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Meet the Team


Ben Pastor
Director of Advancement

Ben Pastor is a veteran independent school advancement officer, who in recent years has run the Advancement programs at Branson School, in Ross, CA, as well as at The Community School of Naples, in FL.  

Ben began his advancement career at the Taft School, in Watertown, CT from where he is also an alumnus. He served on the Major Gifts team, was an Assistant Director of Development, and he and his wife Ledlie (Rumsey Class of 1992) ran multiple dorms on campus. 

After Taft, Ben graduated from Hamilton College, in Clinton, NY. Ben and his family are deeply connected to Rumsey, with his daughters being third-generation Rumsey students.


Michelle Rittler
Associate Director of Advancement 


A Connecticut native and a graduate of Choate Rosemary Hall, Michelle joined the staff at Rumsey in July 2018 as Advancement Associate. In July 2019, she transitioned to a new leadership role in the department. As the Associate Director of Advancement, Michelle assists in managing several aspects of Rumsey's Annual Fund efforts and helps coordinate events designed to keep members of the Rumsey community engaged with the school. Additionally, she serves as the staff liaison to the Rumsey Circle Parents Association. Michelle and her husband Steve have two children in Rumsey’s Lower School. Prior to Rumsey, Michelle worked as the Development Officer at the Allentown Art Museum in the Lehigh Valley, PA.

Trish Silvernail
Advancement Assistant


An integral part of the Rumsey Family, Trish joined Rumsey's office staff in 1999. Today, Trish manages the administrative needs of the Advancement and Alumni teams with hands-on support for the daily operation of the offices, including gift recording and coordinating special events. Previously, Trish held diverse customer service and managerial roles in the retail banking business for over 18 years. She is a long time resident of nearby Torrington, CT.