Board of Trustees
Stone James, DPPD (Chairman)
Dr. James brings more than 25 years of private and public sector leadership, management, and collaboration to the PVS Board. Dr. James currently serves the Cathedral City community as the Director of Economic Development. This position focuses on setting and implementing long-term economic strategies for the Cathedral City and Coachella Valley community. These strategies are focused on increasing community wealth and social-wellbeing through enhancing economic and educational opportunities. Having just completed University of Southern California’s Price School of Public Policy’s Doctor of Policy, Planning, and Development program, Dr. James brings a passion for education and a socially-minded conscience to the Board.
Despite a variety of roles and accomplishments, Dr. James is most proud of his role as a father and husband. As father of three, his youngest child, Sierra, is a proud PVS middle schooler and has attended PVS since Kindergarten. Even at this young age, Sierra is looking forward to graduating from PVS and leveraging the prestigious PVS brand and academic rigor to gain admittance to a top university. In addition to her passion for art, Sierra is interested in “becoming a research doctor to help find a cure for cancer”. Dr. James is grateful for the confidence, kindness, intellectual curiosity, poise, and moral compass PVS has helped develop and instill within Sierra. “Sierra has been surrounded by great students from great families the entire time she has been at Palm Valley. Sierra has received phenomenal care and support from PVS faculty and staff. PVS has been a safe, fun, and challenging environment to create memories, make friends, and develop her passions”.
Lauren Skiver has served the transit industry for almost 20 years. Starting as a Maintenance Clerk at HART in Tampa, Florida, she has progressed her career by serving as Director of Paratransit Services at HART, Deputy Chief Operating Officer at MTA Maryland, and CEO at Delaware Transit Corporation.
Since 2013, she has been the CEO/General Manager of SunLine Transit Agency where she remains excited to lead the delivery of transit services to the Coachella Valley and continue the efforts of SunLine’s Zero Emission Bus program. SunLine has long been a pioneer of Hydrogen Fuel Cell and zero emission technology and continues to be a leader in innovative approaches to clean transit service delivery.
Additionally, Ms. Skiver served nine years in the U.S. Army specializing in Military Intelligence as an Imagery Analyst and served during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm.
She is the proud Grandma of a rising PVS 1st grader, Avery.
Having Palm Springs roots going back generations, Nate Otto moved to the desert with his wife Gina in 2000. His daughter joined Palm Valley in 6th grade and it was watching a gifted child excel to new levels outside academics that made Nate a believer in Palm Valley. She will be a proud graduate of the class of 2023.
Nate learned construction from his father, honing his skills as a carpenter and later becoming a General contractor – finally developing his own projects.
Moving into the field of solar in 2009, Nate is the owner of one of the Valley’s premier solar companies (Hot Purple Energy) and a leader in the field of integrating solar batteries into homes and businesses.
In addition to volunteering and supporting numerous community programs and events, Nate served on the Palm Springs Sustainability Commission from 2014 – 2017 and currently serves on the Board of Directors at Desert Arc.
Briana Jordan (Secretary)
Briana Jordan is the Vice President and CFO at Brudvik Inc Electrical Contractor in Palm Springs. Briana attended Western Washington University and received her Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology in 2003. She began working at Brudvik in 2004 and now is a Corporate Officer and Board Member for the company. Her day-to-day duties include managing receivables, managing payables, insurance policies, banking, contracts, advertising, financials, taxes, collections, directly supervising the Rental Department, managing the office staff and more. Briana has served on the Palm Valley Board of Trustees since 2020 in the capacity of General Member, Treasurer and now, Secretary. Briana also served as the President of the Palm Valley Parent Association from 2020 – 2022. Briana is married to Nate Jordan, who owns a vacation rental business here in the Coachella Valley. They have one daughter, Kenleigh (class of 2035), who has been enrolled at Palm Valley since she was 18 months old. Briana loves the school and hopes to make a difference by engaging families and working with her fellow board members to make Palm Valley the best school in the desert!
Sarah L. Dunn, Ph.D. (Vice-Chair)
Dr. Sarah L. Dunn, is an Associate Professor at California State University, San Bernardino on the Palm Desert Campus in the Kinesiology Department. Her areas of scholarly expertise are in the early mechanisms for disease risk in young adults which include: inflammation, metabolic dysfunction, adiposity, and vagal insensitivity. More specifically, she is interested in how lifestyle interventions, incorporating healthy nutritional choices and physical activity prevent disease and the comorbidities associated. Dr. Dunn obtained her bachelor’s degree from Pepperdine University in Malibu, California, her master’s and doctorate degrees from the University of New South Wales and University of Sydney, both in Australia, and recently joined the CSUSB community after a tenured professorship at the University of La Verne in La Verne, CA. She currently holds a Fellowship in Curriculum Assessment and is passionate about research and the idea of systematic inquiry and adding to the scientific body of literature. In 2020 she completed a 4 year grant, funded by the W.M. Keck Foundation, for Broadening Participation in Course-Based Undergraduate Research Experiences (CUREs) in STEM. That grant was based on high impact research immersion experiences promoting key learning outcomes while increasing STEM retention and success for undergraduate students. Dr. Dunn sits on the Board of Directors for the Southern California Conference for Undergraduate Research and previously served a three-year term on the Southwest American College of Sports Medicine, Board of Trustees. She is the mother of Emerson, Class of 2030, and Harley, Class of 2035, and has volunteered over the years for the Parents Association and in the classroom.