Caprice Young is the CEO of the California Charter
Schools Association, California’s charter
school membership and support association, which
works to increase student achievement by strengthening
and expanding charter public schools throughout
Young has a strong track record in education reform,
having served from 1999-2003 as a member and President
of the Los Angeles Unified School District Board
of Education, which represents the second largest
school district in the United States. Her professional
experience spans higher education, business and
government, including: Director of Corporate and
Foundation Relations for the Anderson School at
UCLA; Strategy Consulting Group Manager of IBM's
West Coast e-Business Innovations Design Center;
and Assistant Deputy Mayor for the City of Los
Young is the President Emeritus of Hollygrove,
a home for abused and neglected children, where
she developed a technology-learning center that
helps children to read and learn. Her significant
contributions to technology and education have
also received industry accolades, as the Los Angeles
Business Journal twice named her one of the city’s
top technology professionals. She also serves
on numerous boards, including the Governor's Advisory
Committee on Education Excellence, Coro Southern
California, the National Charter School Leadership
Council, and the statewide advisory board for
the MMACCS (Multiple Measures of Accountability
for California Charter Schools). She earned her
bachelor’s degree from Yale University and
an MPA from USC.
She lives in the San Fernando Valley with her
husband and three young daughters.
Bob Coontz was appointed chief financial officer
of the California Charter Schools Association
in April of 2004. Bob leads and manages the organization’s
overall financial, fundraising and technology
plans, policies and practices. He directs treasury,
budgeting, audit, and accounting activities for
the company and its major initiatives. Bob supports
and manages the development effort to ensure adequate
resources for priority initiatives and is responsible
for establishing integrated accounting, membership
and Customer Relationship Management technology
Bob earned his MBA from Clark University in Worcester,
Massachusetts and a BA in Economics from St. Michael’s
College in Colchester, Vermont. Most recently,
he spent three years as the Chief Financial Officer
for Different Ways of Knowing, a national school-improvement
provider serving school districts and schools
across the United States. He had previously spent
seven years as director of finance and resource
development for Los Angeles Educational Partnership
and Urban Learning Centers. He served for 13 years
at the Walt Disney Company as a financial analyst
and director of corporate marketing in Tokyo.
Bob and his family live in Burbank, California.
George Fatheree is the chief operating officer
for the California Charter Schools Association.
Previously, George ran Urban Learning Centers,
an education-oriented nonprofit that helps turn
around low performing public schools.
George developed extensive business and management
experience as a strategy consultant with McKinsey
& Company, where he advised corporate executives
on issues related to growth, marketing, finance,
and operations. George has also counseled school
districts and nonprofits on increasing operational
efficiency and creating revenue-generating ventures.
Prior to joining McKinsey, George co-founded
govWorks, an e-government company that facilitates
interactions with government over the Internet.
Spearheading govWorks’ community development
division, George initiated programs that fostered
positive economic and social value. For his contributions
to govWorks, George was named one of Silicon Alley’s
Top 25 Minority Entrepreneurs in 1999.
George also worked as a strategy consultant for
Booz, Allen & Hamilton in their communications,
media, and technology group. He has worked extensively
throughout Latin America, and speaks Spanish as
well as Portuguese.
Adam Miller, director of finance, develops solutions
with the finance community for the challenges
facing California's charter schools. He brings
a strong background in education and nonprofit
management to his position.
Most recently, Adam was the executive director
of the nonprofit University of California Student
Association, the official voice of the over 200,000
UC students. In this position, Adam led a statewide
team that worked with student governments, university
administrators, union representatives, and legislators
to address student needs such as affordable housing,
tuition increases, and outreach and access. Prior
to this position, he was the Director of Graduate
Programs for the Princeton Review, in which he
planned, developed, and executed test preparation
courses throughout the Bay Area. Also, while an
undergraduate at Stanford, he successfully raised
funding to found a high-tech start-up.
Adam serves on the Board of Directors of EdBoost,
a non-profit tutoring organization, and also writes
a bimonthly journal on BusinessWeek.com. He holds
a master's degree in business administration from
the University of Southern California, a master's
degree in sociology from the University of California,
Los Angeles, and a bachelor's degree in sociology
from Stanford University.
Adam became interested in the charter movement
while working on a consulting project for Green
Dot Public Schools while earning his MBA.
Myrna Castrejón is the Vice President of
School Development/Support. Myrna has extensive
experience in multi-state school reform initiatives,
with a strong emphasis on parent leadership development,
education organizing, project management and community-based
needs assessment and strategic planning.
Prior to joining the Association, Myrna served
as a consultant to the state-funded Urban Education
Partnership/LAUSD school readiness-planning grant
to simultaneously develop eight innovative early
education service centers in the most high-need
areas of Los Angeles. While serving as VP of School
and Family Networks at the Los Angeles Alliance
for Student Achievement, and as a director for
the Los Angeles Annenberg Metropolitan Project,
Myrna was responsible for developing grass-roots
leadership in East Los Angeles and the San Fernando
Myrna spearheaded parent and community engagement
efforts at the El Paso Collaborative for Academic
Excellence, a K-16 systemic reform initiative
in El Paso, Texas. She also taught parent engagement
and multicultural education courses at the University
of El Paso’s School of Education, and piloted
a model for pre-service teachers to work organically
with parents and community during their clinical
assignments, which was adopted as a program requirement.
