Rhona Taylor is an attorney and currently works in the Title IX Office at UC Berkeley. Prior to joining her office, she was an assistant federal public defender at the Office of the Federal Public Defender, Northern District of California, as well as the Western District of Michigan, where she litigated complex financial fraud, internet crimes, drug trafficking and firearm offenses, among other things. Rhona also served as a directing attorney for the Institutions Project at Columbia Legal Services in Seattle where she represented people confined in Washington's jails, prisons, juvenile detention facilities, mental health facilities, and facilities for individuals with developmental disabilities. In addition, Rhona served as a public defender at the King County Department of Public Defense - The Defender Association Division representing people who were involuntarily committed into mental health institutions. Rhona finds it a privilege to work in the realm of civil rights, diversity, equity and inclusion.
Outside of her profession, Rhona enjoys curating events and experiences for family and friends, interior design, yoga, hiking, and traveling with her wonderful husband and three daughters. Rhona earned her JD from the University of Maryland School of Law and her BA in Political Science from Spelman College. Rhona is a parent of a St. Paul's student in the Class of 2027.
Julayne Virgil, Co-Chair
Julayne Austin Virgil is the CEO of Girls Inc. of Alameda County – an organization headquartered in Oakland and affiliated with the national Girls Inc. network whose mission is to inspire all girls to be strong, smart, and bold. She leads the 62-year old organization toward a vision of sustainability and continued impact for girls from historically under-resourced communities, while modernizing operations and building partnerships.
Julayne has a track record of growing national organizations and scaling innovative initiatives in key roles at Education Pioneers and The Ad Council. A recipient of the 2017 Nonprofit & Community Leader Award from the Oakland Chamber of Commerce’s East Bay Women in Business, Julayne joined a 2019 delegation to Kenya to visit and learn from Kakenya Centres for Excellence, a transformative program for low-income girls in rural Kenya.
Julayne holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Pennsylvania and a master's degree in public administration from the University of Southern California. She is a parent of St. Paul's students in the Classes of '27 and '29.
Matt Garfunkle, Treasurer
Matt Garfunkle is a Managing Director at Pantheon, a specialist investor in alternative asset classes such as private equity and infrastructure. Matt has been with the firm for over 20 years and has over two decades of financial services experience. Matt holds a BA in History and Economics from Brown University and is a CFA Charterholder.
Matt is the proud parent of two daughters in the Class of ’18 and Class of ’23. Among other things, he is kept busy by his dog, three cats and five chickens.
Matt is the proud parent of two daughters in the Class of ’18 and Class of ’23. Among other things, he is kept busy by his dog, three cats, six chickens and one fish.
Alexandra Ament '82, Secretary
Alexandra works professionally as an actor, primarily in voice over. She lives in San Rafael with her husband, pets, and (when home from college) two young adults. Alexandra has been part of the St. Paul’s School community since the very beginning, in 1975, and is proud to see how the school has evolved over the years.
Francine is the head of global partner marketing at Pantheon, a San Francisco based technology company. Francine is a staunch advocate for partners and over the years she has built partner programs from scratch, grown existing programs to new heights - including new areas of focus, such as mobile, AI and ML - and supported record growth with and through partners. Before joining Pantheon, Francine held alliance, channel and partner marketing leadership positions with top Fortune companies, including Microsoft, IBM and HP, as well as with mid-size companies and startups.
In addition to her passion for partners, Francine is a passionate advocate for diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). Outside of work, Francine has served on several educational and non profit Boards - including Heifer International. She received a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering and an MBA from Stanford University. Francine and her husband Tom Anthony, are proud parents of a Class of 2021 St. Paul's alum.
President, Parent Association
Ynez has worked for 12+ years in finance and operations management roles for single and multi-family offices. Currently, Ynez is the Director of Finance for a single-family office. Ynez graduated from U.C. Berkeley with a degree in Biological Anthropology.
Ynez also serves as board Vice President for the Friends of the Oakland Public Library.
Ynez and her husband have a daughter who is thrilled to be at St. Paul’s in the Class of 2029.
Will Cowart, Vestry Representative, St. Paul's Episcopal Church
Will Cowart has called St. Pauls' his church home for 12 years. He is a current member of the Vestry of St Paul's Church and the former Jr Warden. He and his partner James are the proud parents of Bella, class of 2024 and Michael. Will’s commitment to St. Paul's School is reflected in his service as a room parent and bay community service. Will received his PhD. from University of California, San Francisco, and MBA from Stanford University. He looks forward to his role as the Vestry representative.
