Leadership & Trustees

Leadership and Trustees

Cate is led and governed by people who know and love boarding schools, especially this one. Our head of school was raised on a boarding school campus, and many of our administrators and trustees graduated from Cate or other boarding and independent schools. Still others have children who have been educated here so they’ve seen the impact of a Cate education. We search far and wide for leaders who can make our great school even better and who are devoted to keeping Cate’s enduring spirit fed with new ideas.

Leadership:

Benjamin D. Williams IV, Head of School, Secretary

In September 1997 Benjamin Williams IV was appointed as Cate’s eighth head of school. The selection turned out to be a perfect fit for the Cate community as well as for the Williams family. Ben Williams’ life has centered around schools; he grew up at Lawrence Academy in Groton, Massachusetts, the son of the head of school. Ben received a B.A. in American Studies from Williams College, where he also served as captain of the men’s crew team. After a two-year stint in corporate finance with First Boston in New York, assisting in the oversight of investment portfolios worth over 28 billion dollars, Ben returned to education with a teaching position at St. Sebastian’s School in Massachusetts. There he taught English and U.S. history, coached several sports, and was the school’s director of development. During his six-year stay at St. Sebastian’s, Ben attended graduate school at Brown University and earned a Master’s in American Civilization. In 1993, he and his family moved to Houston, Texas, when he took a job as the dean of the middle and upper schools at St. John’s School. He eventually became the head of the upper school, and during this time he stayed connected with the students in both the classroom and on the athletic fields by teaching English and coaching soccer. Ben and his wife Ginger live on the Mesa and are the parents of Ben, Grace ’10, and Carson ’19.

Jay Dorion, Assistant Head of School | Ex-Officio (Fac.)

Jay started his career in boarding schools in 1993 at Cheshire Academy in Cheshire, Connecticut. Teaching runs in his blood (both of his parents were educators), but what drew him to boarding school was the sense of community that he found—a community that reminded him of the small town in Maine where he grew up. After nine years at Cheshire Academy, Jay came to Cate in 2002 to pursue a teaching position that included classes in the history and English departments. Jay was the Dean of Students for four years, and he currently serves the School as the Assistant Head of School.

Beyond his duties at Cate, Jay enjoys baking bread, playing basketball, running, and reading. He lives on campus with his wife, Margot, and his three children, Molly, Olivia, and Charlie.

Charlotte Brownlee ’85, Assistant Head of School for External Affairs | Ex-Officio (Fac.)

A Cate alumna, Charlotte Brownlee was the Director of Admission and Enrollment at Cate from 2007 – 2017. She returned to her alma mater in 2004 to lead the School’s annual giving and alumni relations programs. She made the transition to boarding school after serving as the Executive Director for Alumni Relations and Annual Giving at the UCLA Anderson School of Management. Her previous experience includes serving as a manager with Deloitte Consulting, where she focused on change management and reengineering projects for high-tech and consumer-products companies. Charlotte holds an AB from Harvard College and an MBA from the UCLA Anderson School of Management.

Charlotte particularly enjoys heading up the Cate Student Historical Society and the Research and Development Committee for the Board of Trustees. She serves on the boards of the National Partnership for Educational Access (NPEA) and of the Gateway to Prep Schools. She lives on the Mesa with her husband, Alex, and their two sons.

Pete Mack, Assistant Head of School for Students | Ex-Officio (Fac.)

A graduate of boarding school himself, Pete began his teaching career at Portsmouth Abbey School in Rhode Island where he was an English teacher, admissions officer, athletic director, and head boys basketball and soccer coach.

At Cate, Pete has been the director of admission and financial aid, head boys basketball coach, and a member of the English department. He currently is the Assistant Head for Students, a teacher in the Human Development department, and head boys soccer coach.

Pete’s interests include lots of outdoor activities and sports, woodworking and carpentry, reading, spending time with his family, and becoming too emotionally involved in supporting his hometown Detroit sports teams. He and his wife Renee live on campus with their three children, Theo ’20, Emmett, and Reagan and their dog, Zetterberg.

Sandi Pierce, Assistant Head of School for Finance & Operations | Ex-Officio (Fac.)

Sandi is the School’s chief financial officer. After receiving her degree in economics and passing the CPA exam, she managed several contract foodservice operations; she now oversees all aspects of Cate’s fiscal operation. Sandi has traveled extensively in Europe, the Middle East, and the Pacific region.

