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Board of Trustees

Experienced, passionate, committed

A Board of Trustees governs CDS. Our Board is comprised of community leaders, school parents and the CDS Head of School, a composition that ensures the balance of expertise and perspectives necessary to achieve the mission of the School and preserve the School’s long-term health. 

The Board is responsible for:

  • preserving the School’s mission and objectives over the long term
  • forming policies and plans consistent with the School’s mission
  • guaranteeing the financial well-being of the School, which includes setting tuition 
  • selecting and supporting the Head of School, who is solely responsible for managing the day to day operations of the school

The Board consists of at least five and no more than 25 members. Trustees are elected for three-year terms and may serve a maximum of two consecutive terms. Board meetings are held monthly. 

Board committees include the Committee on Inclusion and Diversity (COID), Advancement, Finance, Facilities, Audit, Committee on Trustees and Executive Committee. Additional subcommittees, ad hoc committees, advisory committees and task forces are established as needed.

All Trustees are responsible for following the *NAIS Principles of Good Practice.

The Board’s standing Committee on Trustees works closely with the Board Chair and Head of School to identify, cultivate, recruit and nominate individuals, including CDS parents, who will complement and enhance the Board’s composition. CDS parents become Trustees primarily through volunteering—by devoting themselves to something they care about at CDS and involving themselves deeply in the life of the school.

The school’s needs vary over time and our Board is made up of dedicated individuals who bring a range of skill sets and professional experiences to our team. In this current school year, 15% of our parent board members receive sliding scale tuition, 15% of the board identify as LGBTQ and 20% as families of color. In addition to looking for leaders with particular skills and professional experience, we try create a balance of individuals that reflect the founding values of the school.