For nearly a decade Myrna served as a key leader
in the statewide Alliance Schools Initiative,
an education organizing strategy of the Southwest
Industrial Areas Foundation. The initiative’s
goal is to develop parent, teacher and community
capacity to transform low-performing schools into
high achieving centers for community-wide change.
The Alliance Schools have grown to include more
than 200 schools throughout Texas, and remain
the most comprehensive education-organizing project
in the nation.
An experienced trainer and public speaker, Myrna
receives frequent invitations to lead professional
development seminars, deliver keynote presentations
and make media appearances, particularly on matters
of Latino student achievement and effective parent
engagement. She serves as vice president of the
national board of Parents for Public Schools,
a network of twenty-four local organizations that
supports public education reform. Myrna earned
her Master’s degree in Cultural Anthropology
from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a
Bachelor of Science in Communications from Andrews
Danny’s responsibilities cover all aspects
of development including building relationships
with donors, grant writing, developing strategic
partnerships with businesses and community organizations,
providing fundraising training and support to
charter schools, and recruiting charter school
Danny Corwin, California Charter Schools Association’s
director of development, brings seven years of
experience working in education reform in Los
Prior to joining the Association, Danny served
as director of Career Academies for the Urban
Education Partnership. Overseeing the programmatic
operation of nine career academies, Danny managed
academy advisory boards, established partnerships
with more than 75 Los Angeles businesses, coordinated
paid internships for 125 students annually, and
facilitated professional development seminars
for high school teachers.
A leader in the high school redesign movement,
Danny secured and managed a $1 million federal
grant to transform three comprehensive Los Angeles
Unified School District high schools into small
learning communities. He also led Inglewood Unified
School District in the creation of a five-year
high school redesign strategic plan.
Danny currently serves on non-profit boards for
Voices in Harmony, a performing arts mentoring
organization, and Friends of the Manual Arts'
Academies. In 2003, he participated in the California
Community Foundations' Ambassadors Within program,
consisting of 35 leading social entrepreneurs.
Danny holds a master’s degree in education
from the University of California, Los Angeles
and lives in Los Angeles with his wife and daughter.
Julie Ashby Umansky serves as the Director of
the Legal Defense Fund for the Association. Julie
has over seven years of legal experience representing
public agencies in the State of California, with
a particular emphasis on the charter school community.
Prior to serving as the Director of the LDF, she
spent two years as the General Manager for the
San Diego Area, including San Diego, Orange, Imperial,
Riverside and San Bernardino Counties.
As a senior counsel at the national law firm
Foley & Lardner, Julie advised charter schools,
school districts and charter school management
organizations on the variety of issues facing
the charter school movement. She represented schools
in court, administrative hearings, and negotiations
with charter authorizers. She also counseled schools
on matters pertaining to charter law, contracts,
facilities, public records, public meetings and
governance, as well as a host of other issues.
In 2001, she worked on the San Diego City Schools'
Charter School Policy and Guidelines as a member
of Charter Policy Workgroup, and in 2002 assisted
in the development of the uniform memorandum of
understanding between the San Diego City Schools
and its charter schools.
Julie's legal work for school districts also
focused on school construction projects, as she
helped districts navigate the regulatory and legal
requirements for planning, designing, building
and funding schools. She also represented water,
sewer and health care agencies in a general counsel
capacity. Before joining the law firm, Julie served
as the first Director of Legal Affairs for CalOptima,
Orange County's Medi-Cal managed care program.
In that capacity, she designed grievance and appeal
processes, participated in health plan audits
and reviews, and represented CalOptima in administrative
She earned her bachelor's degree in communication
studies from UCLA and her JD from Tulane Law School.
She is licensed to practice law in Texas and California.
Julie lives in San Diego with her husband and
two young children.
Jo Ann Koplin brings 20 years of experience in
architecture, project management and construction
to her position as director of facilities for
the California Charter Schools Association. Over
the last five years, Jo Ann has dedicated her
practice to assisting charter schools with all
phases of school planning, permitting and occupancy.
About Jo Ann:
Jo Ann continues her commitment to public education
reform, having served from 1993-1997 as a member
and president of the Beverly Hills Board of Education
and is currently serving on the Division of the
State Architects Advisory Board (DSAAB), the Board
of the California Chapter of The Council of Educational
Facility Planners, International (CEFPI) and the
CASH Grant Advocacy Task Force.
Her professional experience includes work on
multiple public and charter school projects in
the Los Angeles area as a project manager with
Fields Devereaux Architects and Engineers (1998-2001)
and owner and CEO of KL Design Partners, Inc (2001-present).
