fbpx Board of Trustees | Presidio Hill School Skip to main content

Board of Trustees

Matthew N. Nathan | Board Co-Chair

Matthew has more than 20 years of experience in the education sector as an educator, entrepreneur and strategic leader in mission-driven nonprofit and for-profit organizations. Matthew currently serves as senior director of development for WestEd, a national education research, development and services agency dedicated to building and disseminating knowledge about what works in education to improve outcomes for all students. In his role, Matthew focuses on growing agency revenue, diversifying funding sources, and increasing scale and impact. Matthew, who has a bachelor’s degree in Government and Philosophy from Bowdoin College, served the school in various capacities, including co-chairing the Annual Auction’s wine raffle committee and working on the steering committee of the Center for Progressive Education, before joining the Board of Trustees in 2017. In the past, he has spearheaded the committee responsible for honing PHS’s mission statement and has led the search for Presidio Hill School's current Head of School. Matthew and his wife, Gillian, have a daughter in the eighth grade at PHS.

Michelle Chan | Board Co-Chair

Michelle brings more than 25 years of professional experience in the entertainment, fashion, advertising and retail industries. After starting her career in Los Angeles working for talent and public relations companies such as CAA, Michelle came home to San Francisco and began a path in marketing, spending 16 years at the Gap and Banana Republic brands. There she held a number of leadership roles overseeing advertising and store experience, and as senior fashion director and senior editorial director. Michelle is passionate about bringing people together. In her professional life, that meant marrying strategic and business goals with creative innovation and intuition. Over nine years as a member of the PHS community, she has been grateful to contribute as PGA co-chair, Admissions co-chair and Spring Fling co-chair, and as a member of the Board’s Trustees Committee. Born in San Francisco, Michelle, who was elected to the Board in 2019, attended Marin Country Day School and The Branson School. She received her BA in Psychology at Occidental College and a Certificat de civilisation française from La Sorbonne. Michelle and her husband, Jesse Zeifman, have two children at PHS: Jack in eighth grade, and Olivia in third grade.

Susan Andrews

Susan is a former director of Presidio Hill School and the parent of a PHS alum. She started her career in education as a preschool teacher in the Mission before moving to Marin and founding The Playgroup preschool in Point Reyes Station. After she returned to San Francisco, she worked as head teacher and later supervisor at Cross Cultural Family Center in the Western Addition. During her time there, she completed her master’s degree in Education. Susan became director of PHS in 1980 and retired 16 years later due to a diagnosis of fourth-stage non-Hodgkins lymphoma. During the last period of her treatment in 1999, she was asked by a former PHS parent and therapist to help a group of parents start a school for children with autism. While on the founding board of Oak Hill, she assumed the position of interim director of Alice Waters’ Edible Schoolyard in Berkeley, followed by a stint as marketing and PR director of her husband’s decorative concrete company, Buddy Rhodes Studio. While there, she was asked to take on a one-year interim headship at PHS for the 2008-2009 school year. In 2011, Susan accepted the executive director position at Oak Hill for close to five years. Her memberships have included The Playgroup, Cross Cultural Family Center, San Francisco Arts Education Project, Edible Schoolyard, Chez Panisse Foundation, San Francisco School, Oak Hill School and Presidio Hill School. Her current board affiliations are the Eva Gunther Foundation, PHS development committee, and the SF Autism Society. Susan, who joined the Board in 2019, is now retired and living in San Francisco and Mendocino County with her husband, Buddy, and (part-time) her grandson, Marco.