Trustees:

J. Wyatt Gruber ’93, President, Vice Chair

During his years at Cate, Wyatt was a varsity water-polo player, a teaching assistant in the Human Development program, co-business manager of the yearbook, and treasurer for the Student-Faculty Senate. He graduated from Duke University with a B.A. in economics and completed an M.B.A. at MIT’s Sloan School of Management. He was a partner at Arience Capital Management in New York for five years before moving to San Francisco in 2009 to launch the hedge fund Ross Creek Capital Management, of which he currently serves as president. Wyatt lives with his wife and three children. He serves as chair of the leadership council of Tipping Point Community, a Bay Area-based non-profit focused on eradicating poverty in the Bay Area through education, housing, healthcare, and employment. His mother Linda Gruber was a member of the Cate Board of Trustees from 1996 to 2002.

Henry F. (Hal) Burroughs ’68, Vice President

Henry (Hal) Burroughs grew up in the Washington, D.C. area and came to Cate for his junior and senior years, after his family had moved to Los Angeles. He subsequently attended the University of California at Berkeley, graduating with a B.A. in history. Between 1972 and 1998 he held various positions with the First Gray Line Corporation, a private Los Angeles-based company engaged in diversified ground transportation services in the eastern and southwestern United States, of which he became chairman and CEO in 1975. In 1997 he formed Fortress Capital and Fortress Holdings LLC, a private investment firm based in Beverly Hills, of which he is now principal and managing partner. Hal previously served on the Cate Board of Trustees from 1995 to 2002, chairing the Admission Committee and later the Compensation Committee. He also served as a trustee and as vice president, treasurer of the board of the John Thomas Dye School in Los Angeles between 1995 and 2005, and as a trustee of the Windward School in Los Angeles from 2006 to 2014. Other community involvements have been with youth education initiatives and in the fields of wildlife conservation and environmental preservation. Hal resides in Jackson, Wyoming, with his wife and the youngest of their three children.

Eric C. Taylor ’80, Vice President

Born in Sacramento, Eric grew up in Los Angeles and graduated from Cate in 1980. He received his B.A. from Dartmouth College; served as a Spanish translator during the 1984 Olympic games; and attended the University of Virginia School of Law, receiving his J.D. in 1988. After working as an associate with the law firms of Pettit and Martin, and then Sonnenschein, Nath and Rosenthal, Eric became a Deputy Los Angeles County Counsel, and served as a litigator and advisor to the Sheriff’s Department and the Department of Public Works. Governor Pete Wilson appointed Judge Taylor to the Inglewood Municipal Court in 1998, where he served as presiding judge. He was elevated to the Los Angeles Superior Court in 2000. In 2003, he became the District Supervising Judge of the Southwest District, which encompassed the Inglewood, Torrance, and Redondo Beach Courthouses. He left that position in 2004 when he was elected president of the California Judges Association, a professional group that represents California’s 2,230 active and retired state justices, judges and commissioners. After his term, he was elected to the L.A. Court’s Executive Committee.

In 2016, Eric became the first elected to serve a second term as President of the California Judges Association. He has served as a liaison to the Association’s Compensation and Benefits Oversight Committee and Discipline Committee, and as chair of the Public Information and Education Committee. He served on the statewide Judicial Council from 2004-05, and on its Access and Fairness Committee from 2000-03.

In 2018, Judge Taylor was elected Assistant Presiding Judge of the Los Angeles Superior Court. In 2019, the Chief Justice also appointed him to serve as a member of the Judicial Council of California. Eric was named the Langston Bar Association’s Justice of the Year in 2004, and received the McFadden Award for Legal Excellence in 2019. He currently serves on the Dartmouth College Alumni Council’s Trustee Nominations Committee. Eric has served as a Cate Trustee since 2005.

David Tunnell, Treasurer

David Tunnell grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and graduated from Harvard College and Harvard Business School. He and his wife live in San Francisco and are parents to three daughters, two of whom attend Cate School. David is a Partner and member of the Investment Committee at Hellman & Friedman LLC, a global private equity investment firm based in San Francisco. He originally joined H&F in 1994 and leads the Firm’s efforts in the tech and insurance sectors.

