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Admin Directory

Dedicated, supportive, committed

Head of School

Molly Huffman

Molly Huffman joined CDS as Head of School in 2010 with more than 20 years of distinguished experience in preschool, elementary and middle school education, including particular expertise in curriculum and teacher development. Prior to joining CDS, Molly was Head of School at The Children’s School in La Jolla, California for nine years. While Head at The Children’s School, Molly secured the school’s first long-term lease of its site and completed its first significant upgrade of school facilities. Molly previously served as Head of School at the Touchstone School in Lake Oswego, Oregon and Assistant Head and Division Head at the French American International School in Portland, Oregon, and currently serves on the Board of Trustees of Drew School. A graduate of Scripps College with a BA in history and international relations, Molly also holds a MPA in public and educational administration from Lewis & Clark College and has teaching and administrative credentials from the State of Oregon. Molly comes from a family of educators: her great-grandfather was superintendent of Portland public schools and her mother was Vice Provost of Oregon Health Sciences University. She has two adult children.

Academic Program

Lindsay Galligan

Lindsay Galligan, Assistant to the Head of School, joined CDS in June 2014. Lindsay previously worked at Notre Dame High School in Belmont as the Admissions Coordinator and Shadow Program Manager. She also served for three years as a classroom teacher at St. Matthew’s Episcopal Day School in San Mateo. Lindsay attended Whittier College and also has been trained in Responsive Classroom, Linda Mood-Bell, and Orton Gillingham methodologies. She is a Bay Area native from Burlingame and enjoys living in San Francisco. She loves watching Giants games, hiking in Tahoe, and spending time with friends and family. 

Antonette Greene

Antonette Greene, Early Childhood Program Director, brings to CDS many years of experience in the area of early childhood education. Antonette recently completed her Ed.D. in Educational Leadership from Mills College. She also has an M.A. in Educational Leadership from Mills. As a classroom teacher and assistant director for 18 years at Kumara School in Mill Valley, she has served in many roles, including teaching, mentoring classroom teachers, partnering with the director to develop curriculum and program priorities, and presenting the program and curriculum to families. She has also worked as a teacher trainer, helping set goals for teacher growth and developing content and materials for trainings.

Lindsay Hershenhorn

Lindsay Hershenhorn is our Assistant Lower School Director and Elementary Literacy Specialist. Previously, Lindsay was our first grade Hawks head teacher for several years before returning to school to pursue her doctorate in educational leadership at Mills College, where she currently teaches in the education department.

Rebecca Kroll

Rebecca Kroll, Assistant Head of School, joined CDS in 2005 after completing the graduate level Coro Fellowship in Public Affairs. Previously, she taught fifth grade with Teach for America in Long Beach, CA and also served as the Academic Program Coordinator for the “I Have a Dream Foundation” in San Francisco. Rebecca has a BA in English literature from the University of Texas, Austin and speaks Spanish. In her free time she enjoys photography, reading, travel and studying U.S. history.

Ed Rhee

Middle School Director Ed Rhee has previously served as an administrator, teacher, and coach for nearly twenty years on the east coast.  Ed has a master of education from the Harvard University Graduate School of Education and a BA in English and drama from Kenyon College. He and his wife Katie, along with their two sons Emerson (a Kindergarten Sequoia this year) and Lachlan, enjoy traveling and exploring new places.

Ginny Spivey

Ginny Spivey, K-4 Director of Teaching and Learning, joined CDS in 2006 after teaching in the Virginia public schools for five years. She has also worked as an instructional coordinator and assistant principal, and piloted a partial Spanish immersion program in the Charlottesville City Schools in Charlottesville, Virginia. Ginny has a BA in Spanish and a master in teaching (dual certification in special education and elementary education) from the University of Virginia, and is National Board certified. She loves to travel, read, eat great food and explore San Francisco.

Admission

Diane Larrabee

Diane Larrabee, Director of Admission, joined CDS in 2005. Diane has a BA in English literature from the University of California, Berkeley and a JD from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law. She was a commercial litigator for ten years before leaving the practice of law to pursue nonprofit interests. Diane has served as a trustee for several nonprofits, including Compass Family Services and Town School for Boys, where she chaired the diversity committee for four years. Diane enjoys cooking, writing and reading.