Stephanie Assang

Stephanie is a former finance executive with in-depth experience working in Japan and assisting Japanese clients doing business in the U.S. Prior to becoming a full-time mother, Stephanie was finance director of Global Consumer Finance Japan, GE Capital’s then largest and most profitable business unit worldwide. There, she supported financial analysis reporting, tax optimization, and business development activities under the group CFO. Before joining GE, Stephanie was a senior manager at KPMG in New York. Her experience also includes licensee management at a Japanese pharma company in Tokyo. Stephanie holds an undergraduate Business degree from Washington University in St. Louis and an MBA in Finance from the Wharton School. On the volunteer front, Stephanie served for seven years on the board of a 100-unit New York co-op, including two years as treasurer. As a PHS volunteer, she has served as communications chair of the Parents and Guardians Association, co-chair of the Parent Education Committee, the PHS liaison to Common Sense Media, and a room representative. She joined the Board in 2018 and currently serves on its Development Committee. Stephanie and her husband, Milton, have two daughters: Nina, a fifth grader at PHS, and Erica, a former PHS student.

Noah Berland

Noah, who joined the Board in 2018 and serves on its Building and Grounds task force, is an attorney specializing in business and commercial real estate matters. Earlier in his career, he worked as group program manager in charge of the Interactive Media Department for the Washington, D.C., office of Powell Tate, a public affairs, corporate communications and crisis management firm. Noah directed Powell Tate’s award-winning department and provided strategic digital media services for American Express, Delta Airlines, Federal Express, Master Card, NCAA, Nike, Oracle, Sun Microsystems and Visa. In addition, he was the youngest member of Powell Tate’s business development committee and handpicked to be part of a select group charged with shaping the company’s vision and core business values. At PHS, Noah has served as Admissions Committee co-chair, an admissions tour guide, and a speaker on the parent panel for admissions open houses; he has also volunteered in the classroom. Noah grew up in an “education everything” household with a mother who co-founded Prospect Sierra in the East Bay. He has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a law degree from the University of San Francisco. Noah and his wife, Jennifer, have two children at PHS: a son in sixth grade and a daughter in third grade.

 

Brandon Cherry

Brandon serves as director of compensation at Credit Karma, Inc., a fin-tech start-up in San Francisco. Until recently, he was the West Coast leader for Korn Ferry Hay Group, where he was responsible for helping organizations define and align their strategic priorities to key internal operating processes, and earlier in his career he was a co-founder of a boutique consulting firm. Brandon, who has a bachelor’s degree in Economics from Stanford University, has also served on the advisory boards of EASi and NASDAQ Private Market. At PHS, Brandon was an active member of the Board of Trustees’ Finance Committee prior to joining the Board in 2018. He and his wife, Kacie, have two sons at PHS: Cole, who is in fifth grade and Reed, who is in Transitional Kindergarten.

Erin Cooney

Erin earned her B.S. at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and spent 19 years working in accounting, finance and sales operations for public accounting, start-up and software companies in the Bay Area. With the birth of her third child she gave up the corporate world and became passionate about the idea of a truly progressive education where parents play an integral role. This passion led her down a new career path as co-founder of San Francisco Schoolhouse, where she is currently serving on the board of trustees. Since she and her family joined the PHS community in 2016, Erin has been an avid volunteer both in the classroom and with the Parents and Guardians Association (PGA). She has been a co-chair of Follies and co-chair of the PGA, and was elected to the PHS Board of Trustees in 2019. Erin and her husband, Ted, have a daughter, Annabel, an alumni of PHS, as well as two other children who attend San Francisco Schoolhouse.

Seema Dala

Seema co-leads the U.S. client services effort at global asset management firm Orbis Investment Management, working primarily with non-profit organizations across the country. Before she joined Orbis, Seema was co-head of the Institutional Client Services team and a member of the Executive Committee at Allan Gray Limited, the largest privately owned asset manager in South Africa. She was appointed as a trustee of the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation, which invests in the education and development of individuals with entrepreneurial potential within Southern Africa. After completing her Business Science degree at the University of Cape Town, Seema worked at PwC in their Cape Town, London and San Francisco offices. Seema is a qualified chartered accountant and an alumnus of Harvard Business School. Seema and her husband, John, along with their son Arin (third grade at PHS) have made San Francisco their home since 2016, and have felt fortunate to be warmly welcomed into the PHS community. Seema has served on the Board’s Finance Committee since 2018 and was elected to the Board in 2019.

