Board of Trustees

An Update from Nel | June 10, 2019

Dear Burke's Community,

This year is bittersweet as it marks my departure from the school as a trustee. I had the pleasure of watching my two daughters grow up at Burke’s and head out into the world with strong minds and a love of learning. While I will be sad to be leaving this community that has had such a profound impact on my family, I am happy to know that the School is in extraordinarily capable, dedicated, and inspiring hands! Specifically, I am thrilled to announce that our Head of School Michele Williams has signed a new and extended contract through June 30, 2023. Michele is an exceptional school leader and I am deeply grateful that she has agreed to serve the School for another four years.

In other news, we are thrilled to be near the end of our capital campaign! Together, we are so very close to meeting the campaign goal put forth by the Many Voices. Many Hands. All Burke’s.: The Campaign for Girls. Parents, alumnae, trustees, faculty, staff, and community members have all come together in support of Burke’s. We can now walk the campus and see the impact of the campaign immediately in the re-imagined lower school classrooms, lower school courtyards that provide landscaped outdoor learning areas, and an enhanced school entryway that is more welcoming and emblematic of Burke’s community. The students enjoyed an informal Campus Center ribbon-cutting at the end of May and we look forward to celebrating with the entire community in the fall as we debut a state-of-the-art Campus Center for parents and alumnae to congregate and students to work and perform. In addition, the new Innovation Funds and growth in endowment have already allowed faculty to pilot innovative new courses of study and project-based learning, and have funded incremental growth in teachers’ salaries so they can better afford to work and live in the San Francisco Bay Area.

The capital campaign and building project were outcomes of Burke’s current strategic plan which is ending in 2019. This Spring, the Board and administration surveyed the community for information to inform and influence our next Strategic Plan and they have already begun the process of inviting members of the parent community, alumnae, staff and faculty to join the Strategic Planning Committee. You can expect to hear more on this topic in the Fall and there will be opportunities to participate and share your feedback.

As I step down from the Board this year, I want to offer profound gratitude to two members of the Board of Trustees who are also concluding their board service this year: Annie Robinson Woods and Ambi Bowo. Their expertise and engagement have been invaluable to our work as a board, particularly on the capital campaign, and their efforts will have a significant and lasting impact on the School. My thanks as well to Benicia Gantner '84, President of the Parents’ Association who was a wonderful partner in our work and will be stepping down next year. I know that she is leaving the Parent’s Association in great hands with Jennifer Fetner Booth as the incoming President. The board will continue to benefit from the talents of Stephanie Bailey, Brewster Ely, Jonathan Feldman and Catarina Schwab who have renewed their terms for another three years. I am grateful for their commitment to Burke’s and I know they will ensure that the work of the Board continues smoothly. I am also excited to announce that two new members will join us from our parent community: Linda Chong and James Gutierrez. Click here to read more about them.

Finally, I announce with great pleasure the newly elected slate of Trustee Officers: Adrian Dollard as President, Stephanie Bailey as Vice President, Scott Jordon as Treasurer, Venk Reddy as Secretary, and Kimberly Fullerton, Jennifer McClanahan-Flint, and John Walcott as At-Large Officers. Each of these individuals brings immense wisdom, broad professional skills and a desire to help Burke’s thrive today and into the future. I know they are ready to guide Burke’s forward though the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.

It has been an honor serving this wonderful community. I hope you and your families enjoy a fantastic summer! 
With deep appreciation,
Nel Ellwein
President, Burke’s Board of Trustees
Burke's mission is to educate, encourage and empower girls. Our school combines academic excellence with an appreciation for childhood so that students thrive as learners, develop a strong sense of self, contribute to community, and fulfill their potential, now and throughout life.

Katherine Delmar Burke School

An independent K–8 school for girls
7070 California Street, San Francisco, CA 94121
Phone: 415.751.0177 Fax: 415.666.0535
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