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 

Alicia Lara

Board 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.

Ali Baird

Board Vice 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.

Gabi Loeb

Board Treasurer

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.

Arianne Groth

Board Member

Arianne Groth founded her firm, Arianne Groth Architecture, 10 years ago. She enjoys working collaboratively and helping clients discern their goals. Prior to starting her company, Arianne worked in Connecticut, New York, and Los Angeles. Arianne also has teaching experience at the college and graduate level, starting with a Teaching Fellowship at Yale University while she pursued her Masters degree. Arianne was then a Thesis Advisor at Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCIarc), and a Faculty Lecturer at University of Southern California (USC) both on their main campus and in Como for their study-abroad program. For multiple years, she coordinated a high-school introduction to architecture program for USC. Currently Arianne is a board member of the Hollywood Grove Historic Preservation Zone, which helps guide neighborhood development to maintain historic integrity. Arianne is passionate about the education of children and recently completed a course in Child Development at UCLAextension and one in RIE Foundations at the RIE Center.

Nick Grouf

Board Member

Nick Grouf is the Founder and Managing Director of Firefly Holdings, a Los Angeles based investment firm focused on incubating, capitalizing and launching high-tech businesses in both the consumer and business-to-business sectors. His ventures include Pluto.TV, where he is currently co-founder and chairman, Firefly Network Inc. (acquired by Microsoft), PeoplePC Inc. (acquired by Earthlink), and Spot Runner Inc. whose Malibu Platform was purchased by Harris. Mr. Grouf’s accomplishments also include serving as a co-founder and Director of the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB), co-founder of TrustE, an organization dedicated to protecting the Internet privacy, venture partner at Softbank Technology Ventures, and a year overseeing the technology and online fund-raising efforts for John Kerry’s 2004 Presidential campaign. In 2007, he was named in the Top 24 Innovators list by Fortune Magazine. 

Nick spent his early career with McKinsey & Co. in New York, where he focused on media and technology, as well as at Goldman Sachs, where he worked in the Mergers and Acquisitions Group. Nick is active in the non-profit organizations where he helped to found PeopleGive and The Walther School Foundation and also serves on the boards of several organizations in the fields of Education and the Arts. A native New Yorker, he holds a Bachelor’s with honor from Yale, where he was awarded the Norman Holmes Pearson Prize for Best Thesis, and a Master’s in Business Administration from Harvard Business School.

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 Member

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.

David Lee

Board Member

David is currently working at Harvard-Westlake School as the Director of Advancement. He oversees Annual Giving, Alumni Relations, and Advancement Communications. Prior to his current position, he was the Director of Admission for the Secondary School and Director of Financial Aid for grades K-12 at Oakwood School.  He has worked in admission offices at various educational institutions, including Harvard-Westlake's admission office, for 15 years. Before returning to his hometown, he worked at boarding schools in Michigan (Cranbrook Schools) and Pennsylvania (George School), and at Georgetown University. David holds a Bachelor's degree from Brown University and Master of Education from Harvard University.

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.

Dr. Katherine O. Strunk 

Board Member

Dr. Strunk is an Associate Professor of Education and Policy at the University of Southern California, with a joint appointment in the Rossier School of Education and the Sol Price School of Public Policy. She is also an Associate Editor of the Journal Education Finance and Policy.Dr. Strunk’s research is focused on three areas, all of which fall under the broad umbrella of K-12 education governance: teachers’ unions and the collective bargaining agreements they negotiate with school districts, teacher evaluation and compensation, and accountability policies.

Before joining the faculty at the University of Southern California, Dr. Strunk was an Assistant Professor of Education Policy at the University of California, Davis. Dr. Strunk received her PhD in Administration and Policy Analysis and her MA in Economics, both from Stanford University, and her BA in Public Policy from Princeton University. She lives in Silverlake with her husband and two sons.

Lindsay Sturman

Board Member

In 2004, Lindsay Sturman worked with a group of 100 families to start Larchmont Charter School, which has become one of the most diverse, beloved and high-performing schools in Los Angeles. In the following decade, Lindsay worked with grass-roots parent groups and educators to open more diverse, high-performing, community-oriented schools, including Larchmont Charter-West Hollywood, Valley Charter, The City School, and City Language Immersion Charter. She is a television writer/producer and was the 2009 Hart Vision Award recipient for her volunteer work in the California charter school movement.

 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