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Valentina Imbeni's picture
Valentina Imbeni
Head of School
Valentina Imbeni's picture

Valentina Imbeni

Head of School
Valentina was born in Modena, Italy and grew up in Bologna in a family of educators and policy makers, where the importance of high-quality education in society was a frequent topic of conversation at the lunch table. She graduated from the University of Bologna and received a PhD in Engineering of Materials from Bologna University and the University of Cambridge, U.K. After living and working in the UK she moved to San Francisco in 2000 to work as a researcher in Bioengineering for UC Berkeley and then at the Stanford Research Center (SRI) where she continued her research on biomedical devices and managed large grant proposals and a not-for profit scientific organization.Valentina enrolled her son Stefano at LPSI in 2005 and immediately fell in love with the school and its approach to education and became a vital member of the LPSI community. After the birth of her second son, Matteo, Valentina re-discovered her passion for education and accepted the position of Direttrice in June 2007. She earned accreditation from the State of California as a program director and she worked to grow the school from a small family day care into a fully licensed childcare center and a member of the ITP network of schools inspired by Reggio Emilia. With the help and support of the amazing LPSI community, she brought the school to the current beautiful site, designed by Michele Zini and ZPZ partners who also designed the Loris Malaguzzi International Center and several schools in Reggio Emilia, Italy and around the world. She is passionate about science, social constructivism, the Reggio Emilia philosophy and International and bilingual education. In her free time Valentina loves to spend time with her husband and her 2 boys, to learn new things, to cook Italian food, to run and walk along the Pacific Ocean.
Lama Nachman's picture
Lama Nachman
Board Chair
Lama Nachman's picture

Lama Nachman

Board Chair
Lama is an Intel Fellow, Intel Labs Director, Anticipatory Computing Lab. Her research is focused on creating contextually aware experiences that understand users through sensing and sense-making and act on that context to help with many aspects of their lives. Lama has 20 years of experience in the areas of context-aware computing, multi-modal adaptive interfaces, sensor networks, computer architecture, embedded systems, and wireless technologies. Prior to joining Intel, Lama has held senior positions at Ubicom Inc, Weave Innovations, and Microsoft Corporation. Lama received her MS and BS in computer engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  She lives in San Francisco with her husband, Ramez, and, son Keenan, a Grade 8 student who joined La Scuola in 2013. While Lama has no Italian heritage (she is Palestinian and her husband is Syrian), she’s Italian at heart and visits Italy every summer.  
Loring Sagan's picture
Loring Sagan
Board Co-Chair
Loring Sagan's picture

Loring Sagan

Board Co-Chair
Mr. Sagan is co-founder and principle of Build, Inc., leading long term vision and managing growing capital needs and equity partnerships. Prior to architecture and real estate development, Loring was a full-time professional artist, working primarily in clay. In addition to real estate, Loring has been involved in investing in and mentoring various ventures, including San Francisco-based Blue Bottle Coffee Company and Piccino Restaurant with his wife Margherita.
Aaron Harms's picture
Aaron Harms
Board Treasurer
Aaron Harms's picture

Aaron Harms

Board Treasurer
Aaron is a founder at Sequitur, an advisory firm that helps organizations align their story, strategy, and finances when raising capital or embarking on new initiatives to power growth.  Prior to that Aaron co-founded Protagonist, a machine learning and natural language processing company focused on analyzing belief structures in media and public discourse.  Aaron also spent a number of years in management consulting with Monitor Group. Aaron has an MBA from The Wharton School and an MA in International Relations from Johns Hopkins SAIS.  He is also a proud holder of an International Baccalaureate Diploma, which he received while growing up in Vienna, Austria.  The International Baccalaureate shaped Aaron into a life-long learner, and he's thrilled to be part of its unique and exciting evolution at La Scuola.  He and his wife, Charlotte, live in San Francisco with their daughter Lucy (Kinder) and son Calvin (Grandi).
Janet Rasic's picture
Janet Rasic
Board Secretary
Janet Rasic's picture

Janet Rasic

Board Secretary
Janet Rasic joined the La Scuola board in 2020. Professionally, Janet has more than 15 years of experience in the fields of human resources and operations. She graduated from UCLA with a BA in History. Soon after graduation, Janet spent a year teaching English in the Czech Republic and this experience made her a strong believer in the importance of bilingual education. Janet currently resides in Mill Valley with her husband Mike and their two children. Her daughter Sarah was a member of La Scuola’s pioneer graduating class of 2020, and her son Nicholas, a rising to Grade 7 student.
Helena Choi's picture
Helena Choi
Helena Choi's picture