Jordan Edelstein is Chief Marketing Officer at the Stellar Development Foundation, a non-profit organization that supports the development and growth of Stellar, a blockchain network that connects the world’s financial infrastructure. His career in marketing spans more than 25 years across a wide range of companies and brands – from Yoplait yogurt to EA SPORTS, The Sims and MARVEL video games. He has overseen all aspects of marketing and communications and looks forward to bringing his expertise to the SPES Board of Trustees and community.
Jordan holds a BA in German and European Studies from Amherst College and an MBA in Marketing, Finance & Organizational Behavior from the Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management. He and his wife live in Oakland and are the proud parents of students in the SPES Class of ’28 and SPES Class of ’30.
Anthony Hopkins is the Eighth Grade Social Studies teacher. He has degrees in Education and teaching from UC Berkeley and New York University. He is also an education consultant, working with nonprofit organizations and government agencies supporting student-professional partnerships, aligning operations and curriculum with the company’s mission statement and company development. He is also a professional photographer specializing in portraits and corporate headshots. He previously worked with TEDtalks, operating the longest running TEDx salon which focused on organizing and exploring ideas worth spreading across various communities. In California, Anthony has supported community wellness projects in Oakland. Such projects include Black Lives Matter Yoga in the parks, a free series of yoga; Create The Space, a wellness and entrepreneurship collective supporting people of color to become self-sustainable through mental wellness and financial wealth development; Barbershop Yoga, a men’s group which focuses on healthy masculinity development through physical, emotional, and mental wellbeing with yoga, a book club, and allyship with Black To Yoga.
Matt is the Editorial Director of the Google Cloud team at Firewood Marketing and has worked as an editor, writer, and communications professional for over 20 years. He has collaborated with a wide range of clients including Google, Intuit, and Blackrock, and with organizations including the Stanford Persuasive Technology Laboratory, PBS, and the FCC’s E-Rate Universal Service Program for Schools and Libraries. Prior to joining the Board, he served on the development committee as well as the Head of School and Lower Head of School selection committees.
An avid traveler, Matt has also written for Time Out Guides and San Francisco Bay Guardian. He tries to catch live music shows whenever possible - so don’t be surprised to see him out with fellow SPES parents at Yoshi’s, SFJazz, or the New Parish. He holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Arizona and a BA from Sarah Lawrence College. He and his partner, Maya, are the parents of a current St. Paul’s student in the class of ’25.
Vice President, Parent Association
Terri O'Brien is the Associate Chancellor and Chief of Staff at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). She is an advisor to the Chancellor and leads initiatives in support of UCSF’s operational and strategic priorities. Terri is also an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology.
Terri earned her PhD in biochemistry from UCSF and BA in biology from Williams College. She is a Bay Area native, growing up in Fremont, CA and attending Moreau Catholic High School. Terri enjoys running and spending time with her husband and two children in the Classes of '28 and '30.
Virginia Paik is Head of School at Live Oak School in San Francisco. Virginia has been at Live Oak since 2001, where she has held positions as third grade teacher, Lower School Head, and Assistant Head of School. Virginia holds a B.A. in English Literature from Pomona College and an M.A. in Curriculum and Teaching from Teachers College, Columbia University. She spent most of her nine years in the classroom as a kindergarten and preschool teacher. Virginia has served on the Board at several independent schools in the Bay Area. She has recently completed a term as the Board Secretary at the California Association of Independent Schools and as the Board Chair at the California Teacher Development Collaborative. Virginia lives in San Francisco with her husband and her high school aged daughter.
Heidi C. Quan is a trusted advisor to clients handling risk management issues, litigation avoidance and representation in lawsuits. Heidi is an attorney with nearly 25 years of experience representing clients in general litigation and employment matters.