 

Todd Darling

Todd is chief operating officer at investment firm Acacia Capital Corp., with management responsibilities in the company’s Income Property Division. Todd has been involved in real estate investment for more than 16 years. He is a member of Acacia’s internal investment committee and has extensive experience in the acquisition, financing and disposition of income property throughout the western U.S. Prior to joining Acacia, Todd was responsible for the western region acquisition activity of Lend Lease, a large pension fund advisor. He also oversaw dispositions and financing activity for AEW Capital Management, and was a bank analyst for the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Todd, who joined the Board of Trustees in 2017, currently chairs the Board’s Finance Committee. He holds an A.B. degree in Economics from Princeton University and is a Chartered Financial Analyst. He and his wife, Kathleen, have three children: a daughter who graduated PHS in 2019, a daughter who graduated in 2020, and a son in fifth grade.

 

Taylor Gerard

Taylor Louise Gerard is honored to be a member of the Presidio Hill School Board of Trustees. Taylor is the lead fifth grade teacher at PHS and has loved guiding students through inquiry-based learning, incorporating themes of justice, identity, and diversity. Taylor also is a mentor to an apprentice teacher through our partnership with the University of San Francisco. In addition, Taylor is an active member of the Multicultural Leadership Team and supports the Hiring and Retention sub-committee, committed to recruiting, hiring, and retaining the most culturally diverse faculty and staff possible. Before her time at PHS, Taylor was the lead third grade teacher at a small school in Oakland. Taylor’s passion for teaching and the arts led her to the University of San Francisco where she majored in Performing Arts and Social Justice and minored in Child and Youth Studies. Throughout her undergraduate career, Taylor also participated in the Dual Degree Program, where she completed her Masters in Education and earned her California Teaching Credential. During her time in San Francisco, Taylor has worked in elementary classrooms of all ages and facilitated a socially-relevant theater program to elementary students at various schools within the city. Taylor considers herself a lifelong learner and enjoys reading, drinking a great cup of coffee, traveling around the world, and continuing to explore the amazing city of San Francisco.

Beth Gerstein

Beth is currently the co-CEO of Brilliant Earth, the global leader of responsible sourced fine jewelry. Beth co-founded Brilliant Earth in 2005 based on a passion for social enterprise. Brilliant Earth operates 8 showrooms in the US and is a leading e-commerce jeweler. Before Brilliant Earth, Beth specialized in satellite communications and corporate business development. Beth holds a B.S. from Duke University, a Masters in Electrical Engineering from MIT and an MBA from Stanford’s Graduate School of Business. Beth also serves on the board of directors for Diamond Empowerment Fund, an international non-profit supporting education initiatives in diamond producing countries and Jewelers for Children, a US charitable organization dedicated to helping children in need. At PHS, Beth is an active member of the development committee. Beth and her husband, Alex, have two children at PHS: a son, Patrick, in fifth grade and a daughter, Simone, in fourth grade.

 

 

 

 

Wendy Horng Brawer

Wendy is the co-founder and executive director of 14000hours, an educational nonprofit working to redefine the primary purpose of school. She is building a network of parents, educators and school leaders who help schools become thriving learning communities for students and teachers alike. She served as the director of advancement and partnerships for Prospect Sierra School in El Cerrito, California, for 11 years and is the founding board chair of enGender, a national nonprofit serving gender creative youth and their families. She also serves on the Vision Council of Stepping Stones Project, a mentoring and nature-based rite-of-passage program that supports youth through adolescence, and was a founding member of the Bay Area Teacher Training Institute (BATTI)’s Masters in Educational Leadership Program, from which she received her educational degree. Wendy, who has a master’s degree in Public Administration from Columbia University, lives in the East Bay where she raised her three children, one now a graduate of the University of Michigan, another currently enrolled at Bowdoin College, and her youngest, in high school. Wendy joined the PHS Board in 2018 and currently serves on its Development Committee.

