The Board of Trustees

Adelina Elo

Small, but mighty is what describes Addie who is the mommy of Sean (currently in Blackberry). Hailing from the Central Valley, she brings with her a can-do attitude and a strong focus on making a difference in the world through a purpose-driven mindset peppered with kindness and her quirky sense of humor.

She is an immigrant and daughter of farm workers and was first in her immediate family to graduate from high school and college. Addie went to the University of California, Davis and double majored in History and Sociology. She then moved to San Francisco upon graduation. Later, she received her certificate in Integrated Marketing Communications from the University of California, Berkeley Extension.

Addie has 20+ years of marketing, communications, advertising, community outreach and public information experience. In her roles, she has used a multi-channel communications strategy approach that includes traditional and digital marketing as well as events and outreach.

She has worked at top companies like Charles Schwab, Robert Half International, PG&E and AC Transit, and recently transitioned into higher education to help others like her – people who are underrepresented and who come from underserved communities.

Currently, Addie is a marketing communications manager at Cal State East Bay, where she brings her core belief in the power of education to transform people’s lives. Elo is a parenting adult at TBS and a marketing communications manager for university communications and marketing at California State University, East Bay. While new to higher education, she has 10+ years of experience in marketing strategy, advertising, content and social media strategy, and public outreach & communications.

Her core belief is that people have the power to affect change. She joined Cal State East Bay to help bring the transformative power of education to more students using distinct stories, communications technology and a multichannel approach that helps align internal teams and increase target audience engagement.



Alegria Barclay

Chair, Strategic Planning Task Force

Friend of TBS

Alegria Barclay serves as the Director of Social Justice and Equity at the Nueva School. Alegria has a long history of fighting for social change both within schools and the non-profit world. She has taught homeless youth to write poetry, supported rape survivors in their journey towards healing, helped LGBTQ students to feel included, lobbied for more diversity in young adult literature, and currently runs a four-day Equity & Inclusion Institute for prek-12 educators.

Having grown up and taught overseas across four continents, Alegria is a firm believer in both our shared humanity and our richly complex diversity. A queer woman of color, a mother of two, a poet, and an educator, she believes in inspiring others to exercise their radical imagination in building the Beloved Community.

Allison Macbeth

Chair, Finance Committee

Where are you based, and where have you lived?
Richmond, California, grew up in Southern California

What is your relationship to TBS? Do you have kids attending TBS (currently, in the past, or potentially in the future)
Parent of Fifth Grader at TBS

What are your areas of expertise or fields of study? Where did you study and why?
Law School Instructor and Attorney in Public Service

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

Current Parent

Andy Singer

Finance Committee

Originally from Chicago, IL, where he attended the Francis W. Parker School, Andy Singer is a parent of twin boys in 6th grade at TBS and lives with his family in the Rockridge neighborhood in Oakland.

Andy has a BA in Government from Hamilton College and an MBA from the University of Maryland, Robert H. Smith School of Business. He has worked in the high-tech industry for more than 25 years, serving in leadership positions in large public companies and venture-backed startups. He is currently the Vice President of Marketing for a cyber security startup company.

Since moving to Oakland in 2007, Andy has served in several volunteer leadership positions. From 2007 to 2009, he served as the District 1 representative to the City of Oakland Budget Advisory Committee. In 2015, when his children entered kindergarten at Chabot Elementary, part of the Oakland Unified School District, he served four years on the Chabot Elementary PTA Board of Directors. Andy served as the Vice-Chair of the Annual Fund campaign from 2015 to 2017 and then as Vice President of Fundraising from 2017 to 2019. From 2020 to 2021, Andy, selected by the Oakland Unified School District Board of Directors, served as the District 1 representative to the Equitable Enrollment Working Group, where he developed recommendations for revising the district’s enrollment policy. Andy joined the TBS Finance Committee in the Fall of 2021.

 

Current Parent

Bhumi Shah

Bhumi is a leader in governance, risk, compliance (GRC) and information security.  She currently serves as Vice President and global head GRC & information security at Ridecell, a technology company she helped start which accelerates digital transformation for global leaders in mobility.

She has held leadership roles in audit and compliance at health-tech leaders nThrive and MedAssets and advised business leaders across various industries at PricewaterhouseCoopers. Bhumi has a master's degree from Indiana University's Kelley School of Business, a bachelor's degree in engineering from Gujarat University's Nirma Institute of Technology, and several GRC and security certifications. She also co-founded and directed the Omkar Dance Academy in India.

