Board of Directors

Kathi Black

Kathi Black serves as our PlayThrive Board President. Kathi worked in higher education for two decades but now uses her legal background in tech policy. A passionate supporter of education and organizations that support children and parents, Kathi volunteered as a mentor with at-risk girls in a San Francisco group home for two years, volunteered for a large parent support organization in San Francisco for one year, and was elected to the policy board for University of San Francisco’s faculty union for two years. She’s thrilled to support the high quality bilingual education mission of PlayThrive.

Christina Hsu

Christina Hsu is the Secretary for PlayThrive and a PlayThrive parent. She has a background in strategy and management consulting and currently works in the BioPharma industry. Christina is passionate about PlayThrive’s whole child educational approach that combines social emotional learning and S.T.E.A.M. education within a Mandarin immersion environment.   

Thilo Hanemann

Thilo is serving as Treasurer of PlayThrive. He is a resident of Redwood City and a Mandarin Immersion parent. When he is not crunching numbers for Playthrive, Thilo co-manages a globally operating research partnership and works with various think tanks and policy-focused non-profits.

Jing Yang Hantsbarger

Jing is a higher education executive with 15 years of experience in learning design and technology. She leads teams of learning experience designers, instructional technologists and software developers to create engaging and innovative learning programs. Bilingual in Mandarin and English, Jing is passionate about whole child education and language immersion learning. In addition to being an active parent in the MI program, Jing co-lead the committee to bring a Mandarin Immersion preschool to Redwood City.

Melody Yi, Ph.D.

Melody excitedly joined PlayThrive to support the Parent Partner and Whole Child Education roles. She is currently a school psychologist supporting a top-rated progressive and student-focused high school district, helping students with academic, behavioral, and social emotional needs. During the non-academic school year, Melody is a summer instructor at Stanford University teaching a course she designed titled “Topics in Psychology.” Prior to moving up to Northern California in 2012, she enjoyed being a Research Project Co-Investigator of a NICHD funded study of the Role of Human Animal Interactions on Children with Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), and a liaison between the UCI Therapeutic School Program and neighboring school programs. Bilingual in Mandarin and English, Melody feels honored to advocate for and support her passion in social-emotional learning, bi/multilingual education, and whole-child education.

Annie Christiansen

Annie joins the PlayThrive Board as Director of Operations. She is a 2-time PlayThrive parent with a current kindergartner. Annie has 15 years of experience leading and scaling teams in operations and program management at global companies of varying sizes and maturity. She has previously served as Treasurer for PlayThrive and prior to that, was on the committee of Thames Rowing Club in London, UK.

Matthew Dupree

Matthew brings his experience in communications to support the work of Playthrive. Matt is a copywriter with over 10 years experience crafting communications for companies large and small. As a PlayThrive parent and supporter of bilingual education, Matt hopes to extend the message of PlayThrive’s mission further across our community and beyond.

Please feel free to reach out to our board at

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