Monique F. Parsons ’84, Chair

Monique Parsons is an independent radio producer and freelance journalist based in Chicago. She specializes in writing about religious trends, issues, and diversity, with a special focus on Islam in America. Her stories have aired on NPR’s Morning Edition, Day to Day, and All Things Considered, as well as on WBEZ (Chicago Public Radio) and Interlochen (Michigan) Public Radio. She’s written for Religion News Service, Beliefnet.com and various newspapers from coast to coast. A graduate of Cate School, Class of ’84, Monique earned a bachelor’s degree in religion from Princeton University and holds master’s degrees from Harvard Divinity School and Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. A native of Carpinteria, she now resides in the Chicago area with her family.

Alumni Council President (2020-2023)

Passionate about education, Lauren is currently pursuing a Master of Arts degree in Clinical Psychology at Pepperdine University. Her work focuses on helping parents and teachers improve relationships with children and teens so they can better navigate today’s high-pressured academic environment and adopt healthy life skills. She was president of the MOMS Club of Studio City and launched Macaroni Kid Pasadena, an online newsletter for families. She helped premier the independent film, Race to Nowhere, to the San Gabriel Valley, bringing attention to the increasing stress and anxiety teens and young adults face. At Chandler School in Pasadena, CA she has volunteered in numerous positions including serving as the Alumni Council president, a committee member of the Board of Trustees and the school’s parent association. After graduating from Cate, Lauren earned a Bachelor of Arts in French from Skidmore College. She returned to Los Angeles and received a Master of Science in Gerontology and a Master of Health Administration from USC. In Washington, DC, she worked as a health care policy analyst for several institutions, AARP and the American Heart Association. Lauren and her husband, Michael, live in Pasadena with their two children, Alexander, Cate Class of ’21 and Maggie.

Calgary Avansino ’93, Trustee

During Calgary’s years at Cate she was a Varsity soccer player, Head Prefect, a Human Development Teaching Assistant, and recipient of the Biddle Cup. She graduated from Georgetown University ’98 with a major in English Literature and a minor in Women’s Studies. Calgary moved to London in 2000 and worked her way through the ranks of British Vogue as the assistant to the editor-in-chief, beauty editor, wellbeing editor, and ultimately, executive fashion director and digital project director until 2013. Avansino left her full-time role at Vogue in 2013 to become a contributing editor. She then wrote a weekly column for The Sunday Times Style and wrote the nutrition book Keep It Real, which was published in February 2016. Calgary now lives in San Francisco with her husband and three children.

Richard D. Baum ’64, Life Trustee

After graduating from Cate, Rick majored in history at Stanford and then served as a social worker in New York City. He joined the National Teacher Corps and taught middle school in upstate New York while earning a Master of Education. Later he earned a law degree from George Washington University, graduating magna cum laude. Rick became a field attorney for the National Labor Relations Board, and, several years later, senior vice president of administration for Amfac, Inc., a Hawaii-based corporation with businesses ranging from agriculture to real estate. He returned to public service in 1991 when he was appointed chief deputy insurance commissioner for the state of California, a post in which he served as the Insurance Department’s chief operating officer. He later served as CEO of Care West Insurance Company, until he was re-appointed chief deputy insurance commissioner in 2003. Currently he serves as chairman of the board of directors of Redwood Trust, Inc., a publicly-traded real estate investment trust. Rick has been Cate’s Alumni Council president, president of the Board (1999-2004), and chairman of the Board (2010-2012). In 2005, Cate honored him with its Distinguished Alumnus Award.

Dan A. Emmett ’99, Life Trustee

Dan Emmett was born in Los Angeles, California and received his B.A. from Stanford and J.D. from Harvard. He served as a law clerk for the U.S. Court of Appeals in San Francisco from 1964-1965 before becoming a Local Courts Commissioner for the Republic of Malawi, Central Africa. Upon returning to the States he joined the law firm Paul, Hastings, Janofsky and Walker and worked there until 1970, when he co-founded Mochtar, Karuwin and Komar, a law firm in Jakarta, Indonesia. In 1971 he co-founded Douglas, Emmett and Company and currently is chairman of Douglas Emmett, Inc. (DEI/NYSE), a real estate company based in Santa Monica. Dan is active in a variety of environmental activities and has served on the board of numerous local environmental organizations including Los Angeles Waterkeeper, Santa Barbara Channelkeeper, Environment Now Foundation, and Sustainable Conservation, and has been involved in environmental programs at Harvard Law School, UCLA Law School and Stanford University. Dan and his wife Rae have four children, all of whom attended Cate.

