Board of Trustees
The Presidio Knolls School Board of Trustees provides governance and oversight to PKS. Among other duties, the Board refines and oversees the implementation of the school’s mission and values, raises funds for the school and its expansion, works to strengthen the school’s programs and services by setting standards of excellence, and ensures integrity and accountability. To volunteer for projects of the Board or to express interest in being nominated as a Trustee, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2017-2018 Board of Trustees
Anu Menon leads Community Partnerships at Help a Mother Out, a local nonprofit that works to improve baby and family well being by increasing access to diapers for families in need. She previously served as the Director of Admissions and Operations at Presidio Knolls for three years.
Anu’s background is in law and public policy with an emphasis on promoting the rights of women and disadvantaged communities domestically and internationally. Prior to working at PKS she was the Associate Director of the City and County of San Francisco Department on the Status of Women where she developed innovative, internationally-recognized human rights programs, with a focus on improving the workplace for women. She previously worked on a range of civil and human rights issues at the ACLU of Northern California, Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights, Stanford Community Law Clinic, and Human Rights First.
Anu holds a BA from Stanford University, a MA in International Relations from Johns Hopkins University, and a JD from the University of California, Berkeley. Anu, her husband Akash, and their son are excited to be active members of the PKS community at this exciting time in the school’s development.
Chasse Carroll is a literary studies and creative writing major who swore she’d never be a teacher and then promptly became one. Her teaching career began in Taiwan, where she taught English. The different ways those students learned English led to an interest in cognitive development and a MA degree and teaching credential from UC Berkeley.
Chasse taught elementary and middle school, mentored student teachers, served on leadership teams, and led school reform in Daly CIty for 10 years. Along with UC Berkeley, Chasse has a BA from Beloit College and attended National Taiwan Normal University. Chasse has served on the Middle School Planning Committee at PKS. She lives in the Mission with her twin sons, who attend PKS (and love to correct her Mandarin pronunciation).
Cheng-Ling Chen is a creative nonfiction writer passionate about women’s stories. She is creating HERliograph.com, where women can connect over the heroic ways they show up in their lives. Prior to writing, Cheng-Ling practiced transactional law in San Francisco, Shanghai, and Hong Kong. She spent her best days in the law advocating for immigrant women seeking protection under the Violence Against Women Act and for children seeking refugee status. She is also a member of Pipeline Angels, a network of women who invest and create capital for women entrepreneurs with social missions. Cheng-Ling holds a BA from Brown University, a JD from UC Berkeley School of Law, and an MFA in Creative Writing from University of San Francisco.
Cheng-Ling grew up Taiwanese in South America. While attending an American school in Ecuador, she became literate in Chinese thanks to her father, who taught her at home for many years. She later attended a bilingual high school in Taiwan, where she met her husband Andy. She is proud of her Mandarin heritage and is ecstatic that her boys William and Orion are discovering the world by being part of the special PKS community. On weekend mornings they can be found dancing or rapping to Mandopop in their sunny San Francisco home.
Dave Gebala and his wife, Cindy, have been in San Francisco since 2008. They have been part of the PKS community since 2013 when they enrolled their eldest daughter in preschool. During his time at PKS he has served as a room parent for multiple years and was head of the volunteer committee for the annual Chinese New Year program.
Dave is an enterprise analytics professional with 20+ years of experience in analytics and has delivered multiple products and solutions focused on solving business problems. His has worked in a variety of environments ranging from a seed stage startup in the Bay Area. He also served in an ex-pat assignment with a large multi-national corporation. Dave holds science and engineering degrees from MIT and an MBA from Stanford.
Jeremy is a Managing Director of Lightspeed Venture Partners, a venture capital firm with over $3bn under management, where he focuses on consumer mobile and internet investing. He led Lightspeed’s investments in Snapchat, The Honest Company, Giphy, Whisper, Playdom, Mic, Bonobos and Affirm, among others. Previously, Jeremy was with AOL, first as SVP of Corporate Development and Chief of Staff to the CEO and then as General Manager of Netscape. He also held roles at IAC, McKinsey and CitySearch, where he was an early employee.
