Leadership & Trustees

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Leadership and Trustees

Cate is led and governed by people who know and love boarding schools, especially this one.

Many of our administrators and trustees graduated from Cate or other boarding and independent schools while 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.

2023-2024 Cate School Board of Trustees


Head of School

Alex’s own educational journey began as a student at the National Cathedral School in Washington, D.C. She studied pre-med at Brown University, where she earned her BS in Biology, and later earned an MBA from Mills College with a focus on Educational Leadership.

During her fifteen years at San Francisco University High School, she taught, served as Dean of Students, and gained national recognition for an innovative mentoring program she developed. In 2019, she joined the highly respected Crystal Springs Uplands School as Head of Upper School.

Alex and her family – husband Dr. Paul Hauser and their two young sons Henry and Walker – live in Mesa House.

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.

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.


Board Chair

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.

Immediate Past 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.

Vice Chair

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.


Kristen graduated from Yale with a degree in American Studies and from UCLA with an MBA.  She has spent her career in real estate finance, first at Salomon Brothers in New York and since 1990 with Klingbeil Capital Management.

She has a deep affiliation with Cate, having arrived on the Mesa as a faculty spouse in 1990 and has lived in both Long House and on the faculty shelf.   She and her husband, Karl, have four daughters, proud graduates of both the ELC and Cate – Julia ’08, Evelyn ’09, Annie ’12, and Charlotte ’22 (almost a graduate).

Kristen has served as a trustee of Crane School and is currently on the Board of Directors of Planned Parenthood California Central Coast.

Head of School | Secretary

Ms. Alexandra Lockett was named Cate School’s ninth Head of School on December 13, 2022.

Ms. Lockett won the admiration of the extended Cate community during her visit to the Mesa with her approachability, her eagerness to listen and learn, her positive and seemingly endless energy, and her genuine care for student and faculty well-being. She brings with her a demonstrated commitment to academic rigor and faculty professional development, extensive experience with diversity and inclusion work, a background in mediation as well as business administration and management, and most importantly, an extraordinary ability to connect with students, faculty, parents, and alumni alike.

Ms. Lockett’s own educational journey began as a student at the National Cathedral School in Washington, D.C. She studied pre-med at Brown University, where she earned her BS in Biology, and later earned an MBA from Mills College with a focus on Educational Leadership. During her fifteen years at San Francisco University High School, she taught, served as Dean of Students, and gained national recognition for an innovative mentoring program she developed. In 2019, she joined the highly respected Crystal Springs Uplands School as Head of Upper School and has led that community with exemplary skill and compassion through the challenges of the pandemic.

Ms. Lockett distinguished herself from a field of diverse and impressive candidates as a coalition builder and a driven agent of positive change. We have found in her someone who deeply senses “the spirit of this place” and who will lead our school into the future with strength, vision, and courage while honoring its core values and distinguished past.

As Cate embarks on this exciting new chapter, it is with great joy that we welcome Ms. Lockett, along with her husband Dr. Paul Hauser, a beloved and respected science teacher at the Nueva School, and their two sons, Henry (8) and Walker (5), who are particularly excited about their new backyard, the Mesa.

Life Trustees

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.

Rick recently retired as chairman of the board of directors of Redwood Trust, Inc., a publicly-traded real estate investment trust. He has served as 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.

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.

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.



Having children motivated Lauren to return to graduate school, where she earned a Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology to better understand the mental health challenges teens and parents face. As an Associate Marriage and Family Therapist (AMFT #135201) at a group private practice, her passion lies in helping parents improve communication with their children, as well as finding ways to support teens in today’s results-driven academic environment. Lauren remains active in her community — volunteering at her children’s schools and advancing the conversation around diversity, equity, and inclusion, especially for LGBTQ+ youth and their families.

After graduating from Cate, Lauren attended Skidmore College, played on the women’s soccer team, and earned a Bachelor of Arts in French and Art History. A lifelong learner, she returned to Los Angeles and obtained a Master of Science in Gerontology and a Master of Health Administration from USC. She moved to Washington, DC, where she worked as a health care policy analyst for several institutions, including AARP, and the American Heart Association. She and her husband, Michael, live in Pasadena with their two children, Alexander, ’21, and Maggie, ’25.


