CCSA California Charter Schools Association
Member Log In
The Association Charter Schools Get Involved Resources Press and Events Contact
Submit Search
Find a Charter School
Subscribe to our newsletter

The Association : Our Team

Meet the Association

Caprice Young Chief Executive Officer

Robert Coontz Chief Financial Officer
George Fatheree, III Chief Operating Officer
Cynthia Gomez Office Administrator/Community Outreach Manager, San Diego
Adam Miller Director of Finance
Carolina Reyes Office Assistant, Los Angeles
Xavier Reyes Director of Community Outreach
Beatrice Robles Director of HR/Executive Administrator
Liliana Uribe Manager of Accounting, Finance
Cindy Uribe Accounting Intern Assistant
Susan Williams Sacramento Office Manager

School Development
Myrna Castrejón VP, School Development/Operations Support
Danny Corwin Director of Development
Julie Ashby Umansky Director of Legal Defense Fund
Jo Ann Koplin Director of Facilities
Nick Driver General Manager, San Francisco
José J. Cole-Gutièrrez General Manager, Los Angeles
Lisa Berlanga General Manager, San Diego
Willow Harrington Assistant General Manager
Ana Teresa Fernandez Manager of School Development

Leadership and Quality Team
Peter Thorp Senior Vice President of Leadership and Quality
Ting Sun Senior Education Advisor
John Lee Director of Leadership
Alice Miller Director of Knowledge Management
Chase Davenport Director of School Assessment and Evaluation
Candice Lamarche Manager, School Certification
Ann Wei-ting Chen Leadership Programs Coordinator
Carlyn Obringer Knowledge Management Coordinator

Advocacy and Policy Team
Branché Jones Director of Governmental Affairs
Colin Miller Director of Policy
Erin McGoldrick Director of Data Management and Analysis
Rebecca Chamow Legislative and Policy Coordinator
Lauren Scissors, Data Analyst

Services and Products Team
Ted Fujimoto Vice President of School Services & Products
Sean Peake Director, Insurance & Risk Management Services
Cindy Wilkerson Director, Risk Management
Jennifer Chu Manager, Insurance & Risk Management Services
Rosaline Zylstra Manager, Services & Products Operations
Dave Morris Risk Manager
Teresa Sale Claims Manager

Membership Team
Julie Cruit Angilly Director of Membership Services
Jamila Morgan Membership Manager
Jane Lesser Membership and Accounting Services

Communications Team
Gary Larson Vice President of Communications
Kate Kositch Communications Manager
Sonia Torres Media Relations Manager



Caprice Young
President/Chief Executive Officer
213.244.1446 x 211

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 California.

About Caprice:
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 Angeles.

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.

Caprice Young

return to top

Robert P. Coontz
Chief Financial Officer
213.244.1446 x 204

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 solutions.

About Bob:
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.

Robert P. Coontz

return to top

George Fatheree, III
Chief Operating Officer
213.244.1446 x 205

About George:
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.

George Fatheree, III

return to top

Adam Miller
Director of Finance
213.244.1446 x 202

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.

About Adam:
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 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.

Adam Miller

return to top

Xavier Reyes
Director of Community Relations
213-244-1446 x. 223


return to top

Liliana Uribe
Manager of Accounting/Finance
213.244.1446 x 216


return to top

Cindy Uribe
Accounting Intern Assistant
213.244.1446 x 201

return to top

Myrna Castrejón
Vice President, School Development/Support
916.448.0995 x 306

About Myrna:
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 Valley.

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 University.

Myrna Castrejón

return to top

Danny Corwin
Director of Development
213.244.1446 x 208

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 board members

About Danny:
Danny Corwin, California Charter Schools Association’s director of development, brings seven years of experience working in education reform in Los Angeles.

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.

Danny Corwin

return to top

Julie Ashby Umansky
Legal Defense Fund Director

About Julie:
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 hearings.

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.

Julie Ashby Umansky

return to top

Jo Ann Koplin
Director of Facilities
213.244.1446 x 217

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.

Jo Ann Koplin

return to top

Nick Driver
General Manager, San Francisco Bay Area
415.356.1200 x 404

About Nick:
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 period.

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 in Japan.

Nick Driver

return to top

José J. Cole-Gutièrrez
General Manager, Los Angeles
213.244.1446 x 207

About José:
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.

José J. Cole-Gutièrrez

return to top

Lisa Berlanga
General Manager, San Diego
619.398.8635 x 231

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.

About Lisa:
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 501(C)3.

Lisa lives in the Del Cerro area with her husband, son and two French Bulldogs.

return to top

Willow Harrington
Assistant General Manager
415.356.1200 x 412

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 general manager.

About Willow:
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 educational support.

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.

Willow Harrington

return to top

Ana Teresa Fernandez
Manager of School Development
213.244.1446 x 215

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.

About Ana:
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.