Rosalind (Roz) Emmett Nieman ’89, Trustee

Rosalind (Roz) received her B.A. from Dartmouth and M.Ed. from Columbia University. She is currently a strategic advisor for Kid Basix, a manufacturer of eco-functional kids products. Roz is a stalwart Cate School donor and volunteer and has attended dozens of Cate alumni events since graduating in 1989.  She has volunteered for several years for the Cate Fund phonathon, was a panelist at the 2000 Entrepreneurship and Technology Event in Silicon Valley, served as a Class Agent from 2004-2009, participated as a member of the Technology committee, and chaired her reunion committee in 2009 and 2014. Roz is a founding member of the Cate Alumnae Network (CAN) and hosted events for the group at her home. She participated in the naming of the Early Learning Center on the Mesa. Her involvement at Cate represents a broad and deep commitment to the School. Roz has three siblings who attended Cate: Dan ’87, Morgan ’99, and Tyler ’01. Her father, Dan Emmett, is a Life Trustee, and mother, Rae, is an involved alumni parent. Roz lives in Pacific Palisades with her husband and four children – Frankie, Wade, Mack, and Ruby.

Sheila Marmon Heuer ’90, Trustee

After graduating from Cate in 1990, Sheila Marmon Heuer received a B.A. from Princeton University and an M.B.A. from the Harvard Graduate School of Business. As founder and CEO of Mirror Digital, an interactive media and advertising company, she helps Fortune 500 brands tap into the multicultural market, working with clients that include General Motors, Sony Pictures, Verizon, Marriott, and Macy’s. She has assisted with the launch and operation of many new businesses in the digital media industry, and she has occupied leadership positions in operations, new ventures, and finance at Time Warner and Morgan Stanley. Sheila is a founding member of the National Advisory Council of A Better Chance and serves as an advisor for MOUSE, a group that empowers underserved youth to learn, lead, and create with technology. Sheila has lived abroad and traveled extensively, and she currently resides in Los Angeles, California.

Adam S. Horowitz ’99, Trustee

Adam S. Horowitz ’99 is President of the Horowitz Group, a single-family office based in Newport Beach, California. The family’s roots are in the ready-mix concrete business, but today the family office invests opportunistically across a variety of industries and asset classes. In the private equity arena, Adam has overseen several consumer retail and healthcare investments, including Sprouts Farmers Market (SFM) and Lemonade Restaurant Group, as well as Oceans Healthcare and Tarsus Pharmaceuticals. In the commercial real estate arena, Adam oversees a portfolio of stabilized commercial and multi-family assets, primarily in the Western U.S. The Horowitz Group also invests with a stable of alternative managers and actively looks to partner with emerging sponsors. He serves on the Board of the Orangewood Foundation, which serves foster and community youth in Orange County. He earned his B.A. from Stanford University and his M.B.A. from the UCLA Anderson School of Management. Adam and his wife Erin live in Newport Beach with their two boys, Henry and Freddy.

Frank A. Huerta ’85, Trustee

After Frank graduated from Cate, he studied physics at Harvard and received an M.B.A. from Stanford. An avid squash player, he served as co-captain of Harvard’s team and even coached Cate students for one season in the winter of 1990. Currently Frank is CEO and co-founder of TransLattice, Inc., the geographically-distributed database company for enterprise, cloud, and hybrid environments. He began his career in engineering and product development and then served in product management roles, later becoming director of business development for Exodus Communications, where he focused on mergers and acquisitions. In 1999 he co-founded Recourse Technologies, and as CEO he grew the company until it was purchased by Symantec Corporation in 2002; he then served as a vice president of Symantec for over a year. In 2005, he co-founded Cartilix, Inc., a medical device company devoted to developing new biomaterials for the treatment of cartilage knee injuries, serving as CEO before selling the technology to Biomet in 2009. Frank and his wife Daniele have two sons. His sister Anamarie Huerta Franc graduated from Cate in 1991, and his mother Diane served as director of the School’s Annual Fund in the 1990s.

Janet (Jenny) C. Jones, Trustee

Born and raised in Pasadena, California, Jenny attended Stanford University and worked in the state attorney general’s office upon graduating. She then moved to Republic Corporation and, as a treasury assistant, aided in the maintenance of the company’s multimillion-dollar insurance program. She then moved to Max Factor & Company as a risk manager. After relocating to Los Angeles, she worked for Lincoln National Life Insurance Company before joining the George Elkins Company’s insurance division as manager. In 1996 she purchased that company and formed the Elkins Jones Insurance Agency, located in West Los Angeles, of which she is currently president and owner.  Jenny has a long history of service on numerous boards. She has been on the board of the Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles, the Colleagues (of the Children’s Institute), Diadames of the Child Care League, the Children’s Bureau, and Blue Ribbon, a support organization of the Music Center. She is also vice president of the board of Children of the Night.  Jenny’s son graduated from Cate in 2000.

