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The Association : Our Team > Member Council

Member Council
The Member Council plays a crucial role in the Association. This body of elected officials represents the voice of the members to the Associations Board and staff. They facilitate an open discussion of issues and options and strive to give consensus-based recommendations to the Board. Their job is not an easy one but they do it with fierce commitment and passion.

Chip Romer Region I
Margaret Reece Region II
Dave Patterson Region III
Lisa Blair Region IV
Michael G. Jones Region V
Mary Vink Region VI
Linda Washington Region VII
Linda Ngarupe Region VIII
Luci Fowers Region IX
Rick Piercy Region X
Ana Ponce Region XI
Jacqueline Elliot Employee Membership Representative
Kathy Bass Employee Membership Representative
Jeffrey D. Rice Development Group Representative
VACANT: Development Group Representative
Josh Newman At Large Representative
VACANT: Parent/Student/Board Representative
Jennifer Selden Parent/Student/Board Representative



Chip Romer
Region I
Del Norte, Humboldt, Lake, Mendocino and Sonoma

Chip Romer has served on the boards of private and public Waldorf elementary schools for over six years, and as the administrator of Woodland Star Charter School in Sonoma for four years. He was the lead developer for Woodland Star in 2000 and served on the development team of Stone Bridge School, a Waldorf-methods charter school in Napa. Prior to his career in education, Romer worked as a professional writer and editor, a business entrepreneur and a U.S. Department of Labor economist. His BA degree is in Economics from the University of Notre Dame.

He is married to a kindergarten teacher and has a son in sixth grade.

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Margaret Reece
Region II
Butte, Glenn, Lassen, Modoc, Plumas, Shasta, Siskiyou, Tehama and Trinity

Margaret Reece has served as executive director of Chico Country Day School (CCDS) for three years. CCDS is a preschool through seventh grade charter school with 364 K-7 students and 60 preschoolers, offering a broad and enriched education using Integrated Thematic Instruction, or ITI. CCDS emphasizes Lifeskills and Lifelong Guidelines, leadership and character development and offers music, art and drama, Environmental Science, and a comprehensive afterschool program. In the last three years, CCDS has become one of the top elementary schools in Chico. Margaret and other charter leaders in the Butte County area recently founded the North State Charter School Consortium as a means of working together to promote charter schools and to ensure the continuity of charter schools in the Butte County area.

Margaret received a Masters degree in Public & Health Administration from California State University, Chico in 2000, and a B.A. in Women’s Studies from the University of Wisconsin, Madison in 1994. Prior to joining CCDS, she worked for a non-profit Medicare advocacy organization both as a project manager and as a development director, and assisted in statewide education efforts regarding Medicare fraud and abuse.

Margaret lives in Chico with her husband and two boys.

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Dave Patterson
Region III
Alpine, Colusa, El Dorado, Nevada, Placer, Sacramento, Sierra, Sutter, Yolo and Yuba

David Patterson, Ed.D
Executive Director
Rocklin Academy

Charter Schools – From Their Inception in California

California Department of Education: I have been involved with charter schools since 1992, from the time the initial legislation was introduced in Sacramento. At that time I was working for the California Department of Education, focusing on systematic school reform and assisting with the implementation of SB 1274, the school restructuring initiative. Since 1993 I served as the Department’s staff expert on charter schools. Advised Superintendent Eastin and the State Board on the development of charter school policy, including fiscal, assessment, curriculum and special education. Authored the state’s first applications for federal charter school funds and implemented and managed the multimillion-dollar program. Provided direct assistance to charter developers and charter schools and districts, author of numerous program advisories, policy papers and legislative proposals.

CANEC: Founded the Governmental Relations Office for CANEC in Sacramento in January of 1999. As director of governmental relations and a registered lobbyist, developed and implemented CANEC’s advocacy agenda and represented CANEC members on charter school issues before the legislature, the governor, the state board, the California Department of Education and other state and federal agencies. During 2003 also served as the interim executive director, shepherding the organization through a critical transition period that culminated in the overwhelming positive vote of the membership to create the California Charter Schools Association.

