanish Instructor, Advisor, and Coach.

Cathy has served as a trustee on numerous boards and organizations, including as a trustee of Mid-Peninsula High School; a former trustee of Sea Crest School; Advisory Board and Conference Committee Member of the Independent School Alliance for Minority Affairs; and The Childrens Center at Caltech. She has also served as a member of the Accreditation Teams for Oak Grove School and Cate School; a member of the National Partnership for Educational Access Annual Conference Planning Committee; and a member of the International Coaching Federation and BoardSource. She has presented at a variety of conferences, including PoCC and our very own Women’s* Institute.

Education & Interests

Cathy attended public and Catholic schools in the Greater Boston Area. She received her B.A. from Dartmouth College and became an Evidence Based Graduate Level Educated Executive Leadership Coach from Fielding Graduate University. She is in the process of becoming an Associate Certified Coach (ACC) from the International Coaching Federation.