“Capital City is an extraordinary school that enables young people from diverse backgrounds to learn together in a positive, student-centered environment that emphasizes critical thinking and intellectual curiosity. The board plays an important part, working with the head of school to ensure we are the best we can possibly be for our students and families.”
— Anne Wallestad, former Board member and CEO of BoardSource
A Board Making a Difference for DC Students
Capital City is governed by a Board of Trustees. Our volunteer Board provides oversight, support and expertise for the successful operation of the school. The Board of Trustees meets bi-monthly. While meetings are public, the Board reserves the right to hold closed executive sessions when dealing with confidential matters like personnel issues. For more information, download this flyer about our Board.
2018-2019 Board Members
Alison Arnold currently serves on the board of the Washington Performing Arts Society where she is a member of the Education Committee and the Governance Committee. She is also on the executive board of the Reston Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Inc. During the last two years, she has served as treasurer of the organization – creating and managing the chapter’s budget. In addition to these duties, she is a past President of the Parents Association at Maret School and a former member of the Trustee Board.
Her professional experience includes teaching business law at Kennesaw State University and practicing corporate law, at Hale and Dorr (Boston) and Kilpatrick and Cody (Atlanta) law firms. She received her J.D. degree from Harvard Law School and her M.B.A. from Harvard Business School. She also holds a BA in Economics from Harvard-Radcliffe College. Over the past 20 years, Arnold has enjoyed being involved in the schools of her three sons.
Maggie Boland has been the Managing Director of Signature Theatre since 2008. In addition to her leadership and management responsibilities, she is also the primary liaison to Signature’s Board of Directors (of which she is also a member).
Prior to joining Signature Theatre, Boland spent nearly 10 years at Arena Stage in increasingly senior positions, beginning as Marketing Director, responsible for Arena’s earned income, and assuming oversight of the organization’s Annual Fund and Next Stage Campaign in subsequent seasons as the Director of External Affairs. She also spent several previous years working in development for Roundabout Theatre Company in New York.
Boland currently serves as a member of the League of Resident Theatres’ Executive Committee. She graduated from Boston College and lives in Washington DC with her husband and daughter, who is Capital City student.
For the last decade, Sarah Dillard has been working to improve U.S. education. She currently serves as the CEO of SPD Advisory, where she provides strategic advice for education clients. Previously, Dillard has worked on the policy team at the U.S. Department of Education, the founding team at the National Math and Science Initiative, and the management team at Quad Learning. She’s contributed to two big district transformations (New Orleans and Memphis), overseen the development of a student services function that dramatically increases community college graduation rates, and taken a successful local program to national scale while maintaining impact.
Dillard holds a Bachelor of Arts in economics, magna cum laude, from Duke University where she was an A.B. Duke Scholar and won the Holton Prize for education research. She has a Master in Business Administration from the Harvard Business School and a Master in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School where she was a Reynolds Fellow and a George Fellow.
In addition to serving on the CCPCS board, Dillard is a founding member of both the Alumni Advisory Council at the Center for Public Leadership at the Harvard Kennedy School and the advisory board at Guild Education.
Alix Guerrier is a co-founder of a new educational web company, LearnZillion. Prior to founding LearnZillion, he was a consultant in McKinsey & Company’s Education Practice, where he advised school systems and foundations on strategic matters. His previous work experience includes: teaching in and directing an after-school program in one of Boston’s public housing projects; working as a member of the housing group in the public finance department of an investment bank in New York; and teaching full-time for several years, including in an international school in Brazil.
He most recently taught math at a public charter high school in San Francisco, and subsequently served on the Board of Trustees for the school. He currently sits on the board of Guidestar. Guerrier has an MBA from Stanford’s Graduate School of Business and a Master in Education from the Stanford University School of Education. He graduated from Harvard University with an AB in physics. He lives with his wife and daughter in Washington, D.C.
Anne Herr is responsible for FOCUS’s services to public charter schools, including performance management support and the start-up and expansion programs. Herr co-founded the Capital City Public Charter School in 2000 and served as its Executive Director from 2004-2009, providing leadership during its expansion from a successful PreK-8th grade school to incorporate a high school. Before getting involved with education and charter schools, she worked for the U.S. Department of State as an intelligence analyst, covering arms control and Russian foreign policy.
Herr is a graduate of Princeton University and the University of Maryland’s School of Public Affairs. Anne's three children attended Capital City.
Rochanda Hiligh-Thomas has over 17 years of legal experience serving the District of Columbia community. As the Director of Legal Services and Advocacy for Advocates for Justice and Education (AJE), she is responsible for setting the strategic direction of the legal services division of the organization, including the supervision of legal staff, partnership development, fund management, and client services. Her work has focused on juvenile justice and AJE’s school discipline project.