Prior to her work with educational facilities,
Jo Ann worked as director of real estate development
for Unity Savings & Loan, buying, building
and selling multi-million dollar homes in the
west Los Angeles area.
Jo Ann received a bachelors degree from UC Berkeley
in cultural anthropology and a masters degree
in architecture from UCLA.
Nick Driver brings a diverse background in journalism,
international affairs, and education activism
to his role as the San Francisco Bay Area's general
manager for the California Charter Schools Association.
Most recently, Nick coordinated fundraising and
community involvement campaigns for several San
Francisco educational organizations. While with
the Committee to Repair Our Schools, Nick was
instrumental in raising funds for local school
bond campaigns and organizing communities around
the effort. His work with the San Francisco School
to Career Partnership involved facilitating private/public
partnerships between educational institutions
and local business entities.
Prior to his work with California educational
endeavors, Nick worked as a journalist for the
Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Examiner,
and the United Press International. Having covered
topics ranging from education to human rights,
Nick was on a team of reporters short-listed for
the Pulitzer Prize during the Tienanmen Square
Nick understands entrepreneurship firsthand,
as he has started and run two enterprises that
focus on international research and analysis.
Currently, Nick lends his expertise to local educational
initiatives, serving on the boards of the Alvarado
School Site Council and the University of San
Francisco's Center for the Pacific Rim.
Nick received a bachelor's degree in Asian Studies
at the University of California at Berkeley. Fluent
in Chinese, Nick has taken coursework at Nanjing
University in China, as well as at Sophia University
José Cole-Gutierrez, general manager for
the Los Angeles area of California Charter Schools
Association, brings extensive experience working
in the area of education nonprofits to his position.
Before joining the California Charter Schools
Association, José served for nearly seven
years as Academic Programs Director for PUENTE
Learning Center, a leading educational nonprofit
organization in Los Angeles. During his tenure,
he managed several internal and external administrative
responsibilities, including full operational oversight
for programs serving approximately 2,000 children,
youth, and adults daily, and the creation of collaborative
projects with local schools to support families.
To complement his administrative duties, José
taught at least one class per semester in the
majority of the Center’s program offerings.
Prior to joining PUENTE Learning Center, José
conceptualized and taught interdisciplinary ethnic
studies courses at Cypress College as an adjunct
professor. He has also served as an evaluation
consultant for a national service project with
City Year, Inc., establishing an enhanced assessment
framework using program theory and ethnography
to conduct his research.
José earned his bachelor’s degree
in history from Stanford University. He earned
honors in Education and was awarded the Ernesto
Galarza Prize for Excellence for his original
research examining MALDEF’s campaign for
educational equity in the post-Brown v. Board
era. Subsequently, he received a master’s
degree in education from Harvard University, and
focused on administration, planning, and social
policy with a secondary concentration on human
development and psychology.
Active in community and civic life, José
volunteers in various capacities, including service
as a fundraising coordinator and member of the
Pastor’s Council at his parish, and board
member for Advance!, a college counseling and
preparation program. In 2003, José was
selected as part of 35 leading social entrepreneurs
to participate in Ambassadors Within, a program
created by the California Community Foundation
to develop a broader reach in civic entrepreneurship
for the benefit of greater Los Angeles.
José and his wife live in La Mirada with
their three young daughters.
As the general manager in San Diego, Lisa looks
forward to providing support to existing charters
and increasing support for and helping to open
new charter schools.
Lisa Berlanga, the new general manager in San
Diego, brings a strong educational background
to the Association as her previous position was
director of Darnall Charter School.
Lisa, a San Diego Native, attended USD for her
undergraduate and graduate work. After earning
an M.Ed in curriculum and instruction she began
her educational career as a substitute teacher
for San Diego Unified School District. Eventually,
she became a teacher with SDUSD in an inner-city
school with kindergarten and first graders. Several
years later, after attending a workshop given
by the principal of Darnall E-Campus, she decided
to move over to teaching at a charter school where
there seemed to be much more collaboration, teacher
input, professionalism and innovation. At that
point she decided to pursue an administrative
credential at San Diego State University which
led to the opportunity to become the first assistant
director, and several years later the director,
of Darnall. While at Darnall, the staff was able
to increase API from 550 to 711 and moved from
a completely dependent charter school to an independent
Lisa lives in the Del Cerro area with her husband,
son and two French Bulldogs.
In 2005, she transferred to the San Francisco
office. Willow is now the Assistant General Manager
and Charter Launch Facilitator, aiding in school
development and support along with the region’s
Willow Harrington joined the California Charter
Schools Association in July 2004, working in San
Diego as an intern to the general manager.
Willow has a long history of passion for education.
Since high school, she has taught preschool, been
a classroom assistant in American Sign Language
Bilingual classrooms and provided ADHD and autistic
Willow graduated from San Diego State University
in 2002 with a bachelor’s in deaf education.
She is currently working on her master’s
in education, focusing on charter school development.
