Westerly School Board of Trustees
Westerly School of Long Beach is a private 501(c)(3) non profit Independent school, and is governed by a Board of Trustees who are charged with the duty of ensuring that Westerly’s mission is relevant and being achieved to its fullest capacity both now and in the future. The Board is comprised of 12-17 volunteer trustees composed of parents, alumni, and community members working together, each with their unique skill sets and their hearts, devoting their time, talent and treasure, to help ensure Westerly is the extraordinary place we know it to be.
The Board executes on its fiduciary duties to make certain the School remains in a strong financial position, engages in long range and strategic planning for Westerly’s future, and delegates all of the School’s operations and the execution of Westerly’s mission to our singular employee, the Head of School. The purview of the Board, as is the case with other independent schools, is to hire, manage, and support the Head of School. The Head of School is responsible for all other employees and the School’s operation. As a result, Trustees do not get involved in day-to-day school affairs, disciplinary or personal issues, or admissions decisions. The Westerly Board follows the Principles of Good Practice published by the National Association of Independent Schools.
The Board meets on nearly a monthly basis during the school year, and operates through a committee system. Each committee meets regularly to set annual goals, makes policy recommendations, and provides regular reports to the Board. All committees with the exception of Finance and Trustee may also have non-Trustee members, and contributing at the committee level can serve as a pathway to becoming a trustee. Each member of a Board committee has knowledge in and/or has demonstrated a commitment to the committee’s area of focus as described in each committee’s charter.
Westerly School seeks Trustees who will actively support and promote the school’s mission, vision, strategic goals, and policy in the spirit of transparency, excellence, and inclusivity. The Trustee Committee is also responsible for creating a board composition that reflects the strategic expertise, resources and perspectives needed to meet the mission and strategic objectives.
To nominate someone for a position on the Board of Trustees, please download the nomination form.
Email Dr. Shalu Gupta, Chair of the Board of Trustees, with any questions.
Executive & Standing Committees
Below is a list of Westerly's current Board officers and standing committees.
Dr. Shalu Gupta
Advancement/Grants & Partnerships
Building & Grounds
COVID Safety Taskforce (Ad-Hoc)
DEI Taskforce - Diversity, Equity, Inclusivity (Ad-Hoc)
2022-2023 Board of Trustees Roster
Board Vice Chair
Alex is a Westerly alumni of the class of 2003. After attending Woodrow Wilson High School in Long Beach and graduating from Sage Hill School in Newport Beach in 2007, she attended George Mason University in Fairfax, VA where she graduated in 2011 with a B.A. in Communications and minor in Business. Upon graduation, Alex moved back to Southern California and joined her family's business, Frieda's Branded Produce in Los Alamitos, making Frieda's a three-generation family-business success story. Alex started in Frieda's marketing department before moving into the sales department in 2014. In 2014 at the age of 24, Alex was the youngest produce professional to be accepted into the International Fresh Produce Association Leadership Program and that same year earned a certificate of Produce Executive Development from Cornell University's Food Industry Management Program. In 2017, Alex was named one of the "40 Under 40" by Produce Business Magazine for her success and leadership in the produce industry. Now, Alex serves as the Director of Sales of Frieda's.
Alex lives in Westchester, Los Angeles with her one-and-a-half-year-old son, Eli and dog Kiwi. She has served on the Board of Trustees for nine years and takes pride in giving back to the school, engaging alumni back into the Westerly community and is excited to continue making an impact.
- Trustee Committee
- Advancement Committee
- Financial Assistance Committee
- Head of School Search Committee 2018
- Vice Chair 2017-2018
- Trustee Committee Chair 2017-2018
- Vice Chair 2022-2023
RA, NCARB, LEED AP
Member at large
Angana is a registered architect in the state of California and Illinois. Recently she opened up her own practice, called A4A Studio with a goal to focus on providing affordable services to middle and lower income families to help them build equity in their homes and generational wealth. She also prioritizes dedicating time to provide pro bono services to non profit organizations that are looking for architecture/interior design services with a focus on increasing shelter for the unhoused community and educational institutions.
Angana has taught architecture to GATE middle schoolers who live in underserved neighborhoods and attend Title 1 schools in the Long
Beach Unified School District. This federally funded program through Dramatic Results was geared towards reimagining the way we teach STEM in this country by focusing on project based learning, design thinking and growth mindset principles, and served as the catalyst to make the transition for her children from a highly rated public school district to Westerly. Angana has also served on the board as a member at large of Dramatic Results in 2021. Angana spent the last six years engaged in local civics, participating in the school district’s Human Relations Collaborative (community outreach and parent education committee) which focuses on inclusion, diversity and equity. She has been involved in supporting candidates for election at the local City Council, School Board, State Senate and Congressional levels.
