BOARD OF TRUSTEE GOALS
Partner with Andrew Davis to Advance and Protect the Mission of MTS
- Consult and advise, as necessary, in areas pertaining to curriculum, administrative structure, enrollment targets, admissions, marketing, and major operational decisions that reflect on the school’s mission.
Excellent Fiscal Stewardship
- Manage the comprehensive fiscal plan for the school.
- Assist in the creation and implementation of a detailed budget.
- Oversight of yearly audit.
Excellent Board Governance
- Revise and update bylaws.
- Maintain appropriate committee structure and functioning regarding the following committees: Executive, Audit, CAIS/Strategic Initiatives, Communication, Development, Facilities, Finance, Governance, Investment, and other task force work groups.
- Create and oversee appropriate policies for school such as Financial Aid, Cash Handling, Facilities, Document Retention, Whistleblower, Investment, Gift Acceptance and Conflict of Interest.
- Recruit, train, and retain active and engaged Board members on a yearly basis.
- Annual Fund for 2016-17 that exceeds target of $385,000.
- Build development program that will enable 5% increase, year over year, in annual giving.
Manage Evaluation and Compensation for Head of School
- Evaluate Head of School, Spring 2017.
- Review contract terms for Head of School.
- Self-evaluation of Board of Trustees.
Develop Strategic Plan for 3 year period from 2018-2021
- Oversee collaborative process involving Board, parents, faculty, and alumni in devising next strategic plan.
Welcome back to school! The Board of Trustees has been very busy this summer, and we are thrilled to welcome Andrew Davis as Head of School. We look forward to a fantastic year.
We kicked off the year with our first Board meeting at the end of August where we welcomed new members Heidi Altree, Lee Carson, Laurent Huguenin, Stacy Metcalf and Xania Robinson.
All of our members, new and old, are also on one or more of the following committees: Audit, CAIS/Strategic Initiatives, Communication, Development, Executive, Facilities, Finance, Governance and Investment. Our new Board officers are Michelle Sarti – President, Mark Lopez –Vice President, Laura Hill- Secretary and Fiona Rees – Treasurer.
One of our key goals over the summer was to update and to improve Board governance. To that end, we studied, revised, upgraded, and implemented many policies, including our Conflict of Interest Policy, Document Retention Policy, Investment Policy, IRS Form 990 Review Policy and Whistleblower Policies. Additionally, we would like to thank current parent Steve Hibbard, and the Jones Day Law Firm, for their assistance in helping us to draft revised and updated Bylaws. It is our intention to adopt the new Bylaws this fall. As we reported last spring, we are actively working with Governance and Board consultant Al Adams. Al will be providing our Board with extensive training in October. You may read more about Al here.
As the year continues, we will seize every opportunity to ensure that our governance conforms to the best practices of independent schools and the recommendations of the CAIS.
I look forward to partnering with all of you in the months ahead.
President, Board of Trustees
Parent of Edward '16, Roan (8th grade), Eve (6th grade)
The following committees are in place for the 2016-2017 School Year:
- Audit: Through the audit process and review the Audit Committee will monitor the operations and activities of the Mount Tamalpais School with the goal of insuring the accountability and integrity of the administrative functions.
- CAIS/Strategic Initiatives: The Strategic Initiatives Committee assists the Board with its responsibilities for the School's mission, vision and strategic direction. The committee work with the Head of School and the Board to create and implement the Mission and Strategic Plan of Mount Tamalpais School.
- Communication: The Communications Committee provides Mount Tamalpais School community with information from the Board of Trustees.
- Development: The Development Committee works with the Head of School to define the short‐ term and long‐term funding needs of Mount Tamalpais School. The committee works with the Head of School and the Director of Development to create and build long term strategies and fund raising campaigns to attain financial self-sufficiency through the growth of the Endowment Fund and the Annual Fund.
- Executive: The Executive Committee coordinates the work of the Board, including, but not limited to, setting Board Meeting Agendas. The committee also conducts and oversees the annual evaluation of the Head of School as well as Head of School compensation, in conjunction with the Board of Trustees.