After being born and raised in Oakland, Heidi sought out sunny San Diego to obtain her undergraduate degree in Sociology and Criminal Justice with a minor in minority relations. Thereafter, she returned to the Bay Area to obtain her law degree. Heidi has been deeply involved in local volunteer activities throughout the Bay Area and has been an active volunteer and board member for the Junior League of San Francisco. Heidi's dedication to youth education is also demonstrated through her work as a Board Trustee and Board President for the Junior Center of Art and Science in Oakland. Heidi continues to make her home in Oakland and she can be found on the weekends at the local farmers markets and rooting for the A's, Warriors and (begrudgingly) the Raiders. She also enjoys hiking, traveling, photography, and scuba diving.
Jose A. Quinonez
José is Mission Asset Fund’s (MAF) founding CEO. Under his leadership, he quickly built MAF into an award-winning nonprofit with innovative nationwide models for integrating financially excluded, low-income communities into the financial mainstream. For his work, he was awarded the MacArthur Fellowship, the Ashoka Fellowship, and the Aspen Institute Fellowship. He also received the James Irvine Leadership Award and Princeton School of Public and International Affairs’ Distinguished Alumni Award, among others.
José is a visionary leader, highly regarded in the consumer finance field. Currently, he serves in Consumer Advisory Boards for the Federal Reserve Bank of SF, US Bank, Experian, and Capital One. In 2012, the Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau appointed him as the inaugural Chair of the Consumer Advisory Board. In 2014, CA Governor Brown enacted legislation recognizing MAF’s Lending Circles program, making California the first state to lift up credit building as a force for good. And in 2019, CA Governor Newsom enacted legislation creating CA Money Smart program to support nonprofit organizations that deliver effective financial education to low-income communities.
José is a passionate advocate for social justice. He is a former Congressional legislative assistant, and a nonprofit advocate in Washington, D.C. where he worked for federal policy change regarding immigration, hunger and welfare reform. José graduated from the University of California at Davis, and the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs.
A native of Southern California, Elana Roston earned a B.A. in English from Yale University and an M.A. in Cinema Studies from NYU before returning to Los Angeles to spend a decade working as a radio and print journalist. At Santa Monica-based NPR station KCRW, she helped to launch “Which Way, L.A.?”, an award-winning program which focused on local public affairs in the wake of the 1992 Rodney King verdict riots, then expanded to include national and international news. She served as a film critic and wrote a weekly column on cultural events for the alternative newsweekly New Times Los Angeles (a sister paper to the SF Weekly) and wrote freelance articles for publications including The Los Angeles Times and Premiere Magazine.
Since moving to the Bay Area with her husband, Scott Saul, a UC Berkeley professor, she has worked as an independent writer-editor and marveled over her son Max (St. Paul’s Class of 2022)’s development, which accelerated when he joined St. Paul’s in Fourth Grade. In her spare time, she participates in grassroots political action groups working to advance social justice and human dignity, and enjoys baking and solving crossword puzzles and other word games.
Margaret Wilkerson Sexton
Margaret Wilkerson Sexton is a novelist and non-practicing attorney who studied creative writing at Dartmouth College and law at UC Berkeley. Her most recent novel, The Revisioners, won an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work and a 2020 Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize, and was a national bestseller as well as a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. Her debut novel, A Kind of Freedom, was long-listed for the National Book Award. Her third novel, On the Rooftop, will be published in September 2022. Her work has been published in Zyzzyva; The Paris Review; O, The Oprah Magazine; The New York Times Book Review; and other publications.
She serves on the board of the Community of Writers, the oldest annual writers' conference on the West Coast of the United States, and is a distinguished visiting professor in Fiction in the MFA program at St. Mary’s College of California.
She and her husband, Thomas, live in Oakland where they proudly parent three St. Paul’s students, two in the class of ’28 and one in the class of ’31.
Mona Shah is a seasoned non-profit leader with over 20 years of leadership experience in the fields of public health, social work, youth development and community based arts and culture.
Currently, Mona is a Program Specialist for the Alameda County Public Health Department. She is also an independent consultant supporting social justice focused non-profit organizations and foundations through her broad experience and knowledge in community engagement and partnership development, program development, project management and employment recruitment.
Mona has a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from UCLA and a Masters of Science in Social Work from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.
She is a parent of a St. Paul’s student in the Class of 2024.
