Everyone in the Mirman community plays a part in raising each child’s potential to the power of Mirman, including our dedicated Administrative team. Learn more about our staff and how to get in touch by browsing the directory below.
For immediate assistance during normal school hours, please call (310) 476-2868.
Dan Vorenberg has worked in independent education for more than 30 years. Originally from Boston, Mr. Vorenberg began his career as an elementary school teacher at Milton Academy in Massachusetts. He was appointed Head of the Atrium School, a Pre-K through sixth grade school, in 1988 and subsequently served as Head of independent elementary/middle schools in Indianapolis and Albany, New York. In 2001, Mr. Vorenberg became Head of the Lower School at Columbus Academy, a college preparatory school in Columbus, Ohio, and was promoted to Assistant Head of School in 2006.
Mr. Vorenberg has been a faculty member for the New Teacher Institute for the Association of Independent Schools in New England and served on several independent school and non-profit boards. He was Assistant Director of the Massachusetts Advanced Studies Program, and has been a member of the Principal's Center at Harvard University.
Dan joined Mirman School in 2013 and is very happy to serve as Mirman's fifth Head of School.
Brad Barry began his time at Mirman as a classroom teacher and loves working with gifted students and their families. Previously, Mr. Barry worked at ACE Academy, a school for the gifted in Austin, where he taught and served as the Head of the Elementary School.
Mr. Barry is passionate about expanding access to gifted education and helping families find the best school fit for their students.
Joining us in 2020 as Chief Financial Officer, Rick Benfield is a successful executive and versatile leader with extensive experience leading independent schools and organizations of all sizes across multiple industries. Prior to joining Mirman, Mr. Benfield was the Director of Finance & Operations at The Archer School for Girls for eight years. In addition to supervising finance and accounting, he is responsible for overseeing Operations, Facilities, Human Resources, Risk Management, Compliance, and Legal. Mr. Benfield currently serves as member of the American Camp Association National Audit & Finance Committee. He is Past-Chair of the California Collaboration for Youth and has held numerous positions on other non-profit boards. Mr. Benfield holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science cum laude from Amherst College.
Coach Brown took over as Athletics Director in 2015. A NCAA Long Jump Champion and 8 time All-American and PAN-AM Games-Silver Medalist, she has transferred her experience as an outstanding athlete to the areas of administration and education.
Coach Brown has served most recently as Athletics Director at the ICEF Public Schools, where she forged community partnerships, developed new teams, and advanced athletic opportunities for both boys and girls. Coach Brown has her B.S. in Exercise Science from George Mason University in Fairfax, VA. She holds a Double-Goal Coach: Coaching for Winning and Life Lessons certification through the Positive Coaching Alliance.
Lizeth Castellon has been in the accounting field since graduating from California State University, Los Angeles in 2016. After graduation, she gained accounting experience in Accounts Payable, Payroll and Accounts Receivable for organizations such as Life Steps Foundation and Garden Grove KIA.
Alec Colantonio-Ray joined the Advancement team in June of 2014 as the Data and Advancement Coordinator. Previously, he was the Database Manager at Crossroads School for two years, and before that he was their Advancement Assistant for two years. Prior to Crossroads, Mr. Colantonio-Ray worked in the Development Offices of Marlborough School in Los Angeles and Harlem Day Charter School in New York City. Mr. Colantonio-Ray is originally from the Bay Area in Northern California and received his bachelor's degree from New York University.
Ray Cunningham joined Mirman School after serving as the Director of Innovation and Technology at GEMS American Academy in Abu Dhabi, UAE. Mr. Cunningham holds certification in educational leadership and licensure as a digital learning coach and middle school teacher in Language Arts and Social Studies, as well as a M.A. in teaching educational technology from National University in La Jolla, CA.