Board of Trustees

Cheryl Porro, Chair, is Senior Vice President of Technology and Products for the salesforce.com Foundation. She and her team are responsible for driving product strategy and product delivery to meet the needs of nonprofits and higher education institutions who use salesforce.com products to achieve their missions. Prior to joining the Salesforce Foundation, Cheryl held numerous positions in the core salesforce.com Technology & Products group including leading a highly technical and talented team of engineers that focused on delivering salesforce.com’s enterprise platform as a service, Force.com. She has also held numerous engineering and management roles at cloud-based companies such as amazon.com, Alexa Internet and DigitalThink. Cheryl holds a bachelor of science degree in chemical engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Cheryl is parent to Naomi ('21), has co-chaired the Country Fair ('11, '12, '13) and has served on the Board of Trustees for the past two years.
Ted Arleo, Vice Chair, is an Architect and founding Principal of Arleo Architects Inc. Prior to starting his own design practice in 2013, Ted was a Senior Associate at Studio Bondy Architecture where he focused on educational and institutional projects, specializing in urban infill sites. He has acted as Project Architect for campuses including Guide Dogs for the Blind, Brandeis Hillel Day School, Stuart Hall School for Boys, University High School, and the Jewish Community High School of the Bay. Previously, Ted worked with Polshek and Partners, and Tanner Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects on a broad range of institutional and commercial projects. Ted graduated with a BA from Bowdoin College and a Master of Architecture from Columbia University. Ted and his wife Michelle Kriebel, are parents to Torin (5th grade) and Sofia (Class of 2015). Ted has been a leader on the CDS Facilities Committee overseeing the planning and construction of 601 Dolores.
Susan Munn, Vice Chair, consults with independent schools in the area of finance and business operations. She was the Director of Finance and Operations for The Urban School of San Francisco from 1991 to 2013. Prior to working at Urban, she held positions in several performing arts organizations including the San Francisco Opera, the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players and the Lake George Opera. She has served on the board of Martin Luther Tower, San Francisco Contemporary Music Players and the Independent Schools Business Officers Association. She has a BA in music from Chatham College and an MA in business from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She lives in San Francisco with her husband Tom and they have two grown daughters. Whenever possible she can be found hiking in Northern California.
Eric Fastiff, Treasurer, is a partner in the law firm of Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein LLP, and specializes in representing plaintiffs in antitrust, intellectual property and other complex litigation. Eric received his BA in political science and history from Tufts University, his MSc in Soviet politics from the London School of Economics, and his JD from Cornell University. Eric is the immediate past Board Chair, and previously served on the CDS Bond Task Force and as the CDS Finance Committee chair. He served as Secretary of the Board of Trustees of the San Francisco Jewish Home for the Aged. Eric and his wife have a son, Eli (’18), and a daughter, Tessa (’20).
Gail Kropp, Secretary, is a professor emerita at Solano Community College, where she was a faculty member from 1976-2012, teaching courses in German language and literature, English composition and introduction to literature as well as a multidisciplinary humanities course. At Solano College, she served on the Academic Senate (two terms as president), Curriculum Committee, Study Abroad Committee, Budget Committee, the Educational Master Plan Committee and numerous accreditation committees and task forces. Locally, she served on the board of the San Francisco German School from 1993-2000 and was the board’s representative to the German American School Association of Northern California from 1995-2000. She holds a BA in German from Santa Clara University and MA degrees in German and in English from UC Davis. She is the proud mother of a fifth generation San Franciscan, Julia, and is an avid city walker and Sierra hiker.
Molly Huffman, Ex Officio, 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.
Dr. Robert Curley, Emeritus, is an Associate Professor of Education on leave from the University of San Francisco and was Chair of the Board from 1998-2002. He received his PhD in education with an emphasis in psychology from Stanford University. He has served as Chair of the Teacher Education Department and Director of Teacher Education at the University of San Francisco and Director of the TEAMS/AmeriCorps project (Teacher Education for the Advancement of a Multicultural Society).
Scott Erickson has been Head of School at Phillips Brooks School in Menlo Park since 2011. Under his leadership, the school has focused on the growth of its academic program, faculty development and compensation, creating a five-year financial plan, relationship-oriented development, and launching a new school brand. He was previously Middle School Director at the National Cathedral School for Girls in Washington, D.C. Scott began his career as teacher, chaplain, and humanities department chair at St. Paul’s School, a coeducational Episcopal boarding school in New Hampshire. Originally an undergraduate music major with a focus on piano and organ, Scott holds a doctorate from Uppsala University in Sweden. He enjoys reading, projects at home, working out, traveling, and time with family, friends, and pets. Scott is an Iowa native and now enjoys living in Noe Valley with his husband.
Lucy Farey-Jones de Rijk was one of the four founders of the top-ten ad agency Venables Bell & Partners, who took it from a start-up in 2001 to the 225-person agency it is today. Lucy was instrumental in leading VB&P to victory in new business and shaping such brand positioning as Audi’s “Truth in Engineering,” Intel’s “Sponsors of Tomorrow,” and the Meth Project’s “Not Even Once," which was named the most effective anti-drug campaign in America and played on the floor of Congress. These campaigns have earned Lucy the title as one of Business Insider's top 20 "Most Creative Women in Advertising Globally,” Marketing Communications News' “Women Who Rock the Marketing Industry Today” and not only earned VB&P a reputation as a creative force, but also contributed to the agency’s thirteen Effies for marketing effectiveness and the TED Award for ads worth spreading. Lucy has global experience across 25+ categories and has been published in Fast Company, Forbes, Boing Boing, Mashable, PSFK, Ad Age, and the TED Blog. After earning a degree in English Literature from Oxford University, Lucy began her career in advertising with BMP DDB in London. Lucy is a dual citizen of the USA and the UK. After 25 years in advertising, Lucy sold her share in VB&P in November 2016 to start Register, a brand consultancy that helps ambitious companies scale. Register is focused on start ups and innovation divisions of Fortune 500 companies. Lucy has two children, Molly (4th grade) and Ana (2nd), and this is her 7th year at CDS.