Angana was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois as a first generation Indian American. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Architecture from Miami University (OH) and then her Master's of Architecture from the University of Illinois (Chicago). She has also had the opportunity to live and travel extensively outside of the United States. Angana lives in Seal Beach, CA with her husband Nimesh and their two daughters, Kalina (class of 2026) and Saiya (class of 2028).
- DEI Taskforce
- Buildings and Grounds committee
Becki Ames is the President of Tea Leaf Advisors, Inc., providing private sector clients with strategic public policy & issue management consulting. She is a sought after collaborator, with expertise forged over two decades of work in federal, state & local government, media, communications & politics. Before starting TLA, Becki served for 8 years as Chief of Staff to the Mayor of Long Beach, as a senior consultant to the Speaker of the California Assembly, and as a member Chief of Staff. She serves on several community boards and enjoys spending time at home with her family (Class of 2024) and 3 dogs.
- Finance Committee
- Advancement committee
- Past Transition Committee member
- Past Marketing Committee Chair
Dr. Cindy P. Chun is the Head of School at an independent K-8 school in Rolling Hills Estates and has more than 25 years of experience in Preschool-12 educational settings. She serves on accreditation teams for both the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) and the California Association of Independent Schools (CAIS). Dr. Chun is an adjunct professor and also participates on doctoral comprehensive exam panels at Pepperdine University, Graduate School of Education and Psychology. She is also a consultant for independent schools, coaching teachers and molding programs to ensure success for students of all learning styles. An avid traveler, Dr. Chun enjoys learning about how education differs abroad to inform teaching programs and practices at her school. Dr. Chun prioritizes faculty professional development, diversity in educational practices and learning, and culturally relevant pedagogy. Her research on affinity groups has informed the best practices for implementation in independent school settings. She is very excited to support and serve on the Westerly School Board of Trustees.
- DEI Taskforce Chair
David Wright is currently a Director of Sales for the Americas/APAC & Australia for Matrix42, which is a leading IT software company headquartered in Frankfurt, Germany. Matrix42 produces software for IT Security, IT Service Management, IT Asset Management, and Unified Endpoint Management. It was formed in 1992. David was previously Founder & CEO of an Entertainment Management company as well for about 12 years specializing in the career management of up and coming artists as well as established entertainment acts. He has had the opportunity to work with the likes of Mike Epps (comedian/actor), Robb Hunter (musician), Tommy Organ (guitarist for MJ’s This is it Tour/Janet Jackson), Crystal Starr Knighton (actress/singer—American Idol Top 20), Ms. Diddy (Brand Ambassador) & DJ Prophet (93.5FM) & Craig Thomas (actor/movie producer).
David was born in Dallas, TX and raised in the Dallas area until he relocated to Southern California in December 1999 with Insight, a Fortune 500 technology company. David is a huge sports fan but loves his Dallas Cowboys the most! David currently lives in Long Beach with his daughter, Madison (Class of 2026). David and his girlfriend, RyAnn co-parent Madison along with her mother Ebony and have all been members of the Westerly family since 2017 starting in Kindergarten.
- Advancement Committee
- Trustee committee
Dr. Batra is a Board-Certified Pediatrician and Pediatric Infectious Diseases/HIV Specialist working at both Miller Children’s and Women’s Hospital (MCWH) in Long Beach and Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in Torrance where he provides care for children and young adults, the vast majority of whom are underserved. He is especially passionate about helping his young HIV patients achieve their goals given the ongoing stigma attached to this disease. In addition to his role as a clinician, he serves as Chair of the Infection Control/Epidemiology Committee at MCWH as well as President of the Miller Children’s Specialty Group, with over 40 physicians. He is the Medical Director of the Bickerstaff Family Center, a family-centered medical clinic that cares for children, mothers, and their partners with HIV. He has participated in multiple medical missions including to Cambodia and most recently, to Uganda, where he was born. He moved from Uganda to Canada at the age of nine, and then to Los Angeles six years later. He completed his Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences from UC Irvine and earned his Doctor of Medicine degree in 1996, after which he completed a residency in Pediatrics in Ohio followed by a fellowship in Pediatric Infectious Diseases at Harbor-UCLA.
He has lived in Long Beach since 2002 and has two children, Kaaya (Class of 2018) and Eshaan (Class of 2022). He is also an avid golfer and enjoys movies.
