Marlene Shaw Senior Consultant

Marlene is a Senior Consultant working for the Heads of School Practice and consulting with boards on strategic planning and governance. In her years with the firm, she has conducted over 30 top administrative searches for day schools, girls’ schools, and Episcopal schools. Her two headships, her leadership on educational boards such as ERB, VAIS, TAIS, as well as her other non-profit work, provide Marlene with a deep understanding for her consulting work with boards.

Some of Marlene’s most recent assignments have included work with Montgomery Bell Academy (TN), Bullis School (MD),The St. Paul’s Schools (MD), Harpeth Hall (TN), Miami Country Day (FL), and Metairie Park Country Day School (LA).

Previous Experience

Having worked as a classroom teacher in public and independent schools, a counselor, division head, and head of school, Marlene’s educational experience is varied and deep. She has 15 years of head of school experience, first at Chatham Hall (VA) and subsequently at St. Mary's Episcopal School (TN) from which she retired before joining CS&A. At St. Mary’s, she developed and implemented a strategic plan that strengthened an already outstanding academic program, producing a significant number of national merit scholars and presidential scholars. The resulting capital campaign built three new academic buildings that transformed the campus and the program. She has 14 years of experience as a middle school head, at Isidore Newman School (LA), and at Fort Worth Country Day School (TX).

Education & Interests

Marlene is a National Board-Certified Counselor (currently inactive) and a member of several professional associations, including Heads Collegiate Forum, SAIS Legacy Club, and Head Mistress Association of the East. She served on the National Board of Directors of Educational Records Bureau and was Vice President for two years. Marlene is a frequent presenter on leadership in independent schools.

Marlene earned a B.S. in math education at Louisiana State University and a M.Ed. in counselor education at the University of New Orleans. She did postgraduate work in math, financial stability, non-profit leadership, and attended the Harvard Counseling Institute as well as numerous NAIS and CAIS workshops and seminars. In 2008, she was part of the NAIS Delegation for Diversity to China.

She is an active volunteer in her Memphis community supporting child advocacy initiatives and serving as a Warden at her Episcopal Church. Marlene was chosen by Memphis Magazine as one of the “50 Women Who Make a Difference” in the city. Marlene loves spending time with her husband, three grown children, and their spouses, along with her seven grandchildren. Traveling, cooking, and reading add enjoyment to a full life.