Monica Ros School Board of Trustees
Monica Ros School is governed by a conscientious, cooperative, clever, caring, considerate, Board of Trustees (The Board). The Board may have up to 13 trustees. Each trustee serves for a minimum of one three-year term and a maximum of two three-year terms. Any vacancies on the Board of Trustees are filled by The Board. Current members include current and former parents, alumni and interested members of the community.
While daily operations of the school are the purview of the director, The Board is charged with the duty of overseeing the general operation of Monica Ros. The Board is responsible for selecting the director, protecting the mission and reputation of the school, and safeguarding the school’s financial health. Please learn more about Monica Ros’ Strategic Plan through our “balanced scorecard” presentation of the school’s focus.
The current members of The Board of Trustees are:
George Gaines, President
George began his career as an attorney specializing in U.S. securities, and today has over 28 years experience in global institutional marketing and fundraising. He is former Board President of Baker Demonstration School, an independent preK-8th grade school in Wilmette, Illinois, and of Wolcott School in Chicago.
Kara Hooper, Vice President
Kara is a former Monica Ros parent, her sons Hayden and Hiram have both graduated from Monica Ros in 2014 and 2016 respectively. Kara recently served as The Thacher School’s Director of College Counseling and holds numerous volunteer positions around the Ojai Valley involved with education.
Nathan Wallace, Treasurer/Secretary
Nathan works for a financial consultant based out of Malibu. Nathan is an avid hiker, skier, camper and enjoys anything in the outdoors. He spends the majority of his time with his wife Rebecca and their three children, all of whom attend Monica Ros currently. Mrs. Wallace is a preschool teacher at Monica Ros School in the Green Room.
Lisa’s two children have attended Monica Ros since the Yellow Room. She is a board-member and past president of Secure Beginnings/The Nan Tolbert Nurturing Center, supporting families with children 0-5 in first relationships and secure attachment. Lisa is a strategy and operations consultant, project manager and leadership coach with expertise in quality, compliance and risk management. She has an MBA from MIT Sloan, a Bachelors in Science from UC Berkeley, and a Certificate in Diversity Equity and Inclusion from Cornell University.
Tommy has worked in education for the past 19 years at schools across the country. He currently teaches math and science at The Thacher School and coordinates their Global Education program. Tommy and his wife, Danielle, moved to Ojai in 2016. Their two children currently attend Monica Ros School.
Leslie Kircher is a human resource leader for an emerging technology company. She has lived in Ojai since 1977, attending local schools until studying education at Pepperdine University. Leslie’s daughter is presently enrolled in Monica Ros School in the 2nd grade.
Haady started with Community Memorial Hospital in 2001. He joined the Ojai Valley Community Hospital in January of 2011 as the Chief Administrative Officer and is a Vice President with Community Memorial Health System. Haady and his wife Anita moved to the Ojai Valley in 2012. Their three children attend the Monica Ros School.
Pilar is an Ojai-raised community member whose daughters currently attend Monica Ros. Working for the Human Services Agency for Ventura County, she strives to strengthen, support, and help develop people and her community. Having received her own K-12 education in Ojai, she is motivated to give back to the community’s education system to support the next generation of students and their families.
Lisa was a chef for 25 years, running her own restaurant in Boston for more than a decade. Upon landing in California, Lisa completed a Master’s in Clinical Psychology and has recently begun a special meal delivery business in Ojai that many Monica Ros families enjoy! Her two daughters currently attend Monica Ros School.
Allison was born and raised in Ojai and is a proud Monica Ros alumna. Her mother was a second grade teacher at Monica Ros and her father has served on the board of trustees for many years himself. Allison and her husband Stephen love calling Ojai home and Allison is excited to be part of the Monica Ros community again.
Michael Strauss is an employment attorney with an office in Ventura. Each of Michael’s three children have attended Monica Ros.
Susan Hardenbergh, School Director, ex officio
Susan Hardenbergh has been part of Monica Ros for 25 years; both her children graduated from the school, and before serving as the Director she was president of the Parent’s Association. Earlier in life she worked as an attorney in San Francisco, and lived in Kenya with her husband while he taught English. Their family then settled in Ojai and begcame immersed in life at The Thacher School. Susan teaches regularly at The Thacher School in their horse department, and has served Monica Ros for more than a decade as the school’s Director.
Monica Ros School is a non-profit 501(3)(c) California Corporation (Tax I.D. #9502555709)