Who are the Friends of Redwood?

Friends of Redwood, established in 2019, is the foundation for the new Redwood High School. Friends of Redwood replaced the old foundation, Redwood High School Promise Education Foundation

Friends of Redwood Board of Directors

Claire Kolling

President and Chief Marketing Officer

Claire is an adjunct professor of English at both Foothill College and West Valley College, and is a realtor with Intero Real Estate. She is also an Educational Consultant who is passionate about closing the achievement gap, and is committed to continue serving Redwood H.S.

George Metropulos

Vice President and Events Coordinator

Former teacher and former mayor of the City of Belmont, CA.

Mike Garoutte


Trinity Presbyterian Church, retired insurance agent, former USAF pilot

Adriene Wong

Treasurer and Fundraising Committee Chair

Adriene is a Finance professional who’s passionate about education and community outreach.

Elizabeth Weal

Scholarship Committee Chair

Elizabeth is the founder of local non-profit Upward Scholars and a long-time ESL teacher

Joanna Wendel

Grant Writer

Joanna is responsible for researching and writing grant proposals to secure essential funding for Redwood High School. She grew up in Oakland, attended high school in San Francisco, and now lives in Boston, MA. She is delighted to be part of the Friends of Redwood team.

Jessica Linares Boyle 

Board Member

Jessica is a proud alumni of Redwood High School. Her passions are education and mental health. She is an Adjunct College Counselor and Instructor. She is also an Associate Clinical Mental Health Counselor. She is currently attending the University of San Francisco to earn her doctorate in Multicultural and International Education.

Maureen Reich-Svenson

Past President

Former teacher and first generation American, learning disabilities specialist, former Redwood H.S. teacher

Susan Tatum

Past Treasurer

Former CFO of Davis Instruments, child of two public school teachers, grad of Stanford and U.C. Berkeley

Sally Stewart

President Emeritus

Former president and 26 year member of Sequoia Union High School District School Board, San Mateo Women's Hall of Fame, elected 2010

What is Redwood High School?

RHS is a public high school for students in the 11th & 12th grades who are looking for a small, supportive learning community that:

    — Enables students who are behind on credits and/or prefer a smaller environment to support the acquisition of a WASC accredited high school diploma

    — Combines high academic expectations with extra social-emotional support services

    — Offers Career and Technical Education courses in the industry sectors of construction, digital arts, and culinary arts

    — Horticulture and childcare are planned

    — Houses the multidisciplinary Redwood Environmental Academy and Leadership Program (REAL) 

The campus on Old County Road at Redwood City/San Carlos border was rebuilt in 2018, and now includes an industrial arts shop, video/audio recording studio, gym, and garden

Who is Redwood High School?

Our 250 students come from the Sequoia Union High School District.

The district includes Redwood City, East Palo Alto, Belmont, Menlo Park, San Carlos and other communities in eastern San Mateo county.

Most Redwood High students live in North FairOaks, East Palo Alto, and Belle Haven areas.

The graduating class of 2020 (almost 60 students) were referred from all of SUHSD’s high schools:

    - 87% are Latino
    - 92% come from low-income background
    - 4% are homeless

26 faculty and staff bring specialized training as well as real world experience in their specific fields. All faculty members are fully credentialed.


Ted Lempert; President, Children Now; former California Assemblyman
Ralph Crame; Principal, Carlmont High School
Ulla Foehr, President CAF (Carlmont Academic Foundation) Kathy Parmer-Lohan; Executive Director, SCEF (San Carlos Education Foundation)

Advisory Board

Carrie DuBois, Sequoia Union High School District School Board
Tom Casey
Marialuisa Yazar, Web Designer/UX Designer
Logan Svenson, Redwood High School, Class of 2011
Kai Lee, Teacher, Redwood High School
Lucero Renteria, Parent Liaison, Redwood High School

Year 1: What Have We Accomplished?

In our first year, we’ve:
 - Raised over $31,000
 - Built a Board of Directors and Advisory Board
 - Funded $18,000 in emergency groceries for
 - Redwood students and their families coping with abrupt unemployment caused by the pandemic in Spring of 2020
 - Funded $1300 for construction supplies for art students to build tables for their program
 - Provided scholarships for 3 students totaling $2,000 Funded supplies for unique 2020 graduation ceremony
 - Were awarded a small grant from the Community Foundation of San Carlos

We’re building our organization! Please contact us at [email protected] to find out about the volunteer opportunities currently available.

Why is a Foundation Needed?

California ranks 34th in the country, providing a bare-bones, basic education for our children. Most public schools rely on non-profit foundations to enrich the basics and support special programs. In our geographical area most schools enjoy substantial financial support from parents as well as the community. Redwood’s population includes a significant percentage of students coming with significant needs:
— 92% are socio-economically disadvantaged & qualify for free/reduced lunch programs.
— Over 50% will be the first generation in their family to graduate from high school.
— More than a quarter of Redwood students work after school to help support and/or provide child care for their families.
— Redwood does not have an established PTA, mostly due to parent work schedules and the transitory nature of the student population.

Why Donate Now?

Redwood families have been severely impacted by the sudden unemployment caused by Covid-19. Even before the current crisis, many parents worked lower-income essential jobs, often working two jobs to support the family.