As Manager of School Development, Ana will administer
the High Quality Charter Grants Program. She will
also support the General Managers with outreach
and charter developer recruitment. Ana will be
developing a grant resource guide. Ana is also
launching a major charter schools staffing initiative
that will be supported through the marketing of
our job posting site and coordinating of various
regional job fairs.
Recently graduated from the University of California,
Los Angeles with a degree in political science,
Ana Teresa Fernandez joins the Association with
a demonstrated commitment to community activism
and education reform.
Ana worked as an Assistant Field Deputy for Los
Angeles Unified School District Board Member Mike
Lansing for three and a half years. As an Assistant
Field Deputy, Ana was responsible for administering
the District 7 Grants Program, coordinating two
annual award ceremonies and organizing advisory
meetings. Ana was recruited to work for Board
Member Mike Lansing after leading 500 students
in a walkout to the Board of Education to the
demand the completion of the Belmont Learning
Complex. Ana has also volunteered extensively
in her community as a campaign precinct leader
and school tutor.
Peter Thorp is the Senior Vice President for Leadership
and Quality. Prior to coming to the Association
Peter was the executive director and founding
principal of Gateway High School, a California
Distinguished School. Peter also was directly
involved in the transition of CANEC to the Association
and served as the Association's first board chair
until resigning that position to join the staff
at the Association. While at Gateway, Peter developed
the Gateway Charter Mentor Institute a program--consistent
with Gateway's mission to be a model school--whereby
Peter and other Gateway staff were mentoring as
many as 20 other charter school leaders. That
work led to Peter being one of the Association's
CCQI coaches, and now he is putting that experience
to work by further developing existing governance
and leadership training programs at the Association.
Prior to starting Gateway in 1998, Peter was
the headmaster of Cate School in Santa Barbara,
and he taught history and coached soccer, ice
hockey and lacrosse for eighteen years at Fountain
Valley School in Colorado Springs.
Peter graduated from Williams College with a
degree in art history, has an M.Ed. from Boston
State College and has done advanced study at the
University of Colorado and the Harvard Graduate
School of Education.
Following college, he had a Watson fellowship
to study city planning in Europe and spent five
summers working on a medieval dig in Southern
France. Peter was also a Fulbright Scholar to
China in the summer of 1983.
Ting Sun, the Senior Education Advisor for the
California Charter Schools Association, brings
a wealth of experience to assisting new leaders
in establishing charter schools. Ting has been
actively involved in the charter movement for
more than a decade as a teacher, administrator,
and school developer.
As co-founder of the Sacramento-based Natomas
Charter School, Ting understands firsthand the
challenges that new school leaders face. At Natomas,
Ting directed curriculum, instruction, staff development,
and professional growth, while helping manage
system-wide operations. Additionally, Ting coordinated
program accountability reviews, crafted grant
projects, and designed and managed annual program
Ting also knows how to navigate bureaucratic
systems. While working with the California Department
of Education’s charter schools unit, Ting
provided strategic guidance on funding and legal
issues. She participated in the development of
charter school administrative policies and regulations,
as well as the administration of federal charter public schools grants. Drawing on her teaching
ability, Ting also conducted workshops and peer
reviews for charter school proposal selection.
Active in educational policy and reform, Ting
has served on the board of the California Network
of Educational Charters and on the advisory committee
for the Public Schools Accountability Act.
Ting received her bachelor’s degree in
Latin and English from Austin College, a master’s
degree in education from Stanford University,
and a doctorate of education from the University
of California at Davis.
John Lee brings classroom teaching and school
administration experience to his role as Director
of Leadership for the California Charter Schools
Prior to joining the Association, John founded
KIPP LA Prep, a college preparatory charter middle
school in Northeast Los Angeles, and served as
principal from 2003-2005. He was accepted into
the KIPP School Leadership Program in 2002 after
achieving success teaching Social Studies at Lake
Clifton-Eastern High School in Baltimore, Maryland.
John is a Teach For America alumnus and received
his B.A. in Political Science from the University
of California, Los Angeles. He received his M.A.T.
in Secondary Social Studies from Johns Hopkins
University. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife
and young daughter.
Alice is a co-founder of California's first charter
school, the San Carlos Charter Learning Center,
and a founder of two charter high schools, Aurora
High School and San Carlos High School. Alice
worked for the California Network of Educational
Charters off and on from 1996-2003, and most recently
was CANEC's Bay Area Region Coordinator. Alice
was the Administrator and CFO for Aurora High
School, where she led the successful effort against
California's first challenge to Prop 39 facilities.
In addition to charter schools, Alice's primary
interest is in technology and she has been the
technology coordinator for several schools and
She is married to her high school sweetheart,
is the proud mother of three sons and bakes a
mean apple pie.
Chase Davenport came to the Charter Association
from the East Bay Conservation Corps Charter School
where he served as the Curriculum Development
Manager. He also participated as a planning team
member for the expansion of the EBCC Charter School.
Before joining EBCC in July 2001, Chase was Senior
Editor and Content Manager for eScore, an online
provider for basic academic skills development.
