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Board of Trustees

Noah Berland | Board Co-Chair

Noah, who joined the Board in 2018, served as the Chair of its Building and Grounds task force since 2019, before becoming Co-Chair of the Board in 2021. Noah 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 seventh grade and a daughter in fourth grade.

Nicole Lavallee | Board Co-Chair

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. 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 fifth grade at PHS.

Michelle Chan | Board Secretary

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: Jack, who graduated in 2021, and Olivia in fourth 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.

Bill Cahan

Bill is President and Founder of Cahan & Associates, a strategic design and branding firm. His work has garnered over 2800 awards nationally and internationally, and has been featured on both CNN and CNBC. He is the subject of a book released by Princeton Architectural Press entitled “I am almost always hungry,” has lectured extensively throughout the world, and is represented in the permanent collections of the Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum, The Chicago Athenaeum Museum of architecture and design, The Library of Congress, Museum Fur Kunst Und Gewerbe, SFMoMA and others. In 2019, Bill volunteered to concept and direct the new Centennial brochure for PHS, which has given him a unique branding perspective of the school, having had the opportunity to interview dozens of students, alumni, faculty and staff. His son Adam is in fifth grade, and has promised to send all his kids to PHS. Bill was a curbside regular on Tuesdays until Covid hit, but intends to resume this year.

Ann Cavness Balajadia

Ann grew up in Phoenix, AZ, received her B.A in English Literature at Northern Arizona University, and spent much of her professional career with Crate & Barrel as well as Sur la Table in store management and merchandising. Ann has always been involved in her children’s schools and has been delighted to serve in several roles at PHS: volunteering in the classroom, chaperoning field trips, and helping with Walk-a-thon, Game Night, and May Fest. At French American International School, she has served as Room Parent, Capital Campaign Class Captain, fundraiser Co-Chair (Soiree des Vins), and overnight field-trip chaperone. In the community, she has been very engaged with the San Francisco Symphony, chairing Deck the Hall (a fundraiser whose success is second only to Opening Night), serving as President of the Junior Committee, co-chairing Opening Night and the New Initiatives Committee. At the Exploratorium, she served on the family fundraiser, WonderFunday. Ann and her husband JP Balajadia feel so lucky that their son Gabriel is a student at PHS (seventh grade). They also have a son at International High School, Class of 2024, where JP serves on the French American International School board of trustees.

 

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 sixth grade and Reed, who is in Kindergarten.

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 (fourth 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 sixth grade.

Ed Dollard

Ed Dollard is a fifth generation San Franciscan. He is a general contractor in the Bay Area that leads a team in primarily large scale residential renovation and expansion projects. When Ed is not working, he enjoys travelling with his family, photography, and reading. He has also had the privilege of coaching his sons in SF Youth Baseball and SF Youth Soccer. Ed and his wife Niki joined the PHS community in 2020. They have two sons, Jack (sixth grade) and Ethan (fourth grade).

Amos Elliston

Amos is a startup entrepreneur and technology executive. He has worked as an engineer at several companies, including Geni and Yammer, and, most recently, served as CTO at Flexport. He and his wife, Wendy, are currently building a company focused on health and wellness. He has a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Wesleyan University and a master’s degree in Computer Science from NYU. At PHS, Amos has volunteered for classroom field trips and school events. He and Wendy have one daughter, Penelope, at PHS in seventh grade.

 

 

 

 

Wendy Horng Brawer

Wendy is Co-Founder and Chief Innovation and Learning Officer at Intune Collective, a human development and business strategy company based in the Bay Area working to create more conscious and aligned teams and organizations so that they may work from their highest potential. For 11 years, Wendy was the Director of Advancement and Partnerships at Prospect Sierra in El Cerrito, California, and was the Founding Board Chair of enGender, a national nonprofit serving gender creative youth and their families. She has also served on the Board and 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 also has a master’s degree in Public Administration from Columbia University, lives in the East Bay where she raised her three children. 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 graduated college in 2021. Lisa is a graduate of the School of Education at Portland State University, holds a Certificate in School Management and Leadership from the Graduate School of Education & Harvard Business School Online, 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 fifth grade at PHS, and a daughter, Waverly, in second 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 seventh grade, and Lily in fifth grade.

Nicole Kayes

Nicole is an entrepreneur with over 25 years of experience in real estate and finance. After many years of working in the banking industry financing commercial real estate, she started her own company in order to help her clients more effectively and provide additional options for their needs. In addition, Nicole has founded her own boutique real estate investment firm, specializing in value-add opportunities, new build and design. Nicole is originally from Uruguay and has completed her education in the U.S. She obtained a bachelor’s degree in Business Marketing and an MBA in Finance. Nicole, and her husband Jeff, have a daughter Sidney who is currently in second grade. During their time off, the family enjoys outdoor activities, such as windsurfing, skiing and their love for horses.

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 seven years ago and have a son Oliver who is in the sixth grade at PHS.

Lina Lenberg

Lina joined the PHS community as the 6th grade Humanities teacher in 2019. She has worked as an educator in San Francisco for 20 years, and truly enjoys engaging with young people in their learning processes. Lina spent 15 years as a classroom teacher before moving into administration, and returned to the classroom in 2019 to help students transition to Middle School and learn about the world through a social justice lens. Lina strives to work collaboratively with learners to raise their critical consciousness and engage in contemporary and historical issues from a variety of entry points. She values the student-centered, progressive approach to education at PHS, and enjoys supporting students in their social, emotional and academic growth through readings, discussions, art, music and projects. In her spare time, Lina is most often traveling, volunteering, exploring farmers markets, reading, dancing and appreciating animals.

Adrian Ludwig

Adrian is the Chief Information Security Officer for Atlassian, a global software company. Previously he has led product security efforts at Google (Android and Nest)and Adobe. He is an active angel investor and advisor in the cyber security space. He has a bachelor's degree in Mathematics from Williams College and an MBA from Haas School of Business @ UC Berkeley. Adrian and his wife Chelsea Tanaka have two sons that began Presidio Hill School in TK. Miles is now in fifth grade, and Owen is in second grade. Adrian's favorite part of every weekday is walking with the boys to school, discussing black holes, cryptography, and other mysteries of the universe.

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.

Shaban Shakoori

Shaban has been a part of the PHS community since 2009 when his older daughter started in Kindergarten. His younger daughter is currently attending middle school at PHS. In 2012, he was asked to represent the school in its search for a neighboring property, which resulted in the purchase of 233 Maple Street. He has enjoyed serving on the Development Committee since 2012. Shaban is currently a real estate broker with Compass. Prior to that, he practiced transactional real estate and securities law. He is a Bay Area native who graduated from Menlo School, UC Berkeley and USF Law School. Shaban has always enjoyed bringing people together, whether in a transaction or, more recently, on the dance floor. His growing list of hobbies includes surfing, golf, squash and DJing.

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 sixth and fourth 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.