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San Domenico School

Alumni Council Profiles

Leslie Reese '87 - President

I am currently the Executive Director & CEO/Owner of HomeWell Senior Care based in San Rafael, CA. Prior to purchasing the business, I spent 20 years working in healthcare for Kaiser Permanente in a variety of leadership roles. I have a B.A. in English and Political Science from Kenyon College, Gambier, OH, a M.A. in International Studies from University of Newcastle upon Tyne, England, and an MBA from San Francisco State University, California. As an alumna who is deeply appreciative of the educational opportunity I was provided, I wish to give back to the institution that was so instrumental in shaping who I am today. I credit San Domenico with helping lay the foundation for who I have become and how I have approached life, other people, and my community as an adult. I want to help strengthen the bond San Domenico has with its students, alumni and families and, through that process, help strengthen the school as a whole for years to come.

Lisa Fairchild '75 - Vice President

In many ways I came of age at San Domenico. As a boarding student from 1971-1975, I learned and lived in an environment rich in culture, personality and perspectives. My values of connection, community and contribution grew in this environment. Though I was not particularly academic in my high school years, I am deeply appreciative of the forward thinking, expansive and global education that the school provided long before our world became so global. My years at the school very much influenced my 20+ year career in Human Resources and my current work as a life coach. Though it’s been forty years since I graduated from San Domenico, my connection to the school remains strong. I am excited to participate on the Alumna Council and to take an active role in the support the school. Reconnecting with fellow alums is icing on the cake!

Alicia Dakin '75 - Secretary

Since 1979, I have pursued a very successful and fulfilling career in technology working for the largest IT providers in the world. My focus is on serving F100 companies within their IT and IS departments developing strategic relationships; expanding the “sell to model” to include a “sell with model” thus building a stronger more interdependent relationship with both parties having a greater interest in the success of the relationship. I have a teenage daughter and we share a love for horses and competition. We travel frequently across the western US to compete against some of the best riders in the world. We participate in leadership groups working to improve the sport. San Domenico brought a lot to my life in very quiet ways teaching me that living within “the box” isn’t always necessary and that pursuing my intellectual and spiritual lives don’t have to compete with each other. I have now found that I am in a place to be able to confidently share my knowledge and experience with San Domenico. I look forward to helping others who have attended San Domenico to find ways to help support this so very important school.

Christina Afanasieff '01 - Archives & Education Committee Co-Chair

San Domenico has given me so much throughout my life - an education that fed my heart and my mind, a loving community, and a sense of home and belonging. Fourteen years after graduating from the Upper School, and fully entrenched in my career as a mental health therapist, I have found that the sense of community among San Domenico graduates has only gotten stronger for me over the years. The network of San Domenico alums is like an extended family I can always fall back on, learn from, and feel at home with. I joined the Alumni Council because it feels to wonderful to give back to this community that has given me so much.

Lisa Alexander '83 - Network & Events Committee

From a sixth generation agricultural family long engrained in the history of California, I am the founder and CEO of LAFACE Laboratories Corp., a luxury, natural and organic skincare line. I am a Dame of Malta and a member of the Society of California Pioneers. I reside in San Francisco and am actively involved in numerous charity and community causes including the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, the Fight Against Breast Cancer, Cancer Care Services, the UCLA Foundation, Pets Unlimited, the Guardsman of San Francisco and The Parks Trust to name a few. Being on the San Domenico Alumni Council is important to me in that I have the life that I have because San Domenico was instrumental in molding my attitude toward all the challenges that come with growing up. I find that a strong moral code, a sense of right and wrong and compassion for others is sometimes wanting in the world we live in, and I feel San Domenico has a big job to influence as many as possible. If I can assist in some way, I feel it is important.

Elizabeth Bowe Anders '64 - Recognition & Outreach Committee

I graduated from San Domenico, then Dominican Convent, in 1964. Attending the school provided me with an excellent secondary education and I was admitted to several elite colleges. After college, including a semester in France, I became a CPA and later attended law school. I recently retired after practicing business and transactional law for over 30 years. The school has meant a great deal to me over the past 50+ years. Living on the East Coast, I wasn't financially in a position to attend the early reunions, but I have attended every one since my 25th in 1989. We are a very close class and keep in touch on a somewhat regular basis year after year. Being on the Alumni Council allows me to work with other classes and hopefully help them become as connected as the class of '64.

