Board of Directors

Connect’s governing board ensures that Connect is carrying out its mission and remains financially sound. The board also works 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. You can contact the board by emailing

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

Cesar Castillo, Board President

Cesar has served on the board since 2018. He is a registered nurse, active volunteer at the American Red Cross, and co-leader of a Girl Scouts troop. Cesar has two daughters (both Connect students).

Kathryn Hopkins, Board Secretary

Kathryn is a founder of Connect who has served on the board since 2012. She currently directs communications and outreach at Peninsula School; previously, she managed Independent Learning at Summit Public Schools, directed an Aim High summer program for Redwood City middle schoolers, and conducted education policy research at Stanford. Kathryn has a son and daughter.

Tommy O’Toole, Board Treasurer

Tommy has served on the board since 2016. He is a partner with a public accounting firm with more than 15 yers of experience in the insurance industry. Tommy has three children (two current Connect students, including a founding student, and one former Connect student).

Dylan Arena

Dylan has served on the board since 2013. He is a learning scientist with a background in cognitive science, philosophy, and statistics whose areas of expertise are game-based learning, next-generation assessment, and personalized learning. He is also co-founder of an educational technology company called Kidaptive. Dylan has two sons (one former Connect student).

Hayley Dupuy

Hayley is a founder of Connect who served on the board in 2012–2013 and rejoined in 2018. She has been a teacher for more than 20 years and currently teaches in a program in Palo Alto Unified School District that implements Project Based Learning and SEL curriculum. She also has an M.S. in Educational Leadership and has served as an instructional leader and administrator.

Anabel Jensen

Anabel has served on the board since 2017. She has been an educator, director, and principal, and has trained over 15,000 educators, parents, and others. Anabel is currently a professor and chair of the department of Education at Notre Dame de Namur University. She is also co-founder of Synapse School in Menlo Park and of a global nonprofit called Six Seconds, The Emotional Intelligence Network.

Saul Villatoro

Saul has served on the board since 2018. He has been serving the Connect community since 2013; Saul started as the campus supervisor at Connect, acting as a liaison for families in our community. He now supports Connect through fundraising efforts. He is currently working as a project coordinator for Dome Construction in the Bay Area.