 

 

 

Lisa Jeli

Lisa is Presidio Hill School's Head of School. She has an impressive track record of more than 30 years of experience at PHS, including nearly a decade as Presidio Hill School's Assistant Head of School and Middle School Director, five years as Lower School Director, and lead teacher experience in third through fifth grades. Lisa is also an alumni parent— her son Isam is a graduate of the Presidio Hill School class of 2013 and is currently a senior in college in Oregon. Lisa is a graduate of the School of Education at Portland State University, and was invited to participate in and recently completed the Leadership Fellows program through the California Teacher Development Collaborative led by distinguished educators and former Heads of School, Reveta Bowers and Debbie Reed. Lisa was the founding leader of the PHS Multicultural Leadership Team.

 

 

Sean Joyce

Sean is a family law attorney and managing partner of Lurkis Joyce and Del Bove LLP in San Francisco. He has a bachelor’s degree in Economics from Babson College and a law degree from the University of Denver-Sturm College of Law. Sean, who joined the Board in 2018 and currently serves on its Development Committee, has also coached PHS soccer teams, volunteered in the classroom, and coached his son’s SF Youth Baseball League team. His wife, Bridget, taught TK at The Little School, a relationship-based preschool school in San Francisco, and later taught kindergarten at PHS before taking time off to raise their two children. Sean and Bridget have a son, Kingston, in fourth grade at PHS, and a daughter, Waverly, in first grade.

 

Dallas Kashuba

Dallas is a creative problem solver, entrepreneur, musician and tinkerer. During his high school years in North Dakota, he discovered virtual reality and decided to pursue a career in computers. That decision led him to Harvey Mudd College in Southern California, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and started DreamHost, a pioneering web platform company, in 1997, in a dorm room with three college friends. Today, Dallas is again working on VR, while acting as a managing director of DreamHost. At PHS, Dallas has assisted on field trips and in the classroom. He joined the Board in 2018 and currently serves on its Development Committee. He and his wife, Vida, who has been an active volunteer at PHS, have two children at PHS: Maddox in sixth grade, and Lily in fourth grade.

Nicole Lavallee

Nicole is an attorney and the managing partner of the San Francisco office of Berman Tabacco, a national firm focusing primarily on securities and antitrust litigation. She is also a member of the firm’s four-member executive committee. Her clients include state and local public pension funds as well other government entities, such as state treasurers. At PHS, Nicole has served in several capacities, most notably as a member of the Board’s Development Committee. Nicole, who joined the Board of Trustees in 2019, has also volunteered in the classroom and beyond, serving as a room representative, working at admission tours, and helping out at events such as Mayfest and Game Night. Nicole and her husband, JP, have a daughter, Samantha, in fourth grade at PHS.

Catherine Lee

Catherine is associate professor of sociology at Rutgers University where she has been on faculty since 2005. As a political sociologist, Catherine’s research focuses on the meaning of race, gender, and inequality across three critical sites: immigration, health and medicine, and law and society. Specifically, her published books and articles examine the history of family reunification in American immigration; the role of genetic testing and other technologies in immigration control; and legal and administrative uses of racial categories in the criminal justice system and biomedicine. As a researcher and teacher, Catherine is committed to critical pedagogy and social justice. She holds a Ph.D. in sociology from UCLA and called California home for many years before settling in New York City. Catherine and her husband Scott Murry returned to California six years ago and have a son Oliver who is in the 5th grade at PHS.

Linda Peters

Linda is a Principal Associate at Environmental Science Associates, a mission-driven environmental consulting firm. She previously held strategic leadership roles at AECOM, where she led the development and delivery of strategic growth planning across various markets along the West Coast. She previously served on the SF Public Utilities Commission’s Sewer System Improvement Program (SSIP) Program Management Joint Venture Board; ensuring contractual obligations and schedule milestones were met for delivering a multi-billion dollar infrastructure improvement program. Currently, Linda serves on the Merritt Community College Natural History and Sustainability Advisory Board, collaborating with faculty to design certificate programs to prepare graduates for placement in government, non-profit, and consulting jobs, including development of an internship program partnering with local business, agencies, and non-profits such as the US Army Corps of Engineers, Angel Island Conservancy, and The Nature Conservancy. Since joining the PHS community 7 years ago, she has volunteered for various school events such as book fairs, admissions events, and recently as part of the Head of School search committee. A San Francisco native, she and her husband Phill have sons in both the lower (2nd Grade) and middle (7th Grade)schools.

