Dawn Billman - Board 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 A graduate of Stanford Law School, Danielle is a practicing corporate attorney in the area. Danielle and her husband, Kirk, have three children in the Palo Alto School district. 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.
Michael Sullivan - Treasurer Michael 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 currently serves the board as the Treasurer and Secretary. Michael attended California Polytechnic State University graduating with a B.S. in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance.
Tida Violante - Secretary 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 is a member of the Board of Directors of Ethiopia Reads. Tida earned a Master and a Doctorate degree in Public Health from the University of California,
Angelina Bena Michael - Director Angelina previously worked at Palo Alto High school as the Wellness Outreach Worker and is a graduate of Palo Alto High School. She has a Master's degree in Public Health and she is passionate about working with diverse populations in regards to reproductive health, maternal health, child health, and nutrition. Her passions have lead her live and work in several regions around the world (most recently for two years in Ghana).. She is very excited to be working with Rise Together Education!
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 Palo Alto High School 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.
Ruby Ibanga - Director Ruby Ibanga, a native of the Bay Area, is an experienced and awesome mathematics teacher at Palo Alto High School. She is a Teacher Advisor and the Faculty Advisor for the Girls in STEM club on campus. During the summer, she also teaches with the Summer Bridge Enrichment program to help prepare rising 9th graders for high school mathematics. Ruby earned her Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry-Physics from Harvard University. She earned her Master’s degree and teaching credential from Stanford University (Stanford Teacher Education Program). Ruby is very excited to be working with RTE!
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.
Adam Paulson - Paly's Principal and Advisor Adam is the current Principal of Palo Alto High School, where he previously served as the Assistant Principal of Teaching and Learning since 2014. Prior to coming to Paly, Adam was an elementary school principal in San Carlos, CA, a high school Assistant Principal, and a high school History/Social Science teacher in both public and urban charter schools. Adam holds a Masters in Education from Pepperdine University and a Bachelors Degree from the University of Colorado. He is currently pursing a Doctorate in Education Administration from the University of San Francisco.
Kim Diorio - Advisor Kim served on the Board as a founding member and as Principal of Paly and later as the President of the Board from 2018-2020. Kim is an experienced educator and student advocate who proudly served as the Principal of Palo Alto High School from 2013-2018. Kim joined the Palo Alto Unified School District working as a School Counselor at JLS Middle School and then Henry M. Gunn High School before becoming an assistant principal at Paly in 2007. Kim holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a Masters of Science in Counseling and Human Relations from Villanova University, Villanova, PA. Kim is completing her Doctorate in Educational Leadership and Change from Fielding Graduate University, Santa Barbara, CA. A progressive leader, Kim is passionate about equity and access for all students, and innovation in education. Kim will always be a Viking!