Board of Directors


Board meetings are conducted monthly and are governed by the Ralph M. Brown Act. For information about the Larchmont Schools Board of Directors and its governance, including a calendar of meetings and archived meeting materials, please visit the Board of Directors website.

Board of Directors Profiles 

Ali Baird

Board Chair

A passionate advocate for education and Larchmont Charter School, Ali Baird is a founding parent who has taught multiple grades in both public and private schools including 1st grade and middle school English and Social Studies. She left teaching to work for the non-profit Educators for Social Responsibility, now called Engaging Schools, which helps schools develop improved discipline practices, better engage students and implement advisory programs, and supports schools with programs on bullying, peer mediation, conflict resolution and diversity.

Ali is currently a Marriage and Family Therapist Intern with a Master’s in Applied Psychology from Antioch University. She has counseled adults, children, couples and families at The Southern California Counseling Center. She now supervises teenagers at a peer-to-peer crisis hotline TeenLine. Ali graduated from Groton School in Massachusetts, and she received her Bachelor’s in Psychology from Trinity College in Hartford, CT, where she focused on the effects of social justice and diversity on education. She is the mother of two children, both of whom attend LCS Fairfax.

Alicia Lara

Board Vice Chair

Alicia Lara is currently the Senior Vice President for Impact at United Way Worldwide where she develops strategy and program design for the national and international network of United Ways.

Alicia has spent over twenty years in the non-profit sector working on education, community development, homelessness and healthcare policy. She also serves on the board of directors for Ms. Foundation for Women, and the National Health Foundation. In 2011, she was appointed by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to the Commission on Community and Family Services for the City of Los Angeles. She holds a Bachelors Degree in Political Science from San Diego State University and a Masters Degree in Public Health from the University of California at Los Angeles.

Gabi Loeb

Board Member

Gabi Loeb is currently Executive Vice President, Finance & Operations at ZEFR, a Los Angeles-base startup specializing in video software enterprise solutions. Previously, he was Vice President of Finance at The Audience, where he managed finances and accounting. Gabi also served as Vice President of Finance at Fox Interactive Media and MySpace, where he led a global team in all aspects of financial and strategic planning and budgeting, eventually helping to sell the company to Specific Media in 2011.

From 2007 to 2009, he worked in the Corporate Finance group at Gemstar-TV Guide and held several finance and business planning roles at Walt Disney Animation Studios. He spent the early part of his career as a Research Assistant at The Brookings Institution in Washington, DC and as a management consultant at LEK Consulting in Los Angeles. Gabi holds a Bachelor’s degree with honors in Economics from the University of Michigan and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Frances Hoge

Board Secretary

Frances has over 20 years experience as a Brand manager, combining strong marketing and management skills to create profitable and compelling consumer brands. Her senior executive roles include Communications, Business Development, Creative Content, and Corporate Strategy, and span Fortune 500, mid-range and entrepreneurial settings. Most recently, Frances led the marketing team for Quickoffice, the highest-grossing worldwide app on the iPad®, which was subsequently acquired by Google. She continues to run an Independent Marketing firm, partnering with clients who want to seize market opportunity and achieve results in a rapidly evolving environment. Her non-profit work includes serving on the Board of multiple youth sports organizations, focusing on increasing access and opportunity for urban youth. Frances graduated from UCLA with Honors with degrees in Communication and Psychology, and received her MBA from Wharton.

Lara Goldstone

Board Member

Lara Goldstone currently serves as a Literacy Curriculum Specialist for Green Dot Public Schools.  Her work focuses on closing the achievement gap for historically under-served students through increasing student engagement with reading and writing in the secondary classroom.  Prior to assuming this role, Lara served in a variety of leadership positions in local charter schools, including Common Core Lead and Director of Middle School Instruction.  Lara spent the first decade of her career teaching children in Oakland, New York City, and Los Angeles.

Lara holds a Bachelor’s in Literature from Yale and a Master’s of Education in Administration, Planning, and Social Policy from Harvard. She lives in South Los Angeles with her husband and two children.

Beatrice Hsu

Board Member

Bea Hsu is Senior Vice President for Development at Brookfield Properties, responsible for Brookfield’s multifamily development activities on the west coast.  Brookfield Properties is a developer, owner and operator of real estate with over $140 billion in assets under management globally, including office, retail, residential, industrial and hotel properties.  Prior to joining Brookfield, Ms. Hsu spent over 10 years with Related California on urban infill development projects, including affordable housing, mixed-income housing and commercial mixed-use development in Southern California.

Prior her career in development, Ms. Hsu served as a senior advisor to then-Councilmember Eric Garcetti. In that position she served as staff chair on the City Council’s Housing, Community and Economic Development Committee, which had oversight over the City’s Community Redevelopment Agency, Housing Department, Community Development Department, Homeless Services Authority and Housing Authority. She also served previously as a policy analyst for the California State Controller.

Ms. Hsu is a graduate of Yale University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science and history, and the University of Southern California’s Ross Minority Program in Real Estate.

She is a member of the Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners and a former Vice Chair of the City of Los Angeles Industrial Development Authority.

Brian Kaplan

Board Treasurer

Brian Kaplan is an entrepreneur and strategy consultant with over 10 years experience helping large cap and middle market companies expand and streamline their businesses.  His areas of expertise include financial modeling and reporting, creating business plans, launching new ventures, project management, and analytics.  He has worked with clients in media and entertainment, banking, software, food and beverage, professional services, and other industries.  In 2015, Brian fulfilled a lifelong dream by opening his own hot dog place.  Brian has a MBA from the UCLA Anderson School and a BA in English Literature and Languages from Harvard University.  He has also been a parent at Larchmont Charter School since 2009. 

