As a non-profit public benefit corporation, incorporated under the laws of the State of California, Waverly is governed by a Board of Trustees.
The Board serves as stewards of Waverly’s mission of providing progressive, developmental educational services. The Board assures financial accountability and provides the financial management and planning vital to Waverly’s stability.
Board of Trustees 2020 – 2021
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.
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.
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.
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, 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.