- Building and Grounds
- Health & Safety Taskforce
Finance Committee Member
Michael is the founder and owner of Wyeth, a leading fashion hat label that he began in 2014. Wyeth is a local Long Beach business with offices and a warehouse in the Zaferia district. He has supported many local organizations with hat donations including The Women's Shelter of Long Beach, Homeboy Industries and City of Hope. Michael was born and raised in Sierra Madre, California. He was a reserve firefighter for the City of Lynwood and Sierra Madre for 3 years in his early 20's until he developed a passion for travel which has never faded.
He and his wife Hedda Staines live in Bluff Park, Long Beach with their daughter Ida (Class of 2025) and have been members of the Westerly community since 2018.
- Building and Grounds Committee
Roosevelt is a Westerly Parent who grew up in the local area attending the local public schools. A veteran in the Financial Services industry, currently performing Strategy and Product Management at a Fortune 50 company. He grew up in the Long Beach area attending local public schools, and joined the Westerly family when his son began Kindergarten. When not working, much time is spent volunteering and coaching youth sports teams in the area. Enjoys traveling, but also enjoying what Southern California (and Long Beach) has to offer.
Roosevelt lives in Long Beach with his wife and son (class of 2025).
- Alumni committee
- Building and Grounds committee Chair
- Finance committee
Rose was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri and moved to Los Angeles in 2002, and has been a Long Beach resident since 2007. She completed her Master of Social Worker degree from Washington University in St. Louis, her Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Rose is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, working as a Pediatric and Adult Medical Social Worker at Miller Children and Women’s Hospital and Long Beach Memorial Medical Center. Rose also has experience in mental health assessment and treatment, child abuse and neglect assessment, adoption, and private psychotherapy. She has also worked as a Pediatric Medical Social Worker in the Emergency Department at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, and on the Audrey Hepburn Cares Team for Child Abuse. During that time.
In addition to her career as a medical social worker, Rose taught First Grade for two years in the South Bronx, New York, as a Teach For America Corps Member (1997 Corps), and taught a multi-age classroom (ages 5-9) in a one-room school in New Zealand.
Rose also currently serves on the Board of Directors for Bucket List Project Foundation; a wish fulfillment program for patients with life-limiting illnesses. She is the parent of Lila Oxford (Westerly Class of 2023), and is grateful to be a part of the Westerly community.
- Advancement Committee Chair
- Community Crisis
- Trustee Committee (past member)
Shalu is a Board Certified Ophthalmic Surgeon working in both private practice and for the Department of Health Services at the County of Los Angeles where she serves the eye care needs of and strives to increase access to the underserved in the greater Los Angeles area. Shalu has organized and led medical and surgical missions partnering with SEE International and Colorado Airlift to Uganda, Mexico and India, where she has performed cataract surgeries to alleviate preventable blindness and provided support and training to local doctors. She also serves as an expert providing medical legal support for litigation.
Shalu was born in India, and raised in Kenya until she moved to the United States in 1980. She has a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry from UCLA, and earned her Doctorate of Medicine degree from UCLA, after which she completed an Internship in Emergency Medicine at Harbor-UCLA prior to completing her residency in Ophthalmology at UC Irvine.
She and her husband, Dr. Zuri Murrell live in Long Beach with their two daughters Anya (Class of 2021) and Jiya (Class of 2023), and have been members of the Westerly community since 2012.
- Trustee Committee
- Finance Committee
- DEI Taskforce
- Covid Health and Safety Taskforce
- Strategic Planning Committee Chair 2018-2019
- Vice Chair 2018-2019
Shanelle is an Educational Psychologist working as a District Educationally-Related Mental Health Specialist (ERMHS) at Paramount Unified School District in the City of Paramount. Shanelle is currently one of two ERMHS Specialists providing intensive assessments and interventions for students with mental health needs in addition to assisting IEP teams in determining appropriate services, supports, and placement to address the mental health needs of eligible students and their families. She spent over ten years working at Children's Institute Inc. in the City of Watts as an Incredible Years Program Coordinator, then Youth Development Director, and ending her time as a Mental Health Specialist for the Head Start Program.
Shanelle was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. She has a Bachelor of Science in Liberal Studies with a special option in Child Development from California State University, Dominguez Hills in Carson, earned her Masters Degree in School Psychology and Doctorate in Educational Psychology from Alliant International University in Alhambra.
She and her daughter, Kourtney (Class of 2027) live in Bellflower and have been members of the Westerly community since 2021.
- Advancement Committee