He also worked as the Instructional Designer for
an online adult training company and taught social
studies, language arts and mathematics to middle
and high school students. Chase has developed
a wide range of curricula for various age-groups
and audiences including special education, technology,
core academic subjects and industry-specific training.
He earned his Masters in Curriculum and Teacher
Education from Stanford University.
As our Manager of School Assessment, Candice
will be managing and coordinating Quality Site
Reviews and working to refine the Association’s
self-evaluation and assessment tools for charter
schools. She will also work to approve third party
review organizations in order to further implement
the Association’s quality strategy.
Candice Lamarche, Manager, School Assessment in
the California Charter Schools Association's Leadership
and Quality Department, brings a demonstrated
commitment to education reform to her position.
Before joining the Association, Candice worked
as a Campaign Coordinator for Teach For America,
an organization that seeks to recruit the nation's
top college students to work in the field of education
for two years. The hope is that Teach for America
participants will go on to promote sustainable,
systemic change in low-income communities from
a variety of sectors. Candice also worked as an
academic counselor and concurrent enrollment facilitator
for students at Skyline High School in Oakland
through the Early Academic Outreach Program (EAOP).
EAOP works to educate students and parents from
low-income communities on issues such as college-prep
course work and financial aid. Additionally, Candice
was a facilitator and tutor in the San Quentin
Project, a UC Berkeley student-run program that
educates college students on prison issues while
providing General Education Diploma (GED) tutoring
Candice has worked extensively with State and
Federal Accountability Measures over the last
two years, tracking charter and non-charter performance
as the Association’s Policy and Research
Candice graduated in May 2003 from the University
of California, Berkeley with a degree in Legal
Ann works with the Leadership and Quality team
to provide continuous support and ensure effective
leadership in order to strengthen charter school
Ann first joined the Association in January 2005
as an intern, assisting with regional support
and outreach with the General Manager of Sacramento/Northeast
Prior to joining the Association, Ann has held
internships at various non-profit organizations
working on projects related to the welfare of
economically disadvantaged families and youths.
In 2004, Ann was an intern at the American Bar
Association’s Center on Children and the
Law in Washington D.C. At the ABA, Ann worked
on a nationwide research project designed to assess
the impact of the Adoption and Safe Families Act
on prison inmates’ children who linger in
foster care. More recently, Ann volunteered for
the Voluntary Legal Services of Northern California,
a pro bono legal aid clinic for low-income clients.
Under attorney guidance, Ann helped clients with
guardianship and conservatorship cases.
Ann’s longtime commitment to issues related
to family and social policy has engaged her in
a number of independent research projects in collaboration
with academic and non profit partners. Most recently,
Ann completed a thesis titled “An end to
Welfare Dependence? What Families and Children
Have and Have Not Gained from Participation in
CalWORKs program. Ann graduated from University
of California at Davis with Highest Honors in
Sociology and Honors in Political Science in June
2005. Originally from Taiwan, Ann moved to the
U.K. for secondary education and completed the
International Baccalaureate Diploma program.
Branché Jones, the director of governmental
affairs for the California Charter Schools Association,
brings a strong background in legislative advocacy
and campaign consulting to his position.
Formerly a legislative advocate for the San Francisco
Unified School District, Branché specialized
in issues related to charter schools, employee
relations, and pupil safety and discipline. In
this capacity, he represented the district at
legislative hearings and meetings, while conducting
research to support his advocacy work.
Prior to his work with the district, Branché
served as a legislative assistant with the California
State Assembly. As part of the Speakers' Floor
Unit, he assisted the Assembly majority leader
and acted as a community liaison for the Appropriations
Committee. While drafting and overseeing legislative
and budgetary requests, Branché focused
on education, labor, and public safety issues.
Branché also has campaign consulting experience.
He has not only coordinated grassroots lobbying
and campaign activities for various clients, but
also ran the campaign for the first African-American
woman elected to the Sacramento City Council as
well as her successful bid for re-election. In
these capacities, he managed ground operations
and community outreach efforts including phone
banks and the vote-by-mail and walking programs.
Branché received a bachelor's degree in
political science from the University of California
at Santa Barbara.
Colin Miller, the director of research and policy
for the California Charter Schools Association,
has focused on a variety of public service areas,
primarily in education policy, finance, and legislation.
Colin brings a substantial depth of knowledge
of charter school policy to the new association,
having served in several state education offices.
Most recently, Colin worked as a charter schools
consultant with the California Department of Education.
There, Colin was charged with implementing California's
charter school legislation by coordinating with
school developers, policy makers, and school districts.
Colin helped draft and administer charter-funding
models. He also provided strategic counsel on
charter facilities, legislation, and board regulations.
Prior to his work with the Department of Education,
Colin served as deputy secretary for legislation
at the Governor's Office of Child Development
and Education. Colin led the development and enactment
of key legislative and budget proposals in education
reform areas, including charter school reform
and school bonds. Colin has also worked as a principal
program budget analyst in the education unit of
the California Department of Finance where his
areas of focus included special education, school
facilities, and class size reduction.