Bhumi was born in India to a family without exta-ordinary means but with a strong belief in the transformative power of education and art. Bhumi’s college and graduate education, made possible by public funding and scholarships from two of India's largest corporate endowments, taught her the value of both public and private economic support for transformative opportunities in education.

Bhumi started her career tutoring kids on weekends during college. Transformative education helped Bhumi access a career that led to roles leading compliance for large public and private companies. Bhumi and her husband became best friends in high school while leading a successful strike against archaic militaristic treatment of students and eventually started a startup that helps global leaders in mobility accelerate both profitability and sustainability. These experiences taught Bhumi that positive change in society can be achieved through constructive, persistent, and creative engagement of different kinds.  Bhumi is also a TBS parenting adult (Blackberry).

Brian Scott Ambrosch

Where are you based, and where have you lived?
I am based in Richmond, CA after moving around the Bay with stints in Albany, San Francisco, and Oakland. Prior to that I lived in Mystic, CT, Dryden, NY and Ithaca, NY.

What brings you to the TBS Board and to the TBS community?
My son started attending TBS in the 3rd grade and after seeing how great the school operated on so many levels I decided to start volunteering in a number of areas, from class room coordinator to a member of the Advancement Committee. From there I joined the board as Chair of the Advancement Committee and then, in the start of my second term, I became the chair of the board. We came to TBS after realizing that the school we were at was not academically challenging enough for our son. After looking around we found that TBS had the perfect balance of Social and emotional work and academics alongside civic engagement and was a goldilocks school in our eyes - not too big and not too small.

What is your relationship to TBS? Do you have kids attending TBS (currently, in the past, or potentially in the future)?
My son graduated from 8th grade in 2022.

What are your areas of expertise or fields of study? Where did you study and why?
My field of expertise is in entertainment and production. For the past 30 years I have performed as a professional magician, worked as a performance consultant and I produce events both in person and online.

What are your hobbies?
I love to work in my little urban farm with my gardens, chickens and bees. I also have a love of model trains and collect books and oddities.

What is your superpower?
I can find lost items.

What Matters in Education is:
Wonder.

Current Parent

Carol Starks

Chair, Advancement Committee

Originally from the Chicago Area, Carol has been living and working in the Bay Area since 2008. She completed her undergraduate studies at Indiana University in Clinical Laboratory Studies and completed graduate studies from Rosalind Franklin School of Medicine and Science in both Healthcare Management and Clinical Laboratory Sciences with a focus in Transfusion Medicine.

She has 35 years experience in laboratory medicine, and 20 years in medical education holding positions as department director, clinical rotation coordinator, and part time lecturer. 

Carol has also worked as an evaluator and application review committee member for the Accreditation Bureau of Health Education Schools for 20 years. Currently Carol is employed by Kaiser Permanente as the Assistant Laboratory Administrative Director, Laboratory Quality and Compliance at the Oakland campus. She recently gained Fellow status in 2019 with the American College of Healthcare Executives.

Emily Becerra Sigel

ECC Teacher (Magnolia Classroom)

What Matters in Education is:

nurturing a child’s understanding of the world through exploration and self-expression.

Fabiano Valerio

Board Vice Chair and Chair, Equity & Inclusion Committee

Where are you based, and where have you lived?
I am from Brazil. I moved from Brazil to Miami. In 2011, we moved from Miami to the Bay Area. I am based in Richmond, California.

What brings you to the TBS Board and to the TBS community?
I felt part of a community when Noah joined TBS. The school focuses on educating the individual student rather than just imparting knowledge. I also liked the school's focus on social-emotional learning. I became part of the Board because I wanted to give back to the TBS community.

What is your relationship to TBS? Do you have kids attending TBS (currently, in the past, or potentially in the future)?
My son, Noah, is in eighth grade.

What are your areas of expertise or fields of study? Where did you study and why?
I attended college at the University of Miami. I got a Juris Doctor from the U.C. Berkeley School of Law. I used to manage a supply chain consultancy before attending law school.

I currently manage the Immigration Team of a nonprofit dedicated to making San Francisco the first city to provide universal access to free legal services.

What are your hobbies?
I love to run, hike, meditate, and nature.

What is your superpower?
My superpower is self-awareness.

Current Parent

Free Gary

Chair, Campus Stewardship Committee

Free began his career in education over 20 years ago in Richmond, Virginia where he taught both Math and English at multiple public middle and high schools in the area.  Upon his transition to independent schools he has taken on a number of roles, including Admissions Associate, Director of Student Activities, English Teacher, Assistant Athletic Director, and Associate Director of Admissions. He has coached Boys’ Basketball, Track and Field, and Girls’ Tennis as well. Free is currently the Director of Admissions at De La Salle High School.  

