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 eight men and eleven women, fourteen of whom are current parents of the school, nine of whom are alumni parents, one of whom is a current grandparent 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.
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 enjoys being a member of The Memoir Club. She also serves on the Design for Sharing Board at UCLA. Design for Sharing is an art education program for low-income families. Her other interests include interior design, the arts, dance, yoga, Soul Cycle and watching her beloved grandsons play baseball. Billie has been a member of the PS1 Board for five years.
Andrew Gross is President of Thomas Safran & Associates Development, Inc. and is responsible for all developments of the company. Andrew has worked with TSA since 2002, which has grown from 17 communities to over 60 housing communities under management. Andrew is a member of the Bel Air Chapter of YPO (Young Presidents’ Organization), Westside Urban Forum, and volunteers for several charitable and political groups. Andrew holds a position on the Board of New Directions for Veterans, the Advisory Board of the UCLA Ziman Center for Real Estate and is also an adjunct professor at the University of Southern California where he teaches affordable housing development. Andrew and his wife, Tamara, have sons Jet (10) and Dashiell (8) and live in Santa Monica, California.
Jeff Haines is Chairman and CEO of Ovation Medical, an orthopedic device company he founded in 2009. Prior to Ovation Jeff owned and operated Royce Medical in the orthopedic device industry for 23 years until 2003 when the company was sold.
Jeff has served on various corporate boards as well as serving as a board member at Seven Arrows elementary school for four years. He is currently an active member on the advisory council at the University of Miami. Jeff is also currently a member of CEO and was a member of the Beverly Hills chapter of YPO for 17 years.
Nadene and Jeff live in the Pacific Palisades. They have four children, Gage 25, Daniel 20, Brooke 11, and William 7.
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 currently serves on the Board as Chair of the Governance Committee. Matthew and his wife Lizette have one child enrolled at PS1 and one alumna.
Elizabeth Kendall double majored in Economics and Political Science at Stanford University then matriculated to NYU School of Law to complete her Juris Doctorate. She practiced commercial litigation at Irell & Manella LLP in Century City before transitioning to philanthropic work. She has volunteered in a variety of positions at PS1, including chairing the Alumni Relations Committee and co-chairing the Annual Fundraising Gala. She joined the PS1 Board in 2019 and currently serves as the Board's Advancement Chair. Elizabeth and her spouse, Alexander, have one child who currently attends PS1.
Nadine Levitt is a Swiss-born German, Kiwi, US transplant, and founder of the music technology company, Wurrly, LLC. She began her career as an international trade lawyer but after 6 years of practice she began to pursue a career in music as a professional opera singer and songwriter. Passionate about music in schools she sits on the national board of Little Kids Rock and on the Advisory Board of Harmony Project, and in 2016 led the development of the music education platform WURRLYedu. She lives in Santa Monica with her husband Mike, their two children Ariella and Lucas (both PS1 current students) and their two giant schnauzers!
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.
Vice Chair, Board of Directors. 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, and the parent committee for UCLA's Food Allergy Center. She has volunteered in myriad capacities at PS1, including Parent Ambassador and New Family Liaison, and currently chairs the Annual Fund Committee. Jessica and her husband Eric’s younger son Julian is currently enrolled at PS1, and their older son Dylan graduated from PS1 in 2018.
Chair, Board of Directors. Anna Reyna is an attorney at Fox Networks Group where she focuses on new media distribution and technology. Anna returns to the PS1 Board of Directors as Chair of the Governance Committee, after previously serving on the Board for six years, during which time she served as Vice Chair and as Chair of the Advancement Committee. Anna also volunteers her time with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Los Angeles. Anna earned a BA in Political Science and a law degree from UCLA. She and her husband, Jeffrey Reyna, live in Santa Monica with their three children, Hailey (Class of 2016) who now attends Windward School, and James and Allison, both current PS1 students.
Jason Schwarz is the president of Wilshire Funds Management and Wilshire Analytics, both business units of Wilshire Associates, a global investment consulting, investment management and investment technology firm. Wilshire has been a pioneer in the investment industry for over four decades, and currently advises or manages over $1 trillion for institutional and retail investors.
With 20 years of industry experience, Jason joined Wilshire in 2005, holding increasingly senior roles within the business prior to his appointment as president of Wilshire Funds Management in 2014. Jason also serves as president and Director of the Wilshire Mutual Funds and VITs, is a Director of Wilshire’s Segregated Portfolio Companies, and is a member of Wilshire’s Board of Directors.
Jason earned his AB in government from Hamilton College and holds an MBA from the Marshall School of Business, University of Southern California. He is a member of the Beverly Hills Chapter of YPO and serves on the Board of Santa Monica Girls Fastpitch Softball. Jason and his wife, Jessica, have three daughters and live in Marina Del Rey, California.
Carrie Southworth Johnson
During her upbringing as an expatriate, Carrie Southworth Johnson spent a large portion of her childhood in Tanzania, before returning to the US for high school and college. She received her BA in Economics from the University of Virginia and worked on the bond trading floor at Chase Manhattan Bank before leaving sanity behind to travel the world as a model for Elite Model Management. Her 10 year career included work in New York, Chicago, Miami, Los Angeles, Tokyo, and Milan, after which she transitioned into TV and film, ultimately landing leading roles in both mediums. After the birth of her first child, Carrie and a childhood friend started Twigtale, a personalized book company focused on the social/emotional health of young children. Carrie is a devoted wife and mom living in Los Angeles with her husband and four young children, the eldest two of whom attend PS1. She serves as board chair for LIFT - LA, a non-profit that focuses on helping community members out of poverty for good. She is also entering her second term on the Board of Trustees for The Madeira School, one of the nation's leading all-girls boarding schools, located in Virginia.
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.
DeAnn Spell is an attorney and Senior Vice President at Fox Corporation. She attended Penn State University where she obtained her degree in Psychology with a concentration in early childhood development. She also holds a Juris Doctorate from Duke University.
DeAnn has actively served on non-profit boards, including the Women’s Center of Chapel Hill in North Carolina, the Chicago area chapter of Step Up, and the Montessori at Otari preschool in Wellington, New Zealand. Since her children joined the community in 2015, she has actively volunteered at PS1 in various capacities, including as a room parent and member of the Parents Guild Executive Board (PGEB) before joining the PS1 Board of Directors in 2019.
She and her husband, Rhazes, have two children, Bliss and Rhazes, Jr. who currently attend 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 one child at PS1 and two PS1 alumni (Class of 2015 and Class of 2018).
Heather Turner is the CEO and co-founder of Tamarack Capital Partners, a real estate investment firm focused on the hospitality industry. Prior to founding Tamarack, Ms. Turner was managing partner of DiNapoli Capital Partners. Previously, she worked with The Walt Disney Company and the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Heather has been active on professional and educational boards including ULI’s Hotel Development Council, the American Hotel Lodging Association's Investment Roundtable, as a past president of the Hospitality Asset Managers Association, and a past member of the National Board of Directors of the Florida State University Alumni Association. She is a guest lecturer in real estate at the Anderson Graduate School of Business at UCLA. Ms. Turner earned a BS from Florida State University and an MBA from Harvard Business School. Heather is a first year Trustee on the Board for PS1 Pluralistic School. She and her husband Richard live in Brentwood with their daughter, Montgomery, a current PS1 student, and their puppy, Rosie.