Colin also has experience in the field of special
education. At the California Department of Developmental
Services, Colin managed federal special education
grant contracts with community and public health
Colin holds a bachelor's degree in child development
from California State University at Fullerton.
He received a master's degree in business administration
with an emphasis in public policy from University
of California at Irvine, where he was honored
for outstanding community and scholarly service.
Erin McGoldrick, director of data management
and analysis, partners with schools, researchers
and funders to address the data needs of the charter
school movement in California. With a background
in qualitative and quantitative research design
and analysis, she focuses primarily on ensuring
quality data and analysis are used in evaluating
the performance of California charter schools.
Erin has held a variety of positions in K-12 research
including performing analysis for the Board of
Education for the Los Angeles Unified School District,
directing research and evaluation for the Urban
Education Partnership, and performing survey research
at Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin & Associates.
Erin received a master’s degree in public
policy from UCLA’s School of Public Policy
and Social Research. She received a bachelor’s
degree in the classics from the University of
Ted Fujimoto, the vice president of services
and products for the California Charter Schools
Association, oversees the development of services
and products for member schools.
Ted is an experienced problem-solver, out-of-the-box
thinker, strategist and professional entrepreneur.
He founded and operated a management and technology
consulting practice for eleven years serving a
range of customers that included AirTouch Communications,
Bank One, Chandon Estates, California Chamber
of Commerce, GM, IBM, New York Times, and Remy
As a community business leader, Ted helped to
design and found the highly regarded Napa New
Technology High School and the New Technology
Foundation that is building 24 New Technology
High Schools around the country. He has also managed
Carnegie Foundation grants for education reform
initiatives in the Sacramento region. Additionally,
Ted co-founded two for-profit companies that received
$15 million in venture capital funding.
Ted has helped develop business strategies for
many education organizations including BAYCES,
Big Picture, New Technology Foundation, College-Ready
Public Schools and Linking Education & Economic
Development - representing more than $30 million
He has served on the California Education Technology
Advisory Committee and received the 2002 Center
for Digital Government "In the Arena"
award for education leadership in transforming
vision to reality. In Converge Magazine’s
“1999 Year in Review,” Ted was named
one of “Education’s Dreamers, Leaders
Ted holds a bachelor’s degree from Pacific
Sean Peake joined the Association in July 2004
as the manager for insurance & finance products.
Sean has played a key role in launching the Association's
workers' compensation and liability insurance
program for charter schools.
Before joining the Association, Sean worked at
AT&T Wireless in Santa Monica. In that position,
he established new accounts and maintained existing
accounts for wireless services by developing marketing
strategies aimed at meeting customer and corporate
He has worked as a volunteer with the Mid Valley
Youth Center in Van Nuys. In that position, Sean
worked with troubled teens on developing leadership
skills, positive relationships, and self esteem
through various summer programs. Sean also worked
as a Karate instructor and competed on the national
Black Belt League Circuit.
Sean is currently a student at Loyola Law School
in Los Angeles. He earned a bachelor's of science
degree in Business Administration from the California
State University, Northridge.
Jennifer Chu originally joined the California
Charter Schools Association on January 20, 2004
as the San Francisco Office administrator/events
coordinator. At the same time, Jennifer was an
executive assistant to the vice president of school
services & products. Within a year, she later
served as Communications Coordinator under the
Vice President of Communications and was proud
to be Assistant Editor for the Association's quarterly
publication, The Charter Journal.
In a little more than a year's time, Jennifer
was promoted to the California Charter Schools
Association Joint Powers Authority (JPA) as an
assistant manager for insurance & finance
products supporting the workers' compensation
and liability insurance programs for charter schools.
Prior to working with the Association, Jennifer
began her business background in Napa at Landmark
Consulting Group as an operations/accounting intern.
She obtained the position through an internship
program sponsored by the highly regarded Napa
New Technology High School, in which she attended
and graduated in its first class. After her internship
term was over, she was hired with a permanent
position, being responsible for office operations
and accounts receivable/payable.
Jennifer later served as a marketing coordinator
for HC Napa, a professional marketing communications
company, before moving away from the Bay Area
to attend California Polytechnic State University
(Cal Poly, SLO) in San Luis Obispo as a transfer
student. After college, Jennifer returned to the
Bay Area and was rehired by HC Napa as a public
In 2002, Jennifer received a bachelor’s
degree in business administration with a concentration
in marketing management and a minor in economics
from Cal Poly, SLO.
Rosaline Zylstra joined the Association in May
2005 as the project assistant for special education.
Working directly with the vp of products and services,
she is addressing the very real concerns charter
schools have expressed in relation to special
Prior to joining the Association, Rosaline worked
in the Program Evaluation and Research Branch
of LAUSD. She assisted in special education data
collection and analysis as required by the Modified
Consent Decree. In addition to her time at LAUSD,
Rosaline also worked as a high school Spanish
teacher in Phoenix, Arizona. Her experience in
the classroom has provided her a unique perspective
and has instilled in her a desire to facilitate
Rosaline graduated with a Masters degree in Public
Administration from the University of Southern
California in May, 2006. She also received a BA
in Communication with minors in Business and Spanish
from Azusa Pacific University in 2001.