Amanda Richard

Amanda Richard, Associate Director of Admission and High School Transition Coordinator, joined CDS in 2006. Amanda worked in the CDS administration from 1993-95, has been a CDS parent since 1998, served as a PTTA officer and has participated in countless CDS events as a volunteer. She received her BA in psychology from Boston University and loves to spend the summers in Hawaii. Amanda is the parent of Marina (‘10), Serena (‘13) and Ciara (‘15) Richard.

Advancement

Veronica Kopelevich

Veronica Kopelevich, Advancement Associate, joined CDS in 2016, having worked in Development at the Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA. Veronica has over seven years of experience in the independent school world, in both Business and Human Resources at Sierra Canyon in Los Angeles. Veronica attended UCLA for her BA in sociology and though she is an L.A. native, the Bay Area is her new favorite place! On the weekends, Veronica enjoys seeing live music and spending time with family and friends.  

Simone Octigan

Simone Octigan, Advancement Associate, joined CDS in 2015 from the Academy of Art University where she was the Alumni Coordinator. She has a BA in Art History and Arts Management from the University of San Francisco. When she’s not at work, you can find Simone running the streets of San Francisco training for a marathon.

Jeanna Yoo

Jeanna Yoo, Director of Advancement, joined CDS in September 2012 from the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (MCASD) where she was the Chief Advancement Officer. Prior to MCASD, she was the Director of Individual Giving at the California Academy of Sciences where she helped to raise $500 million to open the new building in Golden Gate Park. She was also previously the Membership Director at SFMoMA. She has a MA in art history and museum studies from USC and a BA in art history and psychology from UCLA. She has a daughter in preschool at CDS.

Communication

Andrei Ferrera

Andrei Ferrera, Director of Communication, joined CDS in November 2012. Previously, he was Director of Communications for ten years at Head-Royce School, a k-12 independent school in Oakland. Andrei earned a BA in music from Sonoma State University. Away from work, he enjoys playing bluegrass music with friends, cooking, and going to the beach with his wife and their dog, Maggie.

Jack Hamm

Jack Hamm started at CDS this fall as our Communications & Marketing Associate. In 2015, Jack graduated from University of Chicago with a degree in English, where he made the Dean’s List four consecutive years. In the past year, Jack has served as Hospitality Coordinator for the New Orleans Film Festival and as a development intern for the San Francisco Film Society.

Diversity and Inclusion

Anthony Witte

Anthony Witte, Director of Inclusion, is an experienced educator, administrator and diversity practitioner who joins us from Head-Royce School in Oakland. Anthony has a B.A. in Asian studies from UC Berkeley, a master’s degree in education, equity and social justice from San Francisco State University, and has studied abroad in Beijing, Hong Kong and Guangzhou. He brings with him 10 years of independent school and community experience and possesses a skill set that includes restorative justice, design thinking, differentiated instruction and social justice theater. Anthony is a member of the National Association of Independent School’s (NAIS) Call to Action, a national think tank on diversity, and has been a facilitator, presenter and blogger at the NAIS People of Color Conference. He is the co-author of Diversity Work in Independent Schools: the Practice and the Practitioner. Anthony is trained in Responsive Classroom.

Extended Day Program

Charles DiRicco

Charles DiRicco, Extended Day Program Director, joined CDS in 2012 having worked in elementary classrooms at the San Francisco School, Cesar Chavez Elementary School and Francis Scott Key Elementary School. He also coached the sixth grade basketball team at the San Francisco School, and has experience with youth supervision, tutoring and conflict resolution. He is currently working toward his BS in kinesiology at San Francisco State University.

Finance & Operations

Ellen Everitt

Ellen Everitt joins CDS as our Human Resources Manager. Ellen brings over 25 years of human resources experience, including leading diversity and affirmative action programs at Kaiser. Ellen supports faculty and staff with all benefits and human resources related needs. 

Cheryl Ewers

Cheryl Ewers joined CDS on May 2 as our new Director of Finance and Operations. Cheryl has worked as a VP for Finance in educational publishing since 2004 and before that as a Director of Finance. She has a MBA from University of Michigan, serves on the board of St. Brendan School and lives in the West Portal neighborhood.