Robin Mayrisch Andrae '66 - Archives & Education Committee

San Domenico teaches the values of self-reflection and service to others while providing the opportunity to be part of a vibrant and diverse community. This education encouraged me to go to college and study Psychology. I developed a life long interest in education and learning. I taught in a pilot program for the launch of the Sesame Street TV show and worked as a substitute teacher at Ursuline Convent School, Barbados, West Indies. Later I worked for two local Universities. I am currently studying Health Care Advocacy to help seniors and others navigate the health care system. I look forward to working with the Alumni Council to reach out to alums to encourage the sharing of memories and stories that enliven and brighten the rich tradition we share.

Lauren Becker '04 - Network & Events Committee

I am thrilled to be on the Alumni Council for SD! With a strong background in nonprofit development in addition to being a past Alumni Board Member for my college alma mater, Brandeis University, I am excited to be able to contribute to the Alumni Council. I am particularly excited to help create programming that promotes professional networking for younger alumni; as once a SD alum, always a SD alum. No matter how much time has passed, San Domenico will always be a home for me and I will forever be grateful for the incredible academic and worldly education I received. My closest friends are classmates from high school and while all five of them live throughout the country, the bond that started at San Domenico is stronger than ever! I hope to support the school that has given me so much, and I greatly look forward to seeing the continued growth and innovation San Domenico has on the docket!

Heidi Hickingbotham Cary '61 - Network & Events Committee

I am proud to be an alumna of Dominican Convent School in San Rafael before the campus was moved to San Anselmo and renamed. I attended both the Grammar and High School and graduated in 1961. I had a wonderful experience over those 12 years and made many friends with whom I still continue to see. I felt I was well prepared for college and later graduate school. Because of my past experiences and interest in the school today, two of my grandchildren are attending San Domenico and are loving it! I am happy to be on the Alumni Council to have the opportunity to give back to San Domenico so much of what I had received spirituality, emotional support, guidance, intellectual challenges and creativity. While I was at Dominican, Veritas or truth was the value we lived. That is still important to me today. I bring my life experiences including personal and professional skills, fund raising and event planning. I look forward to working with my Alma Mater.

Ruth Collins '81 - Network & Events Committee Co-Chair

I attended San Domenico for 12 years and graduated in 1981. I have nieces and a nephew that attended the school, and I served 6 years on the board and 10 years on the Advancement Committee. I’ve appreciated these opportunities to stay connected to the school that was so important to my personal development, but I especially look forward to my time on the Alumni Council as a way to see in my fellow alumnae the long-term outcomes of a San Domenico education, and to help cultivate an ongoing community of shared values, diversely expressed in our individual lives. Professionally, I am the administrator of the May and Stanley Smith Charitable Trust, as well as a trustee, which gives me an inspiring view of the dedication and generosity in the nonprofit community.

Kristin Delaplane '61 - Archives & Education Committee Chair

My ties as an alumna of San Domenico have proved to be enduring, deep long-lasting friendships that go back to second grade when I came to Dominican; a sense of ethics and morality fostered in that environment. My career path has been as an interviewer-writer and currently as a biographer for family and company histories. I only feel comfortable saying this to my alumna group and that is this: At the core of my choose/given path I have become a listener, providing an audience and compassionate ear. I feel blessed everyday as I learn from these storytellers and feelings of love swirl around my heart during these interview sessions. I accepted being a member of the Alumni Council because I felt I could contribute my experience in writing, historical research and archiving knowledge. Still, I was blown away that I, not the best of students, was tapped on the shoulder. As my good friend from third grade said, “Beyond imaging,” which I guess proves that God really can dream bigger for us than we can.

Sandy Willard Denn '57 - Archives & Education Committee

Farming has been my family’s (and my) life’s work since we first came out of caves! Fortunately my parents made the decision that a good education was important for me and sent me to Dominican for my High School experience. When my Dad passed away late in my senior year, I had already gotten enough education to be able to help my Mother carry on the farm until I was able to take it over. After graduating, my college and postgraduate education had to come in starts and stops, but that Dominican background made it “do-able.” Dominican also taught me to give back not only to family, but to society as well. I have worked the last 25 years to help develop water policies in California, for both ground and surface waters, having just retired in December 2015. Being on the Alumni Council is important as another way of fulfilling the Dominican tradition of giving back to the world Now that most of my water policy work is coming to an end, serving on the council is a way I can help preserve those Dominican values and that they remain a vital part of San Domenico.

