Board of Trustees
The Valley School Board of Trustees
Upholding the school's mission and purpose, and establishing strategic plans to ensure the school's effectiveness in achieving its mission
Ensuring that the necessary financial, staffing, governance and community resources are available to the school
Providing oversight to protect the assets of the school, maintain financial stability, mitigate risks and ensure ethical integrity
Hiring, supporting and evaluating the Head of School
Aravind Swaminathan, President
Aravind is the parent of two current students (a Valley alum and a fourth grade girl), and (hopefully) a future Valley School girl (starting in 2020). In a past life, he taught math, science and computer science to middle and high school students in New Jersey, where he grew up. Aravind is a partner at the law firm of Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, where he counsels clients on cybersecurity and privacy matters. Aravind is an avid runner, and is on the road along Lake Washington many mornings trying to recapture a little of the Glory Days (he is from New Jersey after all).
Kate Sigafoos, Vice President
Kate is a co-chair of the Valley Community Alliance of Parents (CAP) and holds an ex-officio seat on the board. She was a corporate auditor prior to her law career as a prosecuting attorney. She and her husband have two children at Valley, a daughter in fourth grade and a son in first grade. When she isn't at the gym or camping with the family, you can find Kate running corporate DIY workshops around town.
Scot Partlow, 2nd Vice President
Scot recently completed a 20-year career in technology management in the Seattle telecommunications sector, and is now working (sort of) on finding a second career. He and his husband have a current Fourth grader at Valley and are amassing a box of woodchips found in the washing machine that will be returned to the playground upon graduation. He is passionate about The Valley School, has served on the FUNdraising (auction) committee for four years, been an Admissions Ambassador, and also serves on the Philanthropy Committee. When he isn’t at the school, you can find him mowing the lawn, walking (or at least trying to) in the Arboretum, and being attacked by his two kitties. Oh, and finding that second career.
Tuney Kannapell, Treasurer
Matt Langa, Secretary
Matt joined the Valley Board in July 2014, one month after his daughter graduated from 5th grade. Along with a Masters in Education, Matt brings to the Board a corporate perspective with engineering, management and project management experience. He continues to learn and grow at Boeing. Wondering if an old dog could learn new tricks, Matt tackled and succeeded in teaching himself to juggle and solve the Rubik’s cube.
Alan Braun, Head of School
An engineer, entrepreneur, activist, and mother (of two Valley alumnae). She was one of the co-founders of Valley’s parent committee and in recent years has worked on the self-study advancement accreditation committee. Outside of Valley, she works for a global consulting firm on wind and solar energy projects. Karen grew up on the New Jersey shore (loves the ocean and Bruce Springsteen) and attended Duke University (loves college basketball).
Megan Gebhardt, Community Alliance of Parents Co-Chair
Courtney is mom to Elsie, Valley Alum and now at SAAS. She lives in Mt. Baker with her hubby, Chris, Elsie and two dogs. She owned and operated a bakery for 7 years (long ago) and was a personal chef with a few other things tossed in here and there. Courtney was one of the founding leaders of CAP (Community Alliance of Parents), co-chaired the auction and helped out Valley any way she could. Currently, Courtney and her family are raising their second service dog-in-training puppy, Mystic, for Canine Companions for Independence. She is the Vice President and Fundraising Chair of the Puget Sound Chapter of Canine Companions. Never a dull day without dog fur on her pants!
A past Valley parent (Duncan and Gabe) and has professional experience in the banking industry as a project leader and operations executive. She likes bike riding, swimming, family feasts and tending to her dog Sage (who can outsmart anyone in the house when it comes to breaking into the trash).
Petra Thompson is a Valley School alumni and works in HR and Leadership Development at ClassPass (a fitness/tech company). Prior to ClassPass, Petra worked at lululemon athletica helping them scale from an emerging brand into a globally recognized Company. Petra’s Mother, Paula Rees, served on the Valley Board for 12 years and Petra followed in her footsteps. Petra and her husband Zac live in Madison Valley, just walking distance from Valley.
Zahraa is an attorney with more than 15 years of employment law experience. For the last 10 years, she has worked at the Seattle City Attorney’s Office, defending the City in employment lawsuits and advising City departments on how to handle difficult workplace issues. Zahraa is mom to two recent Valley students and thought serving on the Valley Board would give her a good excuse to continue showing up at All School Sing on Fridays. When not at work, with her family, or at All School Sing, Zahraa likes doing yoga, playing tennis, cooking, and going for long walks while listening to episodes of The Moth podcast.