Interview with Phil Hay
Posted 05/15/2017 06:40PM

What aspects of the Oaks School excited you the most when you were looking for an elementary school?

The kitchen! Seriously, something about walking through there on the tour just felt unpretentious and like home. On a deeper level, I could sense the powerful feeling of community from the second I got here. I knew that Michio could grow here and find lifelong friends, and that we'd be part of an amazing group of parents and teachers. Karyn and I were excited to imagine Michio attending a school where we'd love to spend a lot of time-- and that has been very true of the Oaks.


What is your favorite tradition at the Oaks and why?

I love the campout. I love to see my fellow Oaksians in rustic mode, and ranking my friends via my bespoke Outdoor Survivability Quotient algorithm. (Some very sophisticated, urbane people will surprise you with their level of country competence.) I really enjoy seeing all of the kids running around together, love the music and story, love the whole thing.


What are your chief duties on the board?

As Vice President, I'm there to offer an extra ear for both the Board Chair and Head of School, and to facilitate communication between them and to and from the board as a whole. Occasionally, I run a meeting or do the minutes. Otherwise, I'm doing the same thing as all the other members-- listening, offering ideas, looking for solutions, and trying desperately to keep my back from seizing up while sitting in a chair meant for 5th graders.


What are some important lessons you've learned while your son has been at the Oaks?

I've learned how carefully the teachers and staff work to create, build, and nurture all those Oaks values that feel so natural and "found" and organic-- the sense of goodwill and empathy toward others, and the combination of smarts, humor, poise and whole-person-ness I consider to be such a signature of Oaks kids.


What will your role be next year on the board?

I'm happy to be returning as VP.


The Oaks School
6817 Franklin Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90028
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