- Facilities: Working with the Head of School and Administration, the Facilities Committee oversees the maintenance and growth of the plant and grounds and properties. This includes stewarding the master plan and determining how assets are allocated to maintain and enhance Mount Tamalpais School's physical plant.
- Finance: With the Head of School and Administration, the Finance Committee develops the long-range financial plan and yearly operational budget that is formally presented and ratified by the entire Board of Trustees.
- Governance: With the Head of School, the Governance Committee manages the effective operation and continued growth of the Board of Trustees.
- Investment: Working with the Head of School, the Investment Committee monitors the performance of investment funds and investment managers in accordance with the Investment Policy.
See Board member biographies at the bottom of this page.
Ms. Heidi Altree:
Mr. John Bell
Mr. Lee Carson
Ms. Maureen Denicke
Mr. David Dominik
Ms. Cooksie Giannini
Ms. Laura Hill–Board Secretary
Mr. Laurent Huguenin
Mr. Philip Leung
Mr. Mark Lopez–Board Vice President
Ms. Stacy Metcalf
Mr. David Moyne
Ms. Fiona Rees '00–Board Treasurer
Ms. Xania Robinson
Ms. Michelle Sarti–Board President
Ms. Kristin Sennett
NAIS Principals of Best Practice for Boards of Trustees
Overview: The board is the guardian of the school's mission. It is the board's responsibility to ensure that the mission is relevant and vital to the community it serves and to monitor the success of the school in fulfilling its mission.
Principles of Good Practice:
- The board adopts a clear statement of the school's mission, vision, and strategic goals and establishes policies and plans consistent with this statement.
- The board reviews and maintains appropriate bylaws that conform to legal requirements, including duties of loyalty, obedience, and care.
- The board assures that the school and the board operate in compliance with applicable laws and regulations, minimizing exposure to legal action. The board creates a conflict of interest policy that is reviewed with, and signed by, individual trustees annually.
- The board accepts accountability for both the financial stability and the financial future of the institution, engaging in strategic financial planning, assuming primary responsibility for the preservation of capital assets and endowments, overseeing operating budgets, and participating actively in fund raising.
- The board selects, supports, nurtures, evaluates, and sets appropriate compensation for the head of school.
- The board recognizes that its primary work and focus are long-range and strategic.
- The board undertakes formal strategic planning on a periodic basis, sets annual goals related to the plan, and conducts annual written evaluations for the school, the head of school, and the board itself.
- The board keeps full and accurate records of its meetings, committees, and policies and communicates its decisions widely, while keeping its deliberations confidential.
- Board composition reflects the strategic expertise, resources, and perspectives (past, present, future) needed to achieve the mission and strategic objectives of the school.
- The board works to ensure all its members are actively involved in the work of the board and its committees.
- As leader of the school community, the board engages proactively with the head of school in cultivating and maintaining good relations with school constituents as well as the broader community and exhibits best practices relevant to equity and justice.
- The board is committed to a program of professional development that includes annual new trustee orientation, ongoing trustee education and evaluation, and board leadership succession planning.
"Welcome and Update from the Board of Trustees" sent on September 8, 2016
past communications From the Board of Trustees
Heidi is the mother of Grace ’14 and Nicholas ’16. Heidi is currently involved in a variety of activities for privately held residential real estate enterprises. Before that she practiced commercial litigation, handling general business, real estate, employment, and professional malpractice disputes. At MTS, she served in volunteer leadership roles on the Executive Committee of Parent Association as Secretary, VP, and President. She also co-chaired the Annual Auction, Graduation, and Grandparents’ Tea. In addition, Heidi was a member of the MTS Search Committee for the new Head of School. Heidi also serves on the Advisory Board at Bridge the Gap College Prep, the Steering Committee of the Punahou Alumni Association Northern California, and volunteers in admissions for Cornell. Heidi earned her B.S. from Cornell University and her J.D. from Santa Clara University.
