Board of Trustees


The Waverly School Board of Trustees serves as the guardian of our Mission State­ment and is account­able for the finan­cial stabil­ity and future of the school.

Primary work and focus:

  • In collab­o­ra­tion with the Head of School, the Board engages in long term finan­cial plan­ning and works towards annual goals that stem from the mission statement. 
  • The Board facil­i­tates finan­cial plan­ning, assumes primary respon­si­bil­ity for the preser­va­tion of capital assets and endow­ments, over­sees oper­at­ing budgets and partic­i­pates actively in fund raising efforts. 
  • The Board is respon­si­ble to select, support, nurture, eval­u­ate, and set appro­pri­ate compen­sa­tion for the Head of School.

Waverly’s Board of Trustees adheres to a set of by-laws and prac­tices consis­tent with NAIS Best Prac­tices for Boards and NAIS Best Prac­tices for Trustees.

To contact the Board of Trustees, email boardoftrustees@​thewaverlyschool.​org.

Waverly’s Board of Trustees strives to main­tain a compo­si­tion that reflects the strate­gic exper­tise, resources, and perspec­tives (past, present, and future) needed to achieve the mission and strate­gic goals of the school. The Board works delib­er­ately to ensure that it is repre­sen­ta­tive of the diver­sity that is present in the rapidly chang­ing and increas­ingly diverse school-age popu­la­tion in our country.

Board of Trustees 2020 – 2021

Board Jessica Clements

Jessica Clements

Jessica joined the Board in 2019 and serves as the Chair of the Devel­op­ment Commit­tee and as a member of the DEI and Strate­gic Plan­ning Commit­tees. Jessica has been in the music and enter­tain­ment indus­tries for over twenty years. She is an E‑Commerce exec­u­tive who special­izes in build­ing out, launch­ing, and scaling E‑Commerce busi­nesses. Jessica, her husband Steve, and their two chil­dren, Devin (6th grade) and Everett (4th grade), have been part of the Waverly commu­nity since Devin started kinder­garten. Jessica is honored to serve on the Board and work with the Waverly community.

Photo not available

Max Darnell

Max is a former Board Chair, and is currently serving his tenth year on the Board. He and his family have been a part of the Waverly commu­nity for nearly four­teen years. Outside of Waverly, Max is the Chair­man of an insti­tu­tional invest­ment firm serving the needs of teach­ers, fire­fight­ers, public employ­ees, and others by manag­ing money for large pension funds, sover­eign wealth funds, foun­da­tions, endow­ments, and family offices. During his nearly thirty year career there he has served as both the Chief Invest­ment Officer and Chief Exec­u­tive Officer. Max and his wife, Lindsay, have devel­oped a deep, personal commit­ment to regen­er­a­tive, ecolog­i­cal food and agri­cul­tural prac­tices that combine Indige­nous wisdom with modern scien­tific insights from micro­bi­ol­ogy. Max also volun­teers with a non-profit that aims to make profound change on all that food and agri­cul­ture touches – human health and equity, biodi­ver­sity, and the health of the planet itself.

Board Michael Dean

Michael Dean

Michael has been a Board member since 2015 and serves as Co-Chair of the Finance Commit­tee and as a member of the Strate­gic Plan­ning and Advance­ment and Audit Commit­tees. Michael is a busi­ness leader special­iz­ing in turning busi­nesses around and back to growth and pros­per­ity. He has diverse expe­ri­ence as an exec­u­tive for numer­ous large compa­nies such as Disney, as well as star­tups and private compa­nies. He has exten­sive lead­er­ship and gover­nance expe­ri­ence as a CEO of compa­nies, as well as either Chair­man or a member of several public company boards. Michael, his wife Lynn, and his three kids, Matthew, Wilson, and Kiera, have been members of the Waverly commu­nity for 15 wonderful years.

Photo not available

Ellen Green­stone

Ellen has been on the Waverly Board for almost 20 years and was the first Board Chair. She currently serves as Chair of the Audit commit­tee. Ellen is a private inves­ti­ga­tor. She is also an attor­ney who has prac­ticed labor and employ­ment law, repre­sent­ing public and private sector unions. She serves on the boards of the ACLU South­ern Cali­for­nia and ACLU South­ern Cali­for­nia Foun­da­tion and is a past Chair of the Los Angeles County Bar Asso­ci­a­tion Labor and Employ­ment Law Section. Ellen’s daugh­ter, Dory, grad­u­ated from Waverly in 2012 and was a lifer,” start­ing at Waverly when she was 18 months old, when Waverly had infant care. The chick­ens on the Waverly Farm were Dory’s senior project.