Anna Lee

Board Member

Anna Lee serves as Head of Global Content Services in addition to Vice President Content Acquisitions for Netflix. In this capacity, Anna oversees global business affairs pertaining to Netflix's original and licensed content usages in worldwide marketing and third party promotions.

Prior to this, Anna held the positions of Senior Vice President of Business Development for Bertelsmann AG and Vice President New Product Development at Bertelsmann AG and Time Warner Inc. in New York City.

Anna is a cum laude graduate of The Wharton School. She resides in Los Angeles and has two children who will attend LCS Selma.

Jesse Noonan

Board Member

Jesse Noonan is the Chief Academic Officer for Youth Policy Institute (YPI), where she oversees academic departments, including extended learning, college and career services, academic support, Early Head Start, and the Los Angeles Promise Neighborhood, President Obama’s signature educational anti-poverty initiative.    

Jesse has over 16 years of experience in education, working in a variety of roles all focused on ensuring equitable academic outcomes and closing opportunity gaps for all students.  She holds a BA from Barnard College and a Masters of Arts in Teaching as well as an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership for Social Justice from Loyola Marymount University. She lives in Echo Park with her husband and son.  

Erica Pitman

Board Member

Erica Pitman, is a CA State Licensed Social Worker with over 10 years of experience working with children with special needs, including children on the autism spectrum. She holds a B.A. in English from Emory University and an M.S.W. from New York University.

Erica has run social skills groups for children with social-emotional difficulty in a variety of contexts, honing appropriate curricula for children with distinct needs. In addition, she has provided counseling to young adults, and has developed recreational arts programs and curriculum for children with special needs, including yoga-ballet and music therapy. Erica has worked as a school social worker at the New York League for Early Learning's Gramercy School as well as for a private school aged program for children with special needs as the Coordinator of Admissions and Family Services. Erica assisted in the development of the school during it's first three years.

Following the birth of her oldest daughter, Erica moved to Los Angeles. In 2014, she harnessed her personal passions for cooking and entertaining and co-founded her own company, Homethrown LA. Homethrown LA is a boutique event styling + catering company that focuses on seasonal, organic food, whimsical, yet sophisticated décor, and most importantly, a party that is unique and reflects the guest(s) of honor.

Dena Bloomgarden Stein

Board Member

Dena Bloomgarden Stein is the Director of Leadership Consultation Services for the nationally recognized Mental Health America of Los Angeles (MHA), where she has worked for 16 years. She recently led clients, staff, and Board members in creating MHA’s four-year Strategic Plan.  Dena also runs the organization’s Recovery Oriented Supervision Training program for mental health program leaders. Previously, she served as MHA’s Director of Training and Workforce Development. In addition to overseeing hundreds of professional trainings, Dena managed MHA’s Mental Health Workforce Pipeline Project. She designed and supervised the Jump Start program aimed at helping post-baccalaureate graduates learn the theories and techniques needed to start careers in public mental health.  Prior to that, Dena was the Statewide Field Director for the successful grassroots campaign to pass Proposition 63, the California ballot measure now known as the Mental Health Services Act. 

Dena holds a Bachelors Degree in Anthropology and Psychology from the University of Michigan, a Masters in Public Health from UCLA, and is a graduate of the Coro Fellowship in Public Affairs. Dena is a fourth-generation Angeleno; her great-grandparents founded Canter’s Deli 80 years ago and her family still manages the restaurant.

Steven Ho

Board Member

Steven Ho is a martial artist, stunt coordinator, member of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, and entrepreneur. He and his wife, Nina Petronzio, own Plush Home on Melrose Avenue, a luxury interior design firm and furniture manufacturing showroom. 

Heather Boylston

Board Member

Heather Duffy Boylston is President of The Duffy Co., Prior that, she was principal and co-founder of H+R PR, specializing in community relations and media relations. She continues to work with many of those clients with The Duffy Co. She started her career with Casey & Sayre, a firm specializing in business-to-business communications. During her years there, she worked on campaigns for LACMA, Otis College of Art and Design, FIDM, Caruso Affiliated Holdings, New Los Angeles Marketing Partnership, The International Women's Forum, The Central City Association, and Los Angeles Convention & Visitors Bureau. Heather was also part of the team that worked to revitalize Hollywood through an image building and development campaign, working with the Hollywood Entertainment District, the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce and TrizecHahn.

Heather considers co-founding Larchmont Charter School among one of her proudest achievements. Now in its 11th year, LCS has a $10+ million operating budget and a K-12 charter operating on four campuses. It consistently ranks in the top 3% of highest performing schools in LAUSD and is among the districts most diverse, with a uniquely engaged community. As a co-founder, Heather serves on the school’s board of directors and has held leadership roles in branding, outreach/communications, site and facilities development, fundraising, and accreditation.

A native Angeleno, Heather is a die-hard Rams fan and Dodger fan. She sits on the board of directors and is in charge of all communications and marketing for the local youth baseball league. Heather graduated from Loyola Marymount University with a B.A. in Sociology/African American Studies and earned a degree in Marketing from The Fashion Institute of Design and
Merchandise.


We are profoundly grateful to our former Board Chairs for their exemplary leadership and unwavering commitment to our community:

  • Heather Boylston
  • Danny Corwin
  • Kriste Dragon
  • Ben Paul
  • Octavio Pescador, PhD
  • Paulette Light
  • Susan Lee
  • Eugene D. Straub
  • Lindsay Sturman