Helena Choi

Helena Choi is a vice president at the Resources Legacy Fund. She has worked in the philanthropic sector for more than 15 years, and is a leader in supporting women’s empowerment. From 2009 to 2017, she served as Program Officer in the Global Development and Population Program at the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. There she managed a portfolio that aims to expand women’s opportunities in sub-Saharan Africa, including support for reproductive health and rights and women’s economic empowerment. From 2004 to 2009, Helena was a Program Officer at the Open Society Foundation, where she supported advocacy to hold governments accountable for access to equitable and quality HIV/AIDS services among marginalized populations. Prior to entering the nonprofit world, she worked as a financial analyst at Credit Suisse First Boston for several years. Helena has a bachelor’s degree in economics and English from Wellesley College and a master’s degree from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University. 
Vanessa Colella's picture
Vanessa Colella
Vanessa Colella's picture

Vanessa Colella

Vanessa is Citi’s Chief Innovation Officer, Head of Citi Ventures, and Head of Citi Productivity. Vanessa received her masters’ degrees from Columbia University and M.I.T. as well as a Ph.D. from M.I.T.’s Media Lab. A charter member of Teach for America, she is a published author and lecturer, taught courses at the Santa Fe Institute, and previously served as a research fellow at Rockefeller University. She holds an S.B. degree in molecular biology from M.I.T. and currently serves as a member of the Corporation’s Visiting Committee for the Media Lab. She resides in San Francisco with her husband and son, Teo, a rising Grade 3 student.
Enrica D'Ettorre's picture
Enrica D'Ettorre
Enrica D'Ettorre's picture

Enrica D'Ettorre

Enrica D’Ettorre was born and educated in Italy. She holds a “Laurea” degree in Computer Science with high honors from the University of Pisa, Italy. Enrica was a young computer science researcher at CNR (National Research Council) in Pisa when she had the life-changing opportunity to move to Palo Alto in 1976 and work at the IBM Scientific Center. Her initial one-year stay turned into a permanent residence. Over the past 40 years Enrica has continued to work in the field of software engineering; most recently as VP of Software Engineering and Research at DigitalPersona, with a focus on security, identity management, and biometrics. ​Enrica and her Italian husband, Pierluigi Zappacosta, are very proud of their Italian heritage and have remained deeply connected to Italy. Their three grown children enjoy and value the Italian cultural traditions. They speak Italian fluently and write it proficiently. Enrica is passionate about education. She was on the Board of Sacred Heart Schools in Atherton for two terms and co-founded an after-school Italian language program for children in the Bay Area.  With her background in high tech, Enrica has a keen interest in cultivating an enduring excitement for math and science in students. Enrica’s connection to La Scuola began with the preschool attendance of her grand-daughter and became stronger when her grandson also started the program.  She joined the Board of Directors in January 2016.
Greg Daniels's picture
Greg Daniels
Greg Daniels's picture

Greg Daniels

Greg Daniels joined the Board in 2016. This is his second stint on the Board of La Scuola.  He previously served from 2008-2012, spearheading the school’s move to the Dogpatch campus from St. Gregory’s.  Greg was founder and managing member of Fahrenheit Capital Management, LLC, an investment advisory firm. Greg has a BA from the University of Virginia majoring in Economics. He currently lives in San Francisco with his wife Susanna, an Italian citizen, and their three children.
Jim Eagen's picture
Jim Eagen
Jim Eagen's picture

Jim Eagen

Jim has enjoyed an outstanding career as a classroom teacher, coach, and seasoned administrator. A graduate of an independent school himself, he went on to receive his BA from Manhattanville College in Purchase, NY, spent a year at St. Clare’s College, Oxford studying art history, and completed a master’s degree in international and comparative education from Teachers College, Columbia University. Jim has served on numerous committees emphasizing school leadership and teacher professional development and was granted a Ford Fellow for Aspiring School Heads from the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS). On a personal note, he has authored short stories and books for young readers, climbed 6000 meter peaks in South America and Asia, competed at the Ironman World Championships, and loves spending time laughing and learning with his wife and their two kids, a high school Sophomore and a Synapse Middle Schooler.  
Jeff Kott's picture
Jeff Kott
Jeff Kott's picture