Angela Jolie has volunteered in many roles in her eight years as a CDS parent, most recently serving as Co-Chair for the CDS "Opening Doors" capital campaign, which raised more than $6 million to open our new middle school at 601 Dolores. Originally from Chicago, Angie received her BA in sociology and Spanish from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Later she served as Assistant Director for Study Abroad at her alma mater, often representing the university in travels across the U.S. and overseas. Before relocating to San Francisco in 2005, Angie spent five years working in state government in Boston, serving as Staff Director for a Representative in the Massachusetts state legislature. While there she earned a Graduate Certificate from University of Massachusetts' Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy. She and her husband Daniel are the parents of Sofia ('19) and Joaquin ('22).
Tracy Kirkham, Chair Emeritus, Chair of the Board 2002-2008, is a lawyer specializing in business litigation, with an emphasis on complex multiparty cases and class actions. She and her husband Josef Cooper are partners in the San Francisco firm Cooper & Kirkham, P.C. Her eldest daughter Gillian ('07) started preschool at CDS in 1994 at the age of two. Daughters Sydney ('12) and Greer ('12) Cooper joined their sister at CDS in 2000. Along with her husband, Tracy was instrumental in converting CDS from a privately-owned preschool to a non-profit elementary school. In 2001, she negotiated and documented the purchase of the school site from the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur. In her free time, Tracy enjoys photography, skiing and scuba diving.
Jill Linwood has more than 20 years of experience working with non-profit organizations to meet their fundraising and organizational development goals, and with corporations to create non-profit community strategies and strong partnerships. Jill’s clients have included the Asia Foundation, Climate One at the Commonwealth Club, National Museum of Women in the Arts, the World Affairs Council, Ariba, Extreme Networks, Intraware (now Flexera), National Mental Health Association, Travelocity, and Verizon, amongst others. Jill also served as Director of Grants and Sponsorships at the Asian Art Museum for five years. Jill’s volunteer commitments at CDS over the last eight years include serving on the Advancement Committee and as an Admissions tour guide.
Kirk Lorie is an education and technology specialist with over 16 years experience in academic and corporate environments. He served as the Director of Technology at Town School for Boys from 2006-2013 and is currently a Technology Project Manager and Training Coordinator at Genentech. Kirk serves as a technology resource for CDS administration and faculty and was a member of the CDS Innovation Lab focus group. Kirk received his BS in business administration from Bucknell University. Currently he serves as co-chair of the Committee on Trustees. Kirk, along with his wife Erica, chaired the CDS Annual Fund and served as a Class Captain in 2012. Kirk and Erica are the parents of Cameron (5th grade) and Parker (2nd grade).
Liza Ramrayka is a social justice journalist with 25 years of experience working for print and online media. A freelance features writer and commissioning editor for The Guardian, The Times and News Deeply, her specialisms include migration, equality and diversity. She is also an editorial consultant and media skills trainer. She holds a BA in English and French Literature & Language and a post-graduate diploma in journalism. At CDS, Liza has been a classroom liaison, event volunteer, admissions tour guide and was Annual Fund co-chair in 2015-2016 with her partner, Simon Rogers. Liza, Simon, Ella (’18) and Jake (’22) joined the CDS community from the UK in 2013.
Michelle Schoen has been actively involved in the school, both inside and outside of the classroom. In 2013-2014 and 2014-2015, she co-chaired Fiesta. Additionally, her volunteer commitments over the last four years include serving as a classroom liaison and as a member of the PTTA and Advancement Committee. Michelle previously worked in leadership roles at a boutique communications strategy firm and a variety of technology companies in the Bay Area, including NetSuite, where she was responsible for marketing, communications and strategic partner programs. She and her husband, Kent, are the parents of Mia (’21) and Kira (’23).
Ben Spero is a managing director at Spectrum Equity, a growth equity firm based in San Francisco which he joined in 2001. At Spectrum, he leads investments and serves on the boards of a number of software and digital media businesses. Prior to joining Spectrum, he was a consultant at Bain & Company and co-founder of TouchPak. Ben also serves as board chair at Destination: Home, a public-private partnership to end homelessness in Santa Clara County. He earned a BA in economics and history from Duke University. Ben and his wife Leah are parents of Lexi (’22) and Eva (’22).
David Strandberg is a structural engineer in San Francisco and founding Principal of Strandberg Engineering. He earned his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, master’s in architecture and master’s in structural engineering from Virginia Tech. Prior to owning his own business, David worked for Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill as a structural engineer and architect. David and his wife, Holly Coleman, are parents to Oskar (’23) and Gus (’26).
Tina Syer serves as the Chief Impact Officer for Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA), a nonprofit that was founded in the Stanford University Athletic Department in 1998. In this role she oversees marketing, programs, evaluation and strategic planning. Tina has facilitated hundreds of workshops for coaches, sports parents, athletes and leaders. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Bay Area Women’s Sports Initiative (BAWSI). Tina graduated with honors in psychology from Stanford University where she captained the field hockey team and was named an Academic All-American. Tina and her wife, Jennifer Babik, are the parents of Nathan (’22) and Zachary (’25).
Lindsay Woollerson is a stay-at-home parent to Henry (’25). Lindsay has a BA in Marine Biology from U.C. Santa Cruz and an MBA in Sustainable Management from Presidio Graduate School. Prior to parenthood, Lindsay ran Green Business Programs for Goodwill Industries of San Francisco, San Mateo and Marin Counties. Lindsay serves as our PTTA President this year.
Lisa Wally is an attorney in the AT&T Legal Department, specializing in labor and employment law. She received her BA in English literature from California State University Long Beach and her JD from Santa Clara University. Her wife, Eileen Ridley, and she have been together since 1989 and they are one of the 18,000 couples married in 2008 when same-sex marriage was legal in California. They have been with CDS since 2005. Their daughter Meghan ('16) began her CDS education as a preschooler.