Like other accredited independent schools,
the Board's essential functions include:
Safeguarding the financial sustainability of the school
Identifying, selecting, and orienting new members
for the future
Assuring the school's compliance with applicable laws and regulations
Maintaining bylaws and policies consistent with the school's mission
Assisting in fundraising efforts
Frequently Asked Questions
The Wilkinson School Board of Directors consists of 10 voting members, including a teacher representative.
Board committees include:
Board members are asked to serve on committees. This is largely where the work of the Board is accomplished. Committees normally meet once a month, with committee work often delegated among members.
Serving as a member of the Board of Trustees requires a serious commitment of time and energy. Because there is a lot of work to do, Board members must be willing to fulfill their obligations, attend meetings, maintain confidentiality, and work collaboratively and honestly for the benefit of the entire school. Board members are also expected to make gifts to the annual fund and capital campaigns and often play leadership roles in these fundraising efforts.
The Board updates the community regularly through emails and presentations at PTO meetings. Additionally, the Board hosts various events during the school year designed to keep the community informed of Board business and decisions.
If you are interested in nominating someone who has an interest in serving on the Board of Directors, please direct your suggestions to the Board of Directors (firstname.lastname@example.org), or the Business & Operations Manager.
Chad English, PhD
He holds a doctorate in oceanography from Scripps Institute of Oceanography, UC San Diego, and a Bachelor’s of Science in physics from UC Santa Cruz. Dr. English and his family were drawn to Wilkinson School as parents for its commitment to the whole child and the warmth of the Wilkinson community. He joined the board in 2017.
Michael Needels, PhD
He is currently president and Chief Operating Officer, as well as a founder, of Medikine, a privately held, seed-stage biotech company. Past experience includes Chief Operating Officer of the Fogarty Institute for Innovation, where he operated a 501(c)(3) educational non-profit. He holds master’s and doctorate degrees in bioorganic chemistry from Cornell University and a bachelor’s in biochemistry from the University of California, Berkeley. He joined the Wilkinson board in 2017 and is the proud father of three Wilkinson students.
Michael Weber, CPA, MBA
He is currently the Corporate Controller of a publicly held medical device/pharmaceutical company where he oversees all areas of accounting, financial reporting, internal controls, and tax compliance. Mr. Weber holds an Master's in Business Administration from the University of Notre Dame and a Bachelor’s of Science in accounting from Loyola Marymount University. He joined the board in 2017, and his two boys have attended Wilkinson School since 2011.
Summer Hagedorn, CPA
Hagedorn also works at the school’s front desk two days a week, so she is well acquainted with the unique needs of students, faculty, and families. She holds a Bachelor’s of Science in accounting from George Fox University as well as a California CPA license. Her family chose Wilkinson School for her two boys because of its individualized education and close-knit community. She joined the board in 2017.
Julie Hockridge, PGCE
Hockridge grew up on the south coast of Wales and moved to the United States in 2003. During her teaching career, she has headed music departments of more than 500 students, overseen teacher training, and directed orchestras, choirs, and ensembles. She holds a bachelor’s in music from the University of Sheffield as well as a qualification in music education from the Institute of Education in London. She joined the board in 2017 and is the parent of a Wilkinson alumnus.
Jennifer Bjornberg, JD
Bjornberg holds a JD from Northwestern University and a bachelor’s in theatre, film and television from UCLA. She chose Wilkinson as a school for her daughter because it was a place her daughter could be herself and feel supported and safe. She joined the Wilkinson board in 2017 to help give back to this special place.
Barbara Pahre, PhD
She also has experience in multiple boards, including the Golden Gate Bridge Highway and Transportation District and Napa American Association of University Women, among others. Pahre holds a doctorate in curriculum and instruction and educational policy from USC, a master’s in teaching reading from Sonoma State, and a bachelor’s in child development from Iowa State University. Pahre is the proud “Nana” of two Wilkinson students. She joined the board in 2017.
He is currently senior managing director, executive in residence, and stand-in CEO for the Dillon Kane Group, a privately-held entrepreneurial firm that invests in, builds, and revitalizes technology solution businesses. He holds a bachelor’s in electrical engineering from the University of Nevada, Reno. Nielsen’s oldest child graduated Wilkinson in 2017 and his second is following her footsteps as a Wilkinson elementary student.
Nielsen is happy to have the time now to join the board and give back to the school that has given his family so much. He spends his spare time enjoying the great outdoors and enduring the trials and tribulations of raising a teenager.
David Vespremi, JD
He has more than 15 years of experience in creative branding, both in launching innovative startups and helping established companies find their brand voice.
Mr. Vespremi also served on the Mid Coast Community Council. He holds a JD from UC Hastings and a Bachelor’s in Comparative Literature from UC Berkeley. He has two boys attending Wilkinson School.