About

Board of Directors

2023-2025

Strong leadership is essential for any association, and our board members ensure California State PTA is delivering on our mission to positively impact the lives of children and families.

Head shot of Shereen Walter

Shereen Walter

President

Shereen Walter

President

California State PTA President, Shereen Walter, has been involved with PTA for over 20 years, becoming involved for the same reason many parents do, to make a difference at her own child’s school. She has found a passion for helping all children and families in California with her work as the California State PTA Community Concerns Advocate and as the VP of Health & Community Concerns, prior to her becoming President Elect in 2021. She earned her BS in Geophysical Engineering from the Colorado School of Mines and her MBA from the University of California, Irvine. She has three grown children, Stephanie, Lindsey and Dylan.

Head shot of Heather Ippolito

Heather Ippolito

President-Elect

Heather Ippolito

President-Elect

California State PTA President-Elect, Heather Ippolito, is the wife of her high-school sweetheart, Ron, and the mother of Liliana. She holds a teaching credential, an administrative credential, and two masters degrees — one in curriculum development and the other in educational administration. Heather began her teaching career in Santa Clarita, California, where she taught fifth, sixth, and first grade, and also served as a district music teacher for two years. Heather has served at the unit, council, district and state levels in PTA and remains deeply proud to uphold the mission to benefit the lives of children and families across the state.

Head shot of Laura Hawk-Loya

Laura Hawk-Loya

Vice President for Leadership Services

Laura Hawk-Loya

Vice President for Leadership Services

Vice President for Leadership Services, Laura Ann Hawk-Loya, has been involved in PTA for over 20 years and most recently served as California State PTA Treasurer. She started at her local elementary school when her oldest son was in kindergarten, although technically she has been attending PTA meetings since she herself was in kindergarten, as she would sometimes accompany her mother to meetings. She currently works with special education students in her local school district. She lives in Moorpark with her husband, two sons, two dogs, a cat, and the various critters they bring home.

Head shot of Ellen Torres

Ellen Torres

Vice President for Membership Services

Ellen Torres

Vice President for Membership Services

Vice President for Membership Services, Ellen Torres, started her PTA journey when her oldest son entered kindergarten. She has served in many PTA positions during her 30+ years of volunteering including president at the elementary, middle school, high school, council and district levels. She has also served on the California State PTA Board of Managers as VP for Convention, Membership Service Commission, Student Involvement Committee and chaired the Scholarship and Grants Committee. She is an active community volunteer in South Pasadena and a passionate advocate for all children. Ellen has been married to Edward for 45 years and is the mother to four adult children.

Head shot of Barbara Smith

Barbara Smith

Vice President for Communications

Barbara Smith

Vice President for Communications

Vice President for Communications, Barbara Smith, took on leadership roles in the PTA twenty years ago when her son Nicholas entered kindergarten. She has a wonderful sense of humor and enjoys working closely with other people. She takes tasks to a new level – be it personalized biographical journals for an entire 2nd grade or working with units in her District to get them all active on Totem. In her personal opinion, there are no impossible tasks, just opportunities to learn new skills in order to accomplish goals.

Head shot of Will Sanford

Will Sanford

Vice President for Convention

Will Sanford

Vice President for Convention

Vice President for Convention, Will Sanford, has been an active unit, council, district and State PTA leader for over 25 years. He has served as a commissioner on the California State PTA Convention Commission for 18 years. He is focused on helping PTAs to be fully inclusive of all community members to ensure that all children have an opportunity to learn and grow.

Head shot of Anita Avrick

Anita Avrick

Vice President for Family Engagement

Anita Avrick

Vice President for Family Engagement

Vice President for Family Engagement, Anita Avrick, has been a part of PTA since 1993. She has served in almost every position within PTA, including membership chair, financial secretary, treasurer, auditor, parliamentarian, legislation chair, convention chair and first VP. She was also the president at an elementary, middle and high school, Council and District. She has served on the California State PTA Board of Managers for the last ten years. She has also served as a Trustee on her local school board.

Head shot of Becca Marks-Anderson

Becca Marks-Anderson

Parliamentarian

Becca Marks-Anderson

Parliamentarian

Parliamentarian, Becca Marks-Anderson, “fell into PTA” just over 10 years ago, and since then she has served in a variety of positions at the unit, council, district, and state levels. With a professional background in nonprofit management and development, knowing the rules of nonprofit governance (including the ins and outs of bylaws) - so we can all know how to better work within them to make great things happen - has always been of interest to her, as well as helping to make sure that things are as clean, clear, and purposeful as possible. Becca’s goal has always been to help as many people as possible on the path toward a better reality for all children.

Head shot of Kathleen Fay

Kathleen Fay

Director of Legislation

Kathleen Fay

Director of Legislation

Director of Legislation, Kathleen Fay, has been a volunteer leader for many organizations supporting children, youth, and the community for more than 20 years. She has a business background as a stockbroker, investment advisor, real estate specialist, and healthcare industry analyst. With PTA, she has been a leader at the unit, council, district, and state levels, including more than 15 years in legislative advocacy. She served on California State PTA’s Legislation Team, Family Engagement Commission, and Board of Managers. She has been recognized for her service to youth by her school district board of trustees, by the California State Assembly, and by PTA as a Golden Oak award recipient. Most of all, she appreciates doing this with the warm support of her wonderful husband and two adult sons.

Head shot of Diane Hyland

Diane Hyland

Chair of the District Presidents

Diane Hyland

Chair of the District Presidents

Chair of the District Presidents, Diane Hyland, has over 22 years of leadership experience at all levels of PTA. She served on the National PTA Hispanic/Latino Outreach Initiative and is the current chair of the National PTA Convention Committee. She has served at the state level of PTA on the Diversity and Inclusion Committee, the Health & Community Concerns Commission, and on the legislation team. She has served as a local leader in several roles at the council and unit level. Diane’s family is her true joy. She is married to Ken Hyland, is the proud Mom to Alicia and Elizabeth, and loves being grandma to five grandchildren. Diane believes that a free, quality, public education is the right of every child in our great country.