The Board of Trustees

Trustee Biographies

Sebha Ali is the CEO and superintendent of KIPP Houston Public Schools and came to us from Manolo Sanchez, who serves on the KIPP board. Previously, she served as chief academic officer at KIPP Bay Area Schools and founded KIPP Heartwood Academy middle school in San Jose, CA. She earned her BA in English and psychology from UC Berkeley and her master's from Stanford University. Sehba has served on the KIPP Foundation Board of Directors, the California Charter School Association Member Council, and Rocketship Education's Board of Directors. She currently serves on the board of Legacy Community Health Services, the Connect Community, as well as The Post Oak School. She is the proud mother of three children.

Erin Busby began serving on the Board of Trustees in 2017.

Raj Chelapurath began serving on the Board of Trustees in 2017.

Melissa Coleman began serving on the Board of Trustees in 2008, and has been a Post Oak Parent since 2003. She graduated from University of Bristol, UK with a BSc in Physics and Geology, and from the University of Birmingham, UK with a MSc in Geophysics. She currently manages the US Lower 48 Exploration program for ConocoPhillips, and is active in promoting women's professional development opportunities; she also supports community outreach efforts to develop an early appreciation for science. Melissa has two daughters, one who graduated from Post Oak Middle School in 2011 and one in 2016. "The Post Oak School has reinforced my children's love of learning, something I value highly, and expect they will carry this with them and benefit throughout their lives. It is an honor to be able to support the school in any way, and serving on the Board of Trustees is a great opportunity."

Adam Forman, an emeritus member, began serving on the Board of Trustees in 2008, and has been a Post Oak parent since 2004. He is a deputy general counsel at Kinder Morgan Energy Partners, L.P. He and his wife have two boys, one in in Middle School and the other in High School at Post Oak. "My wife and I love this school and the qualities that it develops in children. I believe it is extremely rare to find an educational institution like Post Oak that consistently produces interested and independent young people. I am grateful to be a part of the Post Oak community."

Blair Garrou began serving on the Board in 2014. Since the late 90s, he has focused on funding, operating, and incubating startup software companies. Blair is a managing director of Mercury Fund, a Houston-based seed-stage venture capital firm that seeks to invest in extraordinary entrepreneurs and innovation originating in the US mid-continent. He helped launch and was the director of operations for the Houston Technology Center, the largest tech incubator in the Southwest, where he led the formation of the Houston Angel Network. Blair received a BS in Management from Washington & Lee University. He has two daughters who attend Post Oak.

Vean Gregg is lead independent director with Approach Resources, serving on their board of directors. He has 18 years of experience in oil and gas investment banking with J.P. Morgan Securities LLC. Vean holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the University of Texas at Austin and a Master of International Management degree from Thunderbird, The American Graduate School of International Management. He began serving on the Board in 2014 and has two daughters at Post Oak.

Gregory Han began serving on Post Oak's Board in 2016. He is director of interfaith relations at Interfaith Ministries for Greater Houston. He holds degrees from Georgetown University and Harvard Divinity School. Greg has served as a hospital chaplain, an associate pastor for youth and education at St. Philip Presbyterian Church, and as solo pastor at Atascocita Presbyterian Church. Later he led the chapel program at St. John's School, where he taught courses in religion, ethics, English literature and composition. He and his wife Holly are the parents of three sons, two of whom are in Post Oak's High School.

Melanie Gray, an emeritus member, has been serving on the Board of Trustees since 1999. She served for seven years on the Board of Trustees, and has been a Post Oak parent since 1991. She is a partner in the law firm of Winston & Strawn, LLP, specializing in complex commercial and bankruptcy cases. She also serves on the boards of Syracuse University, Greater Houston Community Foundation, Society for the Performing Arts, Legacy Community Health Services Endowment, and the national board of Girls Inc. All three of Melanie's children have graduated from Post Oak Middle School: one has since graduated from Syracuse University; one attends St. Edward's University and one attends Episcopal High School. "This school deserves substantial credit for the outstanding character I believe my children have. I want to be sure this jewel is available to Houston families for generations to come."

Melissa Coleman speaks at the first commencement ceremony in May 2016.

Bob Harvey is an emeritus member who began serving on the Board of Trustees in 2002. He and his wife, Vicki, were Post Oak parents from 1993 through 2008. Bob is the President and CEO at Greater Houston Partnership.

Maura Joyce came to Post Oak in 2016 after serving as head of school at Montessori in Redlands (California) since July 2000. She holds AMI diplomas at both the Primary (3–6) and Elementary (6–12) levels, a master's degree in education from Loyola College, and a bachelor's degree from Boston College. Maura has ten years of classroom teaching experience at the elementary and adolescent levels. She has been a featured presenter for both AMI/USA and NAMTA and has also lectured at various Montessori schools around the country and the Montessori Institute of San Diego, where she has also been an examiner for AMI. Maura served on the Board of the Montessori Administrators Association for eight years and is the parent of a Montessori student, who attends Post Oak's High School. A native of New York, Maura came to Houston with her husband and son to become part of the Post Oak community and to be closer to her husband's family, who has been in Houston since 1978.

