Board Members

Connect’s governing board ensures that Connect is carrying out its mission and remains financially sound.  They also work to raise awareness of the school and its work, fundraise to support its mission, and help set the strategic direction of Connect.  Members are volunteers.

The board meets monthly, in public.  You are welcome to attend; find our meeting schedule here.

Whitney Wood, Board President
Whitney has more than 20 years of experience helping guide communication to all kinds of audiences, but helping get the word out about Connect is her hands-down favorite.  Her career includes journalism, customer experience, and marketing, and her volunteer activities support education and community building.   Her two daughters attend Connect.  Whitney is a Connect founder.

Kristine (Krissy) Connell, Board Secretary
Krissy has 15 years of experience in various educational settings, and currently lectures at San Jose State University.  She teaches a course in social-emotional learning, a hallmark of Connect, and has expertise in developing the kind of project-based learning that will also have a home at Connect.  She has a daughter and son who attend Connect.  Krissy is a Connect founder.

Alifya Duggal, Treasurer
Alifya cares deeply about quality education for all and helping solve the achievement gap. She has 15+ years diverse business experience that she is excited to bring to Connect. She has served as a role model for a STEM for Girls program and is a proponent of raising standards with STEM at K-12 schools. Alifya has a daughter, and enjoys sailing on the south bay channel from the Port of Redwood City.

Dylan Arena
Dylan is a co-founder at Kidaptive, an educational software maker.  He is a learning scientist with a background in cognitive science, philosophy, and statistics. He has studied, presented, and written extensively about game-based learning and next-generation assessment.  Dylan lives in Redwood City and has two sons, one a student at Connect.

Yvonne Di Salvo
Yvonne has over 20 years of human resources experience including extensive organizational design, organizational effectiveness, change management and program design expertise.  She is excited to apply her expertise in the educational arena.  Yvonne has a daughter and son attending Connect.

Diane Freidlaender
Diane is a senior researcher at the Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education. She leads research on student-centered and equitable schools with many of the characteristics that Connect will have. She is also the evaluator for Alameda County Office of Education in their commitment to provide all students with access to the arts. She has long volunteered in support of the education of her children — twin boys and a daughter — and the children of Redwood City.  Diane is a Connect founder.

Kathryn Hopkins
With more than 15 years of experience teaching, researching educations, and managing youth programs, Kathryn is a founding director of Aim High in Redwood City.  The tuition-free program supports underserved middle schoolers.  She also manages “expeditions,” or out-of-classroom learning, at Summit Public High School.  She has a son and daughter.  Kathryn is a Connect founder.

Burgess Peck
Through her work as a nurse practitioner at Kaiser, Burgess has long been very connected to our Redwood City community.  She’s bringing her deep interest in education to bear in her work with Connect.  Burgess has a son and a daughter (Connect students), and her delicious cookies and cakes fueled many Connect planning meetings.  Burgess is a Connect founder.