Board Members

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.  


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

Nakisa joined the Board in 2017 and was willing to step into a larger leadership role on the Board in the fall of 2018 and become the Board Chair. She has the organizational skills, as well as the heart, to guide the Board forward. Nakisa has been deeply touched by Mandala and appreciates the spirit behind the school. Over her time here, she has come to value the philosophy behind the program and incorporate it into her daily life. Nakisa and her husband, Michael, have watched their son, Jack, flourish as a child, and they believe it was greatly due to the time he has 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 started in the Early Preschool and is now a Dragonfly. 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.


GINA WARREN
Board Member
Email: ginaceleste@gmail.com

Gina Warren Leuth, mom of Oliver (Dragonfly) and Gemma (Cocoons), joined the Mandala Board in the fall of 2018 after catching the Mandala spirit last school year. As an East San Jose resident, she was thrilled to find a preschool close to home that provides a play-based introduction to education for her two children. A Sacramento native, Gina attended undergrad and graduate school at Pepperdine University where she earned her MBA and co-chaired a non-profit that raised money for local charities. She now works as a regional sales manager in the South Bay for ADP. When she is not working, Gina loves running, yoga, hiking with the kids and golfing.


YATHUNA THAMOTHAMARAN
Board Member
Email: yathuna@gmail.com

Yathuna joined the Board in fall 2018.


CHRISTINA SCHMITZ-VASQUEZ
Board Member
Email: christina0310@gmx.de

Christina became a Board Member in 2018.


SHERI KELLY
Board Member
Email: sherikelly.mandalaboard@gmail.com

Sheri joined the board in 2018 and is excited to contribute to Mandala’s continued success. After visiting several preschools in San Jose for her two-year-old daughter, Mandala stood out to Sheri for the way its teachers treat children with respect, and allow them to grow in their own way and in their own time. Sheri was thrilled to witness her own daughter’s exceptional experience at Mandala starting as a Cocoon. Her daughter can’t wait to start another year at Mandala as a Caterpillar. In addition to being a mom to a happy Mandala student, Sheri and her husband welcomed a new baby boy in the summer of 2018. Sheri is also an attorney, and has her own civil litigation practice in downtown San Jose. In whatever spare time she has left, Sheri loves practicing yoga, scuba diving, reading, and writing.


Exec_MarilynMARILYN DRINO
Consultant | Founder-Retired Administrative Director | Board Member

Consultant and Mentor to Mandala
Email: mdrino@yahoo.com

In September 2010, after 35 years of gifted leadership at Mandala, Marilyn made the difficult decision to retire to spend more time with her family. We carry her spirit with us. Marilyn has left a legacy that is lived out in the very workings of Mandala, from classroom to staff room. We call Marilyn the “founding mother” of Mandala. In 1975, she created the plans and philosophy for a preschool and satellite licensed family day care network. It was Marilyn’s vision to establish a preschool in the East foothills of San Jose that fit the diversity of the area. At first, Marilyn taught in the mornings and was the Assistant Director in charge of curriculum and classrooms. Later, she stepped into the role of Administrative Director in 1984. Marilyn was known as the “glue” that held Mandala together. In her last several years, she mentored others on the administrative staff so that she could “hand over the reins” with confidence. Marilyn continues to support the Executive Team and the Board by serving as our Consultant and a Board Member. She remains a most valuable resource to us all.


Board_AttyATTY ROSAS, OTR/L
Director of Family Resources
Administration and Child & Family Support Services
(408) 251-8633 x14 (In the office M,T,W, and alternate F)
Email: atty@mandalachildrenshouse.com

Atty is a joint member of the Executive Team. She participates in administrative decision-making and offers support and resources to the classroom and our families as a licensed Pediatric Occupational Therapist. Atty also has a Certificate in Infant Family Early Childhood Mental Health. Atty began working with Mandala in 2011 as an OT consultant to the teachers, parents, and childcare providers. In 2014 she joined the Executive Team. Because of her expertise, both professionally and administratively, Atty plays an important role on the leadership team. Atty served on the Mandala Board of Directors for 6 years and helped us to grow our vision. She has encouraged Mandala to offer groups and resources to further support children with a variety of needs. Atty is a gifted communicator and collaborator who brings balance and calm to our program. She has 20 years of experience working with children and non-profit agencies. Atty is a valued resource to the teachers, who look to her for guidance and direction in the classroom. She is also an important resource for parents who need guidance with their child. Atty is the mother of two Mandala graduates, now in elementary school. In addition to her work at Mandala, Atty also provides home-based early intervention services throughout Santa Clara Co. and offers private pediatric occupational therapy to children and families. She is bi-lingual and speaks fluent Spanish.


Exec_AnneANNE KANGAS, L.C.S.W.
Clinical Consultant | Former Head of School/Director of Family Services | Board Member
Administrative and Child & Family Resource Support
(408) 251-8633 x10 (In the office W)
Email: anne@mandalachildrenshouse.com

As a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Anne provides weekly clinical consultation and administrative support to the Management Team and is available by referral to meet with families for consultation. Anne retired in August 2018 from her position as Head of School/Director of Family Services at Mandala. She worked alongside Julie and Atty for several years, preparing them to take over the leadership and management of Mandala. Anne assisted in the creation of Mandala in 1975 with founders Marilyn Drino and Linda H. She originally served on the Board and gave administrative support and mental health consultation to the school. In November 1990, when the need for support services at Mandala was recognized, Anne was hired as Family Services Director to assist with early intervention and offer guidance to families, teachers, and childcare providers about parenting and child development. She also assumed the role of Head of School for several years until the current Executive Team could step into place. Anne has three grown children who are all Mandala graduates. Anne specializes in parenting, child development, early trauma, and family challenges. She also has a private psychotherapy and spiritual direction practice.


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