Our board of directors is comprised of nine parents and community members who serve voluntarily for two-year terms.
Megan was born and raised in small town southern Minnesota. She attended Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota obtaining her BA in Biology and Theatre Arts before relocating to California to attend law school at Pepperdine University. Megan has worked in the field of insurance defense for the last 15 years, defending clients in various matters including habitability, real estate and personal injury litigation throughout California. Megan and her husband are the proud parents of three young children, two of whom are lucky enough to be current MATES students. Megan is excited to serve on the MATES Board of Directors with the goal of working to continue to move forward with assisting MATES in meeting its mission to welcome innovation, honor its past, transform the future, command achievement and empower all its students through education focused in arts and technology. Megan strongly believes that education is the foundation of our children’s future, and the years that they spend at MATES create solid building blocks that they need to move forward in their lives, education and beyond.
Gina Spivey, June 2023, Vice-President
Gina Spivey is a long-time MATES mom of two MATES alumni. She is the Pastor and Executive Director of the Special Abilities Ministry at Calvary Community Church in Westlake Village. Prior to that she worked as an Infant Development Specialist in Los Angeles helping children in the foster care system with a variety of disabilities access quality early intervention programming. She served as a board member for The Wiley Center, a non profit working to support kinship care in underserved populations, for 3 years. She is passionate about inclusion and educational equality for neurodiverse learners. She has served in many capacities at MATES including room parent, MCN Auditor, MCN President and Board Member. She is looking forward to using her professional and MATES experience to help the Board however possible.
Monique Foster, June 2022, Community Board Member, CFO
As a founding board member Monique brings a unique perspective to the current MATES Board. Monique has deep roots growing up in Ventura County, moving in 2005 with her family from Santa Paula to Thousand Oaks. The sole purpose was for her children to be educated in the Conejo Valley Unified School District. Little did she know that two years later the school they attended, Meadows Elementary, would be closing. She joined a group of highly motivated parents and began a two year fight to keep the school open as a conversion charter school. With Monique's educational background in accounting, with additional experience in public school accounting, she oversaw the finance committee. Under her sharp fiscal guidance and leadership, MATES acquired essential grant funding that allowed the charter to welcome students to a fully furnished campus. After the historic charter approval, Monique became a member of the board from 2008-2013 as CFO and left the school in robust fiscal condition with a more-than-fully funded reserve account. When MATES first opened in 2009, two of her children were in 5th and 1st grade. Today they are seniors at California Lutheran University and Westlake High School, with an older sibling in her first year of pharmacy school. When not working as an accountant, Monique and her family can be found cruising the seas, relaxing at Lake Mohave, enjoying a snowy mountain or visiting the "Happiest Place on Earth.”
Kerri Graver, June 2022, Parent Board Member
Kerri is a true “Valley Girl” born and raised in the San Fernando Valley. She earned her BA in Political Science from U.C. San Diego and obtained her Law Degree and Certification in Alternative Dispute Resolution from Pepperdine School of Law. Following law school, Kerri worked as a Los Angeles Deputy City Attorney, first as a trial attorney and later as the head of the city’s anti-truancy program. After giving birth to her first child, she and her husband, Brian, moved to Ventura County where she obtained her Real Estate Broker’s License. Together they decided to make substantial career changes and formed The Graver Group, a team of local real estate experts. They have three children, all of whom have been fortunate to attend MATES, their youngest currently as a fourth grade student. Kerri has been an active volunteer for the last ten years at MATES and is thrilled to be a part of the Board of Directors as a final “thank you” to the school that has not only meant so much to her family, but has actually become a part of her family.
Therese Eyermann, June 2022, Community Board Member
Dr. Eyermann teaches in the Educational Leadership doctoral
program at California Lutheran University where she resides as the Distinguished Faculty Fellow. She currently teaches Higher Education Policy, Higher Education Administration, and Quantitative Research Methods courses. Prior to that she served as Chief of Staff to the President and was also Interim Operations Officer for Advancement at California State University Channel Islands. In this role she provided high-level research, policy, and organization support to help with the planning and operation of the university. She also oversaw the Institutional Effectiveness Office and provided strategic direction, utilizing data to benchmark key academic & performance indicators.