As the director of membership services with the
Association, Julie continues her work supporting
and serving the needs of California’s charter
schools. Julie’s key function is to provide
timely, high-quality support to Association members.In
addition, Julie will work with other staff to
bring necessary services and products to the Association’s
Julie Cruit Angilly, the California Charter Schools
Association’s director of membership services,
has been involved in the charter school movement
for more than six years. A non-profit professional
with extensive experience in K-12 public education
reform, Julie has spent the past four years as
the director of membership and networking for
the California Network of Educational Charters
At CANEC, Julie expanded the membership program
and increased its revenue eightfold. In addition
to developing resources for charter schools and
charter school employee members, she implemented
CANEC's regional networking program. Prior to
her tenure with CANEC, Julie was the assistant
director of the Colorado League of Charter Schools,
Colorado’s statewide charter school association
and technical assistance provider.
Julie received her bachelor’s degree from
Wake Forest University with a double major in
politics and communications. She began graduate
work in public policy at the University of Colorado
She lives in San Francisco with her husband,
young son and new daughter.
Jamila Morgan brings a background of community-focused
work to her position as the membership manager
for the California Charter Schools Association,
supporting the director of membership services.
Formerly in communications at a local law enforcement
agency, Jamila is responsible for executing the
organization’s membership strategy standards,
administering activities to ensure the highest
customer service standards are met, as well as
timely delivery and receipt of services. She helps
the Association’s communication outreach
to members and prospective members, serving as
the liaison to membership relations.
Jamila graduated from Howard University in Washington,
D.C. with a bachelor’s degree in Broadcast
Journalism. While at Howard, she served on the
Howard University Judiciary Board and was an active
member of the Golden Key Honor Society.
Jamila also regularly subs at Mare Island Technology
(MIT) Academy, a Bay Area charter school.
Jane helps to process new memberships, renewals,
acknowledgements and inquiries for the annual
membership. Process related membership accounting.
Updating data, entering new information and managing
mailing lists, both e-mail and regular mail. Create
new reports and handle reporting functions using
Crystal Reports to provide support to the in-house
database users. Interface with the database vendor
to maintain data integrity.
Jane is the membership and accounting coordinator
who works on data collection, reporting, and other
activities related to the administration of the
California Charter Schools Association's Membership
Jane brings a wealth of experience to the Association
in the fields of systems and membership management.
Since moving to the United States from London
over 30 years ago, she has worked in both the
corporate and nonprofit world. A number of years
as a business systems analyst and systems trainer
have given her the ability to solve problems and
help clarify complex procedures to others. Since
moving to northern California, Jane has had the
opportunity to work as the director of business
and finance for a local temple and as the office
manager for a fitness association specializing
in lifelong fitness for seniors.
Jane also spends her time in her outdoor studio
where she works as a sculptor working in both
alabaster and wood. For Jane, her position with
the Association is a return to her roots since
she was trained in the UK as a high school math
Gary Larson, the California Charter Schools Association’s
vice president of communications, brings expertise
in non-profit and political-sector affairs to
his work. Seasoned in crisis communications and
strategic positioning, Gary works to help the
charter school community tell its story and educate
the public about the benefits charter schools
provide to California’s families.
Gary spent two years as the director of communications
for the California Network of Educational Charters
(CANEC). In this role, Gary oversaw all public
and media relations, positioning the organization
and its efforts as sustainable, viable entities
through one of the charter school movement’s
most tumultuous periods.
Prior to his tenure with CANEC, Gary advised
numerous corporate, political, and non-profit
clients on their public relations strategies and
counseled county and federal governments through
communications challenges. A writing specialist,
Gary has authored several editorials that have
appeared in newspapers throughout California.
Gary also voluntarily helped spearhead “Parents
to Save Edison Charter,” a group of parents
and teachers who fought and defeated the San Francisco
School Board’s attempt to dismantle one
of the city’s most successful charter public
schools. The high-profile battle was featured
in major news publications, including the Wall
Street Journal and the Economist.
Gary has both a bachelor’s degree in political
science and communications and a master’s
degree in public administration from the University
of Southern California.
Kate serves as a key player within the communications
team, working to increase the level of public
awareness and support for charter schools.
Kate Kositch brings a passion for education and
much non-profit marketing experience to her position
as communications manager with the California
Charter Schools Association.
At both the collegiate and post-graduate level,
Kate spent much of her time working with non-profit
public relations organizations. During her education
at San Jose State University, she was an integral
officer for the school's Public Relations Student
Society of America (PRSSA) chapter, planning meetings
and events, garnering new member support and editing
the chapter newsletter. Most recently, Kate has
worked with the Public Relations Society of America's
Silicon Valley chapter (PRSA-SV) on email marketing
campaigns and chapter newsletter contributions.
