Redwood Day is an independent, diverse K-8 coed school | 510.534.0800
Redwood Day Leadership Team
List of 8 items.
John Loeser | Head of School
John Loeser has been Head of Redwood Day School since 2011. Prior to Redwood Day, John was the Assistant Head of School at The Carey School in San Mateo, CA for seven years. He began his teaching career as a 5th grade teacher at Chenery Middle School in Belmont, Massachusetts and spent eight consecutive summers as an advanced mathematics instructor and Academic Dean at the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth, teaching students in grades 5-8 and leading a diverse faculty in the development of a rigorous academic program.
John has written extensively for teachers in training and enjoys every opportunity to help new and veteran teachers hone their craft. He has led many initiatives in schools including those focused on differentiated instruction, curriculum development, faculty professional growth, diversity, social-emotional development, service learning and long-term sustainability. John holds a B.A. in Education and Psychology from Swarthmore College and a M.Ed. in School Leadership from Harvard University.
Deann Hays | Chief Finance & Operations Officer
Deann is a career finance professional with more than 20 years of financial management experience developed in both public accounting and private sector environments. She joined Redwood Day as the school’s CFOO in July of 2018. Prior to working at Redwood Day, Deann spent approximately five years as the Finance Director of the American Community School of Abu Dhabi. She holds a BS in accounting from Colorado State University and is a licensed CPA.
Deann thoroughly enjoys working at Redwood Day and loves the energy and enthusiasm of the students. In her free time, she enjoys reading, travel, exercise and spending time with family and friends.
Donnie Smith | Director of Admissions
Donnie Smith joined the Redwood Day community in 2019. Prior to joining Redwood Day, he worked at Brooklyn Friends School and other boarding schools on the east coast. Donnie has a deep love for children and families who are looking for the right educational space for their child. He has been working in the admissions for 9 years and is so excited to be apart of the Redwood community.
Donnie received his BA in English from Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana.
Rachel Cannon | Director of Advancement
Rachel has been developing and managing fundraising programs since 2005. Most recently, she was a Director of Development for the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of San Francisco where she managed the college’s initiatives for the University’s $300 million capital campaign. Prior to that, she led annual and major gift campaigns and events programs for various social justice, youth development, and international nonprofits.
Rachel enjoys helping others give in areas that are aligned with their values and believes in philanthropy as a source of joy and a vehicle for change. She holds an MBA from the University of San Francisco, an MA in International Relations from City College of New York, and a BA in Psychology from the University of Tulsa.
Johanna Aeschliman | Lower School Director
Johanna Aeschliman joined the Redwood Day team after completing her term as Head of the Middle School (Grades 4-8) at Brooklyn Heights Montessori School in Brooklyn, NY, a position she held since 2013. In this role, Johanna was responsible for the daily operation of the Middle School, including teacher recruitment and retention, curriculum review, student and family support, admissions partnership, and strategic planning.
Prior to this role, Johanna has held various leadership positions such as Director of Studies, Director of Teacher Training, and Dean of Students at Chestnut Hill School in Massachusetts. Johanna spent the first 10 years of her career as a head teacher of first, second, and fourth grades.
Johanna also served as the Director of the Collegiate Teaching Institute in New York, NY and as a Core Faculty member of the Kingswood Oxford Leadership Institute for Educators of Color in Hartford, CT. In both of these roles, Johanna worked to promote leadership and development for educators of color in independent education. In addition to her many years of experience, Johanna holds a B.S. in Psychology and a M.A.T. in Curriculum and Instruction from Howard University. She also holds a M.Ed. in Elementary Education from Lesley University.
Karina Momary | Interim Middle School Director
Karina Momary joined the Redwood Day community in 2020. Prior to joining Redwood Day, she served as the Director of Student Life and Community at Stanford Online High School for four years. She began her teaching career as a teacher at The Harker School where she taught grades 6-8 for six years.
Karina also served as an administrator for various summer middle school and high school education programs for over ten years at Stanford, Berkeley, Georgetown, and Gonzaga.
Meredith Spencer | Director of Equity & Inclusion
Meredith Spencer joined the Redwood Day team in 2007 and has held many roles including Athletic Director, Diversity Steering Committee Chair, and Sustainability Coordinator; however, her connection to Redwood Day started years before when she worked as a substitute teacher in Lower School and later enrolled her child at Redwood Day in 2005.
Prior to working at Redwood Day, Meredith was an operations manager for Sylvan, Inc., where she ran academic enrichment programs for public school districts as a Site Manager, Area Director and Regional Director.
Meredith holds a BA in Journalism from San Francisco State University.
Denise Breland | Director of Student Life/Dean of Students/Title IX Coordinator
Mrs. Breland is a life-long educator with 39 years of experience working with students in grades K-8, in both the public and private sector. She joined the Redwood Day community in 1996, as a first grade teacher, where she taught for nine years before becoming Lower School Director.
During her tenure, Mrs. Breland was an integral part of the expansion of the Lower School. She worked with faculty to provide students and families with academic and social-emotional support for seven years. As Director of Student Life, Mrs. Breland continues to provide social-emotional support for grades K-8, building relationships with students and families to create a positive and supportive community while overseeing all aspects of student life including: Assemblies, Back-to-School Nights, Character Education, Experiential Education, Middle School Advisory, Parent Education Events, Science Fairs, Service Learning, Social-Emotional Programs, Visual and Performing Arts Night, and Volunteer Opportunities. Mrs. Breland holds a B.S. in Elementary Education from Keuka College as well as a certificate in Reading Recovery from the University of San Bernardino and has completed graduate work in Special Education at George Washington University.