Jeff joined Thacher in 2015 and serves as the School's director of advancement. He started his career at Middlesex School where he held roles in the annual fund and their record-setting capital campaign. In 2001, he joined the Noble and Greenough School in Dedham, MA, as their director of development. Then, he became managing director of New Profit—one of the leading “venture-philanthropy” firms. Immediately preceding Thacher, Jeff was a managing director and the head of philanthropic services at Roundtable Investment Partners, which is a shared family office headquartered in NYC. Jeff and his wife Kristin live on campus with their three children, Tyler '20, Erik '21, and Kendall.
As director of annual giving and parent relations, Emma is responsible for creating and implementing the overall strategy for Thacher's Annual Fund; working with current parents, parents of alumni, and grandparents on engagement programs; managing the Parent Fund Committee and other parent volunteer groups, and providing oversight and programming for Grandparents and Special Friends Days, Big Gymkhana Family Dinner (formerly the Parents Auction), and select other parent and community events.
Prior to joining Thacher in 2018, Emma worked at Pacific Ridge School in Carlsbad, CA; Berwick Academy in South Berwick, ME; and Center for Wildlife in York, ME. Emma firmly believes that fundraising can be a great community-building tool, and looks forward to further strengthening the Thacher community through annual giving.
Emma holds a BA in Sociology with a minor in Peace Studies and Conflict Resolution from the University of Maine, and a MBA with an added concentration in Finance from the University of Massachusetts. A Maine native, she now lives Ojai with her husband and two young children.
Sara Billings, a native to Los Angeles, joined Thacher in 2019 as director of development to oversee the Alumni Relations, Operations, and Annual Fund teams. Sara has worked in major gifts, development, and team management since 2001. Before coming to Thacher, Sara was most recently the director of advancement at The Archer School for Girls and brings 12 years of independent school experience to the role.
A graduate of Johns Hopkins University and Campbell Hall High School, Sarais passionate about serving her team and the supporters of Thacher. She lives locally with her two children and husband.
Aaron helps manage the alumni relations activities of the Alumni & Development Office. Aaron came to Thacher in 2011, bringing with him a background in technical services, management, and customer support.
He is an Ojai native and religious leader in the valley,
Elizabeth joined Thacher in 2019 as the director of stewardship and donor relations. In her role, Elizabeth strives to maintain a culture committed to the values of gratitude, trust, authenticity, and inclusiveness among every constituent who has made an investment in the School. Elizabeth has an extensive background in development work in both profit and non-profit organizations and most recently worked in PreK-8 independent schools in Princeton, New Jersey. She holds a BA in Art History from St. Lawrence University.
Hanna Day joined the Thacher Alumni and Development office in 2017 She attended Westmont College and graduated with a BA in English literature and a minor in history. She has a wide range of experience in the non-profit sector, including administrative work with the Ojai Music Festival, the Ojai Education Foundation, and the Ojai Youth Opera. Hanna also writes epic fantasy and horror fiction. Two of her short stories are currently published in anthologies.
Stella is the Alumni and Development team's events planner. Before joining the Thacher staff in 2016, Stella worked as a full-time community volunteer for various non-profit organizations and local schools. Prior to moving to California, she worked as an operations analyst in the trust investment area for Michigan National Bank/National Australia Bank. She also spent a few years working for the UNHCR's resettlement agency teaching Asian refugees. Stella has three children and Indie the dog. She earned her BA from University of the Phillipines.
Hilary brings a long career in publishing, design, and involvement in independent schools to her position as Thacher’s director of major gifts. Prior to joining Thacher, she worked with Marymount of Santa Barbara, a PreK-8th independent school, Cate School, and Anacapa School in Santa Barbara. In 2008 Hilary published her first children’s book, The Mouse in the Museum.
Hilary is the parent of a Thacher Toad, Isabelle CdeP 2017, who has joined her sister at college on the east coast. She lives with her husband in Santa Barbara.
Laurel Edson joined the Thacher Alumni and Development team as the director of the Alumni Fund in 2018. Previously, she worked development at her boarding school alma mater, Northfield Mount Hermon in Gill, Massachusetts. While a New Hampshire native, Laurel is not unfamiliar to the joys of California living, as she graduated from and later worked at Scripps College in Claremont, CA. She resides in Ventura and loves music, running, and traveling.
Carolyn CdeP 1986 joined Thacher as director of alumni relations in 2018. She enjoys connecting with fellow Toads and seeks to build strong relationships between Thacher and its more than 3,800 alumni by developing meaningful opportunities for engagement. In a career change, Carolyn transitioned from engineering to education. She has 15 years of experience in education that spans private and public schools in the United States and New Zealand. Her experience includes teaching mathematics in grades 7-12, running a boys’ dormitory, designing curricula and academic programs, managing a program for gifted students, and serving on several nonprofit educational boards. She holds masters degrees in environmental engineering from University of Houston and education from Stanford University. With both parents as faculty members, Carolyn grew up on campus. After graduating from Thacher, she married her classmate, Doug. Carolyn and Doug live in Ojai, and are proud parents of two more Toads: Liam CdeP 2017 and Colin ‘19.
A 1983 Thacher graduate, Derick earned his BA from Dartmouth College and worked in retail management before joining the Thacher faculty as an English teacher in 1995. During his tenure as a teacher, he was also the dorm head for Middle School and Lower School at various points. In addition, he coached track and field and girls' varsity basketball. After 16 years in the classroom and on the sidelines, Derick joined the Alumni & Development team as Director of Annual Giving and Special Gifts in July 2011. He enjoys working with all the members of the Thacher family to “do the best work in the world that we can do.” Derick lives on campus with his wife, Molly Twichell Perry CdeP 1985, and their two daughters, Jordan CdeP 2017 and Evan ’19.
As director of development operations, Jillian is responsible for the reporting of constituent activity, database management, and development office operations for the Alumni and Development office. Prior to coming to Thacher in 2016, Jillian worked at Casa Pacifica, the Ojai Music Festival, and recently at FOOD Share, Ventura County's food bank as the donor relations director. Jillian lives in Santa Paula with her husband, Josh, daughter, Emelia and their two dogs, Captain Crunch and Pearl.
A college preparatory, coed boarding school for grades 9-12