Board of Directors
As keepers of the mission and legal fiduciaries of PS1 Pluralistic School, the Board of Directors is charged with overall long range, strategic planning of the school. Each trustee actively promotes the school’s vision while accepting the accountability for both the financial stability and financial future of the school.
Our current board has 19 members comprised of nine men and ten women, fourteen of whom are current parents of the school, nine of whom are alumni parents, two of whom are current grandparents at the school, and the Head of School. Each member brings unique personal experience from a variety of diverse professional backgrounds. From financial leaders and members of the film industry, to philanthropists and attorneys, the collective experience of the Board provides a comprehensive, overall perspective.
Meeting eight times a year, Board members serve on standing committees including, Administration and Finance, Standards and Search, Advancement, and Buildings and Grounds. An elective Board Chair and Secretary, along with the head of school, nurture and guide all major policy decisions.
Gareth Asten’s career spans a variety of positions both as an operating executive and as a principal investor. Early in his career Gareth spent a few years both as an investment banker and working in private equity primarily focusing on food and consumer companies. He continued his career as an operating executive in three separate leveraged buyouts. He is currently the co-founder and Managing Partner of Acre Venture Partners, a $125 million venture capital firm investing in highly disruptive early stage platform companies for better outcomes in the food system. Gareth is currently active on the PS1 Administration & Finance Committee, Executive Committee and Chairs the Strategic Vision Committee. He earned his BS from DePaul University and his MBA from Harvard.
Meredith Blake is a nationally recognized public interest attorney and social entrepreneur with more than 25 years of experience in creating positive social change. She is Founder & CEO of ProSocial, a social impact consulting firm with a focus on entertainment media as a key driver in culture shift and public engagement. Meredith works with clients to design and implement philanthropic initiatives and social change campaigns with deep impact. Before launching ProSocial, Meredith was Executive Vice President at Participant Media, where her notable achievements included the social action campaign that accompanied the release of Vice President Al Gore’s Oscar-winning documentary, An Inconvenient Truth. Prior to Participant, Meredith founded and ran Break the Cycle, a national nonprofit organization serving youth and addressing the issue of relationship violence. She is also a member of Pleiades Network, an organization that advances women’s leadership in creating a more sustainable world, is on the Board of the Idea Project, and Co-Chairs PS1's Board Governance Committee.
A graduate of Northwestern University, Billie had a career in retailing, owning four maternity boutiques on the East coast. In 2003, she and husband, Steve, a real estate developer in Washington, DC, moved to California to be near daughter, Alexa and her husband, Robert. Grandsons Ian and Elio LaPorta were born in 2006 and 2008 and attended The Growing Place where Billie served on the GP Board until 2013. She currently serves on the Board of Design for Sharing at UCLA, offering arts education to low income children. At PS1 Billie is the Chair of the Grandparents Committee and greatly enjoys being a member of the Memoir Club. She also serves on the Advancement Committee. Other interests include interior design, the arts, dance, needlepoint and throwing balls with her beloved grandsons. She has served on the Board of Trustees for four years.
Matthew Hayutin is an educational therapist and the founder of Hayutin & Associates, an educational company in Santa Monica specializing in tutoring, educational therapy, test prep, and independent study programs. He is also a partner at Insight Collective in Pasadena. After studying at the University of Pennsylvania, Matthew earned his B.A. from Occidental College in English and Comparative Literary Studies and his M.Ed. from Pepperdine University. Matthew has been a member of the PS1 Parents Guild Executive Board and currently serves on the Board of Directors as Chair of the Advancement Committee and a member of the Executive Committee. He also co-edits Parent POP. Matthew lives in Santa Monica with his wife Lizette, an attorney, and their two children, Bianca and Luca, both current PS1 students.
Heidi serves as a member of the PS1 Annual Fund and Strategic Vision Committees, and is the President of the Board of Trustees for Palisades Preschool. Most recently, Heidi was the vice president of Human Resources at Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems. In this role, Hendrix was responsible for talent acquisition, organizational effectiveness, learning and development, and talent management. Prior to joining Northrop Grumman, Heidi spent more than 15 years at Bank of America in North Carolina and California, where she served in a variety of Human Resources roles. A graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Heidi earned a bachelor’s degree from the School of Journalism and Mass Communication with a double major in organizational and interpersonal communications. She has been active in leadership development, diversity and mentoring programs throughout her career. Heidi is also active member of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Santa Monica. Heidi enjoys hiking, biking, swimming and almost anything outdoors with her husband, Ken, and her two children, Jonah (a current PS1 student) and Lily!