Greg H. Kubicek ’74, Life Trustee

While at Cate, Greg Kubicek was student body president, prefect, and captain of the track and field team. He received the Biddle Cup and graduated as a member of the Cum Laude Society. Following his time at the School, he earned a B.A. in economics from Harvard College and made his mark in the manufacturing industry and in commercial and residential real estate, frequently partnering with other Cate alumni. He became president of Santa Fe Partners, Inc., a private investment firm. He also served as chairman of the Cascade Corporation and as a director of Cadet Manufacturing Company. Currently, Greg serves as president and CEO of The Holt Group, a developer and manager of commercial and residential real estate properties. He is also a director of Redwood Trust, a New York stock exchange real estate investment trust. Greg joined the Cate Board of Trustees in 1985, and has since chaired numerous committees and played a critical role in many campaigns. He was honored with the Distinguished Alumnus Award in 2010.

Angela Mabon, CPO President (2020-21)

Angela Mabon received her B.A in Management Information Systems from University of Oklahoma in 1994. Upon graduating from university, she was a co-founder of the banking software company, AFS which was sold to Metavante in 2005. Shortly thereafter she and her husband, Roger founded G-Technology, a high-end specialty hard drive company. G-Tech was sold to Hitachi in 2007. She and Roger currently own mLogic in Culver City, which manufactures archiving systems for the media and entertainment industry.  Angela has been on several boards and currently serves on the Executive Committee at Turning Point School in Culver City.  She has been a part of the CPO leadership for four years and is very active in the Cate community, hosting events at her home.  Her son Ian graduated from Cate in 2020 and Andrew is in the class of 2021.  She lives in Los Angeles with Roger, Ian  and Andrew.

Patricia MacFarlane, Trustee

Patricia MacFarlane, parent of Ian (’18) and Dylan (’20), earned a B.S. degree in Computer Science from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, with a minor in Management. She developed software for financial applications at Alexander Programming before joining the Public Finance Investment Banking department at JP Morgan Securities, Inc. She structured over $3 billion principal amount of tax-exempt bond issues for governmental entities, nonprofit hospital systems, and universities. She transferred to the Global Markets trading desk and marketed USD Interest Rate swaps and options for Morgan Guaranty Trust. For the past twenty years, she has served as a community volunteer. She served as a Board member of Crane School and Board President of the Scholarship Foundation of Santa Barbara and the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History. She currently serves on the boards of the Cancer Foundation of Santa Barbara, the UCSB Arts & Lectures Council, and Cate School.

Casey McCann ’97, Trustee

Casey McCann worked in the financial services industry for ten years—first as an analyst for Beacon Hill Financial in Boston and then for the Private Bank at Wells Fargo in San Francisco—before becoming vice president of Hazelwood Allied Van Lines and McCann Mini Storage. After graduating from Cate, he attended Middlebury College and later Dartmouth’s Tuck Business School Bridge Program. Casey lives in Santa Barbara.

Jay P. (Jay) Melican ’84, Trustee

After graduating from Cate in 1984, Jay went on to earn his B.A. from Brown University, his M.F.A. from Rhode Island School of Design, and his Ph.D. from Illinois Tech. In his professional career, he has worked to bridge the arts and engineering, lecturing in sociology, design, and product development in the U.S., Italy, and Denmark. He was a founding member on the board of directors at the Institute of Play and currently serves on the board of Maker Education Initiative. Born outside Detroit, Jay lived for significant periods of time in California, New England, and the Midwest before settling in wine country outside Portland, Oregon. He currently manages a small company that produces educational technologies – including Makey Makey – and the associated R&D laboratory.

Leone Price ’02, Trustee

After graduating from Cate in 2002, Leone received an A.B. from Harvard College. She then moved to New York where she spent several years working in investment banking at Citigroup before joining Brookfield Asset Management’s Private Funds Group, where she is currently a Vice President based in Los Angeles. In addition to being a Cate supporter and member of the Cate Mesa Association, Leone has a long history of volunteering for numerous charitable organizations, including New York Cares (where she was a member of the fundraising committee), Streetwise Partners, A Better Chance, and the Junior League of Los Angeles. In her free time, she enjoys playing tennis, running 5Ks, and traveling around the world. Leone lives in Santa Monica, California.

