The Prentice School, Board of Directors
Mark Gaines
Board President

Mark Gaines is currently working as an independent energy efficiency consultant to 3rd party energy efficiency program providers. Prior to his retirement from Sempra Energy in October, 2011, he was the Director of Customer Programs for San Diego Gas & Electric and Southern California Gas Company. His organization was responsible for developing and implementing energy efficiency and demand response programs for residential, commercial and industrial customers. He holds a BS in Environmental Engineering from U.C. Irvine, an MBA from UCLA and is a Registered Professional Engineer in the State of California.

Mark currently serves as Prentice’s Board Chairman. He wanted to give back for all that Prentice has given to his family. His daughter, Tera, was a student at Prentice from 4th through 8th grade (graduated 2011) where she came in as a child with dyslexia who disliked school and lacked confidence in her abilities because of her learning differences. Prentice made an immediate and permanent impact on her self-esteem and scholastic performance by surrounding her with caring teachers and students who understood her challenges. She did well in high school and is now attending Chapman University. Mark is convinced that without Prentice, this would not have been possible, which is why he wanted to contribute his time and energy to make sure Prentice continues to be an option for other families with children like Tera.

Dan Clark

Married to Laurel since 1979, Dan Clark has three kids; John, Anna, and Carrie. Dan Clark graduated from USC in 1968 and has been working at Prudential Overall Supply since then. He is an avid bird hunter and traveler.  Dan Clark has been on the Prentice Board since 1994.


Diane Donaldson

Diane Donaldson is an Assessment Consultant at Pearson Assessments. She graduated from the University of Southern California with a doctorate in Educational Psychology. Her son, Grant, graduated from Prentice in 2003 and went on to the Orange County High School of the Arts. Diane is an Advisory Council Member for Prentice and often holds workshops for Prentice faculty and staff.


Kathryn Su

Kathryn Su was elected to the Board of Directors of The Prentice School in 2014. She is a Director at Experian, a leading global information services company, helping businesses to manage credit risk, prevent fraud, target marketing offers and automate decision making. She leads a team of finance, marketing, data analytics, strategy, and competitive intelligence professionals based in Costa Mesa and London. Her prior experience includes Internet retail, private equity investment, and management consulting. Along with being a Board Member for The Prentice School, Kathryn is an advisor to the President of Netball America, and a volunteer with Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure and Junior Achievement. Kathryn, her husband and their two children live in Orange County, California.

Brian Sullivan

Brian Sullivan is a journalist and analyst who has been covering financial services and the insurance industry for more than 30 years. Today, Brian is Editor and Publisher of two of the leading newsletters in the property and casualty insurance industry, Auto Insurance Report and Property Insurance Report. He is also chairman of the Auto Insurance Report National Conference and Property Insurance Report National Conference, annual meetings which bring together leading industry executives, investors, brokers, reinsurers and others to discuss the most important strategic issues impacting auto insurance. Brian, a native of New York City, is a graduate of the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service. Brian and Tracie reside in Dana Point, California. Brian and his wife Tracie found Prentice, which they felt was the perfect place for not only their oldest child, but also their youngest son who was clearly very bright, but still struggled in school. Brian believes that Prentice is a life-saver for students who learn differently.



Judy Pirtle

Judy Pirtle currently resides in Coto de Caza, CA. She retired from her career in sales/sales management at the end of 2015.  Judy was with Independent Paperboard Marketing from 1994 to her retirement date of 2015.

Judy‘s husband was a career Marine Corps pilot, and the family moved many times around the country and to Japan.  While the family was stationed in AZ, Judy was certified as a long term substitute teacher by the state. She held many positions of leadership, including being a member of the Executive Board of the Officer’s Wives, and was also the co-editor of the Officer’s Wives newsletter.  When her husband took his squadron overseas as the Commanding Officer, Judy led the first support group for Marine Corps families during deployments. The program was later adopted throughout the Marine Corps. Judy volunteered for Navy Relief, Red Cross and many other organizations that supported the military.  Judy, along with her husband, serve on the Board of Directors for Life Branch Ministries. Judy graduated from Northern Arizona University with a BS in psychology.

Currently, Judy and her husband, Gordon, are assisting their son, Jeff, in raising his three boys since the loss of his wife and their mother to cancer three years ago. They have two more grandsons living in Central California with their daughter, Jennifer and son-in-law, David. Judy, and her family, have been very involved at The Prentice School since her grandson, Landon, joined the school three years ago. She believes in the school’s success in teaching children with learning differences. Her goal is to reach as many students that could benefit from a Prentice education as possible.

Brian Linzmeier

Brian Linzmeier, is the first former Prentice student to join the school’s board.  After attending Prentice in 1994-95, he attended Santa Margarita Catholic High School, and graduated from Loyola Marymount University. He lived in Shanghai, China and London while completing his MBA at Hult International Business School.  Brian loves to travel and has visited 44 countries and all 50 U.S. states. He expects to marry his fiancé, Sara later this year. Brian is also an eagle scout.

Janet Steiner

Janet Steiner is the President and CEO of Thoro Packaging, a prestigious manufacturer of folding cartons for the medical/pharmaceutical, health and beauty, and confectionery industries. Thoro helps their customers present themselves through beautiful and creative packaging to help sell their products. Thoro opens their doors to students ranging from middle school to universities, including The Art Institute, to educate them about the packaging industry.  In 2016, over 400 students toured Thoro. Janet often volunteers as a guest lecturer at various schools to share with students her experiences gained over the years. Janet serves as a Board Member and an Audit Committee Member for the Paperboard Packaging Council, a national organization for the paperboard packaging industry. Janet has two adult children, a son and a daughter, along with a daughter-in-law and three grandsons. In her free time, she enjoys reading, taking walks with her dogs and cooking and baking.

Christine Bixby, MD

Dr. Christine Bixby is board certified in pediatrics and neonatal-perinatal medicine, and is currently a Prentice school parent. Dr. Bixby was inspired to join The Prentice School board by the wonderful support her son has benefited from, and because she believes she can bring greater awareness to how Prentice is the best place to support children with dyslexia and other learning differences. “The work being done at Prentice changes lives,” says Dr. Bixby. “As a Prentice parent for over five years, I have been impressed by the constant drive to improve and provide the best possible education for children with learning differences. It is my great privilege to join the Prentice board and bring a unique perspective to hopefully help more families see their children grow in such a wonderful way.”

Ann Wagner

Ann Wagner, a former teacher and attorney, is a graduate of Cornell University and the New York University School of Law. A resident of Irvine, she and her husband have four children, two of whom attend The Prentice School. Ann believes Prentice is a vital resource for families in Orange County.  Many kids with learning differences are not able to get the services they need in their local schools.  Prentice provides an exceptional academic program, and also a lovely school environment, complete with a huge playing field, lots of trees and grass, science labs, and art classes.  Prentice School has made an enormous positive impact in the lives of my kids and hundreds of others.  I’m proud to be able to contribute to the continued success of the school.