Meryl K. Chae

Chair, Board of Trustees
Smiling woman

None of us could have predicted what was going to happen over the course of the last school year. But thanks to the resilience, creativity and patience of the entire Oakwood community, we found that we are, in fact, Better Together!

Last year, we welcomed Jaime Dominguez as our new Head of School. We couldn’t have designed a more challenging first year at Oakwood for him. And yet through it all, he led us with grace, humility, thoughtfulness and compassion. We are thrilled that Jaime chose Oakwood, we are proud of the partnership that Oakwood’s Board and Jaime have developed together, and we could not be more excited for Oakwood’s future with Jaime at the helm.

Last year was also the year that we lost Phyllis Gottlieb (a General Member of the Board of Trustees and a beloved member of our Oakwood community). Through her decades of service on the Board, and time in our community as a parent and grandparent, she touched many of our hearts and will be tremendously missed. We cannot thank her enough for all of her years of support and service to our community – especially for her being instrumentally involved in all building projects at the School and, accordingly, leaving an indelible impression for all of us as we move into the future.

We are incredibly fortunate that as a community we all could be together on March 1, 2020 for Oakwood’s “Better Together Special Event” at the Hollywood Palladium. For many of us, this was the last large scale gathering that we attended before the stay at home orders commenced. I feel truly grateful that we were able to celebrate the school that we love with so much talent on the stage and so many of us in a single room together. It’s a reminder of what’s possible and what we will be able to do in the future (soon, knock on wood).

While the road ahead will not be easy as we deal with the pandemic, the economic collapse and systemic racism, I am hopeful that 2020 will be the year that meaningful and lasting change is made and that we all view in hindsight as the turning point for all of us.

Being Better Together means more than being physically together.

It means all of us working together to achieve our goals, including Oakwood’s goals set forth in Oakwood’s Statement of Philosophy – to guide students, to spark passion, to cultivate depth of character, to gain self-knowledge and to foster a sense of community. These goals are always important, but could not be more important now.

It is with tremendous gratitude and appreciation that I thank all of our donors and the entire Oakwood community for all of the work that was done last year and, in advance, for all of the hard work that needs to be done as we focus on achieving our goals, together.


Meryl K. Chae
Chair, Board of Trustees

Natalie (“Chae”) ’22