Ericka Dean joined the Mirman community in December 2020, and since that time, has partnered closely with executive leadership in advancing the School’s DEIJ initiatives. In 2022, Ms. Dean accepted the position of Director of Equity, Inclusion, and Community and brings a combination of expertise related to organizational development, change management, communications, community building, and developing initiatives that advance equity, inclusion, and belonging within diverse communities.
Prior to joining Mirman, Ms. Dean led both non-profit organizations and higher education institutions, including Teachers College, Columbia University, and Stanford University, in centering their outreach efforts from the lens of diversity, equity, and inclusion.
For the past decade, Ms. Dean has served as a disabilities advocate having championed the rights of those with different abilities and special needs within hospitals, healthcare systems, organizations, and schools across the city, and currently coaches and mentors special needs families.
Away from Mirman, Ms. Dean's favorite title is “Mom,” and proudly enjoys spending her free time with her son, and favorite student, Miles.
Justin H. Dove is beginning his second year as Mirman's school psychologist. Justin is nationally certified, and his professional journey has spanned several Ohio, Georgia, and California school districts over twelve years. Justin earned his BS in Human Ecology, MA in Education (School Psychology), and EdS in Education (School Psychology) from The Ohio State University. His professional interests include mental health, neurodiversity-affirming practices, culturally-sensitive assessment, and social justice.
James Fonteneaux has been with Mirman School in 2016. Mr. Fonteneaux was previously employed in a similar capacity at Sinai Akiba Academy, and has been working in the field of educational technology starting at the age of 15. Outside of Mirman, he works as a graphic designer, a video editor, and a cameraman.
Tommy John Gaio joined the Mirman community in August of 2022. Prior to joining Mirman, Tommy spent the last 9+ years in education, working at Fusion Education Group. He worked in a variety of roles at Fusion, starting as a Homework Cafe teacher as well as a math, science, photography, and graphic design teacher. Most recently Tommy was the Director of Virtual Technology and helped lead this 5,000 student organization through the COIVD pandemic remote learning phase.
Tommy has a BS in Civil Engineering from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. Prior to his work in education he worked as an engineer for the Indiana Department of Transportation as well as a full-time wedding and portrait photographer.
Aida Gharapetian joined Mirman School in June 2010 as Director of Financial Reporting, transitioning to Controller in 2019. Prior to joining Mirman School, she worked as Accounting Manager in various cable TV parts import/export and installation/integration companies. She holds a B.A. from Boston University.
Tanya Haghnazarian has a long history of supporting business offices in independent schools, most recently at The Center for Early Education as their accounts receivable specialist and previously for the Curtis School as their accounts receivable and financial aid coordinator. She holds a B.A. in child and adolescent development from California State University-Northridge and a M.S. in administrative service from Pepperdine University.
Extended Programs Coordinator / Program Support / Dance Specialist
Noah Kaufman has been Mirman's Director of Advancement since fall of 2016, and served as Director of Annual Giving and Alumni Relations starting in January of 2014. Mr. Kaufman came to Mirman from Milken Community Schools, where he was Associate Director of Advancement & Director of Alumni Relations. Mr. Kaufman also co-teaches Mirman's Electronic Music Productive Elective, teaching our students how to engineer, produce, compose, and perform original music that lies at the intersection of art and technology.
Mr. Kaufman enjoys the strong partnership between the Office of Advancement and Mirman's community, fostering opportunities for connection and collaboration in support of our students and school. He is passionate about gifted education, and is inspired and energized by our students love of learning, our dedicated faculty and staff, and the enthusiasm of Mirman's volunteers.
Grace Kelly joined the Advancement team in June of 2022 as the Director of Marketing and Communications. Previously, she served the same role at de Toledo High School for six years where she oversaw the name change and rebranding of New Community Jewish High School. Prior to de Toledo, Ms. Kelly worked in branding and graphic design at Looking, whose clients included Google and Worthe Real Estate Group, as well as the Fowler Museum at UCLA and the Getty Center. Ms. Kelly is a native Angeleno and received her bachelor's degree from UCLA.