Rebecca Heath Farguson '05 - Recognition & Outreach Committee Co-Chair

The greatest value of being a San Domenico alumna is the lifelong community you inherit. It brings me great joy to know that even though graduation has long passed, the door is always open. Today I work in early childhood care and education. My passion is to ensure that children understand they have a voice and to guide them to recognize their potential, as each child has a unique gift to offer the world. I truly treasure the friendships between classmates, as well as teachers, that were formed from my years at San Domenico. We continue to share a unique loyalty and compassion for each other that is irreplaceable. Being a member of the Alumni Council is my way of passing on my love of San Domenico to fellow alums in this cherished community. I see it as a great opportunity to give back, by helping the alumni door stay open to growing and reviving connections and special friendships.

Katie Abbott Horn '71 - Archives & Education Committee

I attended Dominican / San Domenico beginning in 1963 and graduated from the High School in 1971. After attending the University of the Pacific, I worked in San Francisco in the investment business, got married in 1978, and have two wonderful children. Joe and I have lived in Marin for 37 years and love to travel, when time allows. Last year we walked 100 miles of the Camino de Santiago in Spain. Joyfully, my sister and I run a family business in San Francisco which our Grandfather started in 1926. Over the years I have given much of my volunteer time to schools by serving on the Kentfield School Board (8 yrs) and the San Domenico Board (7yrs). I joined the Alumnae Council because I am so proud of San Domenico, our history in Marin County, the dedication of the Dominican Sisters, the SD staff and all our amazing students. I want to continue to spread the news of what a fantastic school San Domenico is and am confident I can help do that through the Alumnae Council.

Sheila Doyle Kiernan '44 - Recognition & Outreach Committee

It has been an honor to stay connected to San Domenico for the 72 years since I attended Dominican Convent. The School is very close to my heart and I am grateful that I am able to contribute to the Alumni Council and represent the older generations who attended. I cherish my School experiences and memories and I am happy to help make a difference at San Domenico through the Council. There are many things that have evolved at San Domenico since I attended, but the core values remain the same today in the current community. In addition to serving on the San Domenico Alumni Council, I spend my time staying active in San Francisco helping people less fortunate through non-profit based organization. I enjoy and support the art of preserving history through groups such as the Society of California Pioneers, and I remain connected to my greater community.

Ashely Mulshenock '15 - Network & Events Committee

Performance, social justice, academia, athleticism, adventure, veritas. My passion for all of these caught fire at San Domenico. I'm pursuing each one of them at Mills College as a full time student and athlete. I have continued my work in coaching volleyball and educating youth on positive body image. I often find myself drawing upon my experiences at San Domenico, and applying them to my life now. I joined the Alumni Council in order to bridge the gap from then to now. No matter where you go, something will lead you back to San Domenico.

Emager Lacy Pearce '89 - Network & Events Committee Chair

I'm blessed to have a family that consists of 3 beautiful children, and a great husband! For the past 22 years, I've enjoyed a rewarding career in Biotechnology. This experience has allowed me to see innovations and changes that have enhanced and prolonged the lives of patients with life-threatening illnesses. My love for science began at San Domenico, and it's always great to "come back home". So, I joined the Alumni Council to play a role in supporting the sense of community that I've always felt at this school. Coming together at SD is refreshing and necesaary to sustain this environment in which I received many gifts that should continue to be shared with others.

Sarah Ann Maleady Smith '75 - Recognition & Outreach Committee Chair

Color. Line. Texture. Imagery. Stories. Creating. Being part of the tradition of quilting and part of the future of quilting and art. I learned to sew after a neighbor girl made an apron for my doll when I was 6, and when I found quilting in my late 20s, I knew I’d found my thing! I specialize in machine work, coloring with threads, and using whatever technique will help turn the picture in my mind into cloth, and am the author of ThreadWork Unraveled. I am now a (sometimes tired!) full-time artist, have written for Quilting Arts and Machine Quilting Unlimited among other magazines, have a video workshop for Quilting Arts/Interweave: Art Quilt Studio: from Photo to Threadwork and appeared on Quilting Arts TV; am a quilt teacher, pattern designer, and mom living in Hope, Maine, with my husband, younger son, a pug, four cats and too many ideas.

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