Kate also served on the silent auction committee
for the organization's first annual holiday event
in 2004, raising over $2,000 for the Ronald McDonald
House at Stanford.
Kate has a bachelor's degree in public relations
with a focus in marketing from San Jose State
University. An avid reader, she also loves to
travel and looks forward to making it to Bali
and Egypt one day.
Sonia Torres brings a wealth of communications
experience to her position as media relations
manager at the California Charter Schools Association.
A seasoned public relations professional, Sonia
has executed several successful strategic marketing
and media relations campaigns.
Prior to joining the Association, Sonia worked
for three years in the communications department
at the Hispanic Scholarship Fund. She was responsible
for raising awareness of the organization through
internal and external communications, in addition
to managing the brand identity. In her role there,
she was able to expand her commitment to advancing
educational opportunities for minority communities
through community outreach projects and event
management. In addition to her in-house nonprofit
PR expertise, Sonia brings with her a PR agency
background where she helped increased the visibility
of organizations through media campaigns and community
outreach projects for nonprofit, environmental,
corporate and entertainment clients.
Sonia received a bachelor’s degree in rhetoric
with an emphasis in public discourse from the
University of California at Berkeley. She also
reads voraciously, loves to travel and can’t
pass up bargain shopping.
Beatrice Robles is the director of human resources
and executive administrator for the California
Charter Schools Association and provides administrative
support for the four Association offices in areas
such as human resources, benefits administration,
and development of policies and procedures for
the Association. She works closely with all staff
to ensure that issues that are sensitive and critical
are handled efficiently and in a timely manner.
Bea mainly provides support for the Chief Executive
Officer, but also works closely with the Chief
Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer
on a wide range of issues.
Bea worked for the Los Angeles Unified School
District for 19 years and held high level administrative
assignments, which included working with assistant
superintendents, a local district superintendent
and two board presidents. She provided staff development
opportunities for over 60 school based employees
on a monthly basis and was responsible for day-to-day
supervision of over 30 employees.
Bea has been a committee member for the LAUSD
Superstars, which is a committee that coordinated
successful annual conferences for over 1,000 classified
employees since 1983. She was active in other
committees, which made recommendations to the
School Superintendent and Personnel Commission
Division in areas such as examination guidelines
and testing questions that were aligned to certain
administrative positions and was very instrumental
in helping to update position descriptions for
clerical positions throughout the District.
Bea has a vested interest in education and has
served twice on the School Site Council for Norwalk/La
Mirada Unified School District. She was also the
Editor and Publisher of the Greater Long Beach
Girl Scout Council monthly newsletter and a member
of the Girl Scout Council, which represented the
Hollymount/Long Beach Area.
Bea earned an Associate of Arts Degree in Business
Administration at Cerritos Community College and
completed a course as a Paralegal from Golden
State Community College.
She lives in Downey, CA with her husband, who
is a teacher for LAUSD, and two children.
Susan Williams, Sacramento office manager, provides
support for and manages the Association’s
Sacramento office. She has more than fifteen
years experience working with nonprofits in the
fields of administrative support and
Susan most recently worked as executive assistant
to the executive director of People Reaching Out
(PRO), a nonprofit, who offered free counseling
and mentoring services to Sacramento youth and
their families. PRO trained high school students
to make presentations to elementary and junior
high students about positive alternatives to violence,
drugs and alcohol abuse. Susan worked closely
with the Board of Directors and Advisory Council
and helped coordinate fundraising events. She
also worked as a division secretary and assistant
meeting planner for the Leadership Development
Division of the California Farm Bureau Federation.
Susan attended California State University, Sacramento
and graduated from Sawyer Business College.A native
of Sacramento, Susan currently lives in Citrus
Heights with her cat, Zorro. Susan's daughter,
Courtney, is currently attending C.S.U., Sacramento.
Cynthia Gomez brings strong educational experience
to her position as outreach program manager and
office administrator for the San Diego office.
For 13 years, she worked at Darnall Charter School
serving the students and families there in a variety
of roles, from teacher assistant to administrative
assistant. She built strong relationships with
the families at Darnall and ran the school from
behind the scenes.
Cynthia is a San Diego native who attended Castle
Park High School and then earned an associate’s
degree at Southwestern College in Liberal Arts
with the intention of becoming a teacher. After
she began work at Darnall E-Campus Charter School,
her skills quickly took her from teacher assistant
to running the office, where she found that she
had great people and organizational skills and
enabled her to support the charter school outside
of the classroom. After 13 years of service to
the school, she decided to expand her influence
in the broader charter community and joined the
Association to strengthen community support for
the charter movement.
Cynthia and her husband recently bought a new
house in Chula Vista. They live there with their
son, Gianni. They spend a lot of time cheering
on Gianni during his basketball games and supporting
him in Boy Scouts. Cynthia herself prefers playing
soccer and taking trips to the desert to ride
ATVs with her family and friends.
Cynthia looks forward to building strong relationships
to support the charter movement.