Board of Directors Profiles | Kidango

Board of Directors

The Kidango Board of Directors is comprised of elected members who share a commitment to ensuring access to high quality early learning for all children. Their visionary leadership, insight and direction are the backbone of Kidango’s mission, vision, and values.

Ronald Towns

Principal, Oakland Unified School District


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Ronald (or “Towns, as most call him) has a B.A. in Statistics and Secondary Education from Columbia University, and a Masters of Education and Teacher Leadership from Elmhurst College. He has been a teacher for ten years, as a Fulbright Bilingual Program Instructor in Spain, and as a department chair and coach in schools in Chicago, Oakland, and San Francisco.

Three years ago, he co-founded Camp Common Ground, a non-profit organization that disrupts cycles of racial and economic segregation in the Bay Area.  Each summer, Camp Common Ground brings a group of 30 diverse youth together for summer and school-year programming. They learn: (a) about identity and privilege; (b) empathy skills to build relationships across cultural lines understand the perspective of others, and (c) how to employ conflict resolution and non-violent communication skills to address exclusionary norms at their schools.

Towns was awarded a Truman Scholarship for his leadership at Columbia University and a Golden Apple Scholar Finalist award for excellence in teaching in Illinois. He lives by Lake Merritt and loves to try new restaurants and cafes in his neighborhood.

Susan Muenchow

Principal Researcher, American Institutes for Research

Vice Chair

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Education: M.S., Columbia University, Graduate School of Journalism; B.A., Stanford University, Phi Beta Kappa

Member of the Kidango Board Since: 2017

Why Kidango?

Whether as a researcher, state level administrator, or journalist, my focus has been improving access to quality early care and education.  Serving on the board of Kidango, a premier agency with a history of innovation, offers the opportunity to put that focus into immediate action.

Philomina (Philo) Sebastian

Retired Senior Regional Director, Kidango


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– AA major in Early Childhood Studies (Ohlone College Fremont, CA)

– BA major in Sociology (Kerala University, India)

Reasons for Joining Kidango Board:
– As a retired employee of Kidango after serving 31 years, it’s my pleasure and honor to join the Board to continue my passion for supporting Kidango’s quality care and early learning for all children.

– Supported by the current studies and research, I strongly believe that by providing equal opportunities to access quality care and early learning to all children will raise the bar for the best academic achievements for our future generation. It’s exciting to be a part of this diverse and highly dedicated team to work jointly towards the same goal to achieve further success for Kidango.

– I would like to offer my support to the wellness and morale of all staff, the backbone of Kidango in order to maintain the quality of care and early learning, and also to promote community involvement and parent participation as an integral part of Kidango’s operational services.

Gerry McFaull

CEO, Qualdeval International


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Education:  MSc. I.E. & Admin, Cranfield University, Cranfield, U.K.

Member of Kidango Board Since: 2004 (14 years)

Why Kidango? 

Early childhood development is a proven and powerful stepping stone on the path to ensure that every child has the opportunity to reach their full potential in life.  Kidango is a leader in this field and as a member of the Board, it’s my objective to contribute to the continued success and future development of the services Kidango offers to our children and families.  It is my great honor and privilege to serve our children, families, staff, funders, and community and to earn their trust through the delivery of excellent quality and care in everything we do.

Catherine Atkin

Executive Director, Early Learning Lab

QOP Committee Chair

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Education: BA Stanford University, JD Berkeley School of Law, MA UCLA

Member of Kidango Board Since: 2018

Why Kidango? 
I have long been passionate about ensuring children get the set of experiences they need and to deserve from 0-5 to be healthy happy and read for kindergarten. I am honored to be on the Kidango board where I can support an amazing early childhood program that is laser-focused on providing this kind of high-quality early childhood education and development services in the Bay Area.

Peggy Pizzo

Director, Early Learning Project, Stanford University

Board Member

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Peggy Daly Pizzo is a Senior Scholar, Stanford Graduate School of Education, where she is carrying out research related to emotional and social intelligence in young children and the adults who are important to them. She is currently directing an Early Childhood Teaching Cases Project, which will result in about eight in-depth teaching cases, to be used in professional development of early childhood teachers. These cases will focus on “best practice” teacher-child interaction that promotes social and emotional skills in children, especially when there is challenging or difficult behavior.

