Nancy Kirshner-Rodriguez, President

Nancy Kirshner-Rodriguez, co-founder of Synergy Public Affairs has been a leader in intergovernmental and community relations for more than 25 years. She currently represents the Business Network for Offshore Wind in the West and provides strategic counsel on Federal relations to the organization which is at the forefront of growing a major renewable energy source in the U.S.

Prior to launching her public affairs firm, Nancy successfully transformed the State of California Commission on the Status of Women and Girls. With stabilized funding and innovative initiatives, like the California Pay Equity Task Force and an expanded STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) portfolio, including Million Women Mentors-CA and Engaging Girls in STEM, Nancy developed strategic partnerships and focused with deliberate purpose to change the lives of California’s women and girls.

During the Clinton Administration, she served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Intergovernmental Relations at the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and before that held a similar position at the US Department of Labor.

Nancy graduated from Mount Holyoke College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science. She received the Alumnae Medal of Honor for her years of service to the college. She resides in San Rafael, CA with her husband Sam, and daughter Kira, a current MarinSEL student.

Craig Hodgson, Treasurer

Craig Hodgson is a partner with the San Francisco office of Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis where he maintains a national practice specializing in litigation strategy and the defense of product liability and personal injury lawsuits. Craig grew up in West Marin in a family of educators and attended local public schools. He graduated from U.C. Santa Barbara with a degree in Political Science and obtained his Juris Doctor degree from the University of San Francisco. He has lived in Terra Linda since 1999 with his wife, Jennifer Taekman, also a Marin native and a graduate of the San Rafael City Schools district. They have two children, a daughter who attends Vallecito Elementary School and a son who attends MarinSEL at Terra Linda High School.

Brian Anderson, Secretary

Brian Anderson is a 3rd generation San Francisco native with deep roots in the Bay Area community.  Upon graduation from university studies with respective degrees in Speech Communication and Psychology, Brian and his wife, Anne, moved to Seoul, Korea to teach English. Upon returning to the Bay Area, and settling in Marin County to raise their family, Brian garnered 10-years of Fortune 100 corporate experience at Eastman Kodak and Pitney Bowes Management Services, where he provided consultative management services to Fortune 500 organizations. In 2004, Brian left his National Sales Executive position to pursue his entrepreneurial passions for real estate and the promotion of sustainable living. In 2006 Brian worked with Holliday Development to market the first LEED certified residential development in California. With a young family and a commitment to local, public schools, Brian and his wife were part of the founding team of the School of Environmental Leadership. In addition to continued participation in the promotion of the SEL, Brian is a principle and CFO of a Bay Area construction company and an active Board Member of Utah-based, Azomite Mineral Products, a naturally occurring, organic mineral product used world-wide, to re-mineralize depleted soils.

Brian resides in Terra Linda with his wife (Anne) and three daughters, Ava, Mina, and Sylvie – all products of the local, public schools.

Cyane Dandridge

Cyane Dandridge is the Founder and Executive Director of Strategic Energy Innovations (SEI), as well as the School of the Environmental Leadership (SEL). Over her 30 plus years of experience, Cyane has seen the big picture of how communities lack access to energy efficiency services, clean technology, and real-world sustainability pathways. After receiving her M.S. in Building Technology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cyane utilized her entrepreneurship and knowledge of innovation in the built environment to bring climate solutions to the community level. By connecting students, residents, government officials, and the workforce in the design process of sustainability programs, she believes we can better pinpoint opportunities for communities to reach their goals. With so many groups working toward our climate future, Cyane is excited for the potential our youth and communities have to create an environmentally responsible world.

Ward Bouwman

Ward Bouwman holds a Masters Degree in Mass Communication as well as a Bachelors Degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Technology. He brings over 10 years of experience as a Systems and Network Administrator, and is an Apple Certified Technical Coordinator. In addition, he has developed several Custom Filemaker applications and solutions that have been in use for over 10 years. Mr. Bouwman has launched a number of successful companies, one being Mac business consulting by Oakgrounds Inc. and is the lead programmer of Pearl Bids Silent Auction Management software.


Michael McDowell

Michael McDowell, EdD has been a public school educator for the past eighteen years serving in the roles of classroom teacher, academic and athletic coach, school principal, assistant superintendent of personnel and instruction, and superintendent. During his tenure as a superintendent, his school district received state and national accolades including the National Blue Ribbon Award which recognized their work for student performance and mental health and well-being in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic by the U.S. Department of Education.

Dr. McDowell serves on numerous boards, served as a college professor, and worked for non-profit organizations to enhance student learning around the world. Over the course of his career, Dr. McDowell has authored bestselling books, created professional learning programs and workbooks, provided keynotes and workshops, and provided practical tools and resources for thousands of teachers and leaders on almost every continent around the world. A prolific author and consultant, Dr. McDowell is recognized as one of the leading authorities on integrating innovative and impactful practices into schools. Offering keynotes and executive coaching to heads of school around the world, he partners with educational leaders to implement high leverage strategies that will enhance teaching and learning in classrooms, schools, and systems.

He holds a B.S., M.A. and Ed.D. Michael and his wife, Quinn, live in Northern California with their two children, Harper and Asher.

Jennifer Seydel, Ph.D.

Jennifer Seydel brings more than 40 years of experience preparing youth for success in an ever-changing world to her role as Executive Director of Green Schools National Network (GSNN). Jenny has taught at grade levels from kindergarten to graduate school, worked in public schools and nonprofits, has established numerous public charter schools, has extensive experience with at-risk children and has worked with educators across the nation and eastern Asia. Prior to her role with GSNN, she was a school designer with Expeditionary Learning for twelve years, providing school coaching, leadership development, and curriculum design support to schools nationwide. She was the lead author of one of the first integrated curriculum modules that combines Common Core State Standards in ELA with Next Generation Science Standards.

Emily Jones

Emily Jones served as Head of School at The Putney School, a boarding and day school for students in 9th through 12th grades in Putney, Vermont. She serves on the board of Esperanza Academy in Lawrence, Massachusetts and on the board of the Association of Independent Schools of New England (AISNE).

Justin Wells, Advisory Board

Justin Wells is a founding faculty member of Envision Education, a small group of charter high schools in the San Francisco Bay Area rooted in project-based learning. For nine years, he taught English and led teacher teams in the design and implementation of semester-long, multi-disciplinary projects that drew recognition, media coverage, and research attention from ABC News, KQED, Stanford University, the Oracle Education Foundation, and the Partnership for 21st Century Skills. Currently, he helps schools and school districts develop performance assessment systems guided by the principles of deeper learning and project-based learning. Justin serves on the board of directors for the Buck Institute of Education. He is co-author of the book, Transforming Schools with Common Core Standards, Performance Assessment, and Project-Based Learning (with Bob Lenz and Sally Kingston).

Cindy Johanson, Advisory Board

Cindy Johanson has more than 25 years experience leading the design and expansion of digital services with a primary focus on education. In her current role with the George Lucas Educational Foundation, Cindy oversees Edutopia, a premier Internet source about what works in K-12 education. Previously, Cindy served as senior vice president of interactive and education for the Public Broadcasting Service. At PBS, she led the launch and growth of the award-winning Web site and its suite of Internet sites, including,, and Johanson’s passion for online learning started in 1989 with text-based interfaces and 300 baud modems when she managed teacher support and training for Learning Link, an online service for K-12 classrooms. Cindy has two children who have attended MarinSEL at Terra Linda High School: Emily ’16 and Jack ’19.