Board of Trustees

The Board of Trustees at Northern Light School are responsible for the longevity, fiscal health, and productivity of the school. They ensure that NLS continues for many more years as a leading Bay Area independent school.
A Bay Area native and alumna of Oakland independent schools, Ann Hertelendy obtained her AH Headshotundergraduate degree from the University of California in San Diego and MBA from Boston University with a focus on non-profit management. She also obtained teaching credentials from the University of Colorado in Boulder.  

After an internship at the White House under President Clinton, Ann worked as a permanent employee in the White House’s West Wing. She later found her calling in fundraising and has raised millions cumulatively for organizations such as UC Berkeley, UCSF, Spirit Rock Meditation Center, and the College Preparatory School.

In her spare time, Ann enjoys playing recreational soccer and has volunteered as an assistant soccer coach at Northern Light School, among other schools, and understands the importance of giving back to her community. She is a board member of the Hertelendy Foundation, where she and her family regularly discuss philanthropy and how best to help the community.  

Ann joined the Northern Light School board in May 2021.

Kalyan “Kal” Balaven is the Head of School at Dunn School in Los Olivos, California. He was the Kalfounder of the Inclusion Dashboard Consortium and Inclusion Factor, both of which remain key think tanks for schools centered around inclusion. He has served on the board of ISEEN, the Independent School Experiential Education Network and the Board of Standards for the California Association of Independent Schools. He loves poetry and spoken word and has been known to “spit a few bars” from time to time. Kal loves comics and graphic novels, long slow runs, and is a diehard 49er fan.
Executive Committee
Monika Bauerlein

Dick first joined the board of the Northern Light School in the early 2000’s and served for about three years. Upon Dickretirement from Athenian in 2018, he worked with the school to help develop a STEAM classroom and curriculum. Dick formally re-joined the Board in December of 2020. Dick believes deeply in providing NLS students the best grounding possible in academics, intellectual development, and appreciation for community and social justice, so that they can fulfill their dreams of changing the world for the better.

Dick currently lives in Inverness, CA. Besides his work on the NLS Board, he enjoys reading, hiking, and kayaking. He is engaged in a London Literary Salon studying the works of Shakespeare. He and his wife, Molly, enjoy traveling when they can, given the restrictions of the pandemic. They have two grown daughters who live on the East Coast.

Education: Williams College (1976), BA English; University of San Francisco (1994), MA Writing.

Employment: Farm worker, Australia (1971-72); The Country School, Madison CT (1976-1978) – Taught literature to grades 6-9; Living Resources Corp, Albany New York (1980-1982) – Director of group homes for the developmentally disabled in Albany and Saratoga Springs; The Athenian School, Danville CA (1982-2018) – Worked as coach, dorm parent, literature teacher, Humanities Department chair, Academic Dean, and Head of Upper School.

Governance (Chair), Executive, and Education Committees
Brian Gadsden

A Northern Light alum and Oakland native, Geary Johnson went on to attend Marin Academy High School in San GearyRafael, CA and then the historically black college, Howard University in Washington, D.C. He obtained his undergraduate degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Accounting while interning for Marriott International headquarters in Bethesda, Maryland. 

After his internship with Marriott, he continued on to work as an Operations Manager with the company, where he transitioned to accounting and worked his way up to a Senior Accountant. He is in the process of completing his CPA and furthering his career as an accountant. 

He became a Board member of the Northern Light School in the summer of 2020, where he has been involved since a child. Northern Light has instilled in him such a community-driven mentality that in his spare time he loves to volunteer. He has a passion to help the homeless in our community and volunteers regularly for Project Homeless Connect in SF and CityTeam in Oakland. 

 Geary believes in Northern Light School’s future and the positive impact the NLS community will have on the world.

Development, Executive, and Scholarship Committees
Will Nervis
Dr. Joel Parrott
Michael Pivovaroff serves as the associate deputy director for science and technology at LawrenceMP Livermore National Laboratory. Having devoted his career to performing research and development in the national interest, his current role ensures the Lab’s scientific innovation is coupled with disciplined and strategic execution. Mike has worked in a variety of science and security fields, leading and contributing to projects funded by the Departments of Energy, Defense, and Homeland Security, as well as NASA and the NIH.

Mike received a B.A. in physics from UC Berkeley and a Ph.D. in physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  

Mike moved to Berkeley when he was 17 and has considered the Bay Area his home ever since. Having lived in Oakland since 2000, Mike and his wife enjoy hiking in the East Bay hills and appreciate the vibrancy and diversity of the region.

Mike joined the Northern Light School board in January 2023. He strongly believes in its mission of holistic education and is excited to contribute to its continued success.

Growing up in Las Vegas and then Denver, Liz is an outdoor enthusiast and was a competitive skier. College Lizbrought Liz to the Bay Area in 1983 to study biology at Stanford University. After a brief stint at Boston University to receive her Master’s in Public Health, Liz returned to San Francisco to work in contraceptive research at UCSF, and later served as the Administrative Director at Pinnacle Technologies, an energy start-up.

While a full-time mom of two children, Liz was actively involved at the public and independent schools her children attended, serving on various boards and the PTA. After her job ‘quit’ her (the kids went off to college), Liz became the Board Chair of the Northern Light School, where she has been involved since 2006.  Liz currently lives in Denver with her husband Chris and their two dogs, and serves on the governing board of ACE Scholarships Colorado. Together, Liz and Chris direct their philanthropy and energy to lifting people out of poverty.

Liz wholeheartedly believes in our motto, Impossible is Nothing!

Finance (Chair) and Executive Committees

Heather Martinez Zona is an attorney at the Guam Office of the Attorney General and represents the government of HeatherGuam in civil litigation. Previously Heather was a Public Defender in Guam, California, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands where she also was a member of the CNMI Superior Court Juvenile Justice Task Force. Heather was in private practice in New York and California and focused on insurance coverage, real estate, and commercial litigation. She has done extensive pro bono and volunteer work, including serving as a member of the City of Oakland Public Ethics Commission; as a board member of Lincoln Families in Oakland, the New York
Women’s Bar Association, the Women’s Bar Association of the State of New York, and Oasis for Girls in San Francisco; and as a volunteer Court Appointed Special Advocate and Educational Surrogate for many children in foster care. 
Heather received a B.A. from Williams College, and a J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School.
A lifetime soccer player, Heather now  enjoys water sports and is involved with animal rescue on Guam.  
Heather joined the Northern Light School board in June 2022.  She hopes to continue the school's work in delivering a positive and empowering educational environment to children of all socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds.