Alexandra Simmons

Member, Covid 19 Response Committee

Hailing from Atlanta, Alexandra Simmons currently serves as the Dean of Students at San Francisco University High School. She previously was a class dean and music and math teacher at the Branson School for 6 years. She earned a degree in clarinet performance from Spelman College and continues to play in the volunteer-based Bay Area ensemble, Awesöme Orchestra. She infuses her love of music, creativity, and joy into her daily work with teenagers and their families.

Community Member

Allison Macbeth

Member, Covid 19 Response Committee

Allison, an attorney and Adjunct Professor at UC Hastings, is serving her second year as a TBS Board member. Allison’s 3rd grader has been a student at TBS since preschool (Eugenia!).

What Matters in Education is:
support to encourage and inspire lifelong learning.

Current Parent

Betsey Woody

Chair, Equity & Inclusion Committee; Member, Covid-19 Response Committee

Elisabeth (Betsey) Woody is the owner of 11stories, a boutique personal history business. She works with a variety of clients, ranging from individuals, couples, and families as well as start-ups, nonprofits and large corporations. Prior to starting her business, Betsey worked in education, with a focus on social and cultural issues in education. Her work addressed inequalities in public education, through public policy at the state and national levels.

Her daughter is currently in 7th grade. She is excited to work with the Board to continue the school's efforts to champion diversity across all aspects of the community and to position TBS as a leader in educational excellence and neurodiversity among schools in the Bay Area.

What Matters in Education is:
helping students to know themselves as learners and to celebrate a diversity of approaches to learning.

Current Parent

Brian Scott Ambrosch

Chair, Advancement Committee; Member, Governance Committee

What Matters in Education is:
wonder.

Brian is an East Coast transplant from Mystic, CT and has lived in the Bay Area for 17 years. Brian produces and performs magic shows throughout the Bay Area as Brian Scott and runs the Bay Area School of Magic, which can be found in numerous East Bay after-school programs. Through his production company, Brian Scott Productions, Brian has been involved with fundraising on many levels and brings that experience to the TBS advancement committee. Brian’s son is currently in the middle school.

Current Parent

Catherine Hunter

Chair, Head Support & Evaluation Committee; Member, Finance Committee

What Matters in Education is:
continually stoking each child’s natural curiosity by asking provocative and challenging questions, and encouraging exploration through trial and error.

Cathy Hunter has been an educator for over forty years; in the Bay Area she served as Upper School Head at Head-Royce School and as the founding head of San Francisco Friends School. Cathy is currently serving as a leadership search consultant with RG175, where she is particularly interested in advancing women and people of color into senior leadership positions. As Board Chair, Cathy helped the California Teacher Development Collaborative (CATDC) begin a branch in Southern California, expanding upon its impactful work in the Bay Area. CATDC programs now reach hundreds of educators each year.

Community Member

Deborah Volk

Treasurer; Chair, Finance Committee; Member, Covid 19 Response Committee

Deborah Volk is a first generation American, raised up and down on the east coast, before making her way west in 2000. She has worked for defense contractors, non-profits, and startups before starting her own consulting company in 2006. This coincided perfectly with becoming a parent, in 2007. Her company focuses on helping companies deliver secure, identity-focused solutions that enhance business processes. As a result, Deborah is a privacy-conscious (some would even say paranoid) person who loves technology. She is an avid reader, enjoys strolling through Berkeley, and is a Warriors fan (but loves Basketball in most forms). Deborah been an active member of TBS since 2011, when her son started at the ECC in the Cedar classroom. Through the last 9 years she has hosted various pick-a-parties, participated in the Winter Festival, Fall cook-offs, classroom activities, and the Wrap Party. Deborah is excited about being a voice of a parent of a TBS student, representing this school that has such lofty ideals and the passion to try to reach them.

What Matters in Education is:
fostering a life-long love of learning; for without that, individual, community and global growth gets stunted.

Current Parent

Erin Gardiner

Chair, Governance Committee; Vice Chair, Covid 19 Response Committee

Erin is a proud Canadian who feels lucky to live in the Bay Area. She has been a member of the TBS community since 2014. With a background in Recruitment/Human Resources across a number of industries, she enjoys helping groups work efficiently and effectively.

What Matters in Education is:
fostering a love of learning. When kids are curious, engaged and supported they better understand who they are, how they can contribute and have the confidence to embrace new opportunities.

Current Parent

Katie Dain Lederer

Board Chair

Katie Lederer is a real estate investor, entrepreneur and co-founder of The Lederer Team, a top Bay Area real estate listing and purchasing group. Katie is a current parent of a 4th grader and has been part of The Berkeley School since 2013. This is Katie’s 5th year on the Berkeley School Board of Trustees. Katie previously served on the board of the Red Oak Opportunity Foundation (ROOF), a nonprofit that focuses on funding East Bay education and housing organizations.

