Our board of directors is comprised of nine parents and community members who serve voluntarily for two-year terms.Alyse Lazar, June 2019, Community Board Member, President
Barbara Sipes, June 2018, CFO
Barbara Bracco Sipes grew up in Chicago and graduated from Indiana University Bloomington in 1988 with a degree in Speech & Hearing Sciences, specializing in preschool deaf education and mainstreaming procedures for young children with speech/hearing and language delays. However, an immediate move out to Los Angeles steered her into the live television industry. Since 1989, Barbara worked in the area of live television broadcasting, include the management of remote television production facilities, crews, and logistics. Barbara and her three sons have been so fortunate to be part of the MATES family since it was still Meadows Elementary. Becoming involved in the parent teacher organizations was a perfect way to show her gratitude as well as serve all of the children, families, and staff that make up the MATES community. “I don’t volunteer just to help my own children, I give my time and energy to the entire school community.” Barbara has served on the past MATES PTA boards as both Programs Chair and President. She helped transition MATES away from PTA to become the locally governed MCN. She looks forward to meeting new parents and families every day and encouraging everyone to get involved. “MATES would not exist if it weren’t for the tireless work of volunteer parents. I feel a responsibility in helping all families grasp that we each have a duty to keep the volunteering momentum going for the future of MATES. I enjoy working with the families so they feel comfortable in volunteering any way that works best for them.”
Nicole Flynn, June 2018, Parent Board Member, Secretary
I believe each of our students benefit from a “work hard and be kind” philosophy furthered daily at MATES through unwavering core values and the HEART of an Eagle as their guide. My goal as a Board Member is to unify the vision of the MATES families with leadership effectively representing all levels of our school - students, parents, faculty and partners. Passion, responsiveness and
commitment are values I would apply to this opportunity. As Mark Twain said, “Thunder is good, thunder is impressive; but it is lightning that does the work. We are a lottery family accepted into MATES Kindergarten in 2014 after months on the waiting list. Each and every day we are grateful for this experience – the friendships forged and all levels of learning - through both experience and education. It is with a humble and fortitudinous heart that I approach this Board position.
Gina Spivey, June 2018, Parent Board Member
Marnee McLean, June 2018, Community Board Member
Jennifer Murasky, June 2019, Parent Board Member
Jennifer is a native Southern Californian. After graduating from Chaminade College Prep, she attended Vanderbilt University where she earned a BS in Economics and an MBA with a concentration in Operations Management. Jennifer worked for M&M/Mars and The Clorox Company with positions in finance, production, and strategic sourcing. She currently works for Nature Made vitamins as the Director of Strategic Sourcing and Real Estate. Jennifer believes the MATES' values, curriculum, and commitment to the arts and to technology educates the whole child, something she is passionate about. Jennifer has two sons, and when she isn't spending time at MATES, she can usually be found on the baseball field cheering on her boys. Jennifer believes MATES has been a gift to the community, and is thrilled to serve on the board.
Joey Tennison, June 2019, Parent Board Member
Joey grew up in Washington State and moved to Los Angeles in 2004. He has a B.S. in Construction Management from Washington State University and also completed UCLA’s Executive Program in Management. He has been managing large commercial projects for the same Santa Monica based General Contractor for the past 13 years. He and his family moved to Conejo Oaks in 2010 specifically so their children could attend MATES. He has three children still attending the school. MATES is a treasured member of the community. Joey is honored to serve as a board member and wants to help make improvements where possible. Joey is looking forward to helping MATES in the short term, but more importantly setting MATES up for long term success, so future children and families can benefit from this amazing school.
Liane Olin, June 2018
Liane Olin grew up in Los Angeles County, attending public elementary, middle and high schools and moved to the Conejo Valley in 1993. After graduating from Pepperdine University, she began working in the insurance industry and has been at State Farm for 24 years. She has 15 years of experience in Human Resources including hiring, retention efforts, process and execution, performance feedback, policy, and employment investigations.
With three children, her life is intertwined with work, family, and social functions. She supports MATES’ dedication to the arts, having seen her children thrive in curricula enriched with music and drama. Liane is committed to making positive contributions to MATES and believes with parent contributions anything is possible.
Leslie Blevins, June 2019, Parent Board Member
Leslie grew up in Los Angeles County. She is the proud mom of three wonderful sons. Her older sons, Greg and Don, attended Meadows Elementary before the school transitioned to MATES. Her son, Clarke, now attends MATES. She learned the impact of education when one of her high school teachers helped her enroll in CSULA at the age of 15. Her undergraduate degrees are in Food Science and Chemistry. She is currently pursuing her MBA at CLU.
Leslie moved to the Conejo Valley in 1990 when she began working for Amgen. At Amgen, she held management positions in sales, marketing, training, health policy, operations and strategic planning. In 2013, she began a career with Novartis pharmaceuticals.
Leslie believes our children’s experiences in elementary school have an essential role in allowing them to pursue their dreams. She is honored to be a board member and looks forward to collaborating with our wonderful teachers, staff, families and community members to support MATES’ ongoing success.