Board of Trustees

Multi-talented and dedicated to MMS.
These volunteers unite to support our present needs and future plans.

Our Board of Trustees offers a wide range of expertise and shares a deep commitment to MMS, its vision and mission as a school. Working alongside the Faculty and Administration, the Board ensures the smooth operation of our school as an independent, non-profit corporation.

The Board's responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Support the creation and communication of a school vision that inspires an integrated Montessori community
  • Provide long-term strategic planning and direction that supports the school's mission
  • Approve the annual budget and oversee financial management
  • Define governance processes and oversee compliance with school policies
  • Ensure facilities and campus environment support current and future educational program needs
  • Inspire a culture of philanthropy and actively support the school's fundraising efforts
  • Support the school's goals to create a diverse and integrated community of students, families, faculty and staff
  • Hire and support the Head of School in his/her execution of the school's mission and vision

MMS Trustee Selection Process

Board of Trustees Bios

Courtney Smith, Chair

COURTNEY SMITH became a Trustee in 2014, after serving on the MMS Parents’ Association Board from 2012 to 2014, as PA President for 2013-14, and on the MMS Head of School Search Committee which resulted in Sam Shapiro’s hire. She serves as Board Chair, and as a member of the Executive, Governance, and Finance Committees.

Courtney is a residential interior decorator and community volunteer — passions she has pursued since 2009. Before then, Courtney spent over a decade on Wall Street in Institutional Equity Derivative Sales, most recently as a Managing Director at Goldman Sachs. At Goldman, she led a #1 ranked sales team responsible for covering over 50 mutual funds, pensions, endowments, foundations, and hedge funds. Since moving to California in 2009 she has served in several local community roles, including on the Ross Recreation Board from 2011-14. Courtney also recently served on the National Council for the Coastal Studies for Girls, a science and leadership semester-away program located in Maine.

Courtney holds a B.S. in Business Administration from Georgetown University. She lives in Tiburon with her husband, Greg, and their two children.

Adam Gasner, Vice Chair

ADAM GASNER became a MMS Trustee in 2015, after co-chairing the 2014-15 MMS Annual Fund. He serves as Board Vice Chair and on the Executive and Governance Committees.

Adam is an attorney and principal at The Law Office of Adam G. Gasner, a litigation law firm emphasizing criminal and constitutional legal matters in California and Federal trial and appellate courts. He is also a judge pro tem of the San Francisco Superior Court, where he is currently assigned to the Juvenile Justice Center, and serves as the president of the Criminal Trial Lawyers Association of Northern California. Adam is the immediate past president of the Lick-Wilmerding High School Alumni Association and served on the Lick-Wilmerding High School Board of Trustees from 2010-2014, where he was a member of the governance and development committees.

Adam holds a B.A in English Literature from Boston University and a J.D. from the University of San Francisco, School of Law. He lives in San Francisco and has two daughters.

Peter Bardwick, Treasurer

PETER BARDWICK has been part of the MMS community since 2003 and joined the MMS Board of Trustees in 2015. He serves as Board Treasurer and on the Executive Committee and Finance Committee (as Committee Chair).

Peter has served as the chief financial officer of a number of organizations, including three public companies: CBS MarketWatch, Rocket Fuel, and WestwoodOne. In his most recent position at Rocket Fuel he was named the Bay Area CFO of the Year in the small to mid-sized public company division after overseeing the growth of the finance and human resources team from six to over one hundred people in three years to support the company’s rapid growth. He has helped build a variety of other high-growth, industry-leading companies, including one that ranked first on the Deloitte Fast 500 in the period 2008-2012, and raised $10.8B through various forms of financings in the public and private markets.

Peter holds M.B.A. and B.A. degrees from the University of Michigan. He lives in Mill Valley with his wife, Whitney, and their two children, both MMS graduates.

Michele Dillard, Secretary

MICHELE DILLARD became a Trustee in 2014, after serving as Chair of the MMS Auction and on the MMS Development Committee. Michele currently serves as Board Secretary, and on the Executive Committee and the Governance Committee (as Committee Chair).

Michele began her career as a corporate litigation attorney for Tydings and Rosenberg, LLP in Maryland. After moving to San Francisco, she continued her legal work in the San Francisco offices of both Epstein Becker & Green and Davis Wright Tremaine, with a focus on health care and employment law. She has most recently spent time on real estate development projects, pro bono legal, and other non-profit work, including serving as Vice-Chair of the National Council of the Humane Society of the United States.