What Matters in Education is:
critical thinking, equity access, compassion, independent thinking, curiosity and creating life-long learners.

Current Parent

LaShun Cross

Member, Campus Stewardship Committee; Member, Audit Committee

Lashun Cross is a lead City Planner for Contra Costa County specializing in land use, environmental impact compliance and policy planning. Lashun received a BA in Architecture from UC Berkeley, MA in Urban Planning from San Jose State University, and graduated from JFKU Law School and brings 25 years of city planning experience to her volunteer work with The Berkeley School (TBS). She currently serves on the TBS Campus Stewardship Committee bringing her extensive knowledge of zoning regulations and land use resources to campus development projects. Lashun is a parent of an active 2nd grader, and will have been on The Berkeley School campus since 2018.

What Matters in Education is:
access to opportunities for diverse learners to thrive within an environment that empowers the ability to learn, connect, and grow.

Current Parent

Lauren Westreich

Member, Advancement Committee; Member, Head Support & Evaluation Committee

Lauren’s twins - Greta and Nathaniel Emerson, currently in 7th grade - came to TBS in 2nd grade and have thrived ever since. Lauren and her husband, Bob Emerson, adore TBS and how it has enriched their family's lives. They share their home with a dog, two cats, some fish and a horse (she lives in Walnut Creek) and occasionally a prospective member of the US National Men's Rowing Team. 

Lauren has served as a board member on non-profit boards for much of the last 30 years including experience serving as a trustee for an independent school. She has been a member of the Advancement Committee at TBS since 2015. In addition to development and advancement experience, she has expertise in strategic planning and board development. Since coming to TBS Lauren has volunteered in many capacities for the school and loves supporting it and bragging about what an amazing place it is. 

Lauren grew up in Washington, DC and went to school on the East Coast. She came to the Bay Area in 1993 to pursue masters degrees in Public Policy and Public Health at UC Berkeley. After two years in graduate school, she switched her focus to create one of the first dog daycare businesses in the area, helping to start an industry and growing her business into a pre-eminent facility serving over 150 dogs daily and employing more than 70 people. She exited the business last summer, selling it to a co-op comprised of employees and members that allows dogs and their companions to continue to enjoy the amazing facility and the people who help make it so wonderful.

What matters in education is:
cultivating curiosity and a love of learning for a lifetime of inquiry. The ability to think critically with compassion and collaboration is necessary to effect the kind of real and lasting change we need to make our communities, countries and planet a better place for all of us.

Current Parent

Nancy Nagramada

Member, Finance Committee

Nancy Nagramada is an East Bay native and has served as the Head of Upper School at The San Francisco School since 2017. She is pleased to be a new community representative on the TBS Board, bringing her 25 years of experience with grades 4-12 to the table. Nancy also currently serves as a Board member for BATTI (Bay Area Teacher Training Institute).

What Matters in Education is:
honing the skill of creative problem solving in our students. The world needs flexible, nimble thinkers who are unafraid to approach challenges with a what-if attitude.

Community Member

Nihan Karali Odabasi

Member, Equity & Inclusion Committee

I am a project scientist working at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, specialized on energy efficiency and environmental impacts in emerging economies. Our daughter, Maya, started the ECC three years ago and she is now in first grade. Both my husband and I are from Turkey, and all of our family members live there. We love traveling and experiencing new cultures. I hold a Ph.D degree in Industrial Engineering and have a passion for Math and Art. I am a member of the Equity and Inclusion Committee since last year.

What Matters in Education is:
fostering the curiosity, accepting the challenges with a joy, and being open-minded and objective.

Current Parent

Nina Oliai

Chair, Campus Stewardship Committee

Nina Oliai is a Berkeley native who lives and works in Berkeley as a Landscape Architect. She also co-owns Alta winery and vineyards with her husband, Fred. This is her 3rd year on the board and on the Campus Stewardship committee. It’s her second year on the Advancement Committee. She has been part of the TBS community for 9 years. Her son Erik, graduated last year and her son, Wyatt is in the sixth grade.

What Matters in Education are:
connections and curiosity with/and about other people, communities and our planet.

Current Parent

Rex de Guia

Member, Equity & Inclusion Committee; Member, Governance Committee

Rex de Guia is an educator and is currently a proud stay-at-home dad. For over 15 years, he supervised and coached undergraduates in the social sciences at the University of California, Berkeley to prepare for personal and professional success. Before that, Rex taught high school and was co-founder of the Balboa High School Law Academy in San Francisco. Students that he has mentored are now educators, professional athletes, health professionals, lawyers, and professionals working in city, state, federal, and international government. After serving in several leadership capacities on non-profit boards and institutional equity, inclusion, and diversity initiatives, Rex’s hope for everyone is that they find joy in pursuit of their professional dreams while obtaining the ultimate goal of work-life balance bliss. He received his undergraduate degree in Legal Studies from the University of California, Berkeley and his J.D. from the University of San Francisco School of Law. Rex, his wife, Sarah, and their son, Max (currently a 1st grader here at TBS), live in Oakland, California.

