In 1995, energized by the excitement of discovery and new beginnings, we founded a school based upon fundamental commitments to diversity, opportunity, open-minded exploration and caring, and responsible engagement with the world within and beyond the boundaries of our campus. We did this because it was right, and we believed in it. Today it is still right, we believe in it more than ever, and it has become a practical imperative in our rapidly evolving, increasingly interconnected world. We no longer live in insular communities – tangible or virtual; we participate in a worldwide economy and a globalized marketplace, making diversity and comfort with all that diversity entails a basic requirement for 21st century education and existence.

Although New Roads is no longer “new,” those of us who are charged with maintaining the school’s mission remain energized and focused on the possibilities ahead to discover new paths to excellence, opportunity, and engagement with the issues of our time.

The Board of Trustees cultivates an open dialogue with our community. Please contact to share your thoughts.

For more information about independent school Boards, please see the National Association of Independent School's Major Responsibilities of Independent School Boards.

Board of Trustees 2023-24
Emily Alexander
Isabel Aranda
Bryan Biniak
Breck Eisner
Jody Gerson
Carlos Hernandez MPH
Allison Hertog
Alan Hoffman
Evelyn Hou
Michael Krupp
Gus Lopez
Prashant Mehrotra
Jason Parry
Arik Prawer
Andy Rose
Melissa Rowe
Carlos Salas
Tom Soto
Trish Torrey
Erin Whalen

    • Emily Alexander

Emily Alexander has two children who have graduated from New Roads. Emily is a partner at Thomas, Alexander, Forrester & Sorensen LLP, a law firm located in Venice, CA. She joined the Board of Trustees in 2013.

Why I Serve
I am grateful for the opportunity to serve New Roads because in addition to providing a superb progressive education to my girls, the school serves a purpose beyond that of a typical independent school -- a purpose that some may view as overly idealistic and out of reach. We disagree: for over 20 years, New Roads has provided a place where students, faculty and staff of genuinely diverse backgrounds, economic status, ethnicities, learning styles, beliefs, and experiences (among other differences) can learn together in an environment of respect and authentic kindness. This is not simply a “good” thing to do; it adds unique richness to the educational experience that all of us (including me as a parent) will reap the benefits from for the rest of our lives. For me it is imperative that a community like New Roads exist, and I serve on the Board in order to support the school in every way I can. New Roads gives back many multiples of what you put into it; I and my children are extremely fortunate to be its beneficiaries. Thank you New Roads.
    • Isabel Aranda

Isabel Aranda currently has one daughter at New Roads Middle School. A graduate from USC in Public Policy and Management and a Master’s in Public Administration from California State University, Northridge, Isabel is Assistant Director at the University of Southern California, Latino Alumni Association. Born and raised in Mar Vista she has committed her life to social justice issues in Santa Monica and West Los Angeles by becoming involved in various community organizations.
Why I Serve
New Road’s commitment to “diversity, opportunity, open-minded exploration, caring and responsible engagement with the world and beyond” is why I embrace serving on the Board of Trustees. My daughter’s experience is a testament of how New Roads has truly changed her life and those around her. She’s become an independent thinker, is in a rigorous academic learning atmosphere, and at the same time she’s become immersed in issues of social justice, appreciation of diverse cultures, intellectual ideas and globalization. These are the opportunities that every child deserves regardless of their socioeconomic, ethnic, race, culture, ideology, sexual orientation or other diverse background. It is for such reason that I am devoted to increasing community access to the excellent education New Roads offers, and to serve an educational learning village that is so important and needed in today’s society.
    • Jody Gerson

Jody Gerson has a daughter and a son who graduated from New Roads. She joined the New Roads School Board of Trustees in 2022. 
Why I Serve
I have both a son and a daughter who have graduated from New Roads, and their experiences at this school have further shaped my belief in the importance of leveling the playing field of opportunities for all young people.  I love the school and believe wholeheartedly in our village and our extraordinary mission to giving young people from all backgrounds the opportunity to enter society on an equal footing. As parents, citizens, and contributors to the future of this nation, it is our duty to find ways to make success and acceptance an equal right, attainable by all children in the United States. It is my great honor to serve on New Road’s Board of Trustees. 
    • Carlos Hernandez

Carlos Hernandez graduated from New Roads in 2003. He has gone on to lead as a non-profit administrator in healthcare.

Why I Serve

I am honored to serve as New Roads’ first alumni Trustee. Having graduated in 2003, I was a member of one of the first graduating classes of the school’s history. As a first generation low-income student from Southeast Los Angeles, my New Roads experience was essential to my development as a person, critical thinker, and advocate for positive social change. New Roads also helped me work towards achieving the dreams that my immigrant parents had for me. I serve as a way of expressing my gratitude for New Roads’ unmatched commitment to diversity and social justice and the impact it has had on my family. I hope to do my part to support all families at New Roads including those that share a story like mine.
    • Evelyn Hou

Evelyn Hou has been a member of the New Roads School Board of Trustees since 2020.

Why I Serve
New Roads is a very special and unique place. The school provides a safe place for its students to learn, take risks, fail, question, challenge, communicate, problem solve and grow. Students are given the space to find out who they are and who they might aspire to be. They are stretched to view the world through multiple lenses and to also understand their responsibility in challenging and changing injustice. Academics play a critical and central role in shaping the mind, but success is personal and unique to each individual. The special design of a New Roads education is created through thoughtful intention and continual reflection that drives the decisions and direction of teaching, its leadership, and the community. Since its inception, the school has always had a deeply rooted commitment to diversity and inclusion, core values that continue to weave through the student body and families at the school today. I am honored to be a part of the New Roads Village and I serve to protect the mission of New Roads School.

