Pediatrician Gwen Hamilton joined our board of directors Sunday. She replaces psychologist Wendy Ritchey, who retired after 19 years on the board.
Gwen is a board-certified pediatrician who has practiced in the Bay Area since 1979. The mother of two of our alumnae and the grandmother of two others, she brings decades of medical experience in the community to our school.
In addition to her clinical practice, Gwen has served as medical director for California Children’s Services, a state program for children with special healthcare needs, and as medical director for a regional program for children with autism and ADHD. She has also served on the boards of the Casey Family Program, REACH—Reading Advantage, the Foundation for Autism Support and Training, and many other community organizations.
Over the years, Gwen has shared her pediatric and parenting knowledge with our teachers, students, and families, presenting talks, in-service trainings – even blowing up balloons! She has some amazing things to say about our school. She writes:
“As I was climbing those steps on the evening I picked up my two-year-old from her first day at the White Pony, I realized that, unlike before, I hadn't had a worry about her the whole day. To me, as a mother, that’s amazing. Now after growing two amazing children and two amazing grandchildren with the Amazing Meher Schools, it’s an exciting gift to be able to share my experience with the board of this amazing place – a place for our children and our community to grow knowing love.”
The School’s Leadership Structure
Our board of directors works collaboratively with our administrative team as the Strategic Leadership Team. A policy-making and strategic-planning body, the SLT sets tuitions, reviews the budget, approves salaries, and ensures that resources are used to achieve the school’s defined student learning outcomes.
The board has the responsibility of ensuring that the founding vision of the school continues to find clear expression, even as external circumstances, staffing, curriculum, and other dimensions of the school evolve. In addition to Gwen, the board includes:
Frederick Bliss, a marriage and family therapist and Alameda County child welfare worker
Craig Boyan, a retired public school administrator and the father of two graduates and grandfather of a current preschooler
Pascal Kaplan, PhD, a former professor and dean of the Liberal Arts College at John F. Kenney University, founder of a pioneering social media platform, and the father of three alumni and grandfather of five
Meg Mayer, a registered nurse and retired assistant director of the White Pony
The administrative team is responsible for the day-to-day administration of the school and provides a vehicle for collaboration between the preschool and elementary programs. It consists of Preschool Director Susie Kohl, elementary Co-Principals Vince d’Assis and Ivy Summers, and Chief Financial Officer Carol Conrad.
Wendy Ritchey had served on the board since its founding, in 2003. A semi-retired clinical psychologist, she is a former elementary school teacher and social researcher in the field of child development. (She’s also the mother of one of our graduates and the grandmother of one of our preschoolers.) Wendy may have left the board, but she’s not leaving the school. She’s taking on a new role – volunteer coordinator – which we’ll be telling you more about in the weeks to come.