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Senior Administration

  • Foothill Country Day is led by the Head of School and a team of administrators who join together in close partnership with teachers, administrative staff, and parent volunteers to create a thriving learning community for its students. 

    Mike Silva, Head of School

    Mike Silva was appointed head of school in 2011, continuing his career as a teacher and administrator in independent schools in California, New York, and Virginia.  A defining aspect of the experiences Mike brought to Foothill is that no matter these schools’ size or missions, each placed great value on the relationship between child and teacher, and the commitment to meet children where they are, so they are stimulated, challenged, and excited to learn. Mike deeply values Foothill’s unwavering commitment to improving pedagogy and curriculum—the teaching practices and the learning program—so students develop the ability to read and communicate well, think critically, embrace different perspectives, and act with kindness and courage. 

    During Mike’s tenure, enrollment at Foothill has grown almost 30% along with new programs and offerings such as the Foothill Orchestra, Speech & Debate program, a Singapore Math-based curriculum, expansions in middle school and arts. Mike partners closely with his board of trustees, senior team of administrators, faculty and staff, as well as our parents’ association, the Betty Webb Organization, to ensure Foothill students find stimulation, excitement, and challenge while the development of their character remains at the forefront of all priorities. In recent years, Mike led a very collaborative CAIS-WASC reaccreditation process which included the development of a new mission statement and core values for Foothill Country Day School, and he now leads the development of the Schools Strategic Plan. 

    Mike earned a B.A. in English Literature from UC Berkeley and an M.Ed. in Special Education from California State University, Northridge. He has served as a facilitator of New Trustee Workshops for the California Association of Independent Schools, is a past member of the board of the Down Syndrome Association of Los Angeles, and currently sits on the board of St. Mark’s School in Altadena, California. His wife, Debbie, is also a teacher in an independent school, and both of their children have been educated in independent schools. An avid runner, Mike enjoys reading and spending time with Debbie and the kids when he’s not with his Foothill family.

    Todd Clark, Director of Auxiliary Programs 

    Todd Clark is an alumnus of Foothill Country Day School (`97). He is starting his 17th year as an employee, and his first year in a new role as Director of Auxiliary Programs. Previously, he was a Physical Education and Wellness coach. Foothill has been Todd's home for over 25 years! Now he will be supervising the School's Enrichment Classes, Extended Day Care, and Summer programs, and he will be seeking innovative partnerships with the community designed to increase revenue and build relationships.

    Todd holds a B.A. in Secondary Business Education from William Penn University and a M.S. in Physical Education from Azusa Pacific University. In his free time, he enjoys collecting sneakers, playing with his dog, being outdoors and traveling. 

    Shane Guilbert-Neal, Upper School Director

    Shane Guilbert-Neal is now serving as Upper School Director after stints as the Interim Director and Dean of Students. He began his career in education in 2003 as a social studies teacher in Concord, New Hampshire, where he taught grades five through eight and served as the school's Athletic Director for 9 years. Shane joined the Foothill community in 2015 teaching United States history in the seventh and eighth grades. As a teacher and administrator, his goal is to help students find their voice, grow as moral and critical thinkers, and develop a love of learning. 

    Shane began serving as Upper School Dean of Students in 2019 where he increased Foothill's exposure to independent schools nationwide, inviting over 30 high schools to Foothill's beautiful campus. In the three years that he served as the Dean of Students, he helped Foothill graduates with acceptances to over 50 different high schools worldwide. 

    Shane earned his B.S. in Professional Secondary Education Social Studies from East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania, a M.Ed. in School Leadership with Principal Certification and a Master's certificate in Applied Psychology Autism Spectrum Disorders. He has served on numerous visiting committees for the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, helped spearhead Foothill's 2019 Self-Study for CAIS accreditation, and served honorably in the United States Air Force. He and his wife, Wendy, are proud parents of three children, all of whom have been educated in independent schools. He considers himself a foodie and loves to travel with his family.  

    Anne Henry, Director of Communications and Marketing

    Anne Henry is the Director of Communications and Marketing and oversees all internal and external school communications, branding and internet presence, and advertising. Prior to coming to Foothill in 2010, Anne enjoyed a lengthy career in the public sector working for the cities of Whittier, Claremont and Big Bear Lake, where she supervised city-wide special events, youth services, and day care centers. She is most proud of leading community efforts to create Claremont's award-winning Youth Master Plan, and Big Bear's prenatal and early childhood matrix of programs.

    Anne is the co-founder of Bizparentz Foundation, a national non-profit that serves the families of professional young performers. In that role, she has written or sponsored more than a dozen laws championing child safety, and she has become a nationally recognized expert, regularly appearing on network news shows and in publications across 11 countries.

    Anne holds a Bachelor of Science from Biola University in Recreation Administration and Communications:Radio, Television and Film. She and her husband, Mark, are the proud parents of three adult children. She enjoys a quiet day hunting for seaglass on the beach or a busy day at Disneyland, and she is always up for a good chat about your favorite movie or streaming show.

