HMF Board ’23-24

Contact us at or via Konstella

Mital Poddar


I joined the HMF because I wanted to have a say in what was happening at school. Enjoying school and being excited to attend is equal parts amazing teachers and staff and the experience on the playground the extras like starting arts, walkathon, trunk or treat. In my time serving as President I’ve had the opportunity to work with the best people on our board and we have done our best to make those events about having fun and giving parents and caregivers a space to enjoy their school community.

Please ask me about anything HMF or Hammer related. If you have an idea or something you wish we could do, let’s find a way to make it happen.  You can find me on Konstella. 
Alicia Vento

Vice President

I’m a mom of two girls, a wife, a friend! By day, you might see me subbing in a classroom or volunteering around the school. By night, my profession begins, supporting, coaching, mentoring first year special education intern teachers who are also working on their credentials at the Santa Clara Office of Education. I help them navigate teaching their students and case managing the IEP process. I joined the board because education is my passion, supporting teachers, their classrooms, and their students’ diverse needs. Before becoming a mom, I was a special education teacher in Alum Rock School District.
Carolyn Huynh


We are new to the Hammer Montessori family this year and I am thrilled to be on the HMF Board as secretary. I have a 3rd grader and a middle schooler. My children were enrolled at parent participation preschools and now being at primary schools, I continue volunteering in classrooms, on the playground, and school-wide events as I’ve enjoyed being part of these wonderful communities. In recent years, I have worked professionally in local districts as a school social worker providing mental health counseling and supportive services. We hope to meet you at our HMF events this year! 
Lance Ehrman


I’m the father of two boys, both of whom currently attend Hammer Montessori. For the past two years I have been co-treasurer of HMF. This role has given me the opportunity to be fully involved with the Hammer community. I currently work as a bookbuyer at Recycle Bookstore on the Alameda and occasionally as a substitute teacher for SJUSD. Before having children I built interactive museum exhibits, including exhibits for the National Parks Service, the California Academy of Sciences, and the Exploratorium.
Elmer GardunoCo-Treasurer
Kristen Vlietstra

Fundraising Chair

As both a mom and a small business owner I wanted to utilize both of these parts of me to benefit the HMF.  When I was asked to be fundraising chair I felt that would be a good fit for my skills.  I have two children attending Hammer Montessori and I know that parent involvement directly affects our children’s school experience.  You will see me mostly at drop off in the morning but also at a lot of school events.  Please feel free to stop, introduce yourself, and chat about the HMF and fundraising ideas!
Ulkar Abbas

Events Chair

My family entered the SJUSD / system during the onset of COVID-19 pandemic and during that isolated year, I felt disengaged from everything, including the school community. As the public health crisis eased, the wonderful HMF Board put out a call to join HMF & I landed into the Events Committee. Since 2021, I have had a lot of fun being part of and then running events for our wonderful school community. I have one kid at Hammer.

During the day, I work for an integrated delivery health system in the Northern CA Market where I serve as a consultant / program manager in the revenue/health information administrative offices.

Jennifer Perry

Assemblies and Field Trips Chair

I’m a mom of three kiddos: one is in middle school and two are at Hammer. I am an Assistant Principal and Education Specialist at KIPP Heartwood Academy, where I coach special education teachers and work directly with 5th graders with IEPs. When I am not at school, you can find me baking cookies, running through the neighborhoods and trails, and watching my kids play soccer. I joined the board to be an active member in my kids’ community and to alleviate some of the demands on Hammer’s staff by planning field trips and assemblies for Hammer’s students.