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.


Ryan MacDonnell Bracher grew up on the peninsula of the San Francisco Bay Area. Today, she runs Round Pond Estate, her family’s Napa Valley winery, vineyard and farm. Round Pond specializes in fine wine, artisan foods and experiences at the estate. Ryan manages her family business with her brother Miles, also a Cate alumni. Ryan spent ten years working and studying outside the winery at Goldman Sachs and the Hewlett Foundation before joining her family at Round Pond Estate in 2003.

In addition to graduating from Cate in 1990, her educational background includes a JD from Stanford Law School and an undergraduate degree in Political Economics from University of California, Berkeley.

Ryan lives on the Round Pond property in Rutherford with her husband, Charles Bracher, and their children Ava ’23, Adeline ’25 and Genevieve ’27.


Daniel is a proud Cate graduate, Class of 1996. While at Cate, Daniel ran track and led the Cate varsity boys basketball team on a magical run deep in the CIF Playoffs. With the help of some amazing Cate students and faculty (and a special guest appearance by the late great Mrs. Coretta Scott King and her daughter Yolanda King), Daniel spearheaded the annual Mesa celebration of diversity and inclusion, honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s federal holiday.

After graduation, Daniel received his B.A. from The University of Pennsylvania. While in college, Daniel helped build the cult classic basketball brand AND 1.

Daniel is currently SVP & General on the Adidas Originals, Basketball, & Partnerships team, based in Los Angeles. Prior to joining adidas, Mr. Cherry served as Senior Vice President and General Manager of DC Comics global publishing businesses and multi-media brand – a division of Warner Bros. Discovery.

Daniel is an award-winning marketing executive and brand innovator. With an extensive career in advertising, marketing, and business development, Daniel’s work has impacted popular culture for more than 20 years.

Daniel has served as the Chief Marketing Officer at Activision Blizzard Esports, where he led global marketing, strategy, & communications duties for Activision Blizzard’s portfolio of esports franchises. He was the Chief Marketing & Innovation Officer for the 3-time Stanley Cup Champion New Jersey Devils. He also served as the Senior Vice President of Marketing at Diageo, where he managed the largest alcohol beverage portfolio in the industry. Daniel’s extensive creative and brand innovation tenure includes serving as CMO of the legendary soccer club The New York Cosmos.

His love of music led to his appointment to the GRAMMY Foundation Board for several years and eventual Founding Executive Developer of the GRAMMY Museum Experience Prudential Center, which opened in 2010. He also actively supports several social justice and educational causes in the local community and in his hometown of Alliance, Ohio.

His work has been recognized with numerous awards and recognition including a Grammy nomination, a Cannes Gold Lion, Sports Business Journal’s Top 40 Under 40, an Adweek Vanguard Award, an EBONY Power 100 List nomination, and several Effie Awards for advertising effectiveness.

Most importantly, Daniel is a lucky husband to Melanie Cherry and father of two amazing daughters, Sidney and Sienna.



Lynn Wood Harwell is an experienced leader and brings broad management experience having served in senior level roles in various sectors. Her well-honed operations and people management skills, along with her insightfulness and deep knowledge, drive effective performance and transformation for the better.

Lynn and her family (husband and two daughters, including a Cate 2024 student) live in San Francisco, California after spending several years in Boston, Massachusetts. Lynn continues to be bicoastal working in a senior leadership role at the Barr Foundation, a Boston-based foundation committed to advance human, natural, and creative potential. Lynn serves as a Trustee at the Dana Hall School (Wellesley, Massachusetts).

Born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, Lynn received a B.S. in Business Administration from Boston University, a J.D. from Harvard Law School and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.


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 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.


Athena Jones serves as a CNN national correspondent based in New York. She was formerly a CNN White House correspondent, covering President Trump and his administration for all of the network’s programs and platforms.

