Nia House Board Candidates



Meet the candidates hoping for your vote to serve on the Nia House Board of Directors for the 2017-2018 school year. 


Wednesday, June 13th from 7:30am - 5pm. 


  • Each family may submit 1 ballot. If two parents accidentally vote, the first submitted will be honored.
  • Vote online. Ballot will be available on Wednesday, June 13th, 7:30am-5:30pm. 
  • Click "VOTE" button at bottom of this page.  


  • 4 Parent Representatives
  • 1 Staff Representative
  • 2 Community Representatives 

Parent Representative Candidates

Katy Love (Justine and Oliver)- Parent Representative Incumbent

Katy served on the 2017-18 Nia House Board of Directors.  

Hello friends! I want Nia House to be a place where we all feel welcome, we all want to participate, and we are all inspired to contribute. I have served as a member of the Board and the Welcoming Committee. On the Board this last year, I have helped update our strategic plan, with a specific interest in addressing teacher/staff retention. Staff are what make Nia House so special! As part of the Welcoming Committee, I have engaged parents and deepened relationships between families. I have hosted several parent social hours, coordinated family events, and co-planned the last Nia House camping trip. 

My two children, pre-schoolers Oliver and Justine, have flourished in their years at Nia House. In fact, our whole family has benefited from being part of Nia House and its Montessori approach. I would welcome the opportunity to continue to serve as one of your representatives on the Board, bringing my 15+ years of experience in the non-profit sector. I have worked with several non-profit Boards on governance, change management, finance and fundraising, and operations. I have significant experience in grants, facilitation, management, and collaboration. 

Please feel free to reach out to me to share your ideas.  Thank you for your consideration!  

Kirsten Wolff (Oscar) - Parent Representative Candidate

I am running for a seat on the Nia House Board of Directors as a parent representative.   I have been a member of the Nia House community since April 2016, when we moved to Berkeley from San Francisco and my daughter, Daphne, joined the preschool.  From the moment I set foot here, I knew this place was exceptional.  We were amazed again and again as Daphne brought home her reading, math, maps and stories of the wonderful things she was learning.  Our younger child, Oscar, started in the toddler program in October 2016, and is now in Preschool South.  We have seen through both of our children what a remarkable experience it is to be a student at Nia House.  I am a true believer. 

My involvement at Nia House has included serving on the finance committee for the past year, and on the auction committee for the past two years.  Through the finance committee, I have gained a deeper appreciation of the school’s commitment to diversity through the scholarship program.  I am looking forward to continuing with the committee this year as we work on the fiscal health and sustainability of the school.  

In my day job, I am a trust and estates and tax lawyer and have represented multiple non-profit organizations in a variety of matters.  I believe my legal and analytical skills will add to my contribution to the board.  

I would be honored to serve as a member of the Nia House board and to pursue our shared mission to provide equal access to high quality preschool education for a socioeconomically diverse student body. 

Loris Mattox (Evan)- Parent Representative Incumbent

Loris Mattox, parent of current preschooler, Evan (and graduate O’Brien), has served on the Nia House Board for the past three years. She also has experience serving the school community as a Personnel Committee member. 

Her role as Executive Director of HIV Education and Prevention Project of Alameda County (HEPPAC) gives her experience in HR, fundraising, community organizing, volunteer management and harm reduction within diverse communities. 

The unique nonprofit management skill set that Loris brings to Nia House has benefited the school community and the board and Loris hopes to continue offering her service for the 2018-19 school year.

Monica Parran (Stephen) – Parent Representative Incumbent

Monica served on the 2017-18 Nia House Board of Directors.  

I would like to continue as a board member because I believe in Nia House’s mission to bring together children of diverse backgrounds and I want to help it to operate in accordance with that mission and ensure its sustainability. Our family has been at Nia House for two years. I began serving on the Nia House Finance committee, and have also worked on the Welcome Committee. 

I am currently a management analyst for the Drug Courts in Alameda County, which means that I look at how the courts currently operate, identify potential improvements and implement those improved practices. Prior to working as a management analyst, I spent several years managing grants and programs in the Office of Teaching and Learning for Washington DC Public Schools.

I bring to the board my passion for Nia House, and also have a lot of relevant personal and professional skills. I have advocacy skills that I gained both in law school and as a member of the Family Advisory Council in the NICU at Alta Bates in Berkeley.  I also have experience with writing grants and identifying funding opportunities. I am solution-oriented and a problem solver, and I am willing to commit to working with other board members to always act in the best interest of Nia House and the families that make up this community.  

Community Representative

Aleishall Girard Maxon (Matiz)- Community Representative Incumbent

Aleishall served on the 2017-18 Nia House Board of Directors.  

My name is Aleishall Girard Maxon and I am the parent of Matiz who was at Nia House as a toddler through her kinder year. We have seen the Nia House expansion from inception to completion and have marveled at the grace with which it has changed. 

Our experience at Nia House has been extremely positive, inclusive and enlightening. From the meaningful material of the parent meetings, to the diverse and welcoming community, we could not have dreamed up a better start to our child’s formal education. Not to mention how much Matiz has loved her time here and the many ways in which she has expanded and blossomed, intellectually and emotionally. 

One of the main reasons I want to continue on the board is to further support the strengths of the program and facilitate ongoing constructive growth. The teachers and staff are such a keystone in the success of the exceptional education available at Nia House and I hope that by serving on the board I can further support them and their evolution as well. 

My professional experiences have included running a small family business wherein I am charged with furthering my grandfather’s design, art and architecture legacy. As such I have studied the various workings of different boards of directors and am very open to learning more. In addition I am a designer myself and have worked with Nia House raising nearly $30,000 over our time here at the school through various support of fundraising events. I am very committed to ensuring the ongoing financial health of the school so that it will remain a vital part of this community for years to come. I look forward to serving the many amazing children and families of this unique center of learning.

Alex Savidge-Gillett (Julian)- Community Representative Incumbent

Alex served on the 2017-18 Nia House Board of Directors.  

Alex is a parent of Julian, who attended Nia House as a toddler up until his kinder year, and to Mateo, who will start  at Nia House in Oactober of 2018. Alex is also a Nia House alum!  His personal Nia House experience was particularly influential in his desire to build relationships with others.  His career path in television reporting (KTVU) is directly related to his development of empathy during his early years.  Alex hopes Nia House continues to impart this quality and more to all children and families, and looks forward to continuing to give back to Nia House and leading the community for many years to come.