Our Team

 

 

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Christopher Fleischner "Fleisch", Owner & President

Fleisch joined CalWest in 2003. Previously, he worked in several education-related start-ups in California. While managing SCORE! Learning Centers in California, Massachusetts, and Connecticut, he also worked with elementary and middle school students. He graduated with a BA in International Relations from Stanford University and an MBA from UCLA Anderson School of Management with a concentration in Entrepreneurship and Human Resources. He attended St. Paul's School for grades 9-12. His K-8 years were spent at an independent school that his two children now attend in his hometown of Pittsburgh, PA, and he is currently a member of their Board of Trustees. 

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Dawn Fleischner, Co-Owner & Vice President 

A southern California native, Dawn graduated from the UCLA honors program with Bachelor’s degrees in Political Science and French. She has many years of experience in the for-profit education industry, as well as nonprofit consulting and board member engagement. Dawn stayed home to raise their two children for the first 10 years before returning to the workforce with CalWest. Currently, Dawn serves as a strategic and financial advisor for CalWest in a part-time role. Kay and Andrew, now teenagers, take up much of her time along with executive committee board commitments around Pittsburgh.   

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Lois Mufuka Martin, Vice President

Lois joined CalWest in 2017 to work with recruiting schools and managing recruiting advisors. Lois earned a B.A. in History from Lander University, an M.Ed. in Counseling from Clemson University and a Certificate in Leading Innovation from the Carnegie Bosch Institute at Carnegie Mellon University. Lois started her career as a social worker and college transfer counselor. Prior to CalWest, Lois served as Chief Volunteer Engagement Officer at United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania and as C.E.O. of Bethlehem Haven, a shelter and service organization for homeless women.  Lois and her husband have two children who graduated from independent day and boarding schools.  Lois is a Board Member and Scholarship Coordinator for The Mufuka Foundation. They send high achieving, low income students from her native Zimbabwe, to Lander University on full four year scholarships. Lois and her husband Derek live in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

 

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Pauline Zeitlin, Director of Finance and Administration  

Pauline is the Director of Finance and Administration and resides in Pasadena, CA. She joined CalWest in 2016 after spending five years teaching business in Beijing, China. She holds a BA in Economics from Yale University and an MBA from The Anderson School of UCLA. Pauline handles all things related to finance, human resource, and administration and is excited to be a member of the CalWest team.

 

 

 

 

 

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Maddie Toll, Recruitment & Placement Manager

Maddie is a Los Angeles native who graduated from Occidental College in 2015 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Politics and minors in both Education and Urban & Environmental Policy. She has been a member of CalWest since 2015. In her first two years at CalWest, Maddie served on the candidate team and has focused on candidate intake including recruitment, candidate materials reviews, candidate advocacy to schools, and more. Maddie looks forward to our new streamlined approach to searches, as it will allow her to work more seamlessly with candidates, schools, and other CalWest team members.

 

 

 

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Jennifer Bowen, Operations/Candidate Coordinator and School Liaison

Jen joined the CalWest team in 2017. She is dedicated to enhancing all aspects of operations for the CalWest Team. Jen works closely with the business office as well as with our schools. Jen helps connect ours schools to the right candidates behind the scenes. She ensures all the team members have what they need to complete their job to the best of their ability. Jen is a Southern California Native and has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science with a minor in Woman’s studies from CSUN. She was raised in private schools, grades 1-12 and her two children also attend a private school in Sherman Oaks, CA.

 

 

 

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Minsung "Min" Szymanski, Executive Assistant

Minsung "Min"  Szymanski hails from the Midwest and after finishing with a Bachelor’s degree in Hospitality Tourism Management from Purdue University, she worked in various aspects of the hospitality industry in Chicago. Min moved to Pittsburgh in the summer of 2016 with her husband, Adam, who is pursuing his MBA. Shortly after arriving in PA, Min met Fleisch and Dawn and now works part-time with CalWest.

 

 

 

Mary Balash, Candidate & Outreach Coordinator  

Mary joined the CalWest Team in 2014. She is a Southern California native who earned a Bachelor's Degree in Sociology from University of California Santa Barbara, as well as a Master's Degree in Sociology of Education with an emphasis in School Policy & Planning from New York University. While Mary has primarily supported candidates in her time at CalWest, her role has recently evolved to include outreach and cultivating relationships with education programs and organizations nationwide. She currently lives in Europe where she also teaches English to local English language learners. 

   

Our Recruiting Advisors

Eleanor Dase, Retired Head of School:The Athenian School

Tracy Ganzer Haferling, Former English Teacher: The Archer School for Girls

Jacqueline Olivier, Former Lower School Director: New Roads Elementary School

Erin Sullivan, Communications Director: Fay School

Andrew "Andy" Gilla, Director of Communication, Outreach and Research:

Independent Schools Association of the Central States