Jeannie Kerr, Vice President of the Board, grew up in Colorado and graduated from San Jose State University with degree in business administration with an emphasis on hotel management. Kerr spent seven years in accounting and commercial, investment and international banking operations before she and her husband, David, moved to St. Helena in 1998. They have two sons, Aaron and Alex, who attend St. Helena Unified School District schools. Prior to running for the school board in 2010, Kerr already had a great deal of experience with local schools. She was a board member of the St. Helena Cooperative Nursery School in Rutherford, and, before that, a founder of the Crane Park Improvement Project. As her eldest son entered kindergarten, Kerr joined the Parent Teacher Group at the primary school and served three years as president. At the same time, she began serving on the St. Helena Public School Foundation's Mini Grants Committee, of which she continues to be a member. She also serves on the city's Parks and Recreation Commission and in 2003 was named St. Helena Chamber of Commerce "citizen of the year" for spearheading the renovation of a playground in Crane Park. Kerr also has helped organize the Harvest Festival, Holiday Home Tour and Just Imagine fundraisers.
Kerr said, "It is a very exciting time for our school district because of the partnerships that we are building with NapaLearns, local non-profits, and our neighboring school districts and the implementation of the Common Core State Standards. Student success in the 21st century world requires new skills which must include the innovative use of technology in the classroom and learning through collaboration, critical thinking skills, communication, and creativity. Our district is fortunate enough to begin teaching 21st Century learning skills right now and to have all the necessary resources for all of our students to have the opportunity to receive a robust education that includes relevant real world skills that will be needed for their success in college and careers."
Trustee Jeff Conwell came to St. Helena with his family in 1971. He attended St. Helena Elementary School, Robert Louis Stevenson Middle School and Justin-Siena High School before his family moved to New England in 1979.
He graduated from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN, in 1986 with a Bachelor of Engineering degree in electrical engineering and mathematics.
Upon graduating, he became a commissioned officer in the United States Navy and was an aviator throughout his 12 years of service. In 1998, he was hired as a pilot for United Airlines and moved back to St. Helena.
Conwell and his wife Laurie have three children who attend St. Helena High School and RLS Middle School. Over the past 14 years Conwell has served on the Napa County Grand Jury, led the Cub Scouts in St. Helena and coached youth sports. He is Commander of the American Legion Post 199 and President of the Napa Valley State Park Association.
Trustee Conwell takes into account the views of various stakeholders and voices what he believes is best for all students in the District. He is pleased with the direction the District has taken, noting that student achievement is up, fiscal reserves have increased, and the quality of District staff is better than ever.
"The District is going from good to great," said Conwell. "I believe St. Helena is a wonderful community and place to raise your children. I appreciate the dedication of our parents, staff, and community creating a focus for all the children to achieve at their highest levels. Thank you for everything you do that supports and educates the lives of our children in St. Helena."
Maria Haug, an Upvalley native, attended St. Helena public schools from kindergarten through 12th grade. She received a double major in economics and international relations from UC Davis then served five years in the U.S. Army as a Russian and German linguist. In 1994 she received her master’s degree in policy studies from the Monterey Institute of International Studies. She then went to work at the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons in The Hague and the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute in Sweden. She met and married her Swiss husband in The Netherlands. They moved to Switzerland in 1996 and she worked in disarmament research at the University of Geneva. In 2004 she returned to St. Helena to manage the family vineyard and care for her elderly parents. She currently works as a bookkeeper in the wine industry and as a substitute teacher’s aide for the Napa County Office of Education. Her family sells their farm’s produce at the St. Helena Farmer’s Market. Her two daughters attend St. Helena High School and St. Helena Elementary School. She has devoted numerous volunteer hours in the classroom and is deeply committed to ensuring that all students receive a well-rounded education that allows them to compete in a global economy.
Trustee Lisa Pelosi, a fourth generation San Franciscan, completed her Bachelor of Arts at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Lisa remained in Santa Barbara for nine years, honing her expertise in the restaurant and hospitality industries, most notably as the General Manager of Michel Richard's Citronelle. Upon her return to San Francisco, Lisa spent ten years as a residential and commercial property manager for Rosano & Co, a family-owned management company. She continues to work in the field of property and estate management with Honeydew Napa Valley
In 2004, Lisa, Paul and their family relocated to St. Helena. Their three children have all attended St. Helena Schools (Jake, class of 2014, Joey, class of 2017 and Mia, class of 2019). Lisa has been a very active parent volunteer since her children entered the school district. She has served on the Parent Groups, School Site Council, The St. Helena Public Schools Foundation, Community Oversight Bond Committee for Measures B/C, a steering committee member of the Give Big! and various other District committees over the past 12 years.
Lisa is a staunch advocate and believer in public education. She believes communities and society at large benefit when all children are afforded the opportunity to be educated. "Our school district is very fortunate to have such committed staff and parents involved in educating and supporting all our students".
She is honored to have been appointed to the Board of Education in January 2017 to fill a vacancy.
Julio Olguin was born and raised in St. Helena, CA and is a first generation Mexican-American. It was very important to his parents that he and his siblings receive a great education. As a child Julio attended public preschool and attended Kindergarten through 12th grade in the St. Helena Unified School District. He attended community college at Santa Rosa Junior College and transferred to Sonoma State University where he received his Bachelors of Science in Kinesiology in 2003.
He then began his career as a Personal Trainer in Los Angeles, CA, where he spent the next four years working with clients, to help motivate and guide them to lead a healthier lifestyle. He relocated to Northern California to help individuals transform their lives through exercise and nutrition as a Health and Wellness Professional. In 2010, he moved back to St. Helena to raise his family, so they could have the experience of growing up in a small town as he had. He continued with his own small private training company, and became involved with St. Helena Preschool for all in 2012. His journey with the St. Helena Preschool began as a parent in the program, then as a member on the board of directors, and finally in 2014 as the Executive Director of the local non-profit. His connection to the community continued to grow, as he began his coaching career in basketball, soccer, and baseball in 2012.
He is the father of four children, a fourth grader, a third grader, a preschooler and a one-year old. His children and community fuel his passion and commitment in creating the best learning environment for not only his children, but all students in this community. “It's an honor to have the opportunity to make a positive and lasting impact on our community and my intention is that this role will allow me to help the district forge a stronger connection with the Latino community making for a more unified and diverse district.”
Student Representative 2017-2018 School Year