Jeff Kott

Jeffrey Kott is Managing Partner of Bristol Group, a nationally active real estate investment management and development firm. Bristol has acquired, developed and redeveloped over $2.5 Billion of real estate under his leadership. Jeff is a Trustee of the Urban Land Institute (ULI), a ULI Foundation Governor, a member of the Pension Real Estate Association and Lambda Alpha. Prior to joining Bristol, Jeff was a real estate partner with the law firm Morrison & Foerster. He received a BA in Philosophy from the University of Michigan and his J.D. Magna Cum Laude from the University of Michigan Law School. His wife’s family came to the Bay Area from Italy and started a food business which came to be known as A.G. Ferrari Foods. She and their daughter, who is a student at La Scuola, maintain the connection with the family in Italy which gives them opportunity to use their Italian.
Eric Tokstad's picture
Eric Tokstad
Eric Tokstad's picture

Eric Tokstad

Eric is a licensed architect in California, and founded his sole-proprietor architecture practice in 2004. In his practice, he has worked primarily on residential and retail design projects in the USA and UK. Prior to founding his own practice, he spent more than 15 years working in retail store design as head of Store Design for Williams-Sonoma, Inc brands and head of Store Design for the Banana Republic division for Gap Inc where he managed the design of over 400 stores. A native San Franciscan, Eric has a degree in architecture from the University of California, Berkeley. He is a 3rd generation American, with an Italian-American mother and a Norwegian-American father. Eric and his husband, Andy, are parents to twins, Livia and Luca, who started at La Scuola in Spazio Gioco in 2014 and are currently rising to Grade 3.
Sanjay Basu's picture
Sanjay Basu
Sanjay Basu's picture

Sanjay Basu

Sanjay Basu, MD, PhD, is a primary care physician and epidemiologist. He is the Director of Research at the Harvard Medical School Center for Primary Care, as well as Co-Founder and Chief Medical Officer of Station Health, which provides services to Medicaid beneficiaries. Dr. Basu received his education from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Oxford University (as a Rhodes Scholar), and Yale before completing his residency in internal medicine at the University of California in San Francisco. He co-founded Possible Health and serves as a Fellow at Imperial College London and an Associate Professor at the University of Toronto. He currently practices medicine at San Francisco's Integrated Care Center, a primary care, behavioral health, substance abuse, and oral health center for unhoused people.
Courtenay Brown's picture
Courtenay Brown
Courtenay Brown's picture

Courtenay Brown

Courtenay has spent his 20+ year career working in emerging markets fixed income sales, currently for Mizuho Securities (San Francisco). Previously, he spent the majority of his career working as a managing director in emerging markets debt sales, trading, and management for HSBC Securities (San Francisco & New York), as well as a managing equity partner with a startup investment bank (San Francisco & New York), senior trader at Franklin Templeton (San Mateo) and fixed income salesperson at Merrill Lynch (San Francisco). He was Board Chair for the Spanish Infusión School where his daughters attended school prior to starting at La Scuola in the Fall of 2020. In addition, he has served on the board of Mounds Park Academy (St. Paul, Minnesota) and as Alumni Annual Fund Class Co-Chair for Carleton College (Northfield, Minnesota). Courtenay holds a Bachelor’s degree in international relations from Carleton College and an MBA from The Goizueta Business School at Emory University. He lives in Noe Valley with his wife, Whitney Burroughs, and two daughters, Lilly McCall (8th grade) and Belle Chapin (4th grade). In his spares time, Courtenay enjoys running, traveling, drinking wine, and spending time with his family and friends.
Robert Brown's picture
Robert Brown
Robert Brown's picture

Robert Brown

Robert is General Counsel of Bayshore Global Management. Prior to joining Bayshore, Robert held positions as General Counsel of Argonaut Investments, a privately held commercial real estate investment management firm in Marin County, and as a Corporate, Finance, and Real Estate Partner at Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP in San Francisco.  Robert received a B.A. in Political Science from The University of Georgia and a J.D. from Vanderbilt University Law School. He and his wife, Sara, live in San Francisco with their daughter Riley Grace, a 4th grader at La Scuola.
Antonio Valla's picture
Antonio Valla
Antonio Valla's picture

Antonio Valla

Antonio is a business lawyer, and a founder of Valla & Associates, with offices in San Francisco, New York, and Milano.  A native of Italy, he has resided in the Bay Area since 1983 and splits his time between the United States and Europe.