    Hytosha McDaniels, Director of Seedling School

    Hytosha McDaniels has been in the field of early childhood education for 25 years, having taught at both public and independent schools throughout her career, and serving as the Director of The Seedling School for the past 19 years.

    Hytosha received a Bachelor of Arts Degree from California State University, Northridge in Child Development with a minor in Psychology, and a Master’s Degree from Grand Canyon University, with a degree in Teaching/Administration. She also has a credential from the California Commission on Credentialing, and serves as a consultant for the State of California for teacher credentialing.

    Her professional experiences include serving on the California Association for the Education of Young Children, and a member of Jack and Jill of America Inc. With her lifelong commitment to educating children and families about the importance of early childhood, Hytosha has worked with many decades of Seedling and Foothill students.

    Colette Sims, Director of Enrollment

    Colette Sims was thrilled to join the Foothill community in Fall 2017. After graduating from the University of Redlands with a degree in History and German, she joined the Peace Corps and taught ESL in Ukraine. She realized that working with prospective families in the admissions process was the perfect fit for her at Idyllwild Arts Academy, where she served as Assistant Director of Admissions & Financial Aid. She now serves as the Director of Enrollment at Foothill and oversees all facets of the admission process, including communications with prospective families, student matriculation and re-enrollment, and promoting Foothill’s representation in the larger community. Colette loves the daily interactions with students, families, and the broader community on campus. She invites you to stop by the Main Office for a cup of coffee and say hello!

    Gabrielle Singh, Director of Advancement

    Gabrielle joined the Foothill family in 2023 as the Director of Advancement. In this role she oversees development, ensuring philanthropic support for Foothill, and manages community and alumni relations. She is the direct liaison with the Betty Webb Organization, oversees Cultural Community Presentations and major events including the Fall Family Dinner and the Spring Benefit.

    Gabrielle joined our community following a 24-year career at the University of Redlands, where she most recently served as the Interim Vice President of Advancement. Her role in alumni relations, planning events, and many years of experience guiding donor philanthropy are proving valuable for her new role at Foothill. 

    As an alumna of Valley Preparatory School in Redlands, Gabrielle is delighted to return to her roots in the independent school setting. She later served on their board of trustees and served as its president. She also served on the boards of the Armantrout Educational Foundation and Montessori in Redlands.

    Gabrielle earned her B.A. in Psychology and Spanish, and an M.B.A. from the University of Redlands. She and her husband Dave, share two teenage children. When she's not working, Gabrielle loves to travel, she enjoys spending time with her immediate family including her three dogs, and she is always up for a day trip to Disneyland!  

    Lisa Ulsh, Lower School Director

    Dr. Lisa Ulsh joins Foothill Country Day School in August 2019 with nearly 30 years of experience in independent schools as both an administrator and teacher. A lifelong educator of young children, she is passionate about the importance of children’s early school experiences. She believes that school should be a joyful place for every child and should value the whole child in its mission and in the enacted life of teaching and learning. She believes our laser focus as educators must be to nurture and graduate well-rounded young people, with strong academic and creative skills, sound character, resilient perseverance, and an abiding love for learning. Her life in education has been to inspire and guide teachers and students to this end. 

    Most recently, Lisa was the Lower School Principal at Colorado Academy, a PK-12 school in Colorado, where she led the implementation of Readers’ and Writers’ Workshops and Responsive Classroom; made significant improvements in Lower School mathematics program; and pioneered Family STEAM Nights as a way of building community and connecting parents to the curriculum.

    Prior to Colorado Academy, Lisa was a National Board-certified science teacher, department chair, and summer academic program director for two decades at Westridge School for Girls, a 4-12 independent school in Pasadena. There she championed girls’ participation in math and science, led numerous curricular and pedagogical innovations, and helped develop and implement an evaluation process for experienced teachers. 

    In addition to her teaching and leadership roles in K-12 independent schools, she was a member of the adjunct faculty in the Teacher Education Department at Claremont Graduate University, where she taught science and math teacher interns and supervised their pre-service teaching in local public schools. Lisa earned a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology cum laude from Colorado College, and a Masters and Ph.D. in Education from Claremont Graduate University.  

    A native Coloradoan, Lisa loves the outdoors and pursues a host of activities that include hiking, camping, skiing, and cycling. She loves to garden, cook, and read in her spare time. She is involved with local and international community organizations that serve children and education. Lisa has two sons, who live in Oregon and New York, and a kitty, named Amy, who listens to NPR while she’s at school. 

    Danielle Witten, Director of Finance and Operations

    Danielle joined Foothill as Chief Financial Officer in 2015. Prior to her independent school experience, she obtained her CPA license and spent the first fourteen years of her career at a local public accounting firm in Glendora. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in accounting from Cal Poly Pomona.

    Danielle is responsible for various areas within the school community including finances, facilities, kitchen operations, the extended day program, and is also involved in technology throughout the campus. Her two young children attended Foothill as well.

    Danielle says she most enjoys the variety and challenge of every day at Foothill. “I feel lucky to experience this wonderful community as both a parent and employee, and I think that helps me appreciate a wide perspective when making decisions. I love being involved in supporting the programs and initiatives of the School on a daily basis.”