 

 

Chung-Man Tam

Chung is a technology entrepreneur with a passion for building and designing new product experiences. He currently serves as CEO for 2nd Address, building a new hospitality experience for business travelers. Previously, he held leadership roles at AdMob, Chartboost, Google, Yahoo!, and Sequoia Capital. Chung has a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from Stanford University and a master’s degree in Human-Computer Interaction from Carnegie Mellon University. At PHS, he has been an active contributor as a classroom volunteer and field trip chaperone. He joined the Board in 2018 and serves on the Trustees Committee. Chung-Man and his wife, Yuko Kamae, have two sons, one in fourth grade at PHS and one at Stuart Hall in San Francisco.

Audrey Yee

Audrey is the mom of Samuel Steiner, PHS Class of ’15, International High School of French American International School Class of ‘19, and the University of Washington, Class of ‘23. Audrey served on the board’s executive committee as chair for four years, as secretary for two years, and as an at-large member for one year. She also co-chaired the head of school search in 2008-2009, chaired the trustees development committee, co-chaired the capital campaign committee, served as a room parent, and served on the outreach and auction committees. A fifth generation Californian on both sides of her family, Audrey graduated from U.C. Berkeley and Boston College Law School and practiced estate planning, tax law and charitable gift planning for several years, during which time she met her husband Michael, also an attorney. After stints with the Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund and Save-the-Redwoods League, Audrey has worked for the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy in Fort Mason since 2004, where, among other things, she manages the legacy program for the organization. Audrey has served on several nonprofit boards, including San Francisco Baykeeper and SFMOMA’s Contemporary Extension. Audrey, Mike and Sam enjoy travel, hiking, reading, games, sports, and visiting with grandparents and cousins.

Kim Ying Walsh

Kim Ying Walsh joined the PHS community in 2015 as a Yard Duty Supervisor and After School Teacher. After two years of working in the After School Program, she was hired as the Director of After School and Auxiliary Programs. Kim has been a member of the Multicultural Leadership Team since 2017; starting on the Hiring and Retention subcommittee and then serving on the Student and Family Support subcommittee. Prior to her time at PHS, Kim worked as a Retail Store Manager at Peet’s Coffee & Tea. She has held many leadership roles and has been promoted to leadership roles in every organization she has been a part of for the last 16 years. Kim discovered her passion for working with kids after she volunteered in 2015 at Sky Kids Immersion Program. She was promoted in 2016 to the Camp Director role, a position she held until 2018. Kim is looking forward to serving on the PHS Board of Trustees and helping to continue to support the school in the Staff Trustee role.

Kai Zhang

Kai, who joined the Board of Trustees in 2019, is a private investor with more than 20 years of experience in investment management and corporate finance. Prior to co-founding an Asia-based hedge fund, Kai was a managing director at Shining Capital Management, a sole investment advisor for a $500 million charity fund, where he headed public equity investments. Kai also led relative value strategies at the $2 billion LIM Asia Arbitrage Fund. Before moving to Hong Kong, he was a Principal at Barclays Global Investors in San Francisco in portfolio management. Kai’s corporate finance experiences included tenure at Apple and Pepsi. A chartered financial analyst, Kai holds an M.B.A. in Finance from University of Chicago, an M.S. from Cornell University, and a B.S. from SUNY-Binghamton. In his spare time, Kai has been a guest speaker at City University of Hong Kong, as well as an active alumni recruiter for Cornell. After residing in Hong Kong for 12 years, he and his wife, Karina, both avid supporters of foreign language and cross-cultural studies, returned to San Francisco with their two sons, Jonathan and William, currently in fifth and third grade at PHS. Besides serving on the Board and its Finance Committee, Kai has volunteered his time at PHS both in the classroom and on field trips.