Dawn Billman - President Dawn began working with RTE as the Fundraising Chairperson for three years before becoming the President of the Board of Directors. She has significant management experience in both the for-profit and non-profit sectors. Following a successful international career, she brought her business talents to the non-profit world with a deep knowledge and consistent success creating excitement and managing large community events. As a twenty year plus Palo Alto resident, she has been an extraordinarily active volunteer in many Palo Alto projects and organizations. Dawn is passionate about supporting the social and emotional health and welfare of ALL children and teens and providing opportunities for our youth's continued learning and development.
Danielle Haas-Laursen - Vice President Danielle is one of the founders of RTE and serves as the Vice President for the past six years. A graduate of Stanford Law School, Danielle is a practicing corporate attorney in the area. Danielle and her husband, Kirk, have two children who graduated from the Palo Alto School District and one current student. Danielle formerly served on the Palo Alto Girls Softball board and the Orion School (now closed) in Atlanta, which focused on providing an enriching environment that met the needs of children with severe ADHD and/or Asperger's.
Nancy Kawakita - Treasurer Nancy Kawakita has worked in Finance as a Controller and in People Development for over 20 years at Intel Corporation. She also volunteered at the Paly College & Career Center when her two children attended Paly. She is very committed to RTE's mission to help RTE students achieve their goals. She received her BA in economics from Stanford and MBA from University of Michigan. As of June 2020, Nancy joined RTE as the Treasurer of the Board of Directors.
Deanna Chute - Secretary Deanna Chute has taught mathematics at Palo Alto High School for 20 years, including teaching statistics in the Social Justice Pathway (SJP) for the last six years. As a Teacher Advisor for 18 years, she has worked to support students in their post-Paly planning. She co-developed the Advanced Authentic Research (AAR) course and acted as the Paly AAR Site Liaison for five years, as well as serving as the Instructional Leader for the Career and Technical Education (CTE) Department and Teacher-on-special-assignment (TOSA) for Innovation Programs. She is currently working on her EdD in Educational Leadership and is excited to help deserving Paly students achieve their college aspirations.
Michael Sullivan - Director Michael was a Founder of RTE and served as the Treasurer for six years. He is a local real estate developer and philanthropist with a strong interest in promoting and supporting access to higher education. Nonprofit experience includes volunteer work with the Family Care Network where Michael provided mentoring and support services to children in foster homes as well as volunteer work as a mentor and instructor with the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Peninsula. Michael is a founder of RTE and served as the Treasurer for four years..Michael attended California Polytechnic State University graduating with a B.S. in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance.
Tida Violante - Director Tida is a graduate of Paly Class of 1989. She is grateful for PAUSD and her teachers for helping her learn to speak and write English when she first moved here from Thailand. She is thrilled to be back in sunny Palo Alto after spending the last decade with her family living in Maryland. Tida is passionate about public health issues, literacy, cooking and eating! She has served on the board and worked in the trenches for many non-profits in Montgomery County, MD and Marin County, CA. Currently, Tida was the Secretary for RTE for two years and is currently the Chairperson for the Grants Committee. Tida earned a Master and a Doctorate degree in Public Health from the University of California,
Kimberly Schwan - Mentorship Chairperson Kimberly recently concluded a successful career as VP of Human Resources for a private equity firm where she worked for over 16 years. Since her retirement she has dedicated her time volunteering weekly at Palo Alto High School College and Career Counseling Center. Through this experience and helping her own daughters through the college selection and application process she became enlightened to the challenges that that low income, high achieving children face. She joined RTE hoping to break down some of the barriers for these young adults. Kimberly has lived in Palo Alto with her husband and two daughters for over 15 years. She received her BS in Business from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill.
Pallavi Homan - Director Pallavi Homan grew up outside Rochester, N.Y. andhas been a resident of Palo Alto for over a decade. Her daughter began kindergarten at Escondido Elementary in 2005, and is now a Paly graduate majoring in Journalism at Northeastern University. In addition, her son is a student at Paly. Pallavi is grateful that her kids have had the opportunity to experience such an amazing school district. A graduate of both Cornell University and Northwestern's Kellogg School of Management, Pallavi has worked in the tech sector in Product Managementsince moving to the Silicon Valley in 1998, including stints at companies such as Yahoo!, eBay and now Apple. Pallaviis excited about this opportunity to give back to the community and is passionate about leveling the playing field for low income students.
Miguel Fittoria - Director Born and raised in East Palo Alto to a mother from Mexico and a father from Nicaragua, Miguel is a member of the first class of Spanish Immersion students in PAUSD, graduating from Paly in 2008. At the University of Rochester, Miguel double-majored in Political Science and Psychology and stayed on to complete an M.S. in Human Development from the Warner School of Education. His own thesis work addressed the experiences of children in voluntary transfer programs (“VTP”) similar to the one that brought him to PAUSD as a student. A graduate of Foundation for a College Education's high school program, Miguel is the first to acknowledge the critical role that parents and mentors played in his own development. Miguel worked as the Program Director for DreamCatchers recognizing the need for a multi-faceted approach to tackling the opportunity gap, He is currently the Community Outreach Coordinator for PAUSD.
Elizabeth Mueller - Director Liz Mueller grew up in Palo Alto and attended Palo Alto schools. After college, Liz returned to work at Paly, first as a Special Education Paraprofessional and later as a teacher. Liz has worked at Paly for over 20 years, teaching Special Education and a range of support classes, and for the last 6 years classes for Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID). Liz has made equity a focus of her career at Paly, consistently working to narrow the achievement gap not only through her teaching but through participation on Site Council, Education Council, the Palo Alto Unified School District Equity Team, and Camp Everytown. She is very excited to work with RTE to drastically increase educational opportunities for many deserving Paly students.
Greer Stone - Director Greer Stone is the Student Activities Director at Paly and teaches Social Studies at Gunn High School. He previously taught at J.L.S. Middle School. Greer is an attorney and is passionate about social justice. He serves as vice-chair of the Santa Clara County Human Rights Commission and is a community activist here in Palo Alto. Greer chairs the Midtown Residents Association and is the former chair of the Palo Alto Human Relations Commission. He holds a Law Degree from Santa Clara University School of Law, a bachelor’s degree in political science from UC Irvine, and received his teaching credential from Notre Dame de Namur University. Greer grew up in Palo Alto, attending Duveneck, Greene, and graduating from Paly. He is eager to apply his experience in education and community organizing as a RTE board member.