Jones started with the network as a general assignment correspondent in 2011. She has reported on politics and on a wide range of general news stories for programs across the network from breaking news to national stories. She has covered debates over immigration reform, the Affordable Care Act, the war against ISIS and debt and budget issues, in addition to protests against police brutality, Ebola, the COVID-19 pandemic, the #MeToo movement, Supreme Court decisions, weather events and the arts.

Previously, Jones was a White House producer with NBC, where she wrote packages, produced story segments and reported on air for MSNBC and NBC News. Jones covered the presidential campaigns of then-Senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama during the 2008 election cycle for NBC and the National Journal. Prior to her work at NBC, Jones served as a freelance segment producer for CNN. In addition, from 2001 to 2003, she worked as a reporter for Reuters based in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where she covered the Argentine presidential elections, the farm industry, the collapse of the country’s economy and other general news stories. Prior to Reuters, Jones reported on politics and the economy in both Chile and Argentina for Bloomberg News.

Jones graduated cum laude from Harvard University with a degree in Government and earned her master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University. She studied Spanish language, literature and arts and European politics at the University of Madrid Complutense in Madrid, Spain; and Islamic studies at the American Research Center in Cairo, Egypt, with Duke University.

Alumni Leadership Council President

John Kearney was born and raised in Ventura, Calif. After graduating from Cate in 2000, John attended Bucknell University where he played water polo. After two winters in central Pennsylvania, John transferred to Pepperdine University where he graduated in 2004 with a bachelors in business administration. John moved to Palm Desert, Calif., and worked for Pulte Homes after Pepperdine. In 2005, John moved to Laguna Beach, and began working at Merrill Lynch as a financial advisor. He successfully completed the trainee program and graduated a year early and decided to move back to his hometown of Ventura and join his dad’s team. John continues to work at Merrill Lynch as a Managing Director.

John is active in the local community sitting on boards at Casa Pacifica, Ventura County Community Foundation, and Ventura County Fair Foundation. He is excited to serve as President of Cate’s Alumni Leadership Council and looks forward to reconnecting with fellow alumni and being an ambassador for Cate. John lives in Ventura with his wife Patty, and two wonderful daughters, Aida (4), and Lamia (2).


Patrick Ko grew up in Taipei, Taiwan. After graduating from Cate in 1997, he earned dual degrees; a Bachelor of Applied Science in Systems Engineering and BA in Economics from The University of Pennsylvania. He later earned his MA in Education Leadership from The Klingenstein Center at Teachers College, Columbia University.

Patrick is the Founder of Paradigm Education, a social enterprise that focuses on collaborating with schools to provide better education in Taiwan. Before becoming an entrepreneur, Patrick was an educator for twelve years, most recently as the Director of the Center for Innovative Learning at the Junyi School in Taidong, Taiwan. Patrick has a wide range of teaching experiences – he has taught mathematics at the Fay School, and led the bilingual department at the Taipei Fuhsing Private School as Director of Curriculum and Teaching. With global experiences both as a student and a teacher, Patrick is passionate about enabling people’s greatness. He also serves on the board of several charitable and educational non-profit organizations in Taiwan.

Cate’s Servons motto and its outdoor program deeply helped form Patrick’s values and interests. He volunteered in rural Taiwan, Thailand and Nepal, where he fundraised and oversaw a new campus construction for a boarding school in the Himalayas that currently serves 700+ students, from grades K-11. He loves spending time outdoors, especially in the wilderness. Patrick lives in Taipei with his wife Lesley Hu Ko and their two daughters, Mira and Skylar.


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.


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.


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.


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.


Elizabeth is a graduate of Boston University where she earned her Bachelor of Arts in History, and later earned her MBA from Pepperdine University, and a Master of Arts from Pacific Graduate Institute.

Her professional background includes work in non-profit management (with an emphasis in fund development) and private foundation management. She currently serves as a trustee of the Thornton Foundation in Los Angeles. Additionally, she has served on the boards of Flintridge Preparatory School and St. Matthew’s Parish School and several other non-profit boards in Los Angeles.

