The Erdmann Institute

The Erdmann Institute serves to expand the traditional concept of enrollment management by bringing together independent school admission professionals and colleagues to examine ways to strengthen enrollment and enhance the overall promotion of their schools. Founded on the principals of inclusivity and collaboration, The Erdmann Institute seeks to grow the field of admission by providing a non-competitive and supportive environment focused on problem solving and strategic planning. 

Tommy Adams | Director

Tommy Adams, Director

Tommy Adams is the current head of school at Grosse Pointe Academy (MI) and has over 20 years of experience in independent school admission. A graduate of Avon Old Farms in Connecticut and the son of a former head of school, Tommy received his bachelor's degree from Roanoke College in Virginia as well as a master's of science in Education with a focus on Educational Leadership from the University of Pennsylvania.

Tommy has been the recipient of the William B. Brettnal Award, which is given each year to a leader and educator who has made significant contributions to the field of admission. He has been a regular presenter at national events, such as TABS and The Enrollment Management Association Annual Meeting, was a member of the ASSIST School Retention Task Force, and a long time Fellow at The Essex Institute. 

Quentin McDowell | Assistant Director

Quentin McDowell, Asst. Director

Quentin McDowell is currently the Associate Head of School for External Relations at Mercersburg Academy (PA) and has worked as a teacher, coach, and administrator in independent schools for the past 14 years. Quentin is a regular presenter at national conferences (TABS, IECA, The Enrollment Management Association, and CASE-NAIS). He has served on both The Enrollment Management Association and CASE-NAIS Annual Conference Planning Committees and is a co-founder and cohort leader at the Future Leaders Institute. A graduate of Holderness School in New Hampshire, Quentin started his professional career in coaching education as an Education Program Coordinator at the United Soccer Coaches Association. A graduate of Muhlenberg College (PA), he also holds a master's degree in Educational Leadership and Administration from George Washington University. 

Carinne Barker


Carinne has over 30 years of experience working in a variety of educational institutions, ranging in grades from preschool to higher education. Originally from New York, Carinne began her career in education working in admission for David Erdmann at Rollins College (FL), her alma mater. She worked for 25 years at The Buckley School in Sherman Oaks, California, a K-12 independent school, where she served as Director of Admission and Financial Aid and then as Senior Director of Professional Development for The Enrollment Management Association (formerly SSATB), before returning to schools. Carinne now serves as the Director of Enrollment at St. Matthew’s School in Pacific Palisades, California, a co-ed Preschool-Grade 8 independent school.

Carinne currently serves on NAIS’s Financial Aid Advisory Task Force, the Erdmann Advisory Council for the Erdmann Institute for Enrollment Leadership, as well as on the Program Committee of A Better Chance. She has chaired several regional associations, including the Los Angeles Consortium of Secondary School Admission Directors, and the Financial Aid Administrators’ Association of Southern California (fa3). Carinne received her undergraduate degree from Rollins, and earned a Master of Arts in Educational Leadership from California State University, Northridge. 

Pam McKenna


Pamela has spent more than 25 years working in various segments of education including higher education and elementary and secondary schools at both single-sex and co-educational institutions. She began her professional career as an attorney and then moved into the corporate world as a managing editor at a legal publishing firm. Feeling a pull toward education, she moved on to become the Director of Admission at New York Law for six years before moving into the independent school arena. Pam was the Director of Admission and Financial Aid at Convent of the Sacred Heart in Greenwich, Connecticut, an all-girls, pre-school-12 grade independent school, for 9 years before moving to her current position as Director of Admission at Hopkins School in New Haven, Connecticut, a co-educational institution serving grades 7-12.

Pam is currently serving as President of the Fairchester Admission Director’s group, a consortium of more than 40 independent schools in Fairfield County, Connecticut and Westchester County, New York and is a past member of the Connecticut Association of Independent Schools Committee on School Advancement. In addition, she serves on the Erdmann Advisory Council for the Erdmann Institute for Enrollment Leadership. Pam received her bachelor’s degree in English from Duke University (NC) and her Juris Doctor degree from Washington University School of Law (MO).

Other Staff

The Erdmann Institute will feature some of the best independent school minds in the country, including at least one representative from both The Enrollment Management Association and TABS. Guest workshop leaders, which vary each year, may include current heads of school, deans of enrollment from higher education, experts in independent school financial aid, or one of a variety of other professionals that have much to add to the enrollment conversation. 

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