Technology

Jhony Guzman

Jhony Guzman, Senior Technology Specialist, brings design and software experience to CDS and also serves as our Middle School D.J. Prior to CDS, Jhony worked with non-profits and restaurants as a freelance graphic designer and with musicians, singers, and theatre companies as a music producer. He is originally from Waipahu, Hawaii, and he received a degree in Graphic Design at the Academy of Art University. In his free time, he enjoys making music, DJing, designing t-shirts, and visiting family on his annual trip back to the islands of Hawaii.

Rico Tan

Rico Tan, Director of Technology, received his education in business and computer science at the Indonesian Business Institute in Jakarta, Indonesia. Prior to joining CDS in 2009, he worked at 3Com Corporation, leading their Customer Briefing Center and also at Heller Ehrman LLP, leading their Worldwide Video Conferencing technology department. At CDS Rico has overhauled the technology infrastructure and introduced Apple desktop computers, laptops and iPads to staff, faculty and middle school students. He keeps the CDS Technology Department moving at a very fast pace, and is working on the Innovation Lab project for our new 601 Dolores middle school building. Rico loves to travel, is an accomplished photographer, and of course, likes all things related to technology.

Melissa Vainio

Melissa Vainio, Database Administrator, joined CDS in April 2012, having spent 12 years maintaining the databases at Windrush School. Melissa has a BA in English from Mount Holyoke College, and a master’s degree in music (horn performance) from Sibelius Academy in Finland. She is also a professional handbell ringer, an amateur mosaic artist, and a black belt in karate. Melissa and her husband are the proud parents of two young adult daughters.

Wilfredo Valle

Wilfredo Valle, Technology Support Specialist, comes from a Galaxy Far, Far, Away — Apple with almost 10 years of tech support, and one-to-one training experience. He is a graduate of the Academy of Art University with a BFA in Web Design and New Media.  He freelances as a photographer and videographer and consults on design projects. Wilfredo lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife and son.

Front Desk Reception

Sibinee Jokela

Sibee Jokela, Assistant to the Middle School Director and 601 Receptionist, joined CDS the summer of 2016. Upon graduating from Claremont McKenna College, she relocated to the Bay Area seemingly in search of weather more comparable to the North Dakotan climate from which she hails. Outside of CDS, Sibee enjoys training for obstacle course races, cooking, exploring San Francisco, and trying new things. She also possesses a love for travel, laughter, and craft brews and acts as a freelance graphic designer.

George Lopez

George Lopez Jr., Head Receptionist and Admission Events Coordinator, joined CDS in June 2014, after spending many years in the retail management/customer service and film industry. Originally from Southern California, he moved to San Francisco in 1994 and currently lives in the Lower Haight with his partner. George enjoys cooking, creating art, visiting local museums and spending time with his partner’s family.

Laura Picciarelli

Laura Picciarelli, 601 Afternoon Receptionist, joined CDS in September 2016. Originally from Georgia, Laura graduated from Oglethorpe University in Atlanta. In 2013, she moved to San Francisco with her husband and her dog Teddy. Laura enjoys playing softball, taking her dog on long walks around San Francisco, and traveling whenever she gets the chance.

Carol Rives

Carol joined CDS in spring 2016 as our Afternoon Front Desk Receptionist. Previously, Carol worked for more than twenty years at Prepress, Inc. in San Francisco, where she served in a variety of roles and administered all aspects of print production for a diverse group of clients, including Via Magazine, Mother Jones, Yoga Journal, Stanford Graduate School of Business, Sierra Club Books, and Chronicle Books. For the past six years, Carol has been on the Board of Directors of Exceptional Women in Publishing. She earned a BA in film from San Francisco State University. Carol’s son attended CDS beginning in 1992. 

Facilities

John Castro

John Castro joined CDS in July as our new Facilities Director, bringing more than twenty years of experience in facilities direction and management. For the past eight years, he was the Director of Facilities at Salesian College Preparatory School in Richmond. He also worked for many years as the building manager for KRON TV-4 in San Francisco.

Cristobal Perez

Cristobal Perez has worked at CDS for eight years. Cristobal enjoys working daily with his son, Antonio, who is also part of the CDS Facilities team. In addition to helping maintain our beautiful CDS campus, Cristobal also works with MC Janitorial Services. Cristobal is a resident of the Mission in San Francisco.

Kamel Zitoun

CDS Security Guard Kamel Zitoun joined us this past summer and has quickly become a fixture of our community. Kamel speaks several languages and has an engineering background. He and his wife moved to the U.S. from Algeria and are expecting their second child in March.