Inside SFS

Board of Trustees Nominations for 2019-2020

The Nominating Committee of the Board of Trustees is pleased to present the following candidates:

Class A Nominees (Elected by Family Members):

Rachel Benson
Parent of 1st and 3rd Grader

Rachel and her family fell in love with The San Francisco School in 2013 when their daughter first began as a Cricket.  Since then, their passion for the school’s mission, values, and education has continued to deepen and their involvement has grown.

Born and raised in New York City but now a San Franciscan of nearly 20 years, Rachel is passionate about storytelling and helping others tell their stories. She began her career in publishing at The Economist Group, continued into advertising, and then left to start her own small, but mighty, video production company specializing in helping organizations, non-profits, and individuals bring their important stories to light.

Rachel earned a BA from Connecticut College in International Relations and French and a Masters in Broadcast and Communication Arts from San Francisco State University. She enjoys music of all kinds, dancing to all kinds of music (but mostly 90s Hip Hop), short visits back to New York City, and fun adventures in general with her husband, Mike Demmer, and their two children.  She has served as an SFS tour guide, room parent, class captain and, most recently, the Family Association Chair & ex-officio board member for the past year.

Asha Gohil
Parent of 4th Grader

A current room parent and member of The San Francisco School community since 2015 when her daughter started in the South Class, Asha and her husband continue to be deeply committed to the core values that SFS embodies.  A strong believer in the school’s mission, amazing community, and passion of its talented staff, Asha looks forward to serving SFS and implementing the Strategic Plan and living our humanitarian promise.

Asha is a FinTech leader with success at scaling fast growing products including digital tools and websites. She has more than 20 years of experience in the financial services and software development industry. She has extensive experience in international management having managed a global staff at leading financial services firms - BlackRock, Barclays Global Investors (BGI), Morgan Stanley (MSCI), CSFB, and Wells Fargo. Asha earned her MBA from The Wharton School, and holds a BA in Finance from Northern Arizona University - The W.A. Franke College of Business.

John Palmer
Parent of Kindergartener

John and his wife Neha joined the SFS community in 2016 when their son began attending preschool.  The couple’s younger son will join his brother at SFS in the fall. An active participant in many class and school functions, John currently serves on the school’s Finance Committee.    

John is a passionate believer in holistic and inclusive learning environments for children that encourage exploration, creativity, teamwork, and self-expression. With an eye toward the long term, John looks forward to working collaboratively with the board to further SFS’s mission.

John is a portfolio manager focused on the real estate sector for Salient Partners, an alternative asset management firm. He earned an MBA in finance from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and graduated with high honors from St. Olaf College, majoring in mathematics and economics. 

Anne Hipskind Roberts (Re-election)
Chair, Board of Trustees
Parent of 1st and 3rd Grader

Anne has a deep love for The San Francisco School and is profoundly inspired by what the school offers to the students, parents, and staff. As a social worker in the field of education, she has spent her career working toward equity, safety, and inclusion in the school setting. She has primarily worked with young people, providing them the support and opportunities they need to be agents of change in their own communities. Recently, she has turned her focus to the social-emotional needs of educators, building their resilience and efficacy in the classroom.

Anne finds it an honor to serve on the SFS Board of Trustees and brings both a strategic systems’ vision and an understanding of a school’s operational needs. She has a profound appreciation for the mission of The San Francisco School as it aligns with her personal and professional values.

Class B Trustees (Designated by the Nominating Committee):  

Dimitri Barton ’08
Spanish Teacher and SFS Alumnus

A San Francisco native and SFS alumnus, Dimitri Barton has returned to his roots as a member of the Spanish department. After graduating from SFS, he attended Lick-Wilmerding High School where he began, coaching, tutoring, mentoring, and as a senior, assisting classroom teachers, in what turned out to be the beginning of a hankering passion for educating.

Recruited to play college soccer, Dimitri declared his major in education studies immediately upon arrival, becoming the first male-education-major-soccer-player at Skidmore College. His next four years were spent split between the early education center on campus, local elementary school classrooms as a student-teacher, and on the field. After graduating with a BS in Education Studies, Dimitri moved to Mexico where he taught and tutored math and English, coached and played soccer, and built tetherball sets out of recycled materials for local school yards.

After returning from Mexico with refined language, classroom, and construction skills (and a dog), he now spends his days on campus teaching Spanish, observing his colleagues and former teachers, eating lunch in the yard with his students, coaching futsal, and dropping in at singing time. He spends his summers teaching and site directing at Aim High, and camping and hiking with his partner and dog.  

Michelle Yi-Martin
Middle School Humanities Teacher and Parent of 8th Grader

As a teacher of the Humanities for 17 years (13 at SFS), Bay Area native, and parent of a “lifer,” Michelle is excited to share a multi-perspective view of education as it pertains to the ever-changing landscape of child development and curriculum; however, what remains constant is the belief that one must teach to a child’s capacity to learn.

Michelle earned a Classical Studies degree from Santa Clara University and a Master’s and Single Subject Credential in English from the University of San Francisco. 

Michelle is also a practicing textile artist and partner of her family-run bicycle and media brand, MASH.

Posted March 26, 2019