Nia House Board Candidates

Meet the candidates hoping for your vote to serve on the Nia House Board of Directors for the 2019-2020 school year. 


Wednesday, June 12th until 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 12th, 7:30am-5:30pm.

  • Click "VOTE" button at bottom of this page.


  • 4 Parent Representatives

  • 1 Staff Representative

  • 2 Community Representatives

Parent Representative Candidates

Monica Parran (Stephen) – Parent Representative Incumbent

Monica served on the Nia House Board of Directors from 2017-19.  

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. I am also interested in identifying more ways to bring families together outside of school to foster the strong sense of community that many of us seek at Nia House. Our family has been at Nia House since 2016. I began serving on the Nia House Finance committee, and also serve on the Welcome Committee. 

I am 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.

Katy Love (Justine)- 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. In the last several years, I have served as a member of the Board and the Welcoming Committee. On the Board, one of my interests is to build on the strong foundation of the organization well into the future. Next year I would like to focus there. As part of the Welcoming Committee, I have engaged parents and deepened relationships between families. The Nia House community has been very important for my children--and for me! I have hosted several parent social hours, coordinated family events, and have co-planned the last Nia House camping trip.  

My two children, pre-schoolers Oliver and Justine, flourished in their years at Nia House. In fact, our whole family has benefited from being part of Nia House and the 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. 

Kirsten Wolff (Oscar) - Parent Representative Incumbent

Kirsten served on the 2018-19 Nia House Board of Directors.

I am running  again 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 Board in 2018-19, on finance committee 2017-18, and on the auction committee two years.  Through my service, 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 has served on the Nia House Board of Directors from 2015-19.  

Loris Mattox, parent of current preschooler, Evan (and graduate O’Brien), has served on the Nia House Board for the past four 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 2019-20 school year.

Community Representative

Orville Jackson (OJ)

Orville Jackson (OJ) has been part of the Nia House community for 7 trips around the sun. His son Dashiell started in the Toddler room at the age of 3 and his daughter Aria followed in her big brother's footsteps graduating in 2018.  His family has participated in the school community by doing everything from sewing curtains to advising on survey questions for research.   His professional experience as an education researcher lends itself to Nia House leadership.  OJ and his family are committed to helping NH live up to the commitments outlined in the school's mission and vision, and consistently uphold the school's vision in all of its leadership opportunities.  OJ's favorite memories of Nia House include seeing his children perform in amazing year-end plays and watching as the big blue house disappeared so that Nia House could grow.  OJ hopes to see the school through the ongoing execution of its strategic goals in order to best support quality Montessori early childhood education for all.  

Matteo Girard Maxon

Matteo has been in the Nia House community since 2013 when his daughter Matiz started in the toddler program. Matteo is a father of two daughters, Matiz and Toscana, and partner to Aleishall Girard Maxon who just ended two years of service on the Nia House Board. The Girard Maxon family is dedicated to Nia House! Matteo was active in Nia House's visioning of the school's 2015 expansion, and his youngest daughter, Matiz, was part of the first class of expanded primary (preschool/ K) classrooms and completed her Kindergarten year at Nia House before moving onto Rosa Parks.

Matteo is the owner of a local business (Ancient Organics) and if elected, will bring his HR skills, budgeting skills, and general business growth and management expertise to the NH board table, paired with his NH programmatic love and commitment to upholding the school's mission, vision and purpose.

Staff Representative

Kendall Robarts

Kendall has been a teacher in the Nia House school community since 2014.  She began teaching during a (required) short-term internship while pursuing her undergraduate degree at Saint Mary's College of CA.  She was inspired, and further interested in Montessori education because of her positive classroom experience.  While continuing her degree, Kendall began substitute teaching at Nia House and finally started teaching full-time after completing her BA in 2015.  Kendall was motivated to deepen her understanding of Montessori education and better serve her classroom and school community, so she decided to complete her Montessori Early Childhood Credential and begin a path toward a Master's Degree.  Currently, Kendall serves as an Assistant Lead Teacher, filling in for Nicole in Preschool North, as needed and if elected, hopes to serve the school as a whole in a leadership role in her first year of board service.