She grew up in Baltimore, Maryland, and holds a B.A. from Yale University and a J.D. from the University of Maryland School of Law. Michele lives in Belvedere with her husband, Doug, and their three children.

Dylan Simonds, Big Work Capital Campaign Chair

DYLAN SIMONDS joined the MMS Board of Trustees in 2013 after chairing the Annual Fund for two years. He currently serves on the Executive Committee and the Development Committee (which he chaired for several years). Dylan is the Chair of the school’s Big Work Capital Campaign.

Dylan invests privately in a wide array of early-stage technology and green businesses. He previously supervised environmental compliance and investor relations for an oil and gas joint venture in Texas. Dylan began his career at the innovative Oregon nonprofit Ecotrust, where he worked on programs promoting environmentally sound economic development. He serves on the boards of the Elsie H. Hillman Foundation, the Cardamom Project, and The Taft School, where he chairs the Annual Fund. He also serves on the advisory boards of the Center for Business and the Environment at Yale University and Ecotrust, where he previously served three terms as a director.

Dylan holds a B.A. from Middlebury College, a Master of Environmental Management degree from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, and a M.B.A. from the Yale School of Management. He lives in Mill Valley with his wife, Dorlon, and two sons.

Doug Aley

DOUG ALEY has been a MMS Development Committee Member since 2015 and joined the MMS Board of Trustees in 2017. He currently serves on the Development Committee (as Committee Chair) and Finance Committee.

Doug has spent his career founding or helping to scale consumer startups. Doug was a Product Manager in the early days at Amazon, helped Zulily scale from $100M to $700M in sales as VP of Product and Corporate Development in the run up to the company’s IPO, led Minted’s foray into digital products, and currently is Ever’s CRO and a principal at Atomic Ventures. He has served on three corporate boards and serves on the Investment Committee at St. John's Ross (where he also volunteers as a Sunday school teacher and singer for the family service).

Doug holds a B.A. from Stanford University and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School. He lives in Greenbrae with his wife, Susan, and their two boys.

Felix AuYeung

FELIX AuYEUNG joined the MMS Board of Trustees in 2016 after serving on the MMS Campus Planning Committee. Felix currently serves on the Campus Planning Committee (as Committee Co-Chair).

He is the Director of Business Development at MidPen Housing, a nonprofit affordable housing organization serving the Bay Area. Felix formerly worked for eight years at EAH Inc., a similar organization based in San Rafael.

Felix holds a B.S. in mechanical engineering with a minor in Peace and Conflict Studies from University of California, Berkeley, a M.S. in mechanical engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a Masters of International Development from the Graduate School of Public and International Development at the University of Pittsburgh. Felix and his wife, Sommer, live in Terra Linda with their two children.

Scott Cullerton

SCOTT CULLERTON joined the MMS Board of Trustees in 2016, and has been a Finance Committee member since 2015.

He is a Director at KKR & Co., a global alternative asset management firm, where he focuses on credit investing and corporate debt financings. Previously, Scott was with Morgan Stanley Capital Partners where he was a member of the private equity investment team. Scott started his career in the U.S. Navy where he served as both a special operations boat detachment commander and as an anti-submarine warfare officer. Scott is a founding member of KKR’s Vets@Work initiative which has supported the hiring of over 36,000 veterans and military spouses since 2011.

Scott holds a B.S. from Duke University and a M.B.A. from Harvard Business School. He lives in San Anselmo with his wife, Andrea, and their three children.

Katherine Dinh

KATHERINE DINH joined the MMS Board of Trustees in 2017.

Katherine has been head of Prospect Sierra School (K-8) in El Cerrito, CA, since 2007. Prior to Prospect Sierra, Katherine was the Principal of Middle and Upper Schools at Metairie Park Country Day School in Louisiana, during and immediately following the crisis of Hurricane Katrina. She has worked at three other independent schools: Wilmington Friends School in Delaware, The Episcopal Academy in Pennsylvania, and St. Margaret’s School in Virginia. A former English and social studies teacher, Katherine was co-founder of a public charter school in Boston, and founder/director of a temporary school in Houston for families and staff displaced by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. She has served on a number of local and national boards, including as vice chair of the California Teacher Development Collaborative (CATDC), and she is the current board chair of the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS).

Katherine received her B.A. in English from the University of Virginia, and M.Ed. in International Education from Harvard. She lives in Greenbrae with her son.

David Grayce

DAVID GRAYCE joined the MMS Board of Trustees in 2017 and currently serves on the Finance Committee.

