Board of Directors
Jeanette Kennedy, Board Chair
Jeanette believes education has the power to transform lives and, after a successful career in high tech at Sun Microsystems, decided to invest her time strengthening educational experiences of students in the community. She joined RCP in 2011 with a focus on recruiting volunteers and realized that she could use her business management, program development and fundraising skills to help grow the organization and better support the work all 200 volunteers are doing every day in classrooms in Ravenswood. Jeanette served as RCP's Director of Marketing & Strategic Planning for many years before taking on the role of Chairman of the Board. A highlight of her week is volunteering in a second grade classroom in the Ravenswood District.
Cindy Tipton, Secretary
Cindy was inspired by a friend to join RCP in 2016. Active in both PTAs and other school community events in the Las Lomitas School District, she saw immediately that the in-classroom volunteer resources that LLSD takes for granted is, for many reasons, not available in the Ravenswood classrooms. RCP filled this need. Cindy began as a classroom volunteer and then took on a leadership role as Site Director at Costaño School. Realizing that she had unique skills from her professional career in sales operations and database management, Cindy became RCP's Director of Data Operations & Analysis helping RCP grow more efficiently. She currently serves in that role as well as Secretary of the Board.
Kim Aitken-Young, Vice Chair
Kim comes from a long line of women who taught or volunteered in schools in southern and northern California. As her three children grew, she coached their teams in a variety of sports and began engaging with their K-12 schools in everything from chairing auctions and running snack bars to serving as a board member and officer. Over time, Kim found her board work to be by far the most rewarding and relevant because it utilized key skills from her long business career including strategic planning, marketing and fund development. After hearing about Ravenswood Classroom Partners from a friend, Kim was hooked, and has been volunteering at Costaño School in East Palo Alto since 2017. Kim believes in giving back to her community and wants to bring what she's learned, and who she's had the good fortune to meet along the way, into a common space that can enable RCP to grow as it partners with the Ravenswood School District for greater educational equity.
Susan has long had a passion for helping children and adults to achieve their full potential through education. She has leveraged her years of experience in marketing and communications to have an impact in several local nonprofit organizations including Palo Alto Partners In Education and Upward Scholars. Susan believes that education and equity in education can be the difference in a person's life. She has been a tutor, mentor and board member with Upwards Scholars where she enjoys working with adult students learning English. Susan recently joined the RCP board of directors and will be volunteering in an RCP classroom with the start of the 2020-21 school year. She is looking forward to supporting an elementary school teacher in the Ravenswood district as well as tutoring and providing social-emotional support for the students.
For a competition in 7th grade Thuyen wrote a speech about helping schools. From a young age she believed learning should be fun and wanted all children to experience that joy. Thuyen started tutoring for a school organization in college and then volunteered for San Francisco School Volunteers and the Boys and Girls Club before a neighbor told her about RCP in 2014. Since then, every year she has loved reading with the Ravenswood kids. Shy or talkative, calm or firecrackers, she adores them all. Thuyen believes when the students start remembering the letter sounds or begin seeing patterns—it’s a gift to witness. In her professional life she is a manager for a university biology lab, getting to help graduate students try out new ideas. Thuyen is grateful for the opportunity to serve on the board to honor RCP’s mission—every student deserves a chance to learn to read and succeed.
Parke works in public education as the Public Information Officer for the Menlo Park City School District and has long had a deep interest in education funding and equity. She discovered RCP in 2012 through her own children's school newsletter. After volunteering in the classroom for three years, Parke took on the added responsibility as Site Director for Costaño School for four years. More recently, Parke has shifted her volunteering in the Ravenswood district to mentoring students at Ravenswood Middle School, meeting them weekly to plan academic and personal goals. She also serves on the RCP Board of Directors. Parke enjoys mentoring as it provides a unique opportunity to develop deep and lasting relationships with students and see them progress in their learning journey. She has worked with two of her students for four years.
Jill has been a volunteer with RCP since 2013 including as a School Site Director for 5 years. She also served on RCP special committees for leveled reading and for our Executive Director search. Jill brings years of leadership experience with several other local nonprofit organizations including the Menlo Park City School District Foundation, the Menlo-Atherton High School PTA Board and the Girl Scouts. She has also mentored and tutored students as part of the Menlo-Atherton High School Mentor Program. Previously, she had a over a decade of professional experience in consulting and risk management. Jill believes that RCP's unique approach of aligning with the district's curriculum and teaching methods enables our tutors to create partnerships with teachers.
Stacie has been an RCP volunteer since 2011, serving both as a classroom tutor and for five years as a School Site Director. After a career in finance, Stacie began supporting students in the Ravenswood district as a co-director of the Ravenswood Education Foundation's Adopt-a-Teacher program. Stacie has volunteered in Ravenswood school libraries, created and led art and physical education programs to replace those suspended due to a lack of funding, and helped RCP to design our 2020-21 virtual tutoring program. Her passion for supporting local students extends into high school where she has tutored English Language Learners, particularly recent immigrants. Stacie is looking forward to returning to the classroom in person this year to reconnect with the Ravenswood students whose enthusiasm for learning brightens her week.