Board of Trustees


Rahila Passi

Rahila Passi grew up in Texas attending public schools and Texas A&M University. After working in Dallas, London and New York for telecommunications and various high tech companies, she moved in 2006 to the Bay Area for a job at PayPal and has made a home in Redwood Shores. She was involved as a room parent at her children's preschools and elementary schools, but then increased her involvement after deciding to take a career break. She served on the SchoolForce board, the Sandpiper PTA Board including a 2 year term as PTA President, the BRSSD Budget Advisory Council, and a number of other initiatives at the district and school levels. Rahila was appointed to the Board of Trustees in April 2017 and elected in November 2018. In her spare time, she enjoys running, family hikes, and reading. Her children attend Ralston Middle School and Sandpiper School.


Suvarna Bhopale
Vice President

Suvarna Bhopale has been elected twice and has been serving as a Trustee since 2013. After receiving her law degree from Georgetown, she began her career as a litigator with Baker & Hostetler LLP. Subsequently, she served as Executive Director of the Washington, D.C. chapter of TiE and co-authored a book about the IITs, the equivalent of Ivy League, educational institutions in India. After the birth of her children, Suvarna took a hiatus from her career to focus on educational and public policy issues.

Suvarna serves on the following board committees: 2x2 Committee with Redwood City and Belmont City Council; 2x2 Committee with Sequoia Union High School District Trustees; Strategic Planning Committee; Safety Committee.

In addition to her board duties, Suvarna is active in developing enrichment programs in our schools such as National History Day, Theater, Model United Nations, Yoga/Mindfulness, Melody Mentors and Mock Trial (which she has taught since 2014). Suvarna lives in Redwood Shores with her husband and two children.


Amy Koo

Amy Koo has been on the Belmont-Redwood Shores School Board since 2013 and is currently the board liaison for Sandpiper and Nesbit Schools. Amy lives in Redwood Shores with her husband and two boys who attend district schools, and she enjoys volunteering as an Art in Action docent. She is a California School Boards Association (CSBA) Delegate Assembly member representing Region 5b (San Mateo County), a board member for the San Mateo County School Boards Association, and the Treasurer for the Asian Pacific Islander School Board Members Association (APISBMA). Amy works full time as a Director of Managed Markets Analytics at Gilead Sciences, a pharmaceutical company headquartered in Foster City. She serves as the Business Impact Co-Lead for the Women at Gilead employee resource group which supports the career growth of women. Amy has a passion for ensuring that everyone reaches their full potential through an inclusive, supportive, and collaborative environment and her current priorities are to advocate for full and fair funding from the state, improve the district's communication and community engagement, and ensure that the stories of all Americans are included in our Social Studies curriculum. Amy is a 4th generation San Franciscan who holds a BS degree from MIT and MBA/MS degrees from Stanford. In her spare time, she enjoys singing/music, volleyball, traveling, and cheering for the SF Giants and 49ers.


Robert Tashjian

Rob is the father of two daughters who have attended Cipriani Elementary School. After moving to Belmont 20 years ago with his wife, he is now in his tenth year as a trustee. Rob has helped oversee the tremendous enrollment growth during his tenure on the board and worked to build strong community support for our schools across the district.


Huan Phan

Huan Phan is a 20 yr resident of Belmont and has 2 daughters at Carlmont High School, both of whom are proud graduates of BRSSD schools (Cipriani and Ralston). With a B.A. from UC Berkeley and a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from UCLA, his diverse professional experience includes cancer research, leadership of engineering and design teams, and product management. He is currently the Director of Brand Strategy at Intuitive. On the board since December 2015, he endeavors to bring analytical and strategic perspectives to build clarity and consensus, striving to connect board decisions to the two pillars of any educational board, high quality education, and fiscal sustainability.


School Board Roles and Responsibilities