The Madeleine Advisory Board is made up of experts in a variety of disciplines. The members consists of volunteer stakeholders from the parish, parent and business communities.  Their collective goal is to ensure the success of the school, its adherence to its mission, and its consistence with the principles set forth by the Diocese of Oakland Department of Catholic Schools.

The School Advisory Board consists of four standing committees and four representative bodies. The structure of our Board may be viewed here.

Screen Shot 2016-09-07 at 10.57.18 AMThe Board Chair facilitates the action, discussion and the collaboration of the members.

Advisory Board Chair: Mark de Souza
Over 15 years of experience as an entrepreneur and executive with a successful track record of forming, operating, and selling biotechnology companies in the rare disease and dermatology space. Mark served in multiple roles, including VP of Business Development, at Dyax Corp. (acquired by Shire plc) and as President and CEO of Lotus Tissue Repair, Inc. (acquired by Shire plc). He currently serves as President and CEO of Chromaderm, Inc., FIBRX Tissue Repair, Inc., and SCIDEC Therapeutics, Inc and as as a member of the board of directors of these companies and of PellePharm, Inc., GI Lipid Therapeutics, Inc., and NFlection Therapeutics, Inc.
Mark currently serves as Chair of the Advisory Board of the School of the Madeleine.

Screen Shot 2016-09-07 at 11.02.32 AMThe Finance Committee projects revenue and expenses throughout the year. The committee makes sure the school budgets appropriately and remains on track to achieve its financial goals and responsibilities.

Finance Chair: Barry Gremban

Over 25 years of financial accounting, management, planning and analysis. Barry spent 5 years as a Public Accountant with Deliotte and Touche and 17 years with the Bank of America.  Barry currently serves the Regional Finance Director for Jones Lang LaSalle. Barry served St. John School for 6 years as the Finance Chair and was the force behind the school’s revival. Barry served on the SF Archdiocesan School Board’s ad hoc committee to create a benchmarking tool which assessed the operational and financial viability of over 50 archdiocesan Catholic schools. Barry now serves as Finance Chair for the School of the Madeleine. 

Screen Shot 2016-09-07 at 11.07.51 AMThe Facilities Committee is in charge of the buildings and facilities—not just their maintenance and repairs but their upgrades as we innovate the idea of the 21st Century classroom.

Facilities Chair: Jed Daoust

Jed Daoust is a California licensed General Contractor, founder and CEO of Daoust Design and Construction. Bay area based, his design/build firm is focused on sustainability and encompasses all types of projects and design styles from small room remodels to multifamily, commercial and new construction. With a background in engineering, Jed was drawn to the communal and collaborative processes inherent in the design/build profession. Having experienced firsthand the benefits and drawbacks of the “green revolution”, Jed realized the most sustainable building practices are great design and quality craftsmanship. Together they ensure a project will be functional and aesthetically pleasing for generations to come. By blending sound design and building practices with the latest technology, Jed and his all-star team are elevating the design/build process and are proud to be contributing to the enhancement of the Bay-Area community. Find out more at

Facilities Member: Basak Cakici-Adams,
Architect, LEED AP BD+C
Co-Founder & Vice President of The Berkeley Turkish School
School of the Madeleine Advisory Board member for Facilities

Basak is a passionate architect, inspired by leading integrated and collaborative sustainable design solutions. She holds Bachelor & Masters degrees in Architecture, and until recently, she’s practiced architecture in San Francisco as a Project Manager & Project Architect, overseeing design, documentation and management of small to large scale projects through all phases of design. Project types include Higher Education, Master Planning and Feasibility, Wineries, Custom Homes, Multi-family housing, Mixed-Use, K-12, Retail and Hospitality, Interior Design and Project Programming. In 2015, after her interim position as the Director of Architecture at the Dominican University of California, she started her own business in the East Bay, working on a variety of project types including house remodels, a winery in Turkey, multi-family housing, a private K-8 school, and tenant improvements including accessibility upgrades to existing health-care facilities around the Bay Area. She’s also a member of ‘The Missing 32% Project’, a research and community building organization to help advance women in the workplace.

Since 2012, Basak has been a board member at her daughters’ school – School of the Madeleine, helping lead efforts for design and fund-raising for 21stcentury classroom renovations. She is currently collaborating with the team working on landscape improvements for Summer 2017.

