- Lorella Berard – President
- Paul Graham – Past President
- Girija Patel – VP Early Childhood (Finna)
- Tiffany Cheng – VP Elementary School (ES)
- Nicole Sawan – VP Middle School (MS)
- Prameela Saligram – VP High School (HS)
- Ying "Marie" Lin Zhang - VP Residential Life
- Kelley Reid – PALS and Volunteer Coordinator
- Evelyn Gerson – Secretary
- Wendy Luyt – Treasurer
You can contact any one of these committee members, by using the email firstname.lastname@example.org. Your message will be forwarded to the correct individual.
Lorella is a “third year” Village mom of two boys: a high school freshman, Matteo, and a 6th grader, Alessio. She previously served as the VSPA Secretary from January, 2017 to August, 2018. She is proud and excited to serve as VSPA President for the 2018-2019 school year. Lorella is Canadian (the daughter of Italian immigrants) and an attorney by training. She worked as a litigator in Toronto, Canada and New York City, returning to Canada in 2003 to become an in-house lawyer, and eventually an executive in the commercial liability insurance industry. In 2013, she moved to England with her family and she has enjoyed being a full time Mom and active school volunteer ever since. The Berards moved to Houston (and Village) in August, 2016. Lorella enjoys reading, travel, Nutella, cooking, and is an avid baker. She is also a Jeopardy! enthusiast, and qualified to be a contestant in May.
Though originally from London, Paul spent over 20 years living overseas as a trailing spouse in Australia and South America, plus both sides of the continental US before settling permanently in Houston. He graduated Summa Cum Laude from WCSU, and became an officer of the Australian Stock Exchange. In his spare time he qualified as a PADI Divemaster. A period shooting sports and events led to a role covering a professional basketball team in Venezuela. Paul is also a certified rugby and strength and conditioning coach plus a referee, and serves as Director of Rugby for Texas Rugby Kids and Katy Barbarians Rugby Club. He is also part of the program shadowing the US national rugby team, the Eagles, and was previously an executive member of Danville Oaks RFC in California. On the school level he has been treasurer, vice-president, and president for school parent bodies around the world. Last year he was President of VSPA at The Village School, and has two high school children at Village, Henry in 11th grade and Emma in 9th grade.
VP Early Childhood (Finna)
Girija Bhargava Patel is mom to Ishwari, Grade 2, and Avyay, PK3. She’s served as HRP for the past 4 years at the Village School. This is the Patel family’s 5th year at the Village. Her husband, Anant Patel, and her are native Houstonians. She is an alumnus of The University of Texas Business School and South Texas College of Law. She started her law career as a prosecutor in Harris County and now does private practice at her own law firm, GBP Law. Aside from loving her roles as mom, wife, and lawyer, Girija has a passion for travel and experiencing new aspects of Houston life. Her curiosity for new experiences, led Girija to create CityTattler, a live social media platform to connect users to information about their city happenings. Girija and her family are looking forward to fostering more relationships with their Village community.
VP Elementary School (ES)
Tiffany is the proud mum of 2 boys, Jordi in 4th grade and Jaime in Pre-K 3. This is their 7th year at The Village School. She is from Singapore and arrived in Houston with her family in July 2012. Prior to her move here, she lived in Malaysia, Mexico, the UK and Norway. Tiffany graduated from the National University of Singapore (NUS) and worked as an Air Traffic Controller at Singapore Changi Airport, before becoming a full-time mum. Since Jordi’s enrollment at the Village School, she has become involved with Village life as a Room Parent, part of the Organizing Committee for the 2013 and 2014 Village Fall Festivals, a previous co-organizer for the Village Foodies Parent Group, the VSPA Early Childhood (Finna) VP in 2014/15 and as a Double Tenor in the Village Faro Chifumo Parent Steel Pan Band last year. Tiffany is happy to be back onboard with VSPA and looks forward to continue contributing to the Village community.
VP Middle School (MS)
Nicole is a third-year parent at Village and mother of 3 boys, Adam in 7th grade, Alexander in 4th grade, and Sami in 2nd grade. Originally from Lebanon, her family has lived the expat life for over 14 years moving from The Hague to London, and from Doha to New Orleans, only to recently call Houston their home, for now.