Rocklin Academy: Founder, developer and executive director of the Rocklin Academy, a Core Knowledge charter school that opened in August of 2001. Beginning in 1998, lead the development of the charter, its approval, the receipt of a planning and implementation grant and the school’s opening. The Academy is a K-6 classroom based school of 310 students that emphasizes high academic and behavioral standards, a commitment to personal best, and full partnership with parents. The school is the highest scoring elementary charter school in California with an API score of 906. Serving as the full time executive director and administrator since July of 2003.

Executive Director and Founder of the Rocklin Academy, a K-6 Core Knowledge charter school operating in Rocklin, California
Interim Executive Director for CANEC, the California Network of Educational Charters, California’s statewide charter schools organization
Director of Governmental Relations and Advocacy for the California Network of Educational Charters
Education Program Consultant, Charter Schools Office, California Department of Education (CDE) Education Program Consultant, Regional Programs and Special Projects Division, California Department of Education
Senior Vice President, Student Loan Division, First Independent
Manager of Outreach, Policy and Program Development, California Student Aid Commission
Executive Director and Manager, Higher Education Loan Program of Washington, D.C. (HELP-DC)

Doctorate in Education, Administration and Policy, University of Southern California
Master of Arts, Higher Education Administration, George Washington University
Bachelor of Arts, Political Science, University of California, Los Angeles

Board of Trustees, Rocklin Unified School District, (1996-1999)
Board of Trustees, Del Paso Heights Elementary School District, (1987-1994).

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Lisa Blair
Region IV
Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Solano

Ernestine C. Reems Academy of Tech. & Arts

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Michael G. Jones
Region V
San Benito, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz and Monterey

Michael Jones is the principal of Alianza School. Since its inception, Alianza has been committed to developing bilingual/biliterate, academically successful citizens who embrace the opportunities that abound in our increasingly diverse society. In 1998, Alianza became a charter school in order to preserve the integrity of it Two Way Bilingual Immersion Program.

For the past 6 years, Michael has been involved with various charter school organizations. Michael currently represents Region 6 in the Membership Council of the California Charter Schools Association. Michael has also served in leadership positions for both the local chapter of the Association of California School Administrators and the P·jaro Valley Association of Managers.

Prior to administration, Michael served as a bilingual classroom teacher for 6 years and as a middle school assistant principal for 2 years.

Michael received his bachelor's degree in Latin American Studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz and his Masters degree in Administration from the University of San Francisco.

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Mary Vink
Region VI
Amador, Calaveras, Stanislaus, San Joaquin, Tuolumne

Mary Vink has been the director of New Jerusalem Charter School and Delta Charter High School for the past 7 years. She became involved in the charter school movement in 1999 and has been actively involved with the Advisory Commission on Charter Schools since its inception. Previously to her founding the New Jerusalem Charter Schools, she taught at New Jerusalem Elementary School for 19 years. Mrs. Vink received her Bachelor's Degree and Administrative Credential from California State University, Stanislaus.

During her time at New Jerusalem Elementary School she taught a variety of different grade levels. In addition to her teaching duties, she was also district coordinator of the GATE Program, yearbook advisor, and served as the District's athletic and activities director. Mary firmly believes in school choice and that both of her charter programs, which offer a personalized learning approach, are the alternative answer to traditional school programs for those students who are not succeeding in a traditional classroom environment.

Mrs. Vink is married to a walnut rancher and has 5 daughters ranging in age from 21-13.

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Linda Washington
Region VII
Fresno, Kings, Madera, Mariposa, Merced and Tulare

Linda Washington is the Member Council Region VII Representative. She also previously served as Member Council Parent Representative for a 2 year term.

Ms. Washington is the founder and director of a grass roots non-profit organization called Agape`. Agape is the parent organization to two charter schools and one post secondary private vocational college. The schools are W.E.B. Dubois Public Charter School, Carter G. Woodson Public Charter School, and Agape Career Institute.

Ms. Washington's mission is to serve the central valley region by bringing information, solving critical issues in the region to expand the number of charters in the valley, develop a strong consortium of charter school partners along with projecting a positive image of Central Valley charter schools.

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Linda Ngarupe
Region VIII
Kern, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura

University Preparation School at CSUCI

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Luci Fowers
Region IX
Imperial, Orange and San Diego

Luci Fowers is currently executive principal of Albert Einstein Academies and CEO of the School Corportation that manages both Albert Einstein Academy (K-5) and Albert Einstein Academy Middle (6-7). She has been with the academies for the past three years. She has been an active proponent of charter schools' rights to aquire facilites under Prop 39, and in 2006 Albert Einstein Academy was the first start-up charter school to be granted a district facility in the San Diego Unified School District.

Principal Luci Fowers completed her Bachelor of Science Degree at Utah State University in Early Childhood Education in 1974 after which she spent most of the next 20 years at home raising a family of seven children. She returned to her early childhood profession for a brief time from 1986-1989 as the director/manager of Rainbow’s End, a private preschool/childcare facility which served about 250 children ranging in age from 6 months to 10 years. In 1995 she was employed as a language arts specialist in the Chula Vista Elementary School District and eventually transitioned into a full-time second grade teacher. She remained in the classroom for the next 8 years during which time she graduated Magna Cum Laude with her Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instructional Development from San Diego State University in 2000. She simultaneously completed her Professional Clear Teaching Certificate through California Teacher Credentialing.

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Rick Piercy
Region X
Chair of the Member Council, Inyo, Mono, Riverside and San Bernardino

Rick Piercy is president/CEO of the Lewis Center for Educational Research in Apple Valley, home to the K-12 charter school, Academy for Academic Excellence. The Center offers various educational programs to the community, field trips to public and private schools, and operates the Goldstone Apple Valley Radio Telescope (GAVRT) project which brings radio astronomy to America’s classrooms through a MOU with NASA/JPL.

Rick has been involved in the Charter School movement since 1997, and served on the CANEC Board during the transition to CCSA where he is Chair of the Board and Chair of the Membership Council.

Rick has been a K-12 teacher, vice principal and principal. He conceived the idea of the Apple Valley Science and Technology Center, now known as the Lewis Center for Educational Research.

Rick graduated with honors from Southern California College earning his Bachelors degree. He earned a Multiple Subjects and Special Education teaching credential and Masters Degree in Special Education from California State University in San Bernardino, and Tier I and II Administrative Credential from Azusa Pacific University. Rick is the recipient of many awards, including the Hart Vision Award for Outstanding Charter School Administrator in 2002, the NASA Public Service Medal in 1998, and Apple Valley Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year in 1998.

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Ana Ponce
Region XI
Los Angeles

Ana Ponce is the executive director of Camino Nuevo Charter Academy with an enrollment of 1250 students, grades pre-K – 10 across three campuses in the MacArthur Park/Mid-Wilshire area of downtown Los Angeles.

Originally from Mexico, she grew up in the Pico Union area of Los Angeles. Her first teaching assignment through Teach for America was as a bilingual kindergarten teacher and she has taught grades K – 6 including multi-age settings and 6th grade English. She has been active in the education reform movement since 1991 and in the charter movement since 1994. She was a founding teacher at The Accelerated School and later the instructional leader for the K – 8 program at that school. She earned her first masters degree from Teachers College at Columbia University in Bilingual-Bicultural Education and earned a second masters degree and her administrative Tier 1 credential from UCLA through the Principal’s leadership Institute (PLI).

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Jacqueline Elliot
Charter Operator. Los Angeles
Employee Member Representative

Jacqueline Elliot serves as executive director at three charter school sites. Jacqueline and Ref Rodriguez co-founded Partnerships to Uplift Communities (PUC), a charter school management organization that supports six schools she and Ref founded over the last six years.

Jacqueline first began working with youth through the public health field, specifically with urban youth in the area of adolescent pregnancy prevention. Jacqueline entered the field of public education in 1986 as an LAUSD teacher at Pacoima Elementary School. Horrified by the state of public education, Jacqueline became acquainted with the charter movement. While working at Montague Elementary School, she helped convert it to a charter status.

Jacqueline's heart remains with the adolescent youth and she founded her first startup charter school in the San Fernando Valley in 1999, Community Charter Middle School. Community Charter was the first startup middle school LAUSD sponsored and has experienced a great deal of success. While completing their 5 year renewal this year, they added ninth grade to plant the seed for their new Early College High School. In response to an overwhelming demand for admission at Community Charter, Jacqueline founded Lakeview Charter Academy this year to help alleviate the long waiting list.

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Kathy Bass
Learning Choice Academy. San Diego
Employee Membership Representative

Kathy Bass is one of two Employee Member Representatives on the Member Council. Kathy is with the Learning Choice Academy in San Diego.

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Jeffrey D. Rice
Founder and Director, A+PLUS. Nevada City
Development Group Representative

Jeffrey Rice is the founder and director of APLUS+, the Association of Personalized Learning Services, a growing California statewide network association exclusively dedicated to advancing personalized learning as a distinct public educational model, to uniting schools and other organizations that embrace a personalized learning approach to education, and to promoting the successes and achievements of personalized learning programs in public education.

Jeffrey has more than 5 years of experience as an advocate in the California charter school movement. He is a member of California Charter Schools Association and CharterVoice. Jeffrey's professional life includes more 20 years of experience in marketing and public relations positions focusing on socially conscious endeavors such as ridesharing, health foods, solar energy, and public education.

Jeffrey earned a bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of California, San Diego in June 1978 and a Masters of Business Administration from San Francisco State University in June 1983.

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Josh Newman
EdTec, Inc.
At-Large Representative

Joshua Newman has an extensive background in educational policy, charter schools and business management.

He started his career as an educational policy analyst for the California Post-Secondary Education Commission. He then joined the staff of the State Legislature, first as an Assembly Fellow and finally as the chief-of-staff for a standing policy committee chaired by then-Assemblyman Sam Farr. In that role Joshua wrote legislation affecting California’s public education system including the landmark AB 803 which established the state’s school computer technology infrastructure.

After earning an MBA in 1986 at Harvard Business School, he worked in industry for a dozen years, first as a management consultant with the Boston Consulting Group and then as a senior executive in venture-backed high technology companies. He has served as the CEO of two such companies, and has raised over $150 million from venture capitalists, an IPO and corporate M&T transactions.

In 2001 Joshua returned to education by first working as a senior executive at Leapfrog Enterprises, a $500 million global manufacturer of electronic learning toys. He was in charge of international joint ventures, and was responsible for completing a $35 million Joint Venture with a leading Japanese education company.

He then founded EdTec Inc. to provide complete outsourced business services to charter schools in California. EdTec combines his background in educational policy, his desire to help reform public education in California, and his background in helping to start and manage small, growing organizations. EdTec has a staff of about twenty-five and is based in the San Francisco East Bay area.

Mr. Newman resides in Oakland, California, with his wife and two daughters.

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Jennifer Selden
Parent/Student/Board Representative

Jennifer Selden is a parent at Alianza Charter School in Watsonville and has served as treasurer on its Site Council for over 4 years. She is currently a member of the Alianza Strategic Plan Committee and is the advisor for the school’s new Cheerleading Club, but her commitment to the school is best summed up by the 64 miles she clocks getting her girls to school and back each day.

Jennifer has been married for 17 years and has two daughters aged 11 and 8 1/2 (the 1/2 is important!). In her spare time she is the Producer of the Los Gatos Shakespeare Festival and serves on the Board of Directors for Festival Theatre Ensemble.

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