Debbie Macdonald (Trustee) worked for the YMCA of San Diego County for 25 years. Debbie began her YMCA career at the East County YMCA as the director of child care services. Subsequently, Debbie was promoted to executive director of the YMCA Childcare Resource Service providing services to child care programs and low income families in San Diego County. As executive director, Debbie was responsible for a budget which included many federal, state and local government contracts. Debbie was active in state wide and federal advocacy and served on many state wide boards of directors.
Debbie graduated from Stanford University with a B.A. in political science, San Francisco State University with a M.A. in child development and San Diego State with a MBA.
Debbie retired from the YMCA in 2014 and remains active in the community as a board member at Temple Emanu El, a board member for Osher, Life Long Learning Institute at UCSD, secretary of the Clairemont Democratic Club and co-chair of the leadership team of the San Diego County Childhood Obesity Initiative (COI).
Debbie is married to Nancy Kossan and has two sons and a new granddaughter.
Nic Reveles (Trustee) Pianist, composer, and educator, just retired from the position of Director of Education and Community Engagement at San Diego Opera, a company with which he’s been involved as a speaker on opera since 1977. In that time he’s given countless lectures and talks on opera, and as Director of Education he devised innovative education programs for children and adults: the Words and Music and Senior to Senior opera writing programs, Community Conversations, Opera Exposed, Opera on Track and the San Diego Opera Podcast among others. From 1999 to 2015 he was the host and writer for UCSD-TV’s OperaTalk with Nic Reveles, a program seen throughout the country via the UC Television Network.
Reveles holds a Bachelor of Arts in Music from the University of San Diego, a Master of Music in Choral Conducting from the University of Redlands and a Doctor of Musical Arts in Piano Performance. Past positions have included Associate Professor of Music at the University of San Diego (1977-1990) and pianist/music director for Mikhail Baryshnikov’s White Oak Dance Project (1993-1998), touring the United States, Canada, Europe and the Middle East with the dancer and his company.
As a composer, he has composed three operas, the children’s operas The Sleeping Beauty (2005) and Rumpelstiltskin (2008) for the San Diego Opera Ensemble, and Sextet, a queer opera (2010), a commission funded by the Irvine Foundation for Diversionary Theatre. He has also composed scores and created sound designs for the Old Globe Theatre, North Coast Repertory Theatre and Arizona Repertory Theatre. His mariachi score for Beaumarchais’ The Marriage of Figaro for ART in 1992 was named ‘Musical of the Year’ by The Arizona Republic. His passions include California native plants and cycling. His Bonita garden, El Jardin de Marta, was a featured installation twice on the California Native Plant Society’s annual garden tour (2015 & 2017). He recently participated in the 545-mile AIDS/LifeCycle ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles.
Russ Sperling (Trustee) Russ Sperling is the Director of Visual and Performing Arts (VAPA) for San Diego Unified School District. He is responsible for all components of arts education in the California’s second largest school district. Under his leadership, the district’s board of trustees unanimously approved a district Strategic Arts Education Plan in the fall of 2016 and established the VAPA Foundation, supporting the arts in schools in 2017.
Mr. Sperling currently serves as Western Division Immediate Past President of the National Association for Music Education (NAfME). He previously served as President of the California Music Educators Association (CMEA).
He is a founder and remains the lead coordinator of the San Diego Pride Youth Marching Band, an ensemble of 80 high school and college students from throughout Southern California. The band performs in San Diego Pride events and parade, and is the only one of its kind internationally. He is the founding President and now board member of the San Diego Winds, a professional wind ensemble. He is the Director of the Grossmont College Concert Band.
Paula loves choral music and theater. She is proud to have sung with the Cambridge University King’s and Queen’s College Choruses, The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Chorus, The San Diego Master Chorale and The La Jolla Symphony Chorus. She has been a singing member of the San Diego Women’s Chorus since 2012, served on their Board of Directors and is currently on their Board Development and Fundraising Committee.
Paula was in a 32 year relationship with her spouse Colleen Osburn who died in 2014. In her memory Paula established the Colleen Osburn Gratitude Fellowship for the San Diego Women’s Chorus to assure no women is denied the opportunity to sing because of financial concerns. She also had a stone placed on the Diversionary Theater’s patio in Colleen’s memory. Paula has been in a loving relationship with her current partner, Lark Bearden, for the past 7 years.
Honorary Board of Trustees