Originally from New York, his career path has guided him from Fairfax County, Virginia, to Tokyo, Japan with stops in Maryland, Santa Cruz, San Francisco and Concord, California.  Free received his Masters Degree in Independent School and Nonprofit Leadership from the Klingenstein Center, Teachers College at Columbia University.  His undergraduate studies were at the University of Maine, Orono, where he played wide receiver and was a founding member of the Student Heritage Alliance Center. He is currently the co-chair of the Vanguard Conference for young Black men and their families in independent schools in the Bay Area.  An avid basketball player, Free enjoys playing at San Quentin State Prison where he has used the game to build lifelong relationships and make a greater impact in the community.



Jessica Boualavong

Jessica is first and foremost an educator. With over 13 years of experience in the classroom, she is the current Lower School Science, STEM, and Technology Integration teacher at Town School for Boys. Here, she built the kindergarten through 4th-grade science curriculum, exceeding the Next Generation Science Standards by including engineering and technology benchmarks. The curriculum also benefited through her graduate school work where she is endorsed in STEM Leadership by NASA. She earned her Master of Curriculum and Instruction from Adams State University, and her B.S. in Neurobiology and Physiology from the University of Maryland, College Park. At Town, Jessica serves on the Learning Leadership Committee. Following the practices of Elena Aguilar, she is a mentor to new teachers, coaches a small group of educators using the Collaborative Inquiry strategy, and co-led full faculty workshops. 

To further quench her curiosity, Jessica also serves on several committees for the California Academy of Sciences. She is a committee member of the Cal Academy’s DEIA initiative. Here she is creating programming for a DEIA training series for the network of 800+ volunteers working with Cal Academy. She is an Ambassador on the Hive Advisory Council, where she assists in membership recruitment, fundraising, marketing, and event planning. She helped lead the successful peer-to-peer fundraising campaign for Claude, the albino alligator’s updated heated rock. She also helped plan Cal Academy exclusive events including a wildflower hike in Point Reyes, a history walk and talk Lands End, stargazing at Sonoma observatory, Outside Lands engagements, and the annual Party After Dark. Several times a month, you may find her in the orange vest as she is a docent-in-training on the museum floor or leading groups on a hike for a BioBlitz with iNaturalist to document plants, animals, and insects for California Biodiversity Day or the City Nature Challenge. 

Since 2016, Jessica has been selected by NAIS to be a Host and Convener for the Asian American Pacific Islander Affinity group for their People of Color Conference. She identifies Lao with Chinese ancestry and is the daughter of refugees. Annually, she and her team create and lead 3-day professional development workshops for 500+ members of the AAPI affinity group. This is a collaborative effort as leaders from all affinity groups meet monthly to understand the goals of that year’s conference, discuss national and local events affecting independent schools, and find ways to support the needs of all affinity groups. Through this process, she has engaged in year-long cohorts to mentor and coach new teachers and build a community for teachers who may feel alone as AAPI in their school communities. When not at POCC, she continues her journey of personal growth and support by attending SEED with a multi-school cohort at San Francisco Day School. 

Jesica lives in downtown San Francisco with her two cats (Marie Curie and Ada Lovelace) and husband Adrian, founder of the legal aid non-profit Open Door Legal. Here she enjoys playing Dungeons and Dragons, knitting a wardrobe of sweaters, testing new gadgets, traveling, and enjoying boba.

Kate Ai Le

Chair, Equity & Inclusion Committee

Katherine brings experience working with Fortune 500 companies and nonprofit organizations to
implement change through cross-functional teams. A parent of two kids, she has been part of
the TBS community since 2012, supporting both the Early Childhood and K-8 campuses.
Currently she serves on the Equity & Inclusion Advisory Committee and the Strategic Planning
Task Force, bringing her knowledge of DEIB practices and change leadership to the Board.
Katherine has a BA in Psychology and Business Administration and is working toward a Master
of Science in Organization Development at Pepperdine University.

What Matters in Education is:
Developing critical thinkers and compassionate lifelong learners to engage our world in
transformational change toward a sustainable, equitable, and mutually beneficial future.

Current Parent

Leslie Cruz

1st/2nd Grade Teacher (Blackberry Creek Classroom)

Where are you based, and where have you lived?
I live in Oakland. I've lived in Seattle, WA Chicago, IL Los Angeles, CA Kansas City, MO Shanghai, China Torino, Italy Luxembourg.

What brings you to the TBS Board and to the TBS community?
For a school to be successful teacher voice must always be included. I am at the TBS community because it didn't feel performative and really seemed to value equity and inclusion.