Stephanie Leung joined Mirman School as its Head of Lower School in 2016. A seasoned educator with certifications in school leadership, early childhood education, special education, and gifted education, Ms. Leung was most recently the Head of Lower School at John Thomas Dye School in Los Angeles. Previously, she was the Head of First Grade at Avenues: The World School in New York City. Prior to moving to administration, she taught kindergarten, first and second grade at PS334M The Anderson School, a public school for the highly gifted in New York City. She has been a presenter and led workshops for gifted and talented teachers, a curriculum design facilitator and author for the New York City Department of Education, an early childhood gifted and talented assessment administrator, and has co-authored “A Case of Responsibility: Preparing Community-Minded School Leaders” in Scholar-Practitioner Quarterly: A Journal for the Scholar-Practitioner Leader. She holds a master of arts in Early Childhood Education/Early Childhood Special Education from Columbia University, Teachers College, and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Social Behavior from the University of California-Irvine. In 2019, she was named Assistant Head of School in addition to her role as Head of Lower School.
Beginning in 2019, Ronald Morales joined Mirman's Facilities and Operations staff as the school's full-time Lead Security Officer. Mr. Morales has been a vital part of the Mirman community since 2013, providing security services through Centurion, the school's private security contractor. He has more than a decade of security experience.
Before becoming Mirman School's first-ever Health Coordinator, Jowana Nasrallah worked in COVID-19 contact tracing for the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. She has her B.S. in environmental chemistry from U.C. Davis and her M.P.H. in public health from Oregon State University.
Reggie Rios began his role as Director of Facilities & Operations in August 2018. He is thrilled to be part of the Mirman School community. Mr. Rios has 20 years of experience in Educational Facilities Management. Previously he was Director of Operations and Safety at Milken Community Schools, Upper and Middle School and Director of Facilities Operations at Marymount High School.
Mr. Rios enjoys supporting the amazing work and activities that take place on a school campus and sees the school's buildings and grounds as an integral part of the student experience.
When he is not on campus, Mr. Rios enjoys spending time with his wife Brooke and his 2 year old daughter, Emme.
Mary Sebunya joined Mirman School after serving as the Director of Admissions at TREE Academy in West Hollywood, CA. Ms. Sebunya has a Bachelor of Arts in English literature and a Masters of Business Administration. She has accumulated more than ten years of teaching experience in international schools running the British curriculum. Away from Mirman, Mary is passionate about women's issues and spends a great deal of her time supporting these causes through her passion projects.
Rita Anne Smith
Associate Director of Admission / Director of Extended Programs
Rita Anne Smith joined Mirman School in 2006 as Registrar. Now, she serves as both the Associate Director of Admission and the Director of Extended programs, which covers Annex, Enrichment, and Camp Mirman.
Ms. Smith graduated from the University of California, Irvine, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art History.
Karika Thompson is a development professional with more than eight years experience working with nonprofit organizations to raise revenue and major funds for charitable causes. In her role at Mirman School, she leads the Annual Giving campaign and works to build and engage our relationships with Mirman alumni and their families. She is passionate about raising funds to support education and ensuring students have access to everything they need to learn and thrive. She earned her B.A. in Communication from the University of Southern California.
Claudiette Wright-Bey brings considerable experience in K-12 independent schools throughout California to her work here at Mirman as the Assistant to the Head of School. Prior to becoming the assistant to Mr. Vorenberg, she was the Assistant to the Head of Lower School as well as the Admission Office. Select past executive assistant roles have included support for the Heads of School at The Buckley School in Sherman Oaks and St. James’ Episcopal School in Los Angeles, as well as community-based organizations and private sector companies. Her most recent position was Graduate Program Specialist at the School of Management/Masters of Public Policy Administration at California Lutheran University, from which she holds a master’s degree in counseling and guidance.
Ms. Wright-Bey is a graduate of The Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (A.A. cum laude), the University of La Verne (B.S. cum laude), and is a member of the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators.