Board of Directors
DAN ALBERT - president
Daniel Albert is a lifelong resident of the Monterey Peninsula. He attended Monterey public schools and began his post-secondary education at Monterey Peninsula College. He earned both his Bachelor of Science degree and his Master's degree in Educational Leadership from San Jose State University.
Over the course of his 31-year career in education, Dan held positions of increased responsibility within the Monterey Peninsula Unified School District. He began teaching in 1985, and came to Monterey High School in 1990. Dan was named Principal in 2000. Seven years later, he moved to the District office and in 2016 he retired as the Associate Superintendent of Business Services.
Dan has two children and is married to Sharon Albert, an administrator for the Salinas Union High School District and an active community member in her own right.
Elaine Herrmann - Vice President
Elaine Herrmann, RN, MPH, has years of nursing experience in hospitals and home health care. She has produced and hosted a public affairs television program, established the first hospital-based cancer registry along central California coast and also helped create the first two-county comprehensive cancer registry. She is a past president of local American Cancer Society and a past board member of the local UNA.
Elaine is a published author in national medical and nursing journals, and also published “Yeoman in Farragut’s Fleet,” an annotated Civil War diary. She has provided a variety of local programs to inform students about the multitude of health care careers, including a Lyceum program to introduce students to often unknown careers in health care.
Christine Westbrook - Treasurer
Reason for joining board: As a child, I pored over the Lyceum catalogs. I thought that the Lyceum had the most wonderfully exotic classes, like Egyptian culture and foreign languages. At the time, these classes were offered right on public school campuses through state education funding. Now as a mother of a school-aged girl, I am sad to see that “enrichment programs” are widely gone from the schools, the funds having been diverted to other budgets. After all these decades the Lyceum continues to inspire children’s minds and imaginations, and a life-long love of learning.
"Education without values, as useful as it is, seems rather to make man a more clever devil."
CAROLINA VALDEZ - secretary
Carolina Valdez taught elementary in the Los Angeles Unified School District for 8 years while completing her Ph.D. in Urban Schooling at the University of California, Los Angeles. Now an Assistant Professor in the College of Education at California State University, Monterey Bay, Carolina prepares elementary educators to teach ethnic studies and social justice.
Thomas Brousek - Board Member
Thomas Brousek spent his formative years in Germany, receiving his first undergraduate degree in Art History. He later relocated to the United States to pursue his MBA in Finance from Golden Gate University and his Doctorate of Jurisprudence from Monterey College of Law. A former overseas executive with General Electric, Thomas has always valued both education and cultural diversity. He is a firm believer in supporting learning programs that can broaden the horizons and enrich the lives of those who participate in them.
CATHI DRAPER RODRIGUEZ, PHD - Board member
Associate Professor and Department Chair - CSUMB Teacher Education Department.
Reason for joining Board: Providing extracurricular activities to children on the peninsula is vitally important.
Major outside interests: Family, Travel.
"A man's mind stretched to a new idea never goes back to it's original dimensions"
- Oliver Wendell Holmes
jen Holguin - Board Member
Jen directs fellowship and study abroad programs and serves as a career and academic advisor at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey (MIIS). She also is an active parent volunteer at the International School of Monterey. Jen is passionate about inspiring a love of learning, growing and exploring throughout one's lifetime. An avid traveler, she's worked, studied or wandered through dozens of countries, including Sierra Leone, Cuba, Switzerland and Jordan. She spends her evenings and weekends hiking and biking around this beautiful Peninsula, creating art with her daughter, reading for book club, doing yoga and holding rocking family dance parties.
KATIE KELLY MIDDLETON - BOARD MEMBER
Katie Middleton is a former Naval Intelligence Officer and now Director of Faith Formation at Carmel Mission Basilica. She is completing her masters in Theology through Marquette University and earned her undergrad through the United States Naval Academy where she was a dual-sport collegiate athlete. She is married to Wyatt Middleton, an Engineering Duty Officer who she met on the first day at the Naval Academy. They have a young son, Liam, with whom they love sharing the wonders of the Monterey Community.
Reason for joining board: There are worlds beyond that which is right in front of us—so much to see, do and explore. It is an honor to be a part of a community effort to open the doors of imagination and possibility for our youth—those who are going to go on and discover things that have yet to be dreamed.
MARIA OWEN - BOARD MEMBER
Maria M. Owen was born in Sao Paulo, Brazil, to Colombian parents. She attended high school in Brussels, Belgium, and obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Modern Languages at the University of Lille.
After returning to Colombia, she taught French and shortly afterwards she married Guillermo Owen. With her new husband, she moved to New York, where she obtained her Master’s degree in French language and Literature at Fordham University. She then taught Romance Languages at Mother Cabrini High School.
While in New York, she gave birth to two daughters, and worked as a guide at the United Nations headquarters.
Some years later, the family moved to Houston, where Maria obtained another master’s degree at Rice University. She has been a professor at Texas Southern University and at the University of the Andes in Bogota.
Maria is the author of several books for young teens, published by Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. She has been an editor and a translator, working for major American and international publishers.
She has devoted many years to the local chapter of the United Nations Association, mostly working for the International Film Festival and the Youth Education programs.
David Riddle - Board Member
Dave retired from the Defense Language Institute after serving as a federal attorney for 37 years. Over the course of his career, he and his wife lived in three foreign countries and traveled to many more. He ran on the Army’s marathon team, and still competes and climbs mountains. Recently Dave ascended Mount Kilimanjaro in less than a day to raise donations for a central California literacy organization. He and his son ascended to Mount Everest Base Camp together. His son’s participation in Lyceum activities inspired such an adventuresome spirit. And now Dave feels a need to give back to the community.
Dave’s son competed in the Lyceum’s spelling bee, and Dave coached his son to the National Spelling Bee in 2004. Dave himself won the 2005 title of National Senior Spelling Bee Champ and continues to participate in adult spelling bees around the country. He was the last audience member standing in a Broadway performance of the 25th Putnam County Spelling Bee. He has been the pronouncer in over 50 adult and student bees.
"Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood."
Lucille Standifer - Board Member
Lucille is a retired MPUSD Teacher. She is integral in supporting our History Day program and other Academic Events and Enrichment Activities sponsored by the Lyceum. She is very active in her church activities, visiting the sick, nursing homes, and shut-ins; working with youth and young adults; being a supportive wife, mother, grandmother, and friend.
"I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel"
- Maya Angelou