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, Standards & Search Committee and Chairs the Strategy 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 and is on the Board of the Idea Project.
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. At PS1 Billie is the Chair of the Grandparents Committee and greatly enjoys being a member of the Memoir Club. 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 three 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. In addition to serving on the PS1 board, Matthew sits on the Parents Guild Executive Board and edits Parent POP. Matthew lives in Santa Monica with his wife Lizette, an attorney, and their two children, Bianca and Luca, both PS1 students.
Biography coming soon.
Victor Liu is an investor at Causeway Capital where he conducts research on companies internationally. Causeway’s clients include corporations, pension plans, and sovereign wealth funds. Previously, he worked at FPA (international investing), Merrill Lynch (investment banking), and McKinsey & Company (management consulting).Victor met his wife, Amy, in Taiwan while studying abroad on a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship. Amy (wife, mother, and entrepreneur) and Victor are the proud parents of three: Logan Liu, Ellie Liu, and Charlotte Liu. Victor graduated from Pomona College in Claremont, California.
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. In addition to the PS1 Board, she also is on the Parents Guild Executive Board and is an active school volunteer. 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 a member of the Finance Committee.
Joel Pelcyger is the 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 on the necessity to adopt pluralism as the primary value in, and purpose of, education.
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.
Board Vice Chair. Kimberly Perttula is a management consultant and a professor at UC Irvine where she teaches organizational behavior and leadership strategies. She holds a PhD from USC Marshall School of Business, an MS in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from San Jose State University and a BA in Psychology from Wake Forest University. She has been a member of PGEB and currently co-chairs the Staff Appreciation 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 a 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 a JD from DePaul University College of Law and a BA in Journalism from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. She has served 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, have two children 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 for over fifteen years. 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 a granddaughter, born in March 2016 and a second granddaughter due soon. She has been on the Board of Directors since 1994 and currently serves on the Executive Committee, the Administration and Finance 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 Fundraising, 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!
Board Chair. Biography coming soon.
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 Manger 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 received his BS degree from Yale University and his MS from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He and his wife Wendi 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 (Olders), and Sam (Class of 2015) who now attends the Brentwood School. Greg also serves on the Annual Fund Committee at PS1.