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Long Ding, M.Ed

A native of Qingdao, China, Long first came to the U.S. in 2006. After graduating high school in his hometown Long spent three months training at the University of Oregon for the China Bowl, an NFL inspired football tournament in Beijing. Already finding success with kicking, Long was recruited by the football coaching staff at New Hampton School, New Hampshire. As a post-graduate at NHS, Long found success on the football field and in the classroom. Long matriculated at Norwich University, where he was a member of the football and rugby teams. An All-American selection his senior year, Long claimed multiple Norwich University football kicking records. Long graduated magna cum laude with a degree in accounting and was offered a chance to try-out with the Jacksonville Jaguars of the NFL.


Long began his career in independent education at Cardigan Mountain School (Canaan, NH.) During his time at CMS, Long worked closely with international students guiding them academically and emotionally. In 2015, Long graduated summa cum laude with a master’s in education with a focus on curriculum and instruction from New England College. Most recently, Long worked at Canterbury School (New Milford, CT) and Lawrenceville School (Lawrenceville, NJ). Now Long is a faculty and coach at The Pennington School (Pennington, NJ). 


A seasoned independent school teacher and coach, Long understands what qualities independent schools look for in their international school applicant pool. Long thrives to educate applicants on the importance of finding the right school for them. He also will help his clients to understand the private school’s culture.




Christi Ding
Residential Coordinator

A graduate of The Hill School (Pottstown, Pa), Christi truly appreciates the vast opportunities and experiences provided by a boarding school education. As an admission professional, she recognizes the importance of finding the right fit for each child. Upon graduating from Elon University with a degree in strategic communications and religious studies, Christi began her career at Episcopal High School (Alexandria, VA.) While at EHS, Christi served as the assistant director of communications and field hockey coach.  During the summer of 2014, Christi was a faculty member at Cardigan Mountain Summer Session where she taught organization, study skills, and penmanship. Immediately following, Christi joined the faculty at Canterbury School (New Milford, CT) as the associate director of admission, ninth grade girls' dorm head, and field hockey and lacrosse coach. In July 2017, Christi joined the Lawrenceville School community as Associate Dean of Admission, field hockey coach, and duty master.


Christi and Long met while working at Cardigan Mountain Summer Session in 2014. Having spent their entire careers in independent schools, they both personally understand the value of a boarding school education. Christi and Long were married in August 2016 and currently reside in Lawrenceville, NJ, with their dog, Elvis.





David J. McCusker, Jr.
Special Advisor

As the beneficiary of a much-appreciated independent school education, having graduated from Cardigan Mountain School in 1980 and St. Paul’s School in 1984, Dave began his professional career following graduation from Dartmouth College in 1988, by returning to Cardigan as a math teacher, coach (football, hockey, baseball), dorm parent, and student advisor. Over the next 29 years, Dave has served five outstanding independent schools in all of the roles previously mentioned, gradually becoming more involved at the administrative and senior leadership level. In 2007, Dave left St. Paul’s School, where he was Director of Development, to become Head of School at Cardigan Mountain School. Ably assisted and supported by his wife, Steff, herself a veteran educator and experienced independent school administrator, and with their two sons in tow, the McCusker family lived, worked, and breathed their “full and rich” Cardigan experience, helping their beloved school grow and prosper. And when it was time for a new chapter after nine gratifying years, and following a glorious six-month sabbatical, Dave has returned to education, this time as Director of Advancement for School Year Abroad (, the foremost study abroad opportunity for American high school students who have the courage, aptitude, and personal conviction to attend a fully accredited school in one of four countries (China, Italy, Spain, and France) for a full year of language training, deep cultural immersion, and expansive personal growth.

作为私立学校教育的受益人,Dave, 1980年毕业于卡迪根山中学,1984年毕业于圣保罗中学,Dave在1988年达特茅斯大学毕业后回到了卡迪根山中学,担任数学老师和美式橄榄球,冰球,棒球教练。并开始了他29年的私立学校工作生涯。在这期间他总共为5所优秀的私立学校工作过,并从教师提升为学校行政人员。2007年Dave离开了圣保罗学校发展部主任一职,成为了卡迪根山中学的校长。在太太Steff (前私立学校行政人员), 两个儿子 (Broodie, Cam) 的照顾和鼓励下,Dave在任期9年的时间里对卡迪根山中学做出了巨大贡献。Dave现任海外学年( 发展部主任,海外学年是一所针对美国高中生留学海外的一所海外学院 (留学国家: 中国,意大利,西班牙,和法国)。

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