Heidi Johnson 19 20

Heidi Johnson, Head of School (ex officio)

Heidi is Waverly’s head of school and is an ex officio member of the Board. Heidi has worked for more than 30 years in public and private schools at the elemen­tary, middle, and high school levels. Heidi’s two chil­dren grad­u­ated from Waverly: Sam​’03 and Ryland​’08.

Board Pat Leawprasert and family

Pat Leaw­prasert

Pat has been on the Board since 2008. He serves as Secre­tary and as a member of the Trustee Affairs commit­tee. Pat is a systems analyst for the City of Los Angeles. Pat and his wife, Aye Chat­nakrob, and their daugh­ter Alyssa 20, have been part of the Waverly commu­nity for over 14 years.

Board Debbie Lennon

Debbie Lennon

Debbie has been a Board member for about 18 years. She serves on the Trustee Affairs, Devel­op­ment, and DEI Commit­tees. Debbie worked for 35 years for LAUSD in a variety of posi­tions – her most reward­ing being her time in an elemen­tary school class­room. Currently, she is a Dual Language Learner Special­ist and part-time faculty at the Center for Equity for English Learn­ers at Loyola Mary­mount Univer­sity. Debbie, Lester, and Megan 11 came to Waverly when Megan was in Young Kinder­garten (now called preschool) and continue to appre­ci­ate the gift of progres­sive educa­tion and the endur­ing friend­ships formed with the Waverly community.

Board Susan Lofgren

Susan Lofgren

Susan has been a Board member since 2015. She serves as Co-Chair of Trustee Affairs and as a member of the Facil­i­ties Commit­tee. Susan is a Marriage and Family Ther­a­pist with a specialty in Trauma Studies. She has expe­ri­ence in both commu­nity mental health and private prac­tice settings working with teens, parents, and indi­vid­u­als strug­gling with PTSD, anxiety, and depres­sion. Susan and her family (Anton Floquet, Ryan 23, and Luke 20) feel very fortu­nate to have been a part of the Waverly commu­nity since 2010 and will miss it greatly when their youngest graduates.

Board Wendy Lopata

Wendy Lopata

Wendy has been on the Board since 2012 and serves as Co-Chair of Trustee Affairs and as a member of the Finance and Strate­gic Plan­ning and Advance­ment commit­tees. Wendy is a licensed clin­i­cal social worker in private prac­tice, special­iz­ing in depres­sion, anxiety, sexual trauma, and eating disor­ders. She has worked at USC and Caltech and contin­ues to work with college and grad­u­ate students in her private prac­tice. Wendy, her husband Bradley, and their two boys, Nolan and Murray, have been part of the Waverly commu­nity since Nolan was in preschool.

Board Jingbo Lou

Jingbo Lou

Jingbo’s current Board service began in 2019. He serves as Co-Chair of the Facil­i­ties Commit­tee and as a member of the Strate­gic Plan­ning and Advance­ment Commit­tee. Jingbo is a Cali­for­nia licensed archi­tect, general contrac­tor, busi­ness owner, and real estate devel­oper whose work focuses on historic preser­va­tion, afford­able housing, and urban infill devel­op­ment. He also serves as Vice Chair of the City of San Gabriel Plan­ning Commis­sion and as a member of the Los Angeles Conser­vancy Board of Direc­tors. One of Jingbo’s most cher­ished projects was design­ing and build­ing Waverly’s high school and middle school campuses. Jingbo, his wife Maki, and their son Anton 20 have been thriv­ing members of the Waverly commu­nity since 2007.

Board Lillian Manzella

Lillian Manzella, WPO Pres­i­dent (ex officio)

As WPO Pres­i­dent, Lillian has served on the Board, ex-officio, since 2017. Lillian is a full-time mom and works part-time in the family construc­tion busi­ness. Lillian has a back­ground in inter­na­tional, human rights, and envi­ron­men­tal law. She has worked in private prac­tice, in educa­tion at Univer­sity College London, Amer­i­can Univer­sity, Clare­mont McKenna College, and for local, state, and federal govern­ment, as well as the United Nations. Lillian’s son, Giacomo, entered Waverly in 2nd grade and has been at Waverly for seven years.