In 2015, she co-founded the non-profit organization ‘The Berkeley Turkish School’, and since its inception, it has been providing a unique learning and community-building opportunity for Bay Area Turkish American families.

Screen Shot 2016-09-07 at 11.10.11 AMThis committee works closely with the Principal and Advancement Director to increase in enrollment and oversee all communications on behalf of the school.

Marketing Chair: Jeff Breidenbach

Jeff leads the branding and design process by putting himself in the other guy’s shoes. His strategic work cuts to the core of what must be communicated, providing clarity, meaning and motivation.

Jeff graduated magna cum laude from the University of Cincinnati’s acclaimed graphic design program. He has worked across the country, gaining experience in New York, Boston and finally San Francisco where he co-founded Argus, llc. Since inception clients have included Amazon, Bank of America, BRIDGE Housing and Johnson & Johnson. His work has been honored by many of the top industry competitions including Communication Arts, Graphis, Print, AR100 and AIGA, SEGD, Type Directors Club, IDSA, and the Mercomm Arc Awards. Jeff has also been a design instructor at California College of Art and Academy of Art University, both in San Francisco.

Branding and design are not his only creative outlets. Cooking, designing furniture and creating art projects with his two daughters help round out his life. Jeff’s mild obsession for fly fishing won’t get in the way of project schedules, but he may bore you with a fish story or two.

Screen Shot 2016-09-07 at 11.18.26 AMAdvancement oversees the Pledge Drive and helps raise funds so the school can remain on the cutting edge of education.

Advancement Chair: Debbie Dineen

Debbie Dinneen is the Advancement Director and has worked part-time at the School of the Madeleine since 2010.  She and her husband, Rand Havens, have two children who graduated from the Madeleine.  While they were students, Debbie served as School Board President and Parents’ Association President, and held a variety of other volunteer positions.  She has also volunteered at F.A.C.E. and served on the Oakland Dioceses School Board. Debbie has a BA from the University of California Berkeley and a Masters in Library Science from San Jose State University.  Prior to her work at the Madeleine, she worked for many years as a law librarian.

Screen Shot 2016-09-07 at 11.16.14 AMThe Parents Association represents the general interests of the parents and is in charge of organizing all parent involvement with the school.

Parent Assoc. Rep: Betsy Freeman

Screen Shot 2016-09-07 at 11.16.14 AMThe Parish Liaison committee works directly with the church parish and the school representatives to make sure we are meeting the goals of both organizations.

Parish Liaison: Monica Grycz

Monica is the school/church Liason to the Advisory Board. Monica has just retired after 42 years of teaching in private and public schools. Under Principal Sr. Alan O.P. Monica started the present Kindergartne at the Madeleine in 1981 and taught there from 1981 to 1991. Her two children Stefan (1996) and Krysia (1999) are graduates of the school. After leaving the Madeleine Monica taught K/1 for the Lab School, Department of Education at Mills College. Most recently she has taught at Marin School in Albany. She and her husband Chet have been members of the parish since 1978. As a parent, parishioner and liason Monica is excited to bring her experience to the mission of bringing the school and the church community closer together.

Screen Shot 2016-09-07 at 11.31.41 AMOur Mission Chair, Heather Skinner, ensures that all Board discussions and action items tie back to the School’s Mission and the Dominican Tradition.

Screen Shot 2016-09-07 at 11.31.48 AMOur Faculty Representative, Joseph Nagel, brings the voice of the faculty and staff to Board level deliberations and in turn shares Board initiatives with the staff on a monthly basis.

Screen Shot 2016-09-07 at 11.51.16 AMThe pastor, Fr. Carl Schlichte, O.P, plays a vital role in shepherding the Advisory Board. The pastor reminds the Board of the broader parish ministry and the essential Catholic Identity of the school.

Screen Shot 2016-09-07 at 11.51.48 AMIn concert with the pastor, the principal, Ken Willers, appoints all members of the Advisory Board, based on the needs of the Mission and the expertise of the individuals appointed.

Screen Shot 2016-09-07 at 11.58.11 AMMary Schweska, the Advisory Board Secretary is responsible for all the Board committee reports and action items. The Board Secretary facilitates all communication, documents all discussions and holds the Board members accountable for their specific action items.