Mission Kids Board


Heather Lubeck, President

Heather has served on the Mission Kids Board as President since 2011. In 2009, she founded Mission Kids with two co-directors and since then has worked in all areas and aspects of the school’s growth as a Director, teacher and parent. Heather received her B.S. in Educational Psychology from University of Georgia and her Masters in Special Education from Georgia State University. She is the mother of three-two Mission Kids alumni and a future Mission Kids student.

Reino Makkonen, Vice President

Reino has been involved with Mission Kids since the school’s founding, and has served on the board in various roles since 2011. Reino has a PhD from the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Education in Evaluation and Assessment. Since 2004, he has worked as a researcher at WestEd, a large education nonprofit headquartered on Harrison Street in San Francisco. Reino also worked in textbook publishing for several years. He is the father of two-one current and one future Mission Kid student.

Fiona McElligott, Treasurer

Fiona has served on the Mission Kids Board as Treasurer since 2014.  She has a diverse business background, currently working as a financial controller for a construction company.  Fiona received her B.Sc. in Chemistry and her Masters of Industrial Engineering from University College Dublin Ireland.  Fiona and her husband have three children, two current students at Mission Kids and one Mission Kids alum.

Steve Wertheim, Secretary

Steve has served on the Mission Kids Board since July 2014 focusing on the potential expansion of Mission Kids and also serving as Secretary. He is a planner for the City and County of San Francisco, and works on creating affordable housing, space for jobs, parks, and transportation. Steve received his B.A. in Public Policy from Duke University and his Masters in City Planning from UC Berkeley. He has a two-year old daughter and another on the way.

Jeremy Noble, Membership Coordinator

Jeremy has served on the Mission Kinds Board as the Secretary from 2013 to 2015, and as Membership Coordinator since 2015. He has a background in technology and software engineering, and is a member of a number of technical standards bodies. Jeremy is currently employed by Apple, Inc., and received his B.A. in Computer Science from California Polytechnic State University. Jeremy and his wife, Elizabeth, have three children, one currently enrolled at Mission Kids, one Mission Kids alum and a future Mission Kids student.

Jim Giles, Fundraising Chair

Jim joined the Mission Kids Board in September 2015. He is a journalist and media entrepreneur, currently acting as an editorial and strategic consultant for media organizations in the UK and the US. Prior to becoming a consultant, Jim founded Matter, a longform publication that was acquired by Medium in 2012. He received a B.Sc. in Physics from the University of Bristol and an M.Sc. in Neuroscience from the University of Oxford. Jim and his wife Lucy, have two children. One is a current student at Mission Kids and another will enroll next year.

Pha Pha HamiltonAdmission Chair

Pha Pha joined the Mission Kids Board in September 2015 as Head of Admissions. She holds a BA in American Studies from Tufts University, a Masters in Education from UC Berkeley and a Masters in Speech Language Pathology from Cal State East Bay. Pha Pha has worked with youth and families in the Bay Area for most of her professional career, working at the I Have a Dream Foundation, The Breakthrough Collaborative, Mission Graduates, and as a classroom teacher for SFUSD. She currently works part time as a speech therapist. Pha Pha was born in Vietnam and raised in San Francisco. She lives in the same Mission District apartment she moved to in 1996, with her husband Darrin, and their two sons – a current Mission Kids and a future Mission Kids student. Pha Pha is committed to supporting children and families in her community.

Katie PilatAlumni Coordinator

Katie has served on the Mission Kids Board as Fundraising Chair and Alumni Coordinator since 2013. She is a civil engineer working in green stormwater infrastructure planning and design. Katie volunteers at Leonard R. Flynn Elementary as the Mission Science Workshop liaison and newsletter editor and is a long-time member of the SF Bicycle Coalition and Walk San Francisco. Katie received her B.S. in Civil Engineering from Cornell University and her M.S. in Civil Engineering from U.C. Berkeley. Katie and her husband have two children, one currently enrolled at Mission Kids and one Mission Kids alum.

Catherine TwardosDevelopment Committee Chair & Legal Advisor

Cat has served on the Missions Kids Board since mid-2015. She has a diverse professional background.  Cat started out in education, then worked as a public defense attorney, and went on to found and run a coffee shop. She now helps start-ups run their operations and human resources. Cat volunteers at Clarendon Elementary as a health coordinator and is one of the classroom parents. Cat received her JD from California Western School of Law and B.A. in Political Science from the University of California- Irvine. She has practiced law in California and New Mexico and keeps her California license active through regular continuing legal education. She has two children, one currently enrolled at Mission Kids and one Mission Kids alum.

Oscar ZavaletaMember @ Large

Oscar joined the Mission Kids Board as an at-large community member. He will be working with the board to increase the use of Spanish at the school and is helping translate literature and meetings at the school. Originally from El Salvador, he grew up in Los Angeles and attended college at Santa Clara University. Oscar graduated with a degree in Civil Engineering and now runs his own construction consulting company.  Oscar has two children with Carmela. Their daughter is a Mission Kids alum and now attends Buena Vista and her younger brother is in his third and final year at Mission Kids.