Victor Liu is an investor at Causeway Capital where he conducts research on companies internationally. Previously, he worked at FPA (international investing), Merrill Lynch (investment banking), and McKinsey & Company (management consulting). Victor and his wife, Amy, met in Taiwan while both were studying abroad. Amy and Victor are the parents of Logan, Ellie, and Charlotte. Victor graduated from Pomona College in Claremont, California. Victor serves on the Administration and Finance Committee, and the Governance Committee.
Priya Nambiar has worked in education for over 20 years. She earned a B.A. in Education Studies from Brown University and a M.Ed. from Harvard University. She is the Founder of Nambiar Advising, where she helps families navigate the private school admissions process. Prior to Nambiar Advising, Priya was the Associate Director of Admissions at Brentwood School, a Program Associate at the Coalition of Essential Schools (an organization focused on public school reform), and has taught high school Math in Wellesley, MA, Atherton, CA, and Los Angeles, CA. She is an active school volunteer and serves on the Governance Committee. Priya lives in Los Angeles with her husband, Sanjay, and their identical twin daughters, Uma and Miya.
Darren Peers is an energy analyst and portfolio manager with The Capital Group. Darren holds an MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College as well as a BA in economics from Dartmouth. He is a former collegiate hockey player and an avid skier. Darren and his wife, Kelly, have two children attending PS1: Wyatt (8) and Chase (5). Darren is the Chair of the Administration and Finance Committee.
Joel Pelcyger is the Co-Founder and Head of PS1 Pluralistic School, an elementary school for grades K-6. PS1 was founded in 1971 and is a family-oriented, independent, and non-profit school located in the heart of Santa Monica, CA. His work is grounded in the belief that every child is unique, and he has built a school that nurtures individual talents and learning styles, helping children become the best versions of themselves. PS1 stands for Pluralistic School, as “pluralism” defines both the school’s educational philosophy to use a variety of methods to reach a common goal and its commitment to diversity and inclusiveness. The vision statement of the school is: “Celebrate the Many; Build One.” He is also the Co-Founder of 14000hours.org, founded in 2016 as a strategic initiative of the school. The initiative is building a nationwide network of educators, parents, students, scholars, and others dedicated to uncovering the genius within each child in all school settings through public education, grassroots organizing, media outreach, and collaborative partnerships. Joel is frequently speaking nationally at conferences, workshops, and think-tanks on theories and practices that have been implemented at PS1 since its inception.
Abbie Perttula is a long standing active Board member. She has served on many committees and is presently serving on the Building and Grounds committee. She grew up in Southern California and did her undergraduate studies at SFSU and MA at Pacific Oaks College. She and her husband Howard are long-time residents of Santa Monica. Abbie taught at PS1 for 43 years and retired in 2016. Her 3 children Karine, Joshua and Tavi graduated from PS1. She has 5 grandchildren presently attending PS1. Her grandson (Jonah) graduated in 2016.
Kimberly Perttula has over 15 years of teaching experience in higher education. She has taught courses in leadership, management, and organizational behavior at both the undergraduate and graduate level. Her management consulting practice specializes in developing leaders at all levels of organizations with a focus on executive development, career development, team development and management assessment. She holds a PhD from USC Marshall School of Business, a MS in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from SJSU and a BA in Psychology from Wake Forest University. She has volunteered in many capacities at PS1 including Parent Ambassador and as a member of the Parents Guild Executive Board. She currently serves as Vice Chair of the PS1 Board and Co-Chair of the Governance Committee. Kimberly and her husband, Josh, have two children currently enrolled at PS1 and one alumnus of the PS1 Class of ’16.
Jessica Reid is Co-Executive Director of Determined to Succeed, a college access and success nonprofit organization in Los Angeles, where she oversees all development, administration and strategic planning. An attorney by training, she holds her JD from DePaul University College of Law and earned her BA in both Journalism and History from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Jessica began her career as a judicial clerk in the Federal Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in Chicago. Upon relocating to Los Angeles, she worked as an associate at O’Melveny & Myers LLP, and then as a Vice President of Business Affairs for a motion picture studio. She currently serves on the National Advisory Board of the Sean N. Parker Center for Allergy and Asthma Research at Stanford University, as well as the Gores Family Allergy Center Council at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. She has volunteered in myriad capacities at PS1, including Parent Ambassador and New Family Liaison, and currently co-chairs the Annual Fund Committee. Jessica and her husband Eric’s two children, Dylan and Julian, are currently enrolled at PS1.