Ana Teresa Fernandez

return to top

Peter Thorp
Senior Vice President for Leadership and Quality
415.356.1200 x 413

About Peter:
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.

Peter Thorp

return to top

Ting L. Sun Ph.D.
Senior Education Advisor
916.448.0995 x 302

About Ting:
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 assessments.

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.

Ting L. Sun Ph.D.

return to top

John Lee
Director of Leadership
213.244.1446 x 203

About John:
John Lee brings classroom teaching and school administration experience to his role as Director of Leadership for the California Charter Schools Association.

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.

return to top

Alice Miller
Help Desk
866.415.2272 x 407

About Alice:
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 school districts.

She is married to her high school sweetheart, is the proud mother of three sons and bakes a mean apple pie.

Alice Miller

return to top

Chase Davenport
Director of School Assessment and Evaluation
866.415.2272 x 403

About Chase:
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.

Chase Davenport

return to top

Candice Lamarche
Manager, School Assessment
916.448.0995 x 307

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.

About Candice:
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 to inmates.

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 Associate.

Candice graduated in May 2003 from the University of California, Berkeley with a degree in Legal Studies.

Candice Lamarche

return to top

Ann Wei-ting Chen
Leadership Programs Coordinator
415.356.1200 x 410

Ann works with the Leadership and Quality team to provide continuous support and ensure effective leadership in order to strengthen charter school quality.

About Ann:
Ann first joined the Association in January 2005 as an intern, assisting with regional support and outreach with the General Manager of Sacramento/Northeast California Region.

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.

Ann Wei-ting Chen

return to top

Carlyn Obringer
Knowledge Management Coordinator
415.356.1200 x 416

return to top

Branché Jones
Director of Governmental Affairs
916.448.0995 x 304

About Branché:
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.

Branché Jones

return to top

Colin Miller
Director of Policy and Research
916.448.0995 x 303

About Colin:
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 organizations.

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.

Colin Miller

return to top

Erin McGoldrick
Director of Data Management and Analysis
213.244.1446 x 214

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.

About Erin:
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 Notre Dame.

Erin McGoldrick

return to top

Rebecca Chamow
Legislative and Policy Coordinator
916.448.0995 x305

return to top

E. Ted Fujimoto
Vice President of Services & Products
213.244.1446 x 206

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.

About Ted:
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 Martin.

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 in funding.

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 and Innovators.”

Ted holds a bachelor’s degree from Pacific Union College.

E. Ted Fujimoto

return to top

Sean Peake
Manager, Insurance & Finance Products
213.244.1446 x 210

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.

About Sean:
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 needs.

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.

Sean Peake

return to top

Cindy Wilkerson
Director, Risk Management
916.448-0995 x 312

return to top

Jennifer Chu
Assistant Manager, Insurance & Finance Products
415.356.1200 x 401

About Jennifer:
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 relations assistant.

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.

Jennifer Chu

return to top

Rosaline Zylstra
Operations Coordinator/Project Assistant: Special Education
213.244.1446 x 218

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 education.

About Rosaline:
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 educational change.

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.

return to top

David Morris
Risk Manager
213.244.1446 x 219

return to top

Teresa Sale
Claims Manager
916.448.0995 x 312

return to top

Julie Cruit Angilly
Director of Membership Services
415.356.1200 x 402

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 membership.

About Julie:

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 Association (CANEC).

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 at Boulder.

She lives in San Francisco with her husband, young son and new daughter.

Julie Cruit Angilly

return to top

Jamila Morgan
Membership Manager
415.356.1200 x 405

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.

About Jamila:
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.

Jamila Morgan

return to top

Jane Lesser
Membership and Accounting Coordinator
415.356.1200 x 408

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.

About Jane:
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 Program.

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 teacher.

Jane Lesser

return to top

Gary L. Larson
Vice President of Communications
916.448.0995 x 307

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.

About Gary:
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.

Gary L. Larson

return to top

Kate Kositch
Communications Manager
415.356.1200 x 411

Kate serves as a key player within the communications team, working to increase the level of public awareness and support for charter schools.

About Kate:
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.

Kate Kositch

return to top

Sonia Torres
Media Relations Manager
415.356.1200 x 413

About Sonia:
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.

Sonia Torres

return to top

Beatrice Robles
Director of Human Resources/Executive Administrator
213.244.1446 x 211

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.

About Bea:
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.

Beatrice Robles

return to top

Susan Williams
Sacramento Office Manager
916.448.0995 x 301

About Susan:
Susan Williams, Sacramento office manager, provides administrative
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 meeting planning.

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.

Susan Williams

return to top

Carolina Reyes
Office Assistant, Los Angeles
213.244.1446 x 224

return to top

Cynthia Gomez
Office Administrator/Community Outreach Manager, San Diego

About Cynthia:
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.

return to top

Lauren Scissors
Data Analyst

return to top


California Charter Schools Association    Sacramento - San Francisco - Los Angeles - San Diego    Site Map    Privacy Policy