The Board of Trustees Welcomes New Members

With the departure of deeply appreciated members of the Board of Trustees John Kohler ’88 and Tony Dominguez, this summer the Board gained three exciting new additions: Jeannine Bell Whittaker ‘98, Jonathan Nickens, and Ginna Girzadas.

Jeannine Bell Whittaker ‘98 is a Regional Vice President of Sales at Special Counsel, a leading consulting and solutions firm with a domestic and international footprint. 

Jeannine is a firm believer in the mission of the school and all of the various ways Athenian strives to educate the whole student, both inside and outside of the classroom. She is an avid traveler, having explored over 50 countries; several trips included visiting Athenian alumni and former faculty as well as Round Square schools. After 10 years in New York, Jeannine returned to the Bay Area with her husband and young children in tow. She looks forward to supporting Athenian in its ongoing journey as a leader in education.

Jonathan Nickens, parent of Athenian students: Ryan ’22 and Natalie ’25, left the financial services industry after almost 20 years to find more meaningful ways to give back to his community. He currently serves on his local school board and transportation agency.

Jon decided to join the Athenian Board of Trustees as a way to give back to a community that has positively impacted his family. Both of his children began their journey here in sixth grade, and Athenian has become a second home for them. While drawn to the educational opportunities and experiences the school offers, what ultimately convinced Jon and his wife that this was the right place was the school’s commitment to nurturing all aspects of its students. At Athenian, Ryan and Natalie have developed a true sense of who they are, and how they can make the world a better place. He finds this truly inspirational, and wants to help Athenian continue on its mission.

Ginna Girzadas, parent of Athenian students Eve ‘21 and Allie ‘23, and alumni Grace ‘18 and Luke ‘20, has been an active member of the Athenian community for a decade, serving as head of the Athenian Parents Association until the spring of 2020. A Danville native, Ginna worked in product marketing for a technology company before starting her family, and later immersed herself in volunteer work. She now hopes to further Athenian’s impact as a member of the Board of Trustees.

Ginna loves Athenian’s combination of academic rigor with a focus on the education of the whole child. She feels that the school’s approach allows students to develop different aspects of themselves and prepares them for a meaningful life in which they can and want to make a difference in the world. She values the school’s wonderful faculty and the authentic relationships they create with students. 

Jeannine, Jonathan and Ginna, we are honored and delighted to welcome you to the Board of Trustees!

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