Previously she was an Instructor, Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, and a Research Associate at the Judge Baker Children’s Center in Boston, Massachusetts. She has also served as Affiliate Faculty at the Bush Center in Child Development and Social Policy at Yale University.

She holds a master’s degree in Child Study from Tufts University (Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Development) and a master’s degree in Administration, Planning and Social Policy from Harvard University.

For twenty years, between 1973 and 1993, she promoted federal and state policies benefiting young children and their families, particularly those who participate in Head Start, child care, and early intervention services for children with special needs.

From 1980-1981, Ms. Pizzo served as Associate Director of the White House Domestic Policy Staff for Human Resources. Prior to that she was Special Assistant to the Commissioner of the federal agency that administers the Head Start, foster care, adoption assistance, child care and child abuse and neglect prevention and treatment programs.

She has also authored over 35 textbook chapters, magazine articles, and professional monographs as well as a book on parent support and advocacy activities in the United States (Parent to Parent: Working Together for Ourselves and Our Children).

The Hon. John M. True

Judge, Alameda County Superior Court (Ret.)

Board Member

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John M. True, III retired from the Alameda County Superior Court in 2015. While on the bench, he served in various capacities, presiding over civil trials and other civil proceedings, criminal calendar departments and in the Superior Court Appellate Department. For three years, Judge True served on the Juvenile Court, handling both delinquency and dependency matters.

Before taking the bench, Judge True spent many years practicing labor and employment law on behalf of unions and employees. Judge True received his law degree from the U.C. Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall) in 1975.  Prior to law school, Judge True served as a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer in Nepal from 1966 to 1969 and as the Assistant Director of the Peace Corps program in Afghanistan from 1969 to 1972.

While on the bench, Judge True has presided over numerous settlement conferences in civil matters. Since retirement, he is an active mediator and arbitrator.  During the course of his career, Judge True has taught Employment Law, Labor Law and other courses as an adjunct faculty member at Berkeley Law and several other Bay Area law schools. He currently teaches Labor Law at Stanford Law School.  He is a Fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers was elected to the American Law Institute in 2006.

Don Bolce

Director, Early Learning Services, Santa Clara County Office of Education (Ret.)

Board Member

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Education and Credentials:

  • University of California, Berkeley – B.A., Bacteriology
  • California State University, Hayward – Early Childhood Education
  • Elementary Teaching Credential – Early Childhood Specialization

Member of Kidango Board Since: 2018

Why Kidango?

I know that high quality early childhood education provides a strong foundation for children lifelong success and supports families. I recognize the commitment and quality of the Kidango staff and the Kidango commitment to support these staff. I believe that Kidango has the commitment and capacity to improve the early care and education systems that support young children and their families. I am honored to work with the committed and highly talented Board of Directors and Senior Leadership Team.

Erika Trageser

Sr. Research Program Manager, Salesforce Research & Insights

Board Member

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Member of Kidango Board Since: 2022

Reasons for Joining Kidango Board:  

Passionate about early childhood education that teaches social and emotional intelligence as a lifelong skill which starts in a Kidango classroom. Also, I am a former Kidango student who attended Tri City Children’s Center while my mother was a teacher. I cannot imagine what it is like for parents, teachers, and children currently and I want help support the great work already being done.


Mirriam Osae-Addo

Customer Service Representative, Bank Of America

Board Member

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MSW (CSUEB, Expected Graduation Date: 2025), MA, Comm. Studies (University of Ghana, Legon), BA, Political Science (University of Ghana, Legon)

Member of Kidango Board Since: 2023

Reasons for Joining Kidango Board: 

I know the benefits that having my kids enrolled in Kidango has brought to my family and I would like to bring my experiences and skills both as a parent and a community development officer working in the area of women and children to impact the efforts of Kidango to bring quality early to families in California.  I see this as an opportunity for community service.

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