Prior to working with AJE, Hiligh-Thomas was Assistant Director for Legal Operations at Neighborhood Legal Services Program (NLSP). In her position at NLSP, she spearheaded the organization’s legal initiatives, monitored staff compliance with Legal Services Corporation regulations, and had a proven track record of effectively representing the legal needs of the client community. Hiligh-Thomas holds a Juris Doctorate from the University of the District of Columbia David Clarke School of Law and a Bachelor of Science from Tuskegee University. She is the parent of three Capital City students.
Mizmun Kusairi brings more than 15 years of international cross-sector management experience across the philanthropic, nonprofit, and financial services sectors. She leads GuideStar’s finance, strategic planning, special projects, and monitoring and evaluation systems. Before joining GuideStar, she served as vice president of operations, strategy, and talent at Global Citizen Year, a fast-growing and acclaimed internationally focused nonprofit social enterprise in youth leadership development. Kusairi also managed nearly $1 billion in investments and served in the chairman’s office focusing on philanthropic initiatives at Usaha Tegas, a $10 billion business conglomerate in Malaysia. Earlier in her career, Kusairi spent time at the Fannie Mae Foundation, Citigroup, and the social investing firm Acumen.
She holds a BS in Commerce from the University of Virginia’s McIntire School of Commerce and an MBA from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business. Miz is the proud daughter of two life-long educators and is also a DC resident.
Galo Pazmino joined Capital City’s board in 2017. He is the Co-Founder and President of SamiChakra LLC, a management consulting firm that advocates for socially and environmentally aligned business and production practices while helping foreign makers of premium organic products navigate complexities of introducing/positioning their products for the US market. Since starting SamiChakra LLC in 2016, he has engaged sales channels and developed over 40 sales points for an Ecuador chocolate maker, Ecuador superfood producer, and German spice producer, with potential run rate of $3.5M in three years. Previously, Pazmino was a Managing Director at AES Corporation, one of the world's leading power companies. As a member of the senior leadership team, he helped drive revenue from $15B to $17B. He also served as the Vice President for Finance for AgCert International PLC and a Lead Partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Pazmino holds a Postgraduate degree in Business Engineering and a Bachelor’s degree in Auditing and in Business Administration from Catholic University, Ecuador. He is an Ecuador Certified Public Accountant and served as a member of the Ecuador Accounting Association for nearly 20 years. He is currently a member of Foodtank and the German American Chamber of Commerce. He has lived and worked in the US, UK, Brazil, Mexico, El Salvador, Ireland, and France and is fluent in English, Spanish and Portuguese.
Nick Rodriguez is the Principal at Delivery Associates, a nonprofit dedicated to bringing delivery to the American education sector, where he focuses his work on governments in Africa and the Americas. Previously, he co-founded and served as a Director for the U.S. Education Delivery Institute (EDI) and helped to build and maintain a network of K-12 education systems that are changing the way they work to better serve students. He is also co-author, with Sir Michael Barber, of “Deliverology 101,” a field guide for education leaders that is the basis of EDI’s approach to implementation.
Rodriguez began his career in education over a decade ago when he served as the student member of the California State Board of Education and as a youth advocate and trainer with the California Association of Student Councils. Prior to joining EDI, he was an engagement manager with McKinsey & Company’s education practice, where he advised education leaders on policy and implementation at the district, state, and national level in the U.S. and abroad.
Rodriguez holds a Bachelor’s degree in Public Policy from Stanford University and a Master in Economics from the London School of Economics and Political Science, where he was a British Marshall Scholar.
Dr. Nitika Tolani is a Technical Manager/Team Leader within the Education Practice Area at MSI. She has a 15-year track record of achievements in strategic planning, innovative program design, management, research, and monitoring and evaluation across early and basic education sectors. She has provided technical assistance in over 30 countries in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, the Pacific, and Europe.
Previously, Dr. Tolani led real time action reviews of education programs in Jordan (of Save the Children’s response to the Syrian crisis), and developed innovative strategies and systems to measure children’s access to/experience with education systems and education quality in Libya, Yemen and Iraq. She has proven leadership in capacity building activities with donor agencies, Ministries of Education, field-based NGOs, and civil society organizations through a diverse array of funders (USAID, UNICEF, NORAD, EU/ECHO, DFID, and multiple foundations). Dr. Tolani also led a consultative global process to develop an innovative, field driven methodology for assessing quality in Save the Children’s global education portfolio, called the Quality Learning Environment framework. It has now been rolled out to over 40 country programs in both humanitarian and development settings, and has been integrated into national education quality systems by several Ministries of Education.
She received her PhD in Developmental Psychology and MA in Applied Psychology from Teachers College, Columbia University, and earned a B.A. in Psychology and English from Santa Clara University.