Nate Stevenson '06
Nate Stevenson is a St. Paul’s alum (Class of 2006) with strong connections to the community since 1997. Nate is an experienced music marketing executive, having established his career working with notable artists such as Wale, Andra Day, Dua Lipa, Chloe x Halle, Lil Nas X, and OVO Sound. An Oakland native, he has been very active in the community, serving as an Education Lead for the Vanguard Conference and a Youth Advisor for Jack and Jill of America in addition to serving as an Advocacy Committee member for the Los Angeles Chapter of The Recording Academy, and the Communications & Community Outreach Director for The Hamba Group. He received a Bachelors of Arts in Business Studies from Drew University, and a Masters degree in Music Industry Administration from California State University Northridge. He's thrilled to be back at St. Paul’s in a more integral role this year.
Cheryl Ting, Head of School
Cheryl Ting is the Head of School at St. Paul’s Episcopal School and has over 25 years of experience in education. She currently sits on CAIS’s Elementary Board of Standards, CATDC's Board of Directors, and Maybeck High School's Board of Trustees, and presents extensive workshops on the topics of equity and inclusion, diversity and leadership. She is the mother of two amazing humans, Maia, a musical artist, and Dylan, an undergraduate in the architecture program at Pratt. Cheryl is rediscovering life without teenagers in the house, with her partner, Cameron who is also an independent school educator.
Rev. Mauricio Wilson, Rector of St. Paul's Episcopal Church
Raised and educated in Costa Rica, Rev. Mauricio Wilson is the rector of St. Paul's Episcopal Church.
Before and during his seminary years, he served in parishes in San Jose, Costa Rica, and in Astoria and Jackson Heights, New York. He has directed youth programs, Spanish and English language Cursillo, and a hurricane relief effort. Rev. Wilson joined St. Paul's Episcopal Church in the fall of 2009 from All Saint's Church in Great Neck, New York. He received his Master of Divinity degree from General Theological Seminary in New York in 2000. He is a parent of students in the Classes of 2019 and 2021.
Gene is Co-founder and CEO of Honors Pathway, an organization that partners with private universities and public high schools to operate MicroCollege programs. MicroCollege is a unique college pathway program where first-generation, low-income high school graduates become college ready by completing a year or two of transferrable college courses at no cost along with hi receiving hundreds of hours of intensive, small group support.
Prior to Honors Pathway, Mr. Wade co-founded and led several education companies, including One University Network, which partnered with universities in emerging economies to offer college degrees via mobile devices; UniversityNow, an affordable, self-paced university and online learning platform that currently serves over 100,000 students; Platform Learning, a K12 tutoring organization that served over 50,000 students and LearnNow, a charter school network that operated 11 schools serving 6,000 students.
Gene holds a BA from Morehouse College, JD from Harvard Law School and MBA from The Wharton School. He is a Board Member of The Pahara Institute and Make-A-Wish Greater Bay Area.
Andrew F. Williams '96
Andrew Williams is a SPES alum with long and deep connections to the school and its alumni network. His nephew is a 4th grader and his niece is an incoming kindergartener. He is the Executive Director of East Bay United Soccer and has extensive experience in education, youth development, non-profit management, and community engagement. In 2017 he founded the 2020 Conference, a week-long empowerment and capacity-building experience for Bay Area High School students. His life has been committed to service, both nationally and internationally, including projects in South Africa and Guam, Peace Corps service in Cape Verde and Colombia, and, more recently, as Director of Community Engagement at SF University High School. Drew served on the committee to revise the SPES Mission and Values statement and has been involved in fundraising efforts. He wants to activate alumni engagement and support Community Engaged Learning.
Jack is a partner at Capital IP Investment Partners, an investment firm based in San Francisco. He has worked in the finance industry for 20 years, and he previously worked for four years as an attorney representing start up companies. Before attending law school, he worked as a press aide on Capitol Hill for a United States Senator.
Jack received a B.A. in History from Yale University and a J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School. His three sons are members of the St. Paul’s classes of 2015, 2018, and 2021.
Facts About the Board of Trustees
The Board of Trustees holds the ultimate responsibility for the welfare and integrity of St. Paul’s Episcopal School. To fulfill this obligation, the Board engages in the following areas:
Its multifaceted work requires the Board, as a whole, to possess diverse attributes, skills and knowledge. Ideally, the skill sets of individual members put together compose a complete picture for the Board.
As the above illustrates, the composition of the Board is a complex business. As members rotate off after their terms expire, the Board looks to replace and augment the skills and perspectives it needs. The overarching goal is to serve the school and its mission.