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.
Cheryl Ting | Assistant Head of School, Advisor
Cheryl Ting has over 20 years of experience in education, 16 of which were in the classroom, designing and teaching literature and writing courses for grades 7 through the post-secondary level. She taught at both Lick-Wilmerding High School in San Francisco and the Bentley School in Oakland and Lafayette, before coming to Redwood Day.
During her tenure in these programs, she held various positions: English teacher, department chair, dean of multicultural affairs, 11th grade dean, director of admissions, affinity group advisor, and diversity club advisor. While working at Lick, Cheryl attended the Klingenstein Summer Institute. She also taught middle school humanities in Aim High, a summer academic enrichment program for public school students. Her love of teaching and learning, and curriculum work has persevered, even as she has transitioned out of teaching and into administration. She has served on the boards of the Mosaic Project, the Asian Educators Alliance, and presented workshops on the topics of equity and inclusion, diversity, leadership, and teaching and learning. Cheryl graduated from UC Santa Cruz with a B.A. in World Literature, and has completed graduate work in Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies at the University of Minnesota.
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.
Jim Rendle | Middle School Director
Prior to joining Redwood Day in 2003, Jim taught 7th/8th grade math and social studies for two years. He was first hired at Redwood Day as the 6th grade math and science teacher, and two years later, became our 7th/8th grade math teacher.
In addition to 11 years of teaching experience, Jim has also served as a Middle School advisor for nine years, Middle School dean for six years, and as a faculty representative to the Board of Trustees for two years. Jim holds a B.A. in History from Eastern Nazarene College and an M. Ed in Educational Administration from St. Mary's College.
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.
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 K-8
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.