INTERIM HEAD OF SCHOOL
SANDI PASSALACQUA, Interim Head of School and Founder, has served Sonoma County as a dedicated educator for more than fifty years. Mrs. Passalacqua’s roles have ranged from classroom teacher to consultant, principal, and founder of The Healdsburg School. She has designed and implemented ESL and Title I programs, as well as foreign language curriculums. She holds a Master of Education from Sonoma State University and is currently pursuing her PhD. at Northeastern University. Mrs. Passalacqua’s vision for The Healdsburg School was to create a unique independent school that prepared students to successfully navigate the global workplace and community through a program of rigorous academics, service learning, and character development. Her goal of creating this positive, child-centered school where each student’s individual gifts are seen and nurtured has become a thriving reality. Now a mere decade since its inception, The Healdsburg School is recognized as a premier independent school in Sonoma County. Mrs. Passalacqua is also an accomplished painter and pianist and is an avid world traveler. She is married to Tom Passalacqua and has three children and eight grandchildren.
DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS
TANYA BRUNO, Director of Operations, joined The Healdsburg School in 2013 and brings a wide range of business expertise to her role ranging from operations, business development, community engagement, and human resources. She brings enthusiasm, professionalism, warmth, and a mindset of service and advocacy to her work with The Healdsburg School and the Community. Tanya holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Management from Sonoma State University.
Prior to joining The Healdsburg School, Tanya worked for an organization where she led the transition of a company culture change resulting in the award of “North Bays Best Places to Work.” This is similar to her efforts here at The Healdsburg School, which was honored with this same award in 2018.
Outside the office, Tanya passionate about helping her community. She is the Past President for the Active 20-30 Healdsburg Club #205 which is a non-profit that raises money for underprivileged youth in our local community. She has received New Member of the Year, Member of the Year, and National Member of the Year awards in this organization for her dedication to the mission. She also volunteers for WE foundation as a mentor and is part of their scholarship committee team. In her spare time, she enjoys outdoor activities, watersports, and spending time with her family.
DIRECTOR OF ENROLLMENT
ALISON WEESE, Director of Enrollment, is excited to join the THS community this year as Director of Enrollment. With a strong background in marketing, luxury-level hospitality, and events, Alison most enjoyed her time at Notre Dame High School in Belmont, California where she served as Director of Admissions. As part of the administration leading Notre Dame through the extraordinarily difficult time of economic downturn, she leveraged the opportunity to rebrand the school and reverse years of declining enrollment. Highlighting the hallmarks of Notre Dame’s community and academic strength within the school’s existing programs restored the pride and sense of achievement critical to moving the community forward as the pre-eminent all-girls Catholic high school in the Bay Area.
After starting a family and moving to Healdsburg from San Francisco, Alison has since enjoyed her roles at Il Fornaio Restaurants as Marketing Manager, and as a launch team member for Promontory, the Harlan family’s new winery endeavor. Always missing the sense of personal fulfillment she experienced at Notre Dame, Alison was thrilled to find this opportunity to join THS where she can once again work collaboratively with students, their families, faculty, and staff to enrich the lives of young people within the Healdsburg community that she loves.
DIRECTOR OF COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT
SARAH LAW, Director of Community Engagement, joined the THS administrative team in 2016. Sarah is passionate about our community, helping others, and bringing people together. Sarah’s background includes broad experience in business administration, communication, event planning and design, from serving as an Executive Assistant in the medical and manufacturing industry to owning and operating her own 1700 square foot retail store. As well as Sarah being a THS parent for nine years, she has executed the role of Head Room Parent and volunteered extensively for the Bravissimo fundraising gala. When she is not working she enjoys spending time with her husband and three boys, as well as antiquing, interior design, and travel.
DIRECTOR OF FINANCE
AMANDA ELLIFF, Director of Finance, joined the THS community in 2014. She has worked in various roles in finance over her fourteen-year career. Her diverse experience working for organizations like Fetzer and the Allen Wine Group has given her critical insight into the financial needs and challenges of organizations. She also holds an advanced certificate in accounting from Empire College. Amanda is a Sonoma County native and is involved in giving back to her community through her leadership role in a local community service club. In her free time, she enjoys snowboarding, softball, and reading to her three-year-old son, Landon.
DEAN OF STUDENTS
Dean of Students and upper school math and science teacher, CARRIE SMITH grew up in San Diego and attended school at the University of California at Davis. After earning her B.S. in Biology and her teaching credential from U.C. Davis she moved back to San Diego where she taught seventh and eighth-grade science at Carmel Valley Middle School for five years. During her time at Carmel Valley Middle School, Carrie chaired the science department, coached various sports, and started a lesson study program that is still in place today. Mrs. Smith took some time off of classroom teaching to care for her two children. During this time she began her online teaching career with California Virtual Academics. She began as a teacher of Earth Science and Physics for California Virtual Academics and was quickly promoted to the science department chair before finally assuming the role of vice principal of the High School. She is passionate about her students and happy to be working with them face-to-face in the physical classroom at THS. She has a strong background in math and science and is looking forward to bringing the enthusiasm she has for these subjects to the students.
REBECCA SORACCO, Administrative Assistant was born and raised in Healdsburg and joins The Healdsburg School as a customer service specialist. Rebecca has previously worked in high-end hotels including Hotel Healdsburg and H2. She earned her Bachelor’s of Science with a focus in Recreation Administration from Chico State University. Rebecca began her love for travel when she did a study abroad program in Italy and has now been to 12 countries with Switzerland being her favorite. In her free time, Rebecca loves spending time with her family and friends.