What is your relationship to TBS? Do you have kids attending TBS (currently, in the past, or potentially in the future)?
I work for TBS.

What are your areas of expertise or fields of study? Where did you study and why?
Early Childhood and Elementary Education
Teaching, Curriculum, and Learning
Languages-Italian and Spanish

What are your hobbies?
Reading, trying new food, traveling, and laughing till my stomach hurts.

What is your superpower?
Vulnerability

BioLeslie Cruz (she/her) has been teaching for thirteen years. This is her third year at The Berkeley School. She began her teaching career in public schools and hopes to end there as well. She taught internationally for the subsequent seven years at various schools around the world and then ended up in the Bay Area. She believes that socio-emotional learning is just as important as any core academic subject. Leslie engages in practices that always keep students at the center. She believes that, to push for equity and justice, we must all believe in creating communities that care for each other and show up for each other. She is excited to return to teaching grades one and two next year.

Lisa Haney

Board Chair & Chair, Executive Committee

Lisa Haney stepped into her dream job as Executive Director of CATDC in July of 2017. A lifelong educator of youth and adults, Lisa believes deeply in the transformative power of education. She began her career focused on international and multicultural education, teaching in Japan, Mexico, and Martinique before landing at the Athenian School in Danville, California. In her 25 years at Athenian she served in many roles, including international program director, literature teacher, and humanities department chair, before becoming dean of faculty development and a member of the leadership team. Beyond Athenian, Lisa has engaged in teacher education through UC Berkeley Extension, as well as the Berkeley and San Francisco Unified School Districts, and was selected for a year-long fellowship by the US State Department in 2006 to support teacher development in Tanzania. Lisa holds a B.A. in English from the University of California, Berkeley and a M.A.T. from the School for International Training, Vermont. She will begin a PhD program in Depth Psychology with a focus on Community, Liberation, Indigenous, and Eco-Psychologies in the Fall of 2022 at the Pacifica Graduate Institute in Santa Barbara.

Nate Lundy

Chair, Audit Committee

A former ECC parent, Nate Lundy is currently the Director of Enrollment Management and Strategy at San Francisco University High School. Nate has previously served as a member of the TBS Board of Trustees on both Strategic Planning and Audit Committee (which he chaired). Nate believes that all young people and their families should have equal access to a quality education and unlimited opportunity.  

Nate was appointed as University High School’s Director of Admissions and Financial Aid in 2018.  Before joining UHS, Nate served as the Dean of Students at Live Oak School in San Francisco, supporting the student body there and aiding graduating eighth-graders with the high school placement process. Before that, Nate was the associate director of admissions and outreach at Lick-Wilmerding for 10 years; he is also a Bay Area native and a Lick alumnus.

Samantha Snook

4th/5th Grade Teacher (Strawberry Creek Classroom)

What Matters in Education is:

Empathy and empowerment. Let’s empower our children to feel deeply and lift up others.

Tanya Susoev

Chair, Governance Committee

Tanya Susoev identifies as a biracial, first-gen Korean-American, and first-gen college graduate. This identity has guided and grounded her practice in storytelling and celebration of student/colleague identities and reflective practice. She spent her early career using art as the foundation for post-conflict community healing and reconciliation, facilitating restorative murals with numerous communities in Southern California and abroad. 

Tanya currently serves as the Middle School Head at Live Oak School. Prior to becoming an administrator she taught English, Humanities, Ethics, Leadership, and Human Sexuality in a variety of school settings. During that time she also served as a student advisor, coach, DEI leader, service-learning director, and union representative. In her transition she studied at Mills, examining the power of individual/collective identity in the perpetuation and/or challenge of supremacist systems and the potential for change in schools. She is most recently guided by centering the work of schools in the alignment of student experience to school mission and crafting space for educators to best explore their fullest and growing selves within that space.

Tim Nunes

Chair, Head Support & Evaluation Committee

Where are you based, and where have you lived?
Based in Berkeley, CA. Have lived in several different places across the US (Louisiana, Indiana, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York, SF.)

What is your relationship to TBS? Do you have kids attending TBS (currently, in the past, or potentially in the future)?Daughter Jaeda is in 7th grade, has been at TBS since ECC.

What are your areas of expertise or fields of study?
Education.

What is your superpower?
Not having any superpowers.

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.

Board of Trustees Blog

The TBS board maintains a blog to ensure that the school community understands the nature of independent school governance, is familiar with the processes and practices the board follows, and can follow the work that trustees undertake each year.

We hope that reading about the board’s activities will help all community members feel informed about the school’s future and encourage those interested in learning more to connect with us.

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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