Serving Preschool Through 8th Grade in the San Francisco East Bay Since 1962

The Work of the Board of Trustees

As a NAIS member and CAIS-accredited independent school, Seven Hills is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization governed by an independent, self-perpetuating Board of Trustees. Trustees determine the Seven Hills mission and strategic goals and act as fiduciaries for future generations of Seven Hills students.

Key areas of Board activity include:

  • Planning – Developing and monitoring the Seven Hills strategic plan and the school’s progress toward meeting its goals and objectives
  • Finance –Stewarding the school’s financial assets and approving the Seven Hills annual budget, which includes setting tuition
  • Collaboration - Supporting, retaining, and advising the Head of School
The partnership between the Board of Trustees and the Head of School is one of the key foundational aspects of the school’s long-term success. The below document provides insight and clarity about the role and work of the Board of Trustees, board committees, and current priorities.


List of 5 frequently asked questions.

  • Q: How is the work of the Board of Trustees carried out?

    There are currently seven board committees: Executive, Campus Infrastructure & Sustainability, Development, Diversity/Equity/Inclusion, Finance, Governance, and Risk Management. Current subcommittees are Investment and Audit. These committees are comprised of smaller groups of Board members. Committee meetings are held separately from the full Board regularly and generally work to research and develop recommendations on issues of importance to the school. Board members typically serve on one or two committees. Most committees also include at least one Seven Hills staff member who participates as a liaison to school administration. At the discretion of the Head of School and Board Chair, ad hoc or advisory committees can be formed as needs arise.
    The full Board meets regularly during the school year. These meetings typically include reports from the school administration and Board committees addressing matters requiring the Board's attention. Periodically, outside speakers present on key topics such as diversity, fundraising, and trends in independent school education.
  • Q: What is the leadership structure of the Board?

    As prescribed in the Board's by-laws, it is led by the Officers who comprise the Executive Committee. Following the Principles of Best Practices for governance set out by NAIS, the Executive Committee at Seven Hills includes the Board Chair, at least one Vice-Chair, the Secretary, and the Treasurer.
  • Q: How do the Board and the Head of School coordinate their work?

    The Board, with the Head, creates the school's strategic plan. The Head and Admin Leadership team are responsible for overseeing its implementation. The Head also works in partnership with the Board to establish and refine the school’s mission and articulate that mission to students, faculty and staff, parents, alumni, and the community. The Head alone is responsible for collaborating with faculty and staff to develop and maintain the academic programs that fulfill the school's mission. The Head deals directly with parent needs and concerns while also managing the school’s regular operations.
  • Q: Who serves on the Board and how is it composed?

    Members of the Board have included current parents, alumni, past parents, educators, and community leaders. Following the NAIS Principles, the Board strives for a composition that "reflects the strategic expertise, resources, and perspectives needed to achieve the mission and strategic objectives of the school."

    Seven Hills enjoys an enormous surplus of community members who could serve as trustees. The Board's Governance Committee determines which mix of skill sets and outside experiences may be needed for incoming board members based on the School’s strategic needs and goals. The Committee also looks at the skills and experiences of departing Trustees and tries to balance skills and perspectives from one year to another. Once the Board’s current needs are identified, the Governance Committee reviews the alumni, parent, past parent, and grandparent population, as well as educators and community leaders from outside the Seven Hills community, to determine the right mix of time, wisdom, and skills currently needed to help steward Seven Hills.

    The Governance Committee takes its role of presenting potential trustees to the full Board very seriously. Over each school year, members of the Committee meet with candidates to get to know them and familiarize them with the work of the Board. The slate of new trustees is voted on by the full Board each spring. Trustees are expected to fully participate in all areas of school life and serve three-year terms, which may be renewed twice. Members of the Seven Hills community are welcome to nominate qualified candidates by contacting Greg Marsh, the current Chair of the Governance Committee.

    Seven Hills is fortunate to have several of our current parents on the Board of Trustees, as well as alumni parents, alumni, educators, and community leaders. We deeply appreciate those volunteers who serve as trustees. We thank them for their time, talent, and deep dedication to the school's long-term success.
  • Q: How does the Board communicate with parents?

    Throughout the year, parents can expect to receive communications from the Chair of the Board of Trustees in which he/she details significant school developments and pertinent news. These include the annual All Community Parent Dinner, Fall and Winter Town Hall Meetings, parent events, and periodic emails.