Board Noah Mayer

Noah Mayer, Chair

Noah joined the Board in 2016 and has served as Chair­man since fall 2019. Noah’s three chil­dren are all students at Waverly. His oldest child, Lucy 28, has been at the school since she started in the preschool in 2012. Noah earned an MBA and MA in Inter­na­tional Studies from the Univer­sity of Penn­syl­va­nia. He is a Port­fo­lio Manager at Hotchkis & Wiley, an invest­ment manage­ment firm, and serves on the Board’s Finance committee.

Board Keseh Morgan

Keseh Morgan

Keseh Morgan joined the Board in 2020 and currently serves on the Devel­op­ment and DEI commit­tees. While she has been an active WPO parent for many years, she is excited to dig in and make some mean­ing­ful change through Board service. She is a Produc­tion Designer, working in film and tele­vi­sion. Keseh and her daugh­ter Asha 24 have been a part of the Waverly commu­nity for ten years.

Board Vijay Natraj

Vijay Natraj

Vijay Natraj joined the Board in 2020. He is on the Board’s DEI and Devel­op­ment commit­tees. Vijay is a Research Scien­tist at the Jet Propul­sion Labo­ra­tory working on the remote sensing of Earth and plan­e­tary atmos­pheres. His research inter­ests extend from study­ing climate change and air pollu­tion to looking for biosig­na­tures on planets outside our solar system (exoplan­ets). Vijay, his wife Sowmya, and their chil­dren, Avan­tika and Siddarth (Sidd), have enjoyed being a part of the Waverly commu­nity since 2018.

Board Emily Stadnicki and family

Emily Stad­nicki

Emily has been on the Board since 2012 and is currently Co-Chair of the Facil­i­ties Commit­tee and a member of the Audit commit­tee. She served as Vice Chair for several years and has headed and partic­i­pated in multi­ple commit­tees during her service. Emily has a master’s degree in City & Regional Plan­ning and is the Prin­ci­pal Planner for the City of La Cañada. She also worked in Pasadena, West Holly­wood, Pomona, and other cities in the L.A. area. Emily’s two sons attended Waverly for elemen­tary and middle school and she is a die-hard Raven.

Board Rick Sternfeld and family

Rick Stern­feld

Rick has been on the Board since 2014 and serves on the Finance and Facil­i­ties commit­tees. From 2017 to 2019, Rick served as the Chair of the Board. Rick is an attor­ney with the Alter­nate Public Defender’s office and has been prac­tic­ing crim­i­nal defense for 34 years. He currently coor­di­nates all the capital cases that are assigned to his office. Rick’s partner, Juli, is a systems analyst for ATT. Emma, their daugh­ter, attended Waverly from preschool until the 8th grade.

Ebesu Family

Nadine Tanio

Nadine’s Board service began in 2018. She chairs the Board’s DEI commit­tee and also serves on the Devel­op­ment and the Trustee Affairs commit­tees. Nadine recently completed her Ph.D. in Educa­tion from UCLA focus­ing on infor­mal learn­ing at the inter­sec­tion of disabil­ity studies and crit­i­cal media liter­acy. Nadine and her family have been part of the Waverly commu­nity for over 11 years.

Board Joanne Toll

Joanne Toll

Joanne Toll has served on the Board of Trustees since 2010. She has served as the Board Trea­surer and co-chair of the Finance Commit­tee since 2015, and served as Board Secre­tary for three years prior to serving as Trea­surer. Joanne is a tele­vi­sion producer, mostly in come­dies, includ­ing Better Things for Fx, Grace and Frankie for Netflix, Atyp­i­cal for Netflix, Enlight­ened for HBO, and the occa­sional drama, such as In Treat­ment for HBO. Joanne and her wife, Gloria, have a son, Jamie 22. Jamie is a Waverly lifer’ who started in Young Kinder­garten (now called preschool) with Marina and Cheenu. She consid­ers herself a Waverly lifer’ too, and is honored to serve on the Board of Trustees.

Board Serita Young

Serita Young

Serita has been on the Board since 2017 and serves as the Board Vice Chair, a Co-Chair of the DEI Commit­tee, and as a member of the Exec­u­tive, Audit, Trustee Affairs, and Facil­i­ties Commit­tees. Serita is an attor­ney and repre­sents public agen­cies in a wide range of govern­men­tal issues. Serita, her husband Brian, and their two sons, Riley and Aaron, have been a part of the Waverly commu­nity for over five years.