David has focused the majority of his career on investing in large leveraged buyouts at Bain Capital (Boston) and, most recently, Pacific Equity Partners (Sydney). He has also invested and advised small companies on growth and capital raising. In previous years, David has worked as a lawyer and as a consultant with Bain & Company. David is currently serving as a Director of the National Art School in Sydney (NAS), the leading fine arts university in Australia granting Bachelor, Master, and Ph.D. degrees. NAS has undergone a significant turn-around and commercialization over the past several years, of which David has been a part.

David holds a B.Com economics degree and a L.L.B. law degree, both from the University of New South Wales, as well as a M.B.A. from Stanford. David and his wife, Barbara Merz, have one daughter, and live in Kentfield.

Sarah Fordney

SARAH FORDNEY joined the MMS Board of Trustees in 2012 and currently serves on the Governance Committee.

She is a seasoned marketing and communications professional with more than twenty years of experience building and managing marketing platforms, branding initiatives, and communications campaigns in the financial services industry and public sector. Most recently, Sarah was the head of Marketing and Communications for the Commercial Banking Group at Bank of the West, a subsidiary of BNP Paribas. Before joining Bank of the West, she served as a marketing consultant to financial institutions. Previous to that, Sarah spent five years with Goldman Sachs in New York in a number of marketing and communication roles at both the business and corporate level. She spent over seven years in the public sector, working in the United States Department of Treasury as the Director of Business Liaison, on the 1992 Clinton Gore Presidential campaign, and as a press assistant on Capitol Hill for the Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee.

Sarah is a graduate of Marquette University. She lives in Mill Valley with her husband, Erik Bringard, and their three children.

Alice Nguyen

ALICE NGUYEN became a Trustee in 2012 after serving on the MMS Campus Planning Committee, which she currently Co-Chairs.

Alice serves as Vice President, Preconstruction for McCarthy Building Companies, one of the largest educational and healthcare contractors in the U.S. She is responsible for all services during the Design Phase for the firm’s Northern Pacific Division. An advocate for women in the industry, Alice is a member of McCarthy’s Partnership for Women National committee, focused on promoting the contributions of women at all levels and providing resources to support the elevation of their roles and responsibilities within the industry. Previously, she was Vice President at AECOM, a global architecture and engineering firm, and was responsible for the group’s Northern California operations. Prior to AECOM, she was Managing Principal for Davis Langdon, a global Cost and Construction Management firm.

Alice holds a B.S. in Civil Engineering from U.C. Berkeley. She lives in Novato with her husband, Alistair, and their son.

Thea Thompson

THEA THOMPSON is a long-time MMS parent and volunteer, and became a Trustee in 2017. She currently serves on the Campus Planning Committee. Thea joins the Board as a MMS legacy — her grandfather served as a Trustee in the 1980s, and her father served two terms in the 1990s as a leader of the school’s first major capital campaign for significant improvements to the Corte Madera campus.

Thea is a Lead Consulting Manager with Kaiser Permanente in San Francisco. Her ability to effectively manage large teams and complicated logistics places Thea at the center of many of Kaiser’s largest and most involved build-outs. Thea’s primary role as campus master planner utilizes her expertise in interior design, space planning, facility project management, team management, and emergency preparedness.

Thea holds a Bachelor of Applied Science from the University of Phoenix and a degree in Interior Design from Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising. She is a native of Marin and lives in Greenbrae with her two children.

Jamie Whittington

JAMIE WHITTINGTON has been a part of the MMS community since 2007 as a grandparent and joined the MMS Board of Trustees in 2016. She currently serves on the Development Committee.

Through her consulting practice she works with organizations to develop and maintain stable, predictable sources of philanthropic support. Jamie’s areas of expertise include facilitating the fundraising planning process, developing effective major gifts programs, managing campaigns, and providing board and staff training. Jamie began her consulting practice in 1992 after serving as Chief Development Officer for several Bay Area non-profits, including the French American International School and the Exploratorium. Jamie has also served as Interim Head of Fund Development for organizations experiencing leadership changes, including the Asia Foundation, the Myelin Repair Foundation, and the San Francisco General Hospital Foundation. She is a member of the Board of Directors of the San Francisco General Hospital Foundation, where she serves as Chair of the Development Committee.

A native Mississippian, Jamie attended National Cathedral School in Washington, D.C., and received a Bachelor of Arts from Briarcliff College. Jamie is a forty-year resident of the Bay Area and lives in Sausalito with her husband, Peter Pastreich, and their dog Oscar.