Jeremy holds an MBA from Stanford and a BA/BS from the Australian National University in Linguistics and Pure Mathematics. He was a massive nerd in high school, where he was on the Australian team at the International Maths Olympiad, and has spent the rest of his life overcompensating. Hence the colorful pants.
Jeremy was born in Singapore, grew up in Malaysia, England and Australia, and worked in South Africa, Los Angeles, New York and Washington DC before wising up and settling in San Francisco in 2006. He likes to keep one step ahead of the law. He and his wife Ranee have two children at PKS, Ellie and Jett.
Jimmy Quach grew up in San Francisco, which means he grew up as a die-hard Giants and Warriors fan when the teams were bad.
Jimmy’s passion is the alleviation of global poverty through market-driven businesses, and he is the founder and CEO of Good Paper. As the world’s leading fair trade greeting card company, Good Paper employs survivors of human trafficking in the production of its handcrafted cards. Prior to this, Jimmy held positions in the nonprofit sector and in software product management. Jimmy has an MBA from UC Berkeley and a BA in Applied Math from Harvard.
Proud members of the PKS family since 2012, Jimmy and his wife Ivy live in Potrero Hill with their two daughters, Karina and Chloe. Because sports fandom has come a little too easy for the girls so far (too many championships too quickly), Jimmy is teaching them valuable life lessons in loyalty and disappointment by also training them to root for Cal.
Raised in Hawaii on the islands of Oahu and Maui, John has been a designer, real estate developer, investor and builder based in San Francisco since 1989.
John's primary focus is on land acquisition, entitlement, design and development of apartment buildings, infill mixed/use commercial buildings, condominium buildings and single family homes. As an individual and through partnerships he builds in both California and Hawaii.
Julio Moreno is a professor of Latin American history at the University of San Francisco. Born in the Salvadoran countryside, Julio fled his country’s civil war to avoid military recruitment at the age of fourteen and navigated through the U.S. educational system as an undocumented immigrant in East LA.
Julio has served as the Director of the Center for Latino Studies in the Americas, Executive Director of the Pan-American Society, and Faculty Director of the Privett Global Service-Learning Program at the University of San Francisco. His leadership in these organizations included partnerships with NGOs as well as coaching others on the establishment of over thirty sustainable development projects in Bolivia, India, and Uganda.
Julio has authored multiple articles and books, including Yankee Don’t Go Home, a book on Mexican nationalism and American business culture in Mexico. He is also co-author of Reflections, a Harcourt Publishers’ six-volume book series for elementary schools in California, and contributing author and co-editor of Beyond the Eagle’s Shadow, a book that looks at new interpretations of Latin America's Cold War. Julio received his PhD from UC Irvine, where he focused on US business and diplomacy in Latin America.
At PKS, Julio has served on the Middle School Planning Committee. Julio’s daughter Ivana is in her sixth year at PKS.
Karen Gullo is an award-winning writer and journalist who has been reporting on business, government, politics and law for major news organizations in San Francisco, Washington and New York for more than two decades. She is currently an analyst and media relations specialist at Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), the leading nonprofit defending civil liberties in the digital world. At EFF Karen writes about user privacy, government surveillance and copyright, and develops media strategy.
Previously Karen was a reporter at Bloomberg News in San Francisco, where she covered legal issues in the tech and financial services industries. On the international front, Karen was a China-Hong Kong journalism fellow at the East-West Center, engaging in dialogue with government officials, business and community leaders and university students in Beijing and other cities across China. In Washington, Karen was a reporter for The Associated Press, where she was an investigative reporter and covered the Justice Department and politics, including the 2000 presidential election. Karen is the recipient of national and local journalism awards, including the Jesse H. Neal Award Business Journalism Award.
She is a native of Chicago and resides in San Francisco with her daughter Gemma, who has been attending PKS since 2012. Karen has been a PKS room parent and a member of the school's marketing committee.
