SDFAS is a California 501 (c ) (3) non-profit organization administered by a Board of Trustees. The Board formulates the mission of the school, develops the strategic plan and ensures the annual budget allows the school to fulfill its mission.
The Board recruits and oversees the Head of School. The Head of School is the educational leader of the school with the mission to direct the school in the best interest of the students and the aim to reach excellence in education.
Kyndra Leach joined the board in 2013. She has two children currently attending SDFAS. In recent years, Kyndra has been working as a consultant at Dexcom, Inc. She has been primarily involved in event marketing in the medical device field. Additionally she has a family real estate development and management business. Kyndra has a bachelor's degree in Business Administration from the University of Colorado at Boulder.
Fernanda Coelho joined the San Diego French-American School Board in 2018. She is originally from Brazil and moved to the United States in 2003. She has two young daughters and the oldest is currently attending preschool at SDFAS. Fernanda is a business executive with over 20 years of experience in management consulting, venture investing and business operations. She spent the last 10 years working in the genomics space as Chief Business Development Officer of Human Longevity, President of SGI-DNA and Senior Vice-President at Synthetic Genomics. She recently founded a local social impact technology start-up. Fernanda received her BS in Chemical Engineering from Escola de Engenharia Maua in Brazil and her MBA from Stanford School of Business in California.
Peter Westlake joined the SDFAS Board of Trustees in 2018. Peter, a British Citizen, and his French wife Ingrid have two children at the school. Peter is Chief Financial Officer of Prometheus Laboratories Inc, a pharmaceutical and diagnostic company owned by Nestlé. Peter qualified as a Chartered Accountant with Ernst & Young in London, and then as a Chartered Financial Analyst whilst managing equity portfolios for Deutsche Asset Management. Peter has served on the UK Accounting Standards Board and holds an MA in Economics from Cambridge University.
Etienne Chaponniere joined the San Diego French-American School Board of Trustees in 2017 and his two children have been attending SDFAS since pre-K. He attended several French schools in foreign countries (including Singapore, Thailand and Austria) and graduated with an MS in Telecommunication from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne. Etienne has 17 years of engineering experience in the areas of telecommunication ASIC design, R&D and Standards. He is currently working as a Senior Director of Technical Standards at Qualcomm Incorporated and holds dozens of US and worldwide patents.
Artun Kutchuk joined the San Diego French-American School Board of Trustees in 2015. He has two children currently attending SDFAS since Pre-K. He is VP of Business Development and Strategy at W2BI-Advantest specializing in the telecommunications field. Earlier in his career, he was VP of Bus Dev and Strategy at AetherPal, Sr Director of Product Management & Marketing at Carrier IQ, and also held various business development, product management and R&D management positions at Ericsson. Artun also co-founded Interfacing Technologies. Artun has M. Eng. from McGill University, Canada and BSc. (Hons) from University of Sussex, England.
Erica Murphy joined the Board of Trustees in 2018, and has two children currently attending SDFAS. She earned her B.S. in Accounting from Arizona State University and her J.D. from Saint Louis University. After law school, Erica joined the law firm of Stradling, Yocca, Carlson & Rauth in their securities litigation practice group. There, her practice focused on securities and complex business litigation in state and federal court, including the defense of public and private companies and their officers and directors in connection with shareholder class actions, derivative suits, and direct cases; merger & acquisition litigation; SEC inquiries and investigations; as well as general business and contract disputes. In recent years, she has worked as a contract attorney and consultant.
Emiline Cairncross joined the San Diego French-American School Board of Trustees in 2019. She has a little boy who will one day attend SDFAS. She is half French, half Italian, and she grew up in the countryside outside of Lyon, France. Emiline is an attorney, but is not currently practicing. She started her career at Jones Day as an executive compensation and employee benefits associate where she focused on corporate transactions for public and private companies. She received her B.A. in psychology and French from UCLA and her J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law.