Currently, Elizabeth works as a licensed marriage and family therapist in private practice. She and her husband, Tom, live in Santa Barbara. Together, they have four adult children.


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.

Cate Parent Organization (CPO) President

Gweneth Rehnborg has a Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School at Tufts University, but she is neither a lawyer, nor a diplomat. While her past professional roles have included humanitarian relief primarily in Africa for international NGOs, USAID and UNICEF, Public Relations for BSMG Worldwide in both NYC and Los Angeles, and Director of the Nutrilite Health Institute Center for Optimal Health, Gwen has spent the majority of the past two decades navigating school admissions, parenting and family logistics for three children in Los Angeles, London and Hong Kong. Additionally, while living in Hong Kong, Gwen served on the board of Bring Me A Book, wrote a monthly column in the South China Morning Post focused on adolescent literacy and launched a women’s hiking group.

Gwen has served on several different parent volunteer boards and in many organizational roles in international and domestic, private and public schools, and is looking forward to taking on the role of CPO President in this year of transition at Cate.

Originally from Pennsylvania with a BA in International Relations from Bucknell University, Gwen now splits her time between Southern California, Colorado and a family farm project in Oregon where Gwen and her husband focus on soil health, vineyard management and launching their new wine label.


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.


Jiwon Choi Song ’00 is the Managing Director of Axle Companies. After graduating from Cate, Jiwon studied Hospitality Management at Cornell University and worked for Starwood hotels in New York City until she joined Axle Companies, which is her family office in Los Angeles. Jiwon leads acquisitions and asset management departments overseeing the company’s hospitality properties. In addition, she has been an active supporter of animal rights and investor of plant-based food companies.

Originally from South Korea, Jiwon and her husband Steven are living “abroad” there this year with their daughters Josie (11) and Elena (9); they call Los Angeles home. Steven and Jiwon are on the board of the Hammer Museum and SCI-Arc. Steven has an architectural practice based in the US, South Korea, and Japan.

Jiwon has served on Cate’s Alumni Leadership Council. Having attended multiple boarding schools since early age, Jiwon is well aware of the challenges incoming international students may face and wants to help foster inclusivity and diversity at the school.


Brian 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 30 years. He and his wife have three children, two of whom attended Cate.

As an entrepreneur, he has founded several companies in the technology and consumer product sectors with a geographic focus on Asia, the Middle East, and Europe. He is currently involved in a diverse range of businesses spanning technology, financial services, investments, and real estate.


Sylvia was born and raised in Boyle Heights and was among the first class of girls at Cate. She earned the first college degree in her family, graduating from Harvard University with an A.B. in Government, and her law degree from the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law.

Sylvia is a transformational operations and legal executive with strong leadership and management experience that includes leading  a state-wide regulatory agency, significant non-profit organization programs, and legal and trial teams. Sylvia is also a fearless and tenacious trial lawyer, deeply rooted in civil rights and social, racial, gender, environmental, and economic justice. For decades, she has fought for the most oppressed and underserved, litigating against the toughest odds, with a reputation as a force for justice. She has achieved exceptional results in federal, state, criminal, and civil cases and over forty federal trials. She is now the Director of Litigation for the Disability Rights Legal Center.

Sylvia is a staunch advocate for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging and is passionate about education, community, and creating change through policy. Her commitment to service includes serving on the Oakwood School Board of Trustees and the Equal Rights Advocates Board. Sylvia lives in Los Angeles with her two daughters, Chloe and Gabby.


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.

Faculty Advisory Trustees

Faculty Advisory Trustee

Craig is originally from Southern California and came to the Cate community after teaching science at Loyola High School of LA and LMU.

Craig is passionate about many things that Cate embodies, such as being part of a vibrant learning community, enjoying the beach and the mountains, and being amazed by the natural world. Craig wants to share this inspiration with his students, regardless of whether they plan to pursue science in college, because he believes that people are inherently curious and capable of appreciating, learning, and doing science.