What Matters in Education is:
that students, educators, and families feel loved and collectively embrace learning as an enjoyable, collaborative, life-long process of self-actualization in pursuit of a more just
and peaceful world.

Current Parent

Richard Lynch

Member, Finance Committee

Richard is an attorney and a stay-at-home dad. This is Richard’s 6th year in the TBS community. He has an 8th grader at TBS and a 7th grader at Albany Middle School. He is starting his third year on the TBS Board. Richard has a background in campaign politics and enjoys thinking about how institutions change and grow. Richard is the co-chair of the Stewardship Committee at All Souls Episcopal Church.

What Matters in Education is:
rigor and curiosity because creating the ability to think critically about new areas how we can sail in uncharted waters.

Current Parent

Sarah O’Rourke King

Member, Covid 19 Response Committee

Sarah is a marketing professional focused on leading brand strategy for the education industry at Autodesk. As an evangelist, she speaks about the importance of bringing making, design and creativity into the classroom. This is Sarah's third year of the TBS Board of Trustees and has previously served as the Family Association lead for two years. She currently has a 2nd grader and 6th grader attending TBS since the Early Childhood Campus. She also serves in volunteer roles for Big Brothers Big Sisters and CASA.

What Matters in Education is:
developing a natural curiosity to be a lifelong learner.

Current Parent

Stuart Strickland

Chair, Audit Committee

Stuart Strickland is a Distinguished Technologist at Hewlett Packard Enterprise and an historian of science with interests in the socially constructive application of technology.  Stuart is the father of an alumna of The Berkeley School. He has been a member of the TBS community since moving to the Bay Area from London in 2013 and has served on the Board since 2017, formerly as a member of the Advancement and Strategic Planning Committees.  He also serves on the School Site Council at Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School in Berkeley and formerly served on the Board of Directors of the Balboa Park Online Collaborative in San Diego. 

What Matters in Education is:
curiosity about the world, faith in learning, confidence derived from experience, and the tools to become the master of one’s own fate.

Alumni Parent

Taryn Grogan

Member, Head Support and Evaluation Committee

A TBS Board Member since 2016, Taryn is the current Director of Admissions at The Nueva School in Hillsborough/San Mateo, California (PK-12). She has achieved enrollment goals during two major campaigns: a middle school expansion and launching the new upper school. A Board member of the Bay Area Directors of Admissions and a steering committee member of the Bay Area Admissions Directors, she is engaged in the changing enrollment trends throughout the bay area. Taryn is a previous board member of People of Color in Independent Schools and worked for A Better Chance. She’s dedicated to equity and inclusion work within independent schools and beyond.

What Matters in Education is:
the opportunity to question, learn, grow, and dig deep in a safe and nurturing community.

Community Member

Tim Nunes

Secretary; Member, Head Support & Evaluation Committee; Member, Covid 19 Response Committee

Tim is currently working at the California Academy of Sciences as part of a team that designs and leads adult learning experiences to support educators who are interested in teaching Science more effectively and equitably. Prior to that, he worked as an educator serving students in urban settings at just about every level from K - graduate school. This work has included classroom teaching, teacher training, coaching, curriculum writing, administration, and professional development design.

What Matters in Education is:
the details. Good ideas are abundant. How they are brought to life can determine if, and for whom, they work.

Current Parent

The Berkeley School is a not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) organization, and the bylaws of the corporation are available upon request. The TBS Board of Trustees is responsible for the long-term growth and prosperity of the school. Its primary role is to set the strategic direction for the school, ensuring its economic stability and financial future. Trustees represent current families, current faculty, alumni families, as well as the broader community. Board members are elected through a formally defined, multi-step process that begins with the Governance Committee.

The Berkeley School welcomes students of any race, color, religion, gender identity or expressionsexual orientation, ability, and national or ethnic origin and accords them all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally made available to students at The Berkeley School. TBS does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, ability, and national or ethnic origin in the administration of its educational policies, employment policies, scholarship programs, and athletic or other school administered programs. Please contact Kate Klaire, Title IX Coordinator, at  for additional information. 

Our Mission

Ignite Curious Minds
Awaken Generous Hearts
Engage a Changing World

K – 8 Campus

1310 University Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94702
(510) 665-8800

Early Childhood Campus

2030 Francisco Street
Berkeley, CA 94709
(510) 849-8340

Ignite Curious Minds
Awaken Generous Hearts
Engage a Changing World

K – 8 Campus

1310 University Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94702
(510) 665-8800

Early Childhood Campus

2030 Francisco Street
Berkeley, CA 94709
(510) 849-8340

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