 

Edward R. (Ted) Simpson ’86, Trustee

Ted Simpson ’86 received his undergraduate degree in politics and economics from Princeton and his M.B.A. in marketing and strategy from the Kellogg School at Northwestern. For the last 18 years, he has been working in institutional sales and client services for Dimensional Fund Advisors, a $500B investment management firm.  Ted’s older brothers, Irv ’79 and Ken ’81, are also Cate alumni. His daughter, Kennedy, is Cate class of 2022 and his son, Palmer, is Andover ’23. Ted has been a class agent for twenty years and has served as reunion chair a number of times. Ted lives in West Los Angeles with his wife Kandus and their youngest son Beckett.

Marianne Sprague, Trustee

Marianne Sprague received her B.A. in Sociology from UCLA in 1971 and a Master’s Degree in Special Education and Teaching Credential from California State University at Los Angeles in 1974. She and her late husband, Norm, have seen six children through Cate School. She served as CPO president in ’97-’98 and again in ’08 as well as serving concurrently on the board. She takes her seat on the Cate Board of Trustees with experience serving on numerous school boards. She chaired the boards of Crane School in Santa Barbara and Park Century School in Los Angeles. Marianne currently serves on the board of The College of Wooster, Garden Club of Santa Barbara and volunteers as a vice-chair of the Garden History and Design national committee for the Garden Club of America. She has also served on the boards of the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Lotusland, and St. Matthews School in Los Angeles. Marianne continues to be one of the School’s most committed supporters and volunteers. She co-chaired the Centennial Committee of 100 Celebration Team; she has been a Mesa Association and Parent Fund volunteer as well as a Cate 2000 Capital Campaign volunteer. In 2009, she and her husband received The Servons Award for distinguished service.

Lisa B. Stanson ’92, Trustee

After graduating from Cate in 1992, Lisa went on to Colgate University, where she majored in international relations and interned at numerous international-policy think tanks. As community relations director and marketing manager at Montgomery Securities, she was part of a branding team that carried the firm through two mergers with NationsBank and Bank of America. Lisa served as President of the Alumni Council, before chairing the Education and Student Life Committee. She and her husband Jason spend as much time as possible traveling and meeting up with Cate friends along the way.

Brian Tom, Trustee

Brian Tom grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and graduated from Colgate University with a B.A in Molecular Biology. After graduation, he moved to Hong Kong where he has lived for the past 25 years. He and his wife have three children, two of whom attend Cate. As an early entrepreneur, he founded companies in the technology and consumer products sectors. Currently, Brian is Executive Director of Henyep Group, a diversified international conglomerate with business in financial services, property, education, and charity. He is Co-Founder and part of the executive management of several of its group companies focusing on fintech. He is also a partner of Urban Land Capital, a Bay Area real estate investment firm.

Faculty Advisory Trustees:

Anna Fortner, Faculty Advisory Trustee

Anna Fortner is a member of the English Department at Cate. One of the lead architects of the School’s Writing Program and an innovative and creative instructor, Anna specializes in the rendering of our stories. Her courses include “This American Life” based on the NPR serial of the same name and “Gender Matters,” as well as required 9th and 11th grade English. She holds a B.A. in English and creative writing (Phi Beta Kappa) from Mills College and an M.F.A. in fiction from the University of Idaho.

Karl Weis, Faculty Advisory Trustee

Karl received his undergraduate degree in American Studies at Yale and his graduate degree in history at Stanford; he then took a post at the Dalton School in New York City, where he taught history and coached the track team for six years. Since his arrival at Cate in 1990, he has taught a number of different courses in history, including AP US History, and has coached both the boys and the girls cross country teams; he has also served as track coach. Karl is an experienced runner and cyclist, and continues to train for and participate in dedicated age-group triathlons. He has traveled extensively in Europe, Asia, and Africa. Karl and his wife Kristen live in Santa Barbara. Three of their four daughters, Julia ’08, Evelyn ’09, and Annie ’12, have graduated from Cate; their youngest daughter, Charlotte ’22, is currently a sophomore.