Janice Murabayashi joined the Board of Trustees in 2019. She is the academic dean at The Bishop's School, where she has been since 2017. Prior to Bishop's, Janice was the assistant head of school from 2013-2017 at the International School of Asia, Karuizawa in Japan. There she helped to plan and manage all elements of the opening and operation of ISAK, a boarding, English language, International Baccalaureate Diploma Program school, as well as its application to the United World College network. Prior to ISAK, Janice served as the middle school dean of students and upper school. academic dean at La Jolla Country Day School, and as a middle and upper school teacher and coach at Francis Parker School, Brentwood School (Los Angeles) and Punahou School (Honolulu). She holds a BA in Urban Studies from Brown University, a MA in Urban Planning from the University of California, Los Angeles and a MA in Private School Leadership from Teachers College, Columbia University.
Teresa Sekiguchi joined the SDFAS Board in 2012. She stepped down to join the administrative team for a one year stint as Project Lead for the school's transition to an improved CRM. Teresa is looking forward to returning to the board and once again serving the school in a strategic capacity. Teresa and her husband Mauricio have two children, Emi in 8th grade and Seiji, who graduated from SDFAS, is currently a Sophomore at the Bishop's school. She has a B.A. in Economics and Political Science and a MBA in General Management from Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México and The Copenhagen School of Business. During her days as a business consultant in companies like at Kearney and Deloitte & Touche, she was involved in strategic development projects in Mexico and other Latin America countries. She has been a professor at the MBA at Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México and at Universidad Anáhuac in México, teaching New Business and Franchising classes. She is involved in the food and franchising industry in Mexico, as well as in non profit organizations that promote Mexican-Japanese relations.
Alexis Nahama joined the SDFAS Board of Trustees in January 2020. He is a proud global citizen – French by filiation (parents), born in Trinidad & Tobago, and childhood hopping around South America (Brazil, Venezuela, Mexico). He is married to Andrea (Brazilian from Rio) and has two children (Lucas and Camille) in 1st grade (twins). Portuguese, English, and French are the languages spoken at home. Tash, a Havanese dog, adds a flair of Cuban character to the family mix! Alexis is a veterinarian by training, with a vast experience in clinical drug development, business development, commercialization, and international operations. He currently holds a senior executive role in charge of the neuro-therapeutic (pain) business unit at Sorrento (Nasdaq: SRNE), a local San Diego biotechnology company. In addition to his corporate responsibilities, Alexis has served on multiple non-profit boards, scientific councils, and industry trade organizations.
Kurt Oreshack joined the SDFAS Board in January 2020. He and his wife, Bridy, have three children, each of whom has been bilingually educated from the age of two. He enjoys sailing and visiting national parks (13 down, 49 more to go!). Kurt is a corporate lawyer and is currently the General Counsel of Maravai LifeSciences (NASDAQ: MRVI). He has advised a number of Boards of Directors throughout his career and is an expert in corporate governance matters. Kurt received a B.A. in Philosophy from Loyola University Chicago and a J.D. from the University of Notre Dame Law School.
Stacia Balog joined the San Diego French American School Board of Trustees in 2020. She has three children, a 5th-grade girl currently attending SDFAS and two boys in 9th and 11th grades at The Bishop’s School. Originally from Los Angeles, Stacia and her family recently returned to Southern California after spending five years living in Paris, France. While overseas, her children attended a French International School, as well as the American School of Paris.
Stacia’s career has been in the investment field. She started in the Securities Research Department at Montgomery Securities, and later worked in Institutional Sales at Thomas Weisel Partners both in San Francisco. Stacia then worked in Research at Nob Hill Capital, a San Francisco hedge fund. Stacia and her partner continue the family office investment company they’ve managed since 2012.
In 2017, Stacia and her family completed construction on a not-for-profit school in Zambia, helping to bring much needed resources and supplies to the underprivileged children of the Ng’ombe District of Lusaka. Stacia has ongoing philanthropic activities with a focus on children’s education, military families in need, and providing resources for families in need.
Stacia has a B.A. in psychology from the University of California, at Santa Barbara.