Heidi chairs the Communications Committee, serves on the Governance/Trustees Committee, and serves as the Parent Association Liaison. Current term 2016-2019.
John is the father of Chad ’09 and Carly ’10. He and his wife, Alison South, live in Mill Valley. A Principal in Mercer's San Francisco Health & Benefits unit, John manages strategic and financial requirements of health and welfare clients in order for them to achieve their business objectives. John's expertise includes plan funding and risk analysis, strategic benefit planning, conceptual plan design and implementation. John has also served as the Treasurer for the Southern Marin Lacrosse Club and Treasurer for the San Francisco General Hospital Foundation. John earned his B.A. in Economics from Furman University.
John chairs the Audit Committee and serves on the Development Committee. Current term 2014-2017.
Lee is the father of Lauren ’10, Kate ’12, Christian ’14 and Grace ’16. Based in Marin County, Lee is a Managing Director responsible for investor relations at the Carlyle Group, a Washington DC-based alternative asset firm he joined in 1999. Prior to joining Carlyle, Mr. Carson was a Managing Director in the Private Equity Group of Merrill Lynch. Before that he was a Partner of Trammell Crow Company, where he was responsible for real estate acquisitions, development leasing, and asset management in the firm's Los Angeles region. Raised in La Jolla, CA, Mr. Carson is a graduate of La Jolla High, Dartmouth College, and the Harvard Business School.
Lee chairs the Development Committee and serves on the Audit Committee. Current term 2016-2019.
Maureen is the mother of Laura Denicke Moore ’89 and David ’92. Her grandson, Alex Moore ’24, is a current student at MTS. Initially, Maureen volunteered as school nurse at MTS. As the school grew, Maureen was eventually hired for that position and to teach health classes. Later, she taught Health, ultimately became Dean of Students, and retired in 2008. Recently, Maureen chaired the Search Committee, an endeavor that led to the successful hiring of our new Head of School. Prior to her career in education, Maureen worked with a variety of hospitals and was an In-Service Educator at Children’s Hospital in San Francisco. Maureen is a Registered Nurse, earned her B.S. from West Chester University, and a Masters in Health Education from Ohio State University.
Maureen serves on the CAIS/ Strategic Initiatives Committee and Facilities Committee. Current term 2014-2017.
David is the father of Aurora ’17. He is the Principal Managing Director, Chief Investment Officer, and President of Golden Gate Capital Management Company. Prior to Golden Gate Capital, David spent ten years as a managing director at Bain Capital where he was responsible for managing Information Partners, a specialized fund that focused on software, information services, and transaction processing companies serving a broad range of end markets. David also built several scale companies in the semiconductor and electronics industries. David also served on the investment committee of Brookside, Bain Capital's public equity hedge fund from its inception until he left to form Golden Gate Capital. In addition, David opened and ran the California office for Bain Capital. Previously, David was a partner at Zero Stage Capital, an early stage technology venture capital firm in Cambridge, MA, where he helped co-found several successful technology ventures. He was also an early investor and assistant to the chairman of Genzyme Corporation, and earlier served as a Consultant at Bain & Company. David has a J.D. from Harvard Law School (cum laude) and an A.B. from Harvard College (magna cum laude; Phi Beta Kappa), where he was also employed as a mathematics instructor.
David chairs the Investment Committee. Current term 2014-2017.
Cooksie is the mother of Chase, Colin, Isa ’12, and Anna ’13. Cooksie is a specialist in market research and brand positioning. She spent eleven years working with consumer and enterprise businesses in a worldwide role for Hewlett-Packard. Her areas of responsibility were financial analysis, budgeting, marketing and communications, and business development. As VP for Development managing Asia, Europe and the Middle East for the Guatemalan restaurant chain Pollo Campero, she helped introduce and build out the brand across several continents. Most recently, Cooksie added the coordination of global legal structures and franchise regulations to her areas of expertise. At MTS, Cooksie co-chaired the Annual Auction, held leadership positions and volunteered for numerous roles within the Parent Association. Most recently, Cooksie has focused on developing the new Strategic Plan for MTS. Cooksie is a graduate of Barnard College, Columbia University, and has an MBA from the UC Berkeley, Haas School of Business.