Katie Biber is an expert in the legal, trust and safety, and strategic issues faced by high-growth technology companies, especially those in the consumer marketplace or “sharing economy” spaces. She currently serves as general counsel at Thumbtack. Previously, she was senior counsel at Airbnb, where she focused on litigation and regulatory matters in the US and globally.
Before moving to the Bay Area, Katie worked for more than 15 years at the highest levels of politics and government. She served as general counsel to the Romney for President campaign in 2012 and has counseled countless other candidates, party committees, corporations, and nonprofits in enforcement and compliance matters. She also has significant experience navigating clients through investigations by the Justice Department and congressional committees.
Katie received her BA with high honors from George Washington University and her JD from Harvard Law School. She and her husband Mark have two sons in their fifth year at PKS. Katie is the only member of her family (other than the dog) who does not speak fluent Mandarin, but she endeavors to learn a little more every day.
Kevin Wong is a third-generation real estate broker for his family’s San Francisco real estate practice, Golden Coast Properties, which brokers both commercial and residential transactions. Kevin and his wife Audrey have two boys. A graduate of UC Berkeley, Kevin was a four-year oarsman on the Cal crew team and in his spare time is a volunteer coach at Stuart Hall High School’s cross country and track teams.
Laura is a strategy and finance executive with over twenty years of leadership experience in the financial services and payments industries. She is currently SVP of Corporate Finance at Visa. Prior to joining Visa, Laura held finance, strategy and operating roles at Charles Schwab, Allstate, J.P. Morgan, Bank One, and Smith Barney. She has also served on the Boards of several non-profit organizations, including as Treasurer and President of the Board of The Arts of Life, a Chicago-based studio for artists with developmental disabilities. Laura holds an MBA in Finance from NYU and a BA in History from Williams College.
Laura, her husband David, and their son Max joined the PKS community when they moved to San Francisco in 2012.
Leo Ma is a Principal with Century Urban, which provides real estate advisory and consulting services to clients including public agencies and institutions as well as private developers and landowners. Additionally, Century Urban evaluates and pursues select acquisition and/or development projects as potential principal investment opportunities.
Leo has an extensive background in real estate development and investment. He has served as Chief Financial Officer for Waypoint Homes, a leader in the emerging industry of single family rental, and Executive Vice President, Investments for Kenwood Investments where he was involved with the redevelopment of Treasure Island in San Francisco, California. He has also held roles at several other real estate companies including the urban real estate group of MacFarlane Partners where he led investments in urban infill development projects and Catellus Development Corporation where he worked on the development of the Mission Bay project in San Francisco, California.
In addition, Leo is a licensed architect in California, and his experience includes work as an architect with several architecture and planning firms. He holds an MBA from the Yale School of Management, and both a Master of Architecture and a BA in Architecture from UC Berkeley. Leo, his wife Ming Ming, and their daughter Alexandra are thrilled to be a part of the PKS community.
Luke serves as Head of School of The Bay School of San Francisco, an independent high school located in the Presidio of San Francisco. From his first experience with PKS a few years ago, Luke was struck by the school’s work to synthesize the best of progressive education with Mandarin language immersion as a compelling vision for a highly impactful and relevant education. Luke is an educator who greatly appreciates the dedicated communities, eminent nimbleness, and commitment to innovation found in young institutions like PKS.
Prior to joining Bay, Luke spent ten years leading Madison Country Day School, a PK-12 IB World School in Madison, Wisconsin. Luke is deeply immersed in the wider independent school community, including current service on the Board of CATDC (California Teachers Development Collaborative) and ISACS (Independent Schools Association of the Central States).
Luke received his BA from Dartmouth College and his MS in educational leadership from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Matt has east coast roots, growing up outside of Boston and attending both public and private schools as a child. He got his first taste of the Bay Area when he came to study computer science at Stanford University. After school, Matt joined the entrepreneur ranks, founding a company called Justarrive, one of the first e-ticket companies focused on sports. During his career he has also worked at Microsoft, Deloitte and a handful of technology startups before ending up in his current role as the CTO of Pocket.
