Board Members

Mandala Children’s House Inc. is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit corporation. Our Board of Directors is composed of a group of parents who dedicate themselves to helping Mandala live out its mission to “nurture children, support families, and nourish staff.”

The purpose of the Board is to set goals and policies that follow the philosophy of our school and reflect the diverse needs of our children and families. The Board acts as a “compass,” guiding our future while holding us accountable to our original vision. Board members are elected for two-year periods. Board meetings are held monthly at the school. Each spring, we recruit new Board members. We encourage interested parents to apply.  


HEMA NATARAJU
Board Co-Chair
Email: hemz22@gmail.com

Hema is a new addition to the Board this year (2016-17). She and her husband, Sriram Iyer are the proud parents of Meera who is really excited to be starting Ladybugs this year. The Nataraju-Iyer family came to Mandala on a friend’s recommendation. They were very impressed with the patience and care shown by the teachers when Meera had a hard time adjusting to school. Mandala’s philosophy and values resonate with Hema’s beliefs, and she is honored to have a chance to give back. Before she made Mommyhood her full-time job, Hema used to work as a Human Resources Professional in India and London. She has since shifted gears and she is now a fiction writer who was published recently. Hema’s family, Meera included, are foodies who love traveling, reading together and catching up with the rest of the family who live in India.


DIANA EFTHYNOPOULOS
Board Co-Chair
Email: diana.efti@gmail.com

Diana joined the board in October 2016 after an endless search for the right preschool for her two boys. Her heritage and values make it easy to fully and strongly support Mandala’s philosophy, and she is a big believer and supporter of educating the whole child. So when she is not entertaining her children or cooking German meals for her family, she keeps taking childcare education classes – because that’s just her passion. She moved from Germany to the US about 8 years ago and held various jobs including editorial assistant for a Hollywood based magazine and executive assistant working in a German preschool. She is truly looking forward to bringing her passion to Mandala Children’s House while maintaining the Mandala spirit. Diana and her husband are proud parents of Georgios, who is in kindergarten, and Leonidas who is in the Preschool.


FATEMA NADEEM
Board Member
Email: fatema.abizar7@gmail.com

Fatema joined the board at Mandala for the academic year 2016-2017. She is a mother of a 3 year old son, Taher, who recently graduated to a Ladybug class at Mandala. Fatema and her husband hail from India originally and have made South Bay Area their home since their marriage 6 years ago. Fatema is a home maker and is currently studying for certification in teaching and Child Development. Fatema was born in India and spent a considerable amount of time before marriage in Dubai, UAE. One of the things that really attracted her to Mandala early on was its diversity and harmony among people from different walks of life. She read a lot about the school both online and in Bay Area Parents Magazine but it just took her a few personal visits to the school with her son to know she had found the perfect place for them. Fatema feels lucky to be invited to join the board and get an opportunity to work along side a great group of teachers, administrators, staff and parents. Coming from a family of teachers (both her mother and mother-in-law have been teachers) has been a really good learning experience for her, and she expects to continue to contribute to a cause that is very near and dear to her heart.


NAKISA MUNOZ
Board Member
Email: nakisa.g@gmail.com

Nakisa, who recently joined the Board in 2017, is looking forward to deeply understand the philosophy behind the program and incorporating it into her daily life. Nakisa and her husband, Michael, spend the last year watching their son, Jack, flourish as a child and believe it was greatly due to the time he spent at Mandala. Jack was born with many challenges and his parents had no expectation that he would adjust and blossom in a preschool at such a young age. Jack just graduated from the Cocoon class and will be joining the Caterpillars in the fall. Prior to having Jack, Nakisa worked as a criminal defense attorney and spent a significant amount of time in juvenile delinquency. Nakisa believes children’s lives can be greatly improved if they are taught the right skills at a young age. Mandala understands those skills and knows how to teach them. Nakisa is very excited to give back to Mandala even a small portion of what it has given her family.


BAIL ANSARI
Board Member
Email: rabailansari@gmail.com

Bail also joined our Board in 2017. Bail says that she was so impressed with the school’s warm atmosphere that choosing Mandala for her daughter was an easy decision. She and her husband, Zulfi, are the parents of Nyla, now a Dragonfly, who has shown so much growth and independence since she started in the Ladybugs class last year. Bail is a former Social Worker currently taking a break from the professional world to focus more on her daughter. She spent the majority of her career before motherhood as a coordinator working with young adults with autism. She is very passionate about serving the needs of others and hopes to continue doing so when her daughter is a little older. Now that she is at home with her daughter, Bail has begun to explore the world of ‘mompreneurs” and has started her own home business selling handmade children’s accessories. Originally from Texas, Bail enjoys traveling back to visit family and friends, dabbling with photography, and DIY projects with her daughter. She and her husband are expecting a second child in January and are looking forward to settling in the Bay Area.


Mandala Mission: “Nurture the child. Support the family. Nourish the staff.”