Cooksie chairs the CAIS/ Strategic Initiatives Committee and serves on the Communications Committee. Current term 2015-2018.
Laura is the mother of Rex ’15. Originally from Gladwyne, PA Laura has been a resident of Mill Valley since 1998. She served on the Executive Committee of the Parent Association as President and Volunteer Coordinator, and served in many leadership roles for the MTS community. She is Treasurer for the Tam High School PTSA and is a member of the Tam High Foundation Board. She is also an Elder at her church. Laura has a background in Institutional Advancement focusing on annual and major giving. She worked for Bucknell University, University of Toronto, Colorado School of Mines, and as a consultant. She is a graduate of Bucknell University where she also volunteers for the admissions office and institutional advancement office.
Laura is Secretary of the Board, chairs the Governance/Trustees Committee, and serves on the Communications Committee. Current term 2014-2017.
Laurent is the father of four boys: Jack ’15, Daniel ’17, William ’21 and Charlie, who is in preschool. His wife, Elizabeth Warner, is a former elementary school teacher and reading specialist. Laurent works in a family real estate firm that owns and manages properties nationwide, primarily multi-family apartment complexes. Previously, he spent a decade in investment banking in the United States and Europe. Laurent recently served as a member of the MTS Search Committee. In addition, he served on the Board of Trustees of his children’s former school where he chaired the Annual Fund and the Development Committee. A native of Switzerland, he completed his undergraduate studies at Dartmouth College and his graduate studies at the London School of Economics.
Laurent serves on the Finance Committee and Investment Committee. Current term 2016-2019.
Philip is the father of Annabelle ’14, Marshall ’16, and Spencer. Philip started on Wall Street with Credit Suisse. Thereafter, he moved to London and Paris working for Morgan Stanley and BNP Paribas. Since returning to San Francisco, Philip manages his San Francisco based investment firm that specializes in international markets. His wife, Kimberly has been actively involved at MTS including co-chairing Hot Lunch and the Annual Auction. Philip earned his undergraduate degree from the University of San Francisco and his MBA from Columbia University.
Philip serves on the Audit Committee. Current term 2014-2017.
David is the father of Dakota '16, Hudson, and Brooks. David is a Managing Director at Merrill Lynch with more than thirty years of investment banking experience. He helped start the firm's elite advisory division and the Private Banking and Investments Group. His wife, Julie, served in leadership roles including co-chairing the Annual Auction, Grandparents' Tea and Student Council. David has served as a director of numerous other nonprofit organizations including: The Center for Chamber Music, The Community Consortium of Free Clinics, The Modern Art Museum, and Jazz at Lincoln Center. David completed his undergraduate studies at Dartmouth and University of Massachusetts. He earned an MA/MD from Mount Holyoke/Yale and an MBA in Finance from the UCLA Anderson School of Management.
David serves on the Facilities Committee and Investment Committee. Current term 2015-2018.
Mark Lopez is the father of Isabella ’17 and Sophia ’20. Mark and his family moved to the Bay Area in 2009 from Boston. He started Lyford Consulting in 2012 to help wealth management companies develop corporate strategy and product development. Previously with Global Portfolio Advisors, he worked with financial institutions, regulators and consultants in both India and China to develop wealth management platforms for banks and insurance companies. He was with LPL Financial Services from 1990 to 2007 where he had responsibility for technology strategy, research, operations, and corporate acquisitions. His wife, Christa, has served in leadership roles for the school’s Annual Auction, Grandparents’ Tea, and Graduation. Mark is also on the Board of Trustees of the San Francisco Ballet, where he serves on the Development and Finance Committees. Mark earned an undergraduate degree and MBA from the University of Georgia.
Mark is current Vice-President of the Board, chairs the Finance Committee, and serves on the Development Committee. Current term 2016-2019.