Ex-Officio:

Maude Y. Bond, Director of College Counseling

Maude Y. Bond joins the Cate community as the director of college counseling. Born in rural West Tennessee, she studied African-American literature, theatre, and writing at Sarah Lawrence College and spent her junior year in Madrid gaining fluency in Spanish. Maude served in Ameri-Corps where she worked with refugee children from Latin America, Africa and the 

Middle East and continued her work with underserved students at New York University’s Gallatin School. While in New York, Maude worked in admissions at Sarah Lawrence and The New School, where she earned an MFA in creative writing. Maude also led the multicultural recruitment team at Columbia University’s office of admission before joining the college counseling office at The United Nations International School. Maude brings international expertise to Cate and a love of helping students tell their stories and advocate for their values during the application process. Maude spent 14 years in international education and has visited countries in Africa, Latin America, Asia and Europe. Maude comes to Cate from Harvard-Westlake School in Los Angeles where she spent four years as an upper school dean.  Maude is an avid reader; she also enjoys writing poetry, plays, and children’s fiction.  

Maude lives on the Mesa with her husband Richard McDonald. She did not take her husband’s last name because she is a passionate feminist, and because she’d rather be a double agent than an old man with a farm. Maude and Richard enjoy dancing, listening to music, traveling and making each other laugh. In case you’re wondering, Maude’s the funny one.

Mike Ferguson, Director of Technology

Mike started his career managing IT efforts for several leading financial institutions for over 15 years before moving on to spend 10 years heading research and development for a company that developed automation technologies for banks throughout the US and the Caribbean.

Mike relocated back to the Southern California area where he grew up and joined Cate to pursue a more rewarding career choice working with young people, while utilizing his extensive IT background. He has always had a soft spot for teaching and taught many technology classes throughout his career – including many interactive sessions at financial conferences dealing with automation technologies.

Mike also coaches the independent golf team at Cate and lives off-campus in Ventura.

Chris Giles, Director of Major Gifts and Planned Giving

Chris is a graduate of Denison University. For 16 years Chris was a teacher, coach, and administrator at his alma mater, The Episcopal Academy, near Philadelphia. During his tenure there, he earned his MEd from Rosemont College. In 2005 Chris and his family moved to Santa Barbara, where Chris was appointed English department head at Marymount of Santa Barbara.

Three years later, Chris joined a team of entrepreneurs to launch an internet startup that helps nonprofits raise money online. In 2012 Chris joined Cate’s Advancement team. Chris and his wife, Amy, who works in the College Guidance Office, live down the road on Shepard Mesa and are parents to Eliza ’13, Warren ’15, and Daniel Boateng ’22.

Hallie Greene, Director of Strategic Initiatives

Hallie received a BS in Environmental Science from Bates College, where she was also captain of the NCAA ranked Bates rowing team, an MBA from UCLA Anderson School of Business and a master’s in public policy from UCLA Luskin School for Public Affairs. Hallie began her career working as an Associate for education recruitment and placement firm, Carney, Sandoe & Associates. She began her time at Cate in the Advancement office as the Director of Alumni Relations and Cate Fund Director. While she was a graduate student, she worked as a teaching associate with the Johnson & Johnson/UCLA Management Fellows program, which teaches strategic planning to Head Start directors, health care executives, and aids service organization directors. She also interned with The Walt Disney Company, where she was a member of the New Media & Technology strategic sourcing team. Hallie was a founding board member of Valiente College Preparatory, a grade 4-8 charter school in Los Angeles. She lives with her husband, three children, and two dogs in Carpinteria.

Erin Hansen, Director of Student Services

Erin Hansen is a graduate from the University of California, Santa Barbara with a degree in Communication and Comparative Literature. After completing her degree she attended Westmont College and earned her secondary teaching credential in English. For the past eight years Erin worked in public education as a Freshmen Seminar, English and AVID teacher. She has served in a variety of leadership roles, but most recently she served as the English Department Chair. Erin was adjunct faculty for Santa Barbara City College, where she implemented the first dual-enrollment freshmen transition course. She currently acts a curriculum consultant to the Get Focused…Stay Focused! Initiative. Erin teaches Freshmen Seminar, supports students with learning and organizational skills, and coordinates academic tutoring. Erin lives on the Mesa with her husband, Erik, and their two boys.

This year she continues her work in the admissions office as the director of financial aid, and she will again be teaching two sections of 10th grade English.  In her free time Emilie enjoys gardening, reading, walking on the Cate trails or nearby beaches, and spending time with her family.

Lisa Holmes, Director of Studies

Lisa Holmes arrived at Cate in 2001 after fifteen years of living and working in the Northeast. She brings to Cate a deep interest in the Humanities, teaching in both the history and English departments, and a love of the game of soccer, coaching the girls varsity team.