Lloyd Kirchner, an emeritus member and past Board chair, began serving on the Board of Trustees in 2010. Prior to becoming a trustee, he served on the school's Finance Committee. He is co-founder, president, and CEO of Commonwealth Engineering and Construction. Lloyd received a BS in mechanical engineering from Rice University and an MBA from the University of Chicago. He is a past board member of the Engineering and Construction Contracting Association, having served on the executive board for four years, on the executive advisory committee for five years, and as board chairman in 2004. He is an executive board member for the Baylor College of Medicine Partnership Board where he serves as the co-vice president for fundraising.

Lloyd and his wife Amy have one son who has attended The Post Oak School since Primary. Lloyd is an avid triathlete and marathoner, having participated in the Houston Marathon since 1992. He is also active in the Boy Scouts of America with his son. Lloyd moved his family to Houston when their son was born so that he could attend The Post Oak School. Montessori values and the incredible faculty and administration are the reasons why both Amy and Lloyd are so involved with the school. A commitment to education and investing in our children's future are what motivated him to join the Board.

Mark Martin began serving on the Board of Trustees in 2017.

Bert Mellinger joined the Board in 2013. He is co-owner of Primary Services, a Houston-based staffing agency. Bert has a BS in computer science from Duke. He and his wife Regina have three children, and their youngest was in the first graduating High School class at Post Oak.

Pat Mitchell an emeritus member, has been serving on the Board of Trustees since 1999. She served for six years on the Board of Trustees (two as chair), and has been a Post Oak parent since 1991. She is senior vice president for the Texas Medical Center, and also serves on the compensation and benefits committee of a Medical Center institution. Pat's daughter (Post Oak Middle School class of 1997) is finishing a master's degree in computer science at Stanford University. Pat also enjoys travel and reading. "I joined the Board after Sara graduated; I felt it was a way to give back to The Post Oak School. We had received so much from the school, and I wanted to be sure Post Oak would be here to serve many future generations."

Jaana Porra began serving on the Board of Trustees in 2013. The Post Oak School is the only school her son has ever attended. He began as a toddler and is currently in High School. "It was love at the first sight. We knew that The Post Oak School would become an important part of our life." Jaana Porra has a PhD in economics (information systems) and is currently an associate professor at the University of Houston, C.T. Bauer College of Business. In her spare time, Jaana competes in taekwondo tournaments in Olympic Sparring, loves extreme skiing, travels, and sings.

Jennifer Rochlis began serving on the Board of Trustees in 2015. She is chief of the Human Systems Engineering & Integration Division at NASA Johnson Space Center. She holds a BA in physics with a minor in astronomy from Mount Holyoke, and a MS and PhD in Aerospace, Aeronautical, and Astronautical/Space Engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Jennifer has two children at Post Oak.

Manuel "Manolo" Sánchez, Board chair, began serving on the Board of Trustees in 2009. He has been a Post Oak parent since 2008 when his wife Daniela and their two boys moved to Houston from Laredo, Texas. They also have a daughter and all three of their children attend Post Oak. Manolo is chairman of BBVA Compass and served as CEO from 2008 until January 2017. Additionally, he is a governing director of the Houston Symphony, a board member of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston and KIPP Houston charter schools. "What my wife and I love about The Post Oak School and the Montessori model is their holistic approach on children's education. We see how teachers live by that vision and we are grateful that they focus on the many facets of the children's development."

Rona Sonabend began serving on the Board of Trustees in 2017.

Rochelle Tafolla began serving on the Board in 2016. She is vice president of communications and marketing at Planned Parenthood of Houston and Southeast Texas. Rochelle and her husband have three children at Post Oak.

Marc P. Walsh, CFP© began serving on the Board of Trustees in 2012 and has been a Post Oak parent since 2005. He is a senior vice president and wealth management adviser with Merrill Lynch. Marc is also a volunteer pilot for Angel Flight South Central which provides free air transportation for those needing specialized medical care and has served on their board of directors. He is also currently serving on the charitable giving committee of the Memorial Drive Presbyterian Church. Marc and his wife Whitney have three children at Post Oak and are passionate about the benefits of Montessori education and are proud to be part of the school.

Alison Wong is a trial consultant with Salmons Consulting. She has published articles on gender in the courtroom, the use of juror psychology in jury selection, and patent litigation in the Eastern District of Texas. Alison and her husband have two children at Post Oak and she is also an alumna of the school, having attended through Elementary. She went on to attend St. John's School, Southwestern University, where she received a BA in psychology and sociology, and then The University of Texas School of Law, where she earned her J.D. She is co-chair of the Post Oak Parents Association (POPA) and began serving on the Board in 2016. Read more about her experience as a Post Oak alumna and parent from her POPA Welcome Dinner speech in 2014.

Alan Ying began serving on the Board in 2013 and has been a Post Oak parent since 2008. He is the managing director of Polus Capital and the non-executive chairman of KLAS Enterprises. He also serves on the boards of Connecture and the Gulf States Chapter of YPO. Alan and Anita have three children at Post Oak. They are advocates for the school's consistent, thoughtful, and high value realization of the Montessori philosophy. "Our kids are here so they can become the kinds of adults they want to be."