Stacy is the mother of Brady ’23 and Whitney Kanter. Stacy and her husband, David Kanter, live in San Francisco. With extensive experience as an educator, Stacy has worked at The Hamlin School from 1997 to 2009 and again since 2014. Currently, she serves as the Assistant Director of High School Counseling. Prior to this role, Stacy established herself as a seasoned middle school English teacher who has been deeply involved in curriculum development and served in various advisory roles. Stacy interviewed finalist candidates during Hamlin’s 2007 search for a new Head of School and has served as the faculty representative to the Board of Trustees. From 2009-2014 she completed educational screening and held consulting positions for several independent schools. Before moving to the Bay Area, Stacy was an instructor at Brewster Academy in Wolfeboro, NH. An active volunteer, Stacy serves in leadership roles at Phillips Academy (Andover) for Admissions, the Alumni Council, and for Advancement efforts and is similarly involved at Middlebury College. Stacy is a graduate of Phillips Academy in Andover, MA and Middlebury College.
Stacy serves on the CAIS/ Strategic Initiatives Committee and Communications Committee. Current term 2016-2019.
Fiona Rees ’00
Fiona currently resides in San Francisco. She is a licensed Certified Public Accountant in California, and currently works as a Manager of Finance at Vista Equity Partners. Fiona has a background in tax and financial accounting, specializing in the financial services sector. She is a graduate of the University of California, Davis and holds a B.A. in Economics and Communications.
Fiona is the Treasurer of the Board and serves on the Finance Committee. Current term 2016-2019.
Xania has two children at MTS, Curtis ’17 and Semira ’19. Currently the administrator for a private medical practice, Xania’s varied career and volunteer activities have often focused on health and wellness. She worked for the Marin County Department of Health and Human Services Epidemiology program as Breast Cancer Project Coordinator. Originally from Canada, she worked for Health Canada and the Canadian Advisory Council on the Status of Women as well as a variety of NGOs including OXFAM and the Canadian Child Care Federation. Past volunteer work included time as co-Executive Director for the Marin City Health and Wellness Center. Xania has held many leadership volunteer positions at MTS including co-chairing the Annual Auction and serving as Volunteer Coordinator for the Parent Association. Xania received her undergraduate degree in Political Science and English/French Translation from Concordia University in Montreal and received her Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Carleton University in Ottawa.
Xania serves on the CAIS/ Strategic Initiatives Committee and Facilities Committee. Current term 2016-2019.
Michelle is the mother of Edward ’16, Roan ’17, and Eve ’21. Michelle is Chair of the Mount Tamalpais School Board of Trustees, one of many volunteer leadership roles she has filled. To this position she brings her legal expertise and board experience. As Vice-President of Legal Affairs for Syufy Enterprises/Century Theatres, Michelle was responsible for managing in-house litigation and real estate transactions for the real estate development and motion picture theater company. Previously, she was a Deputy District Attorney for Contra Costa County handling misdemeanor cases and trials. Michelle served on the Advisory Council from 2006 - 2010 and the Board of Trustees from 2010 - 2016 for the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS). While on the Board at NOLS, Michelle served as Chair of the Governance Committee, Development Committee, and Strategic Initiatives Committees. Michelle received her B.S. from Georgetown University and her J.D. from University of San Francisco.
Michelle is the Chair of the Board and serves on the Development Committee. Current term 2014-2017.
Kristin is the mother of Carl '08 and Tucker '16. Based in Ross, Kristin specializes in luxury real estate sales for Pacific Union International. Prior to 2002, she held several positions in executive search, concentrating in the technology and media sectors. Kristin also served as Director of Human Resources for Miller Freeman Publishing in San Francisco. At MTS, her volunteer leadership roles included six years on the Executive Board of the Parent Association as Secretary and President, Hot Lunch co-chair, numerous leadership roles for the Annual Auction and Student Council. Kristin is also an active parent and alumna volunteer at the Branson School, chairing the auction and serving on the Alumni Council. She received her undergraduate degree from UCLA.
Kristin chairs the Facilities Committee and serves on the Governance/Trustees Committee. Current term 2016-2019.