Nicole studied translation and is fluent in Arabic, French and English. You can also catch her nodding her head at a Spanish or Dutch conversation from time to time.
Nicole is excited to be part of VSPA this year and looks forward to adding value to the Village community.
VP High School (HS)
Prameela is a proud Village parent on her 5th year at the school. She and her husband, Girish, have two children in high school, Ritika (a senior) and Dhruv (a sophomore). She has a Masters in Computer Science from USC and an MBA from Marquette University. Prameela has worked in various positions in GE Healthcare leading global teams, until her move to Florence, Italy. There she immersed herself in studying art history, Italian, painting and Italian cooking. After 7 years of that idyllic lifestyle, Houston proved to be quite the change, but Prameela still maintains that becoming a part of the Viking family was one of the best parts of the move. For all other problems, there’s always a good glass of Amarone! Prameela is excited about her new role in VSPA and looks forward to making some meaningful contributions to the Village community.
Ying "Marie" Lin Zhang
VP Residential Life
Ying's family has been at the Village School for six years. She has two daughters: Angela Zhang, who just graduated last spring and is studying CS at CMU; and Catherine Zhang, a sweet ninth grader.
Ying graduated from Peking Union Medical College in 1996 with a MD degree. She came to the US the same year to study immunology in NC. In 1997, she moved to CA to join her husband at Caltech. In 1999, they moved to Houston. Ying got her MS in CS from UH in 2003. She worked for a petroleum service company for 16 months then became a full time mom since 2008. After spending two years in UK, Ying’s family moved back to Houston in 2013. With Angela wanting to potentially study in the UK for college, Ying decided to let the kids join the Village School, one of the few full IB schools in Houston.
Ying had been helping Chinese boarding students and their families for several years. She is thrilled to be included in the executive team of the VSPA. She hopes she can help reduce the gaps between the day and boarding students and build a team that can better help the boarders and their families.
PALS and Volunteer Coordinator
Kelley Reid is the mother of Sami, 8th grade. She and her family arrived at Village in 2016 after changing schools every two years. Before relocating to Houston Kelley lived in Tulsa, Washington D.C., Santa Fe, Austin and London. Kelley has served the mental health and addiction recovery community as a youth and women’s mentor for over a decade. She is committed to the platform of healing through community. After receiving a bachelor’s in Sociology Kelley went on to study yoga with Sri Swami Satchitanada and taught yoga and meditation for 10 years. Her favorite pastime is flying with her daughter and her husband, a licensed commercial pilot and ground school instructor. Together they love to visit museums and unique restaurants making Houston an ideal home base. Kelley brings her passion for community to connecting families through the Village PALS (Parents As Links to School) program as the current PALS and Volunteer Coordinator.
Wendy was born and raised in South Africa. She and her husband immigrated to Australia weeks after their wedding in Feb 2000. They moved to Singapore in Dec 2008, before arriving in Houston in December 2011. Wendy and Petrus have a daughter Dakota, currently in 5th Grade, who loves modeling, backing and playing mindcraft with her dad. This will be Dakota’s 6th year in the Village School. She also has a 3-year-old boy Calvin who keeps her busy with his passion for soccer.
Pre children, Wendy started her career as a Dental Assistant/Hygienist and worked her way up in the Medical Industry to Systems Analyst at Medibank Private. Post children Wendy became a Home Maker, Cook, Personal Assistant, Party Planner, Personal Shopper, Nurse, Taxi Driver, Photographer and Tutor.
Since becoming part of the Village Family Wendy has been a HRP for 5 years and volunteering in different events.
Originally from the Boston area, Evelyn is a relative newcomer to Houston (since 2013) and a third-year parent. Along with her husband, Jon, and their two children, Noah (10th grade) and Zizi (8th grade), the family has lived throughout the USA, once calling cities like San Francisco, Washington, DC, Detroit, and Indianapolis, home. After 9 schools in 14 years, they are happy to be part of the Village community until (they hope!) the college send-offs. Evelyn served as VSPA Middle School VP last year and brings over a decade of experience in school fundraising, classroom volunteering, room parent organizing, and serving on PTA executive committees. She is a certified Zumba instructor, group-fitness junkie, and wellness addict. Frequently, she can be seen being dragged through her neighborhood by the family mutt, Charlie. She is proud to be a part of VSPA because of all the important community-building it does.