Glenn Rosen was born in Brooklyn, NY but raised in Southern California. Glenn is a litigator whose professional career has focused on insurance coverage and bad faith, construction defect and business litigation. Glenn and his wife, Hilary, have been part of the PS1 community since 2008 when their daughter Olivia first enrolled in Youngers. Olivia (14) has now graduated and their second daughter, Jesse (11), is in Olders. Glenn has served as the Board Secretary since becoming a Director and he has also served on the Administration & Finance, Strategic Vision and Building & Grounds Committees.
Maggie Rosenfeld has been the Director of Finance and Operations at PS1 since 2001. Prior to that, she was a partner in a Los Angeles law firm. Maggie grew up in suburban Chicago; she has a math degree from the University of Michigan and a law degree from UCLA. Maggie's two sons attended PS1, and she is also the proud grandmother of two granddaughters, born in March 2016 and July 2017. She has been on the Board of Directors since 1994 and currently serves on the Executive Committee, the Administration and Finance Committee, the Governance Committee, and the Building and Grounds Committee.
Maria Smith Grew up in Leicester, England, worked in the family coffee shops, trained and worked as an RN at Leicester Royal Infirmary before moving to LA in 1990 to work at Cedars. Mom to Millie (21), Charlotte (15 & Class of 2014) and Owen (8), she has been an Auction Chair, member of the Advancement, Grandparents, Alumni Committees and a parent admissions ambassador. She is also honored to serve on the Board of Directors and looks forward to being a member of the PS1 50th anniversary Party Committee!
Kerri Speck has served as Chair of the Board of Directors of PS1 Pluralistic School since 2016, and has been an active board member since 2012. Kerri obtained her undergraduate degree in history from the University of Southern California, and holds a juris doctorate from Western State University. She has been an active member of the California State Bar since 2002. As the founder and owner of Signature Residential Brokerage, Kerri has been engaged in the Southern California real estate industry for over fifteen years. Before attending law school, Kerri taught at a public elementary school and this experience has fueled her passion for supporting progressive education. While serving on the PS1 Board of Directors, Kerri has chaired the Capital Campaign and also served as Chair of the Advancement Committee. Currently, she serves on the Executive, Governance, and Advancement Committees. Kerri and her husband, Paul, have two children currently enrolled at PS1, and one alumna of PS1.
Michael Tatum is a real estate investor in multi-family residential properties and a custom home builder. He has a degree in Industrial design and a Construction Management Certificate from San Francisco State University. He Chairs the Building and Grounds Committee for PS1 and co-chairs the fall festival. Michael and his wife, Jenny, have two children at PS1 and one PS1 alumnus (Class of 2015).
Steve Trilling is Senior Vice President and General Manager of Security Analytics and Research at Symantec, the global leader in cyber security. Symantec protects diverse systems from mobile phones, to desktops and laptops, to the data centers of the world’s largest enterprises. Steve’s division delivers Symantec’s industry-leading threat protection technologies, advanced security analytics, investigations into new targeted cyberattacks, as well as basic and applied research in machine learning and artificial intelligence. Steve received his BS degree from Yale University and his MS from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. At PS1, Steve is in his second year as Chair of the school’s Annual Fund, as well as serving on the Administration and Finance Committee, and has been an active member of the Strategic Vision Committee. He is also an engaged volunteer in his community, serving on the Dean’s Corporate Advisory Board for the UCLA School of Engineering and Applied Science, and serving on the Board and being an active coach and volunteer at West Los Angeles Little League. In addition, Steve is a member of the Gores Center Allergy Council at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, and is involved in fundraising for the Sean N. Parker Center for Allergy and Asthma Research at Stanford University. He and his wife Wendi live in Brentwood and have twin boys who are both currently PS1 students.
Greg Walker is a television writer and producer living in Santa Monica. Greg has written and executive produced over two hundred hours of television, as well as consulting on several shows. Previous to serving on the Board at PS1, Greg served for seven years on the Board for Street Poets, Inc., an L.A.-based organization using poetry, spoken word, and hip hop recording as a gang intervention tool. Greg grew up in the Bay Area, where he attended U.C. Berkeley and graduated with a Liberal Arts degree, after also spending a year abroad studying film in Paris at the Sorbonne. Greg and wife Michelle Ashford have two sons; Ben (Class of 2017), and Sam (Class of 2015) who now attend the Brentwood School. Greg also serves on the Advancement Committee, the Governance Committee, and the Enrollment Management Task Force at PS1.