Craig lives on the Mesa with his wife, Christine, who teaches K-5 science at Crane Country Day School. They have two sons – Willem, ’22, who attends the Tepper School of Business and plays football for Carnegie Mellon University, and Henry, ’25, who enjoys surfing, math, science, volleyball, and football at Cate.

Faculty Advisory Trustee

After studying Irish history in Dublin, Ireland and graduating from the University of California at San Diego where she played collegiate basketball, Laura received her doctorate in history from the University of California at Santa Barbara. While completing her PhD, she taught a range of undergraduate courses in gender and women’s history, U.S. history, world history, Black Studies, and writing. Most recently, she served as the Public History Fellow at UC Santa Barbara.

It was through growing up in Oakland, California, conducting her dissertation research across the United States, and teaching at the university level that Laura discovered her passion for sharing with students the compelling and often-forgotten stories of the past. She loves incorporating primary sources and archival materials in daily class activities with the intention of empowering students to form their own informed historical interpretations.

At Cate, Laura teaches Advanced Politics in Contemporary America, Advanced Supreme Court, Advanced Immigration, and Advanced U.S. History, coaches the girl’s varsity basketball and swim teams, and is a dorm parent in 25House. In her free time, Laura enjoys traveling, reading historical works, hiking, camping, trips to the beach with her son, working out, playing basketball, and walking with her dogs. She lives on campus with her husband, Casey, and their son, Leigh, and golden retriever, Charlie.

Committee Co-Chairs and Ex-Officios

Committee Chair

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.

Director of People & Belonging

Yutopia Essex is excited to serve the Cate community as the Director of People & Belonging. Born in Northridge, Calif., and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio, Yutopia has over a decade of experience in the field of Human Resources & Benefits. Yutopia earned her Group Benefits Associate designation from the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans & the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business and a BS from Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana.

Yutopia loves giving communities the tools they need to thrive by being an advocate for the community and moving the community forward through actionable steps that lead toward more equity, inclusion and sense of belonging. She has a passion for poetry and a knack for the performing arts. She thrives in embedding herself fully in an organization by being a culture carrier that elevates each community with her enthusiasm, joy, and expertise. She comes to Cate from Harvard-Westlake, where she thrived in the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and Human Resources & Benefits departments. Yutopia is a thought leader whose goal is to champion positive change and to be an amplifier for humanity. Her mission in life is to inspire.

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 Counseling Office, live down the road on Shepard Mesa and are parents to Eliza ’13, Warren ’15, and Daniel Boateng ’22.

Dean of Campus Life

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.

Director of Admission

kyle_mason@cate.org / 805-684-4127 x331

Track & Field
BA, Boston College
Appointed: 2008

Kyle comes to Cate with a host of global experiences and passions for music, travel and working with young adults. After graduating from an east coast boarding school, Kyle continued onto Boston College where he majored in Communications and Education Policy. His passions, purpose and commitment to service through education has led him to teach and serve in a variety of settings from Newark, NJ to Africa and Thailand. His experiences, positive attitude and boundless energy lend a global perspective that is shared and celebrated at Cate.

In addition to serving on Cate’s Admission team, Kyle’s presence is felt throughout campus as an Advisor, and Head Track & Field Coach.

Director of Technology

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.

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 on the Mesa with his wife and family.

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.

Avani lives on the Mesa with her husband, Hersh, and their dog, Echo.

Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Elana Stone arrived at Cate with more than 10 years of experience in program management and youth organizing, with an emphasis on education as well as LGBT, racial, and economic equity. Elana is a recent transplant to Ventura after completing their master’s in public administration at the University of Washington in Seattle. Having had the experience working for their alma mater, Whitman College, Elana was eager to join a place like Cate, where students, staff, and faculty create an exceptional student-centered community. When not on the Mesa, Elana can be found renovating their warehouse in Ventura, experimenting with gardening, and exploring the outdoors with their partner, Amy.

Chief of Staff
Director of Strategic Planning