A fortuitous decision to head to North Carolina for business school led him to meet his wife, Christine, at Duke’s Fuqua School of Business. In 2008, Matt and Christine moved back to the Bay Area to start their family. Matt and Christine have two daughters, Maile and Lauren, who both attend Presidio Knolls.
Melody Meckfessel is a technology leader with 20+ years of experience building large scale distributed systems. She started programming in her early 20’s while working at startups, then in enterprise software, and now works at Google where she has been an executive leader since 2004. As a Senior Director of Engineering, she leads a global team responsible for the infrastructure used by developers of Google’s internal and external Cloud Platform. She graduated from UC Berkeley where she studied biology and history.
In her free time, Melody is passionate about producing her own wine under the label, Poundstone Wines. She was inspired by her childhood growing up on a ranch in Northern California. Her approach is centered around good farming practices, engineering experimentation, and a strong family tradition.
Melody is the proud mom of Edina, who began PKS in 2012. She is an advocate of STEM for underrepresented communities and is committed to bringing STEM to future generations of PKS children.
Mike Kim is a Bay Area native. He is the cofounder and head of a startup that is developing Swaddo, an app that improves the care of young children by facilitating better communication between parents and caregivers. Mike holds a BS from UCLA and an MBA from Georgetown University.
Mike, his wife Agatha, and their son have been part of the PKS family since 2013. Mike is a strong proponent of using sports as a tool to build confidence and improve health in young people, and for the past three years he has been a parent coach for PKS athletic teams at the PreK and kindergarten level. With a mix of English, Cantonese, Korean and Mandarin spoken in the house, Mike really does learn something new every day!
Mikhal Bouganim is a strategic communications professional who counsels organizations and executives on stakeholder relations. Clients have spanned multiple sectors and industries in North America, Europe and Latin America, with a longtime focus on Mexican blue chips and a growing practice working with mission-driven organizations. She is the recipient of several international business writing awards.
Mikhal graduated from Brandeis University with a degree in Middle Eastern history and studied at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She serves on the Regional Council of the New Israel Fund and was the recent past Board Chair of Rising Sun Energy Center.
Mikhal and her husband Ron are pioneer PKS parents who have supported the school’s growth in multiple roles since 2009. Their son Eli will graduate in the first PKS class of 2021, and daughter Teia in 2023.
Rachel brings a broad array of experience to the Board of Trustees, including strategy, recruiting, admissions, fundraising, organizational development, management, data and analytics, and technology. She currently serves as Executive Director at Sponsors for Educational Opportunity, an education nonprofit based in the Mission District. Previously, Rachel was a Vice President on the Strategy team at Teach For America, a national education reform organization. Earlier in her career, Rachel worked as a management consultant at Marakon Associates, and in fundraising for Cambridge University. Rachel holds an MBA and Masters of Education from Stanford University and a BA and MA in Natural Sciences from Cambridge University, England. She also spent two years as a Mellon Fellow at Yale University.
Rachel and her husband Robin are very proud to be in their eighth year with PKS, having joined the preschool in 2009. Their children are Simon (Class of 2021) and Isobel (Class of 2023).
Ranee has held a number of executive management roles in the consumer internet industry, most recently as Vice President at Art.com, where she launched a new business line of contemporary art sourced from emerging artists worldwide. Prior to that, she was Senior Director of Business Development for Washingtonpost.com / Newsweek Interactive where she negotiated and managed all operational and strategic partnerships. Ranee has also worked at deviantART, Time Warner, AOL and McKinsey & Co. She has a J.D. from Stanford Law School and a B.S. in Industrial Engineering from Northwestern.
Ranee grew up in Chicago in a Thai-Chinese immigrant family with quadrilingual parents, yet somehow managed to become a stereotypical monoglot American. She is committed to ensuring that her children don’t suffer the same linguistic fate. Ranee lives in the Barbary Coast neighborhood of San Francisco with her monolingual husband Jeremy, and her bilingual children Ellie and Jett. She serves on the board of the Barbary Coast Neighborhood Association where she is working to transform San Francisco’s northeast waterfront into a more livable, family-friendly community.