She has been involved in several community organizations including the Ventura County Regional P-20 Council, the Ventura County United Way Education Focus Team, and the Partnering Community Colleges and Universities Collaborative.
Dr. Eyermann also served as the Executive Assistant to the Executive Vice Chancellor at UCLA. While there she helped UCLA address a variety of issues including community partnerships, gender equity, and university wide strategic planning. Prior to that, she held higher education positions in a national policy think tank, as well as positions in institutional research, enrollment management, and financial aid. She has worked as a financial aid consultant for public and private institutions.
Dr. Eyermann earned her doctorate in Higher Education and Organizational Change from UCLA. Her research interests focus on educational pipeline issues. Specifically, she has researched the use of high school academies in student engagement and as successful pathways to college; the role of family engagement in supporting middle school and high school student success; and higher education policy as it relates to financial aid and in issues of equity and access for diverse populations.
Sarah was blessed to have a positive early elementary school experience at Balboa Elementary Magnet. This school molded her lens on how education can embrace the whole child -- emotionally, spiritually, and educationally. This school instilled in her a love for the arts and music, and a passion for education. Sarah's parents later started a car wash in Thousand Oaks, which gave her the opportunity to attend Westlake High School. Here she found her passion for economics and met her high school sweetheart, Joel, in band camp. From there, Sarah attended UC Santa Cruz and then UC Irvine, where she majored in economics. Sarah is a Certified Financial Planner® with Edward Jones where she is a partner in the firm. Sarah and her family feel blessed to have won the lottery in getting her first son into MATES. She sees the spark that she experienced in elementary school, which brought her to want to be a part of the fabric of the school through the Board of Directors. Sarah and her husband Joel have three sons. They love traveling the world, volunteering in their community, biking, hiking, and everything involving being a foodie family. Sarah is honored to serve as a MATES Board member and be part of the fabric of MATES for decades ahead.
Sarah Schwendimann, June 2022, Parent Board Member, Secretary firstname.lastname@example.org
Sarah believes in the mission of MATES and is delighted to help it achieve its goals and plans. Sarah is originally from Idaho but grew up in the Bay Area and has lived in Southern California since college. After graduating from Scripps College with a B.A. in English she received her Ph.D. in English from UC Santa Barbara. She also completed a graduate fellowship at Queen’s University in Belfast. A tenured professor at Glendale Community College, Sarah is the Division Chair of the English and Humanities Division. Prior to that role she served as her college’s Curriculum Coordinator for seven years. Sarah is a contributing editor for the journal College Teaching and serves on site visit teams for the Accrediting Commission of Community and Junior Colleges. Sarah lives with her husband and her son who loves being a “Mighty Eagle” and attending MATES. When not at work, Sarah loves spending time with her family and volunteering at MATES and for other organizations in the Conejo Valley
Thuan-Hau Trinh, June 2023, Parent Board Member
Born in Orange County to Vietnamese refugees, Thuan-Hau was among the first in her family to attend an American elementary school. Watching her parents navigate an unfamiliar educational system in the effort to obtain the best education for their children shaped her own search for an elementary school experience for her children. She feels very fortunate to have found a place for them at MATES. Her goal of serving on the MATES Board is to continue its mission and contribute directly to its guiding principle of creating an environment where every child can thrive so they can go forward with a solid foundation of academic excellence and a community spirit. Thuan-Hau graduated from UCLA with a BS in Biology and earned her MD from Saint Louis University School of Medicine. She completed her residency in anesthesiology at USC and is a board-certified anesthesiologist. She practiced in Northern California as a cardiac and general anesthesiologist before moving back to Southern California with her family. She is proud to be a part of the MATES community and loves that her children look forward to going to school at MATES every day.
Chris Summers, June 2023, Parent Board Member