    • Jason Parry

Jason Parry has two children at New Roads, and joined the Board in 2020.  For 20 years, he served on commissions and task forces on urban planning and housing in the City of Santa Monica. 

Why I Serve
I’m inspired by New Roads’ teachers, and how they respect young people for who they are.  I am moved by the school leaders who know that it’s not enough to help only New Roads’ students grow; we must also share our stories broadly and advocate for the wellbeing of all students.  And, I am drawn into service by New Roads’ young people, forces of empathy that the world desperately needs.  These people, and the bridges we seek to build together, are why I serve.
    • Andy Rose

Andy Rose and his wife Diane have two children who began New Roads in kindergarten (class of 2020 / 2026). Andy Rose is a composer, producer and multi-instrumentalist and has written and produced music in a variety of genres and mediums over the years. He has served on the New Roads Board of Trustees for 8 years.

Why I Serve
I believe New Roads has a role to play in the betterment of the world. I feel blessed to have two very different children who have each experienced a uniquely personal education, rooted in authentic acceptance and a deep passion for learning. New Roads taught me that education can be a partnership between teacher and student, based on understanding and mutual respect. I believe that is rare and magical. Our society and world need a young generation that can communicate and collaborate with diverse minds on solving the persistent problems of our time in humanistic ways. After 14 years as a New Roads parent, and 8 years serving on the Board of Trustees, I have taken the core New Roads commitments to heart. I continue to dedicate myself to this profound school by trying to help secure its future while maintaining the essence, soul, and core beliefs that have made it extraordinary since the beginning.
    • Melissa Rowe

Dr. Melissa Rowe and her husband, David Loughran, have a daughter, Fiona Loughran, who attends New Roads and is class of 2024.  Melissa is a Vice President at the RAND Corporation, a non-profit public policy research organization headquartered in Santa Monica, dedicated to improving policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis.  In this role, she oversees a multidisciplinary staff of ~1,600 researchers and scientists for RAND US.  She joined the New Roads Board of Trustees in 2017.  Melissa also serves on several other non-profit boards including the Oxford Initiative for Global Ethics and Human Rights, the Development Partnership Institute, and the Advisory Braintrust for XPrize Foundation Health Alliance.
Why I Serve
From the moment I spoke with Luthern Williams, Head of School, and became acquainted with some of the school’s incredible teachers and administrators, I wanted to become a part of their community; a community that is striving to deliver a top-quality and inclusive education to an eclectic student body, and bring the approach to the rest of the United States and the world. As a psychologist with a background in education research, this mission and approach is well-aligned with my professional goals, and most importantly my personal goal to provide my daughter with an excellent academic education and a community with shared values.  I serve on the board to assist New Roads in achieving our mission to liberate human potential and deliver a model of education that values inclusion and meaningful access for all students.
    • Carlos P. Salas

Carlos P. Salas and his wife Alison have sent two daughters to New Roads. Carlos has focused his career on private equity investment and leading financial services companies. An immigrant to the United States at a young age, he went on to study philosophy at NYU and law at the University of Chicago before pursuing a career that has included roles in finance, law and executive management.

Why I Serve
Education is the precondition for individual opportunity, and a well-educated society is the precondition for a just society. I therefore believe providing access to a quality education to the children of our greater community is the most impactful way to improve the world around us. I was fortunate to benefit from a private school education, thanks to family sacrifices and philanthropy, and I know first-hand the difference it makes. Because New Roads is unique in its commitment to increasing community access to an exceptional private education, it is my pleasure to pay my privilege forward by helping advance the school’s mission.
    • Tom Soto

Tom Soto is a long-time investor in the impact sector. Tom was born and raised in East LA County and Pomona, California to two of the state’s most well-respected Latino Civil Rights leaders. His father was Assemblyman Phil Soto, the first Latino elected to the state legislature in 1962. Tom's mother was Nell Soto, Phil’s campaign manager and the mother of their six children and a longtime advocate in supporting farm worker rights. She too served the last ten years of her life as a member and leader of the California State Senate. Tom Soto and his husband of 18 years, Todd Soto, have a shredding guitar player eighth grader at NRS, Jonah Mandela Soto.
Why I serve? 
I serve so that New Roads can continue to provide qualified and unique education for children from all backgrounds and identities with a clear focus on diversity, as well as civil and social justice. I am inspired by New Roads’ teachers and administrators, and how they respect and support each student on their journey. Access to education is a fundamental right and New Roads is unique in its commitment to increasing community access to education. I am honored and privileged to help advancing the school’s mission.
    • Trish Torrey

Trish Torrey has been a New Roads School Board Member since 2020.

Why I Serve
When my daughter graduated from New Roads in 2017 after starting there in kindergarten, I knew she was ready to leave the nest and start her next journey. The education, the opportunities and the authentic life gifts she received from New Roads were invaluable. For me, it was more difficult to leave the family and community that had been such a vital, compassionate, relevant and inspired part of our lives. I am honored to return and give back to my New Roads family as a board member.
    • Erin Whalen

Erin Whalen is the Executive Director of Da Vinci RISE High School. He graduated from New Roads School in 2008.

Why I Serve
As a Santa Monica native and proud alumni of New Roads High School, it is an honor to be able to pay it forward to a school and family that largely impacted my professional and personal trajectory. It is not every day that schools successfully foster safe, empowering and rigorous learning environments for their youth. More specifically youth of color, queer youth and youth from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds. This is not a coincidence, but a revolutionary decision that takes tact, perspective, integrity and critical thought. This is the type of school that New Roads is. Because I was able to be a part of such a community, I had the foresight to imagine a similar community for the most at-promise youth in Los Angeles; Da Vinci RISE High School. These dreams do not brew themselves, they take a village of courageous leaders and revolutionary thinkers to lead the way. This is exactly what New Roads is, and that is why I am proud  to serve.