About

Board of Trustees

The CDS Board of Trustees (‘the Board’), in partnership with the Head of School, serves as the school's governing body.

The Board is composed of current and alumni parents, community members and professional experts who support the mission of the school. In contrast to many independent school Boards, CDS strives to reflect the socioeconomic diversity of the school community.

The Board’s Committee on Trustees (‘CoT’) manages the Trustee recruitment process. 

Questions or comments? Please get in touch with the Committee on Trustees at info@trustee.cds-sf.org.

List of 24 members.

  • Photo of Meghna Subramanian

    Meghna Subramanian 

    VP and Legal Counsel
    Bio
  • Photo of Angela Alvarado

    Angela Alvarado 

    Partner
    Bio
  • Photo of Nicolas King

    Nicolas King 

    Bio
  • Photo of Jed Borghei

    Jed Borghei 

    Founding Partner
    Bio
  • Photo of Joe Connolly

    Joe Connolly 

    Bio
  • Photo of Alexandra Conrad

    Alexandra Conrad 

    Bio
  • Photo of Abigail Davisson

    Abigail Davisson 

    Founder and CEO
    Bio
  • Photo of Jules Greene

    Jules Greene 

    Bio
  • Photo of Angelique Huerta

    Angelique Huerta 

    Bio
  • Photo of David ibnAle

    David ibnAle 

    Managing Partner
    Bio
  • Photo of Patricia Kao

    Patricia Kao 

    Head of Asset Management
    Bio
  • Photo of Brian Kreischer

    Brian Kreischer 

    Managing Partner
    Bio
  • Photo of Diane Larrabee

    Diane Larrabee 

    Bio
  • Photo of Carolyn Laub

    Carolyn Laub 

    Senior Vice President
    Bio
  • Photo of Timothy Lugo

    Timothy Lugo 

    Partner
    Bio
  • Photo of John Nguyen

    John Nguyen 

    Bio
  • Photo of Laura Sims

    Laura Sims 

    Chief Investment Officer
    Bio
  • Photo of Alka Singal

    Alka Singal 

    Client Portfolio Manager
    Bio
  • Photo of Brad Terrell

    Brad Terrell 

    Designer
    Bio
  • Photo of Susan Haley Varat

    Susan Haley Varat 

    Bio
  • Photo of Shelly Luke Wille

    Shelly Luke Wille 

    Head of School
    Bio
  • Photo of Todd Wandell

    Todd Wandell 

    Bio
  • Photo of Cyndi Wong

    Cyndi Wong 

    Bio
  • Photo of Tracy Kirkham

    Tracy Kirkham 

    Bio

List of 5 frequently asked questions.

  • The Trustee Role

    CDS Trustees serve in a voluntary capacity and come from a wide range of backgrounds, including communications, education, facilities, finance, law, and management. 

    Trustees serve a minimum three-year term and are encouraged to serve two terms, subject to approval by the Board.  

    The Board does not make any decisions about the school's daily operations such as admissions, curriculum or personnel. Instead, it thinks strategically to ensure that those operations are in line with the CDS mission, vision, and values. In conducting its business, the Board acts as a whole, rather than reflecting the opinions of individual trustees.

    In line with the factors critical to any independent school, the Board’s main areas of focus are:
    • To select, evaluate and support the Head of School, to whom it delegates authority to manage the school.
    • To develop broad institutional policies that guide the Head in running the school.
    • To be accountable for the financial well-being of the school.
    See here for more information about the responsibilities of independent school boards from the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS).
  • Recruitment

    The Board’s Committee on Trustees (CoT) is responsible for identifying and evaluating Trustee candidates against a set of recruitment criteria that includes skills, perspective, and diversity of experience. The Head of School and senior admin members sit on CoT to ensure family members throughout the community are considered, as well as people external to CDS such as local community partners. 

    Trustees often join the Board after involvement as a class liaison, event helper, admissions volunteer,  or other meaningful contact with the school. Some have attended committee meetings and have a desire to become more involved with Board work. 

    In general, the Board looks for Trustees who:
    • are aligned to the school’s mission and values
    • reflect the diversity of the CDS community as expressed in our Diversity Mission Statement
    • have discretionary time to attend monthly Board meetings and actively participate in committee/task force work
    • can fulfill Trustee duties including a minimum three-year commitment.
    Depending on its current and future work, the Board may also look for a specific skill set or experience. For example:
    • Advancement
    • Community engagement
    • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion work
    • Education
    • Facilities e.g. architecture, construction, engineering, real estate
    • Financial
    • Legal
    • Local government
    • Non-parent
    • Strategic planning
    Key dates
    September - November:
    • Assess Board needs and analyze Board skills, experience, and diversity. 
    • Invite recommendations from Board members and school leadership.
    • Review pipeline database of potential Trustees. 
    December: 
    • Identify a long list of potential Trustees.
    • Invite school leadership and Board feedback on the long list.
    January - March:
    • Outreach and recruitment conversations.
    March:
    • Present slate to Board for vote.
    May:
    • New Trustee orientation and onboarding.
  • Diversity

    "Differences Lift Us" is a core CDS belief, recognizing that our community is woven together with families from a range of socioeconomic backgrounds, nationalities, cultures, races, faiths, sexual orientations, and gender identities. 

    The Board aspires to reflect this diversity and recognizes that differences make us stronger. 

    At present, the Board is composed of current parents, alumni parents, community members, and professional experts who support the mission of the school. We continue to explore ways of increasing the diversity of our Board, through expanding our networks and learning from good practice in Trustee recruitment. 

    To support incoming Trustees, including those new to board work, we have a robust orientation program and a Board Buddy program.
  • Meeting Schedule

    The full Board meets once a month during term time. (Our State of the School meeting in early Spring is open to all.) The Senior Administration and PTTA Co-Chairs are invited to attend all meetings. Committees and ad hoc task forces set their own meeting cadence but typically meet monthly when active. 

    Trustees are also encouraged to attend CDS events and professional development opportunities. Each year, the Board partners with the administration to host the ‘State of the School’ evening, which provides a snapshot for the CDS community of how the school and its governing body are performing.
  • Board Education

    We recognize that the opportunities and challenges for our school are constantly evolving. As such, the Board strives to promote a culture of professional development around governance and encourage Trustees to engage in opportunities to broaden their expertise.

    Anti-racist education is a key part of professional development across the whole school. The Board recognizes and mirrors this commitment. All trustees are encouraged to sit on the JEDI (Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion) Committee for at least one year. Board members are also actively encouraged to take part in external anti-racist training and share learning with their fellow trustees.  
    Trustees typically attend conferences including:
Children's Day School admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school.  Learn More