As an undergraduate at Colby College, Lisa majored in History and American Studies and was captain of the women’s soccer team in her senior year. After college, Lisa taught for ten years at Cheshire Academy, a small boarding and day school in Cheshire, Connecticut. In addition to teaching, Lisa chaired the history department for five years, coached girls soccer, basketball, and lacrosse, and served as a dorm parent. While at Cheshire, she worked part-time on a Master’s degree at nearby Wesleyan University. She left Cheshire in 1999 to pursue a second Master’s in educational administration at Columbia. She spent her time in New York City as a full-time student and part-time teacher at the Calhoun School.

Lisa has traveled in more than twenty foreign countries and has completed three marathons. Though all of her working life before Cate was spent in the Northeast, she grew up in Colorado and feels a strong connection to the West. She lives on the Mesa with her husband Will, and their sons, Scott and Matthew.

Lindsay Newlove, Director of Advancement

Lindsay joined the community in 2016 as director of advancement. She oversees development, alumni relations, and fundraising for Cate School, including capital and endowment campaigns, major, annual, and planned giving, stewardship, volunteerism, and special events. Her non-profit educational experience includes positions at The Buckley School, UCLA Anderson School of Management, UCLA Alumni Association, and the Simon Wiesenthal Center Museum of Tolerance. A native of Los Angeles, Lindsay received her BA in Cultural Anthropology at UMass Amherst and MA in Social Science and Comparative Education at UCLA.

Lindsay is an active member of CASE and CAIS professional organizations and has served on an independent school accreditation committee. She enjoys travel, group exercise, and exploring new places. She, her husband Eric, and their son and daughter live on “the shelf” on the Mesa where they enjoy waking up in the morning to the sounds of birds chirping.

Bryan Rodriguez, Dean of Students

Although Bryan’s background is in financial management, his first interest is in working with young people. While majoring in business during college, he served as a counselor at a camp for terminally ill children; moving to California in 2000, he became Coordinator for Students of Color at Cate.

A four-year member of Gettysburg’s basketball team, Bryan coaches boys’ varsity basketball at Cate. He lives in Cook House East with his wife.

Avani Patel Shah, Director of Marketing and Communications

Avani Patel Shah is an award-winning communications and marketing professional who specializes in independent schools and currently serves as the Director of Marketing & Communications for Cate School in Carpinteria, CA. Prior to Cate, she served on communications teams at The Archer School for Girls in Los Angeles, CA, Columbus School for Girls in Columbus, OH, and Ravenscroft School in Raleigh, NC. A dedicated storyteller, Avani leverages technology and language to share the narratives of the people who make up the institutions she serves. A graduate of North Carolina State University, Avani considers Raleigh, NC home. 

In her free time, she enjoys reading, board games with friends, traveling with her husband Hersh, and spending time with their puppy Echo.

Lisa Spengler, Director of Admission

Lisa Spengler has been an educator for thirty years, working in both public and independent schools. After completing her Bachelor’s degree at the University of Wyoming and student-teaching and coaching in Cody for a time, Lisa headed back to Illinois, where she was born and raised, and spent the next ten years teaching high school history. After a move to San Francisco, Lisa worked in a number of independent schools, serving as the High School Counselor and Assistant Director of Upper School for Student Life and Leadership at Katherine Delmar Burke School for her final ten years in the City. It was in this capacity that her relationship with Cate School began, and she was sold on life on the Mesa after her first visit in the spring of 2007. Thirteen years later, Lisa is thrilled to be leading our admissions team and living with her wife Alanna in Cook House East.

Before moving to Cate, Lisa and Alanna spent a year traveling throughout the western United States in their Winnebago motorhome, which they now consider their vacation home on wheels! In addition to traveling and camping in the Minnie, Lisa enjoys hiking and most any other outdoor activity. She also loves Alanna’s cooking, exploring farmer’s markets and restaurants as well as reading a wide-range of fiction and non-fiction.

Stephanie Yeung, English Teacher

Stephanie Yeung received her Bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Notre Dame, and recently earned her Ph.D. in critical media studies from the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts. Before her graduate work, Stephanie served in the United States Air Force as an F-15E “Strike Eagle” navigator. Stephanie’s teaching emphasizes the study of literature alongside other forms of media. She has taught at Woodbury University and served as a teaching assistant for film, television and new media courses at USC. Her other interests include cooking, traveling, and seeing live music. Stephanie lives on the Mesa with her wife and son.