DIRECTOR OF PROGRAM SUSTAINABILITY AND GROWTH
Over his 25 years in public education Steve has served as a classroom teacher, site and district administrator and superintendent. Throughout his career he has worked to close achievement gaps and open doors for first generation college students in both California and Illinois. Under Steve’s leadership the West Sonoma Union High School District was recognized as one of the top 100 districts in California. As superintendent, Steve used an innovative community partnership to launch a design-thinking based middle school for students in underserved rural communities.
At the university level he was proud to teach aspiring principals in Northeastern Illinois University Masters in Educational Leadership program.
From a curricular perspective Steve led the development of the first high school in the nation with a STEM for ALL focus. He has presented nationally on topics ranging from new teacher mentoring and best practices in teacher evaluation to creating a sustainable interdisciplinary STEM model at the high school level and effectively implementing instructional technology.
During his 12 years as a classroom teacher he taught English, Social Science and Broadcast Journalism in addition to serving as a fellow at the University of Chicago’s Graham School writing interdisciplinary curriculum focused on Asia.
Steve has a Bachelor’s degree from Miami University in Oxford Ohio, teaching certification from Indiana University, a Master’s degree in Educational leadership from Aurora University and a Doctorate in Educational Administration and Supervision from Loyola University Chicago where he researched the impact of superintendent leadership on student achievement.
Chris entered education with a drive to help end the achievement gap and believes that opportunities for doing so exist at all levels in our system. His work has taken him across the K-12 spectrum including secondary music, all subjects in elementary, and special education inclusion. He helped create and refine state and national assessments, including Hawai’i State Alternate Assessment and Smarter Balanced math assessments. Prior to joining Ed Partners, he was a school leader serving as a new teacher mentor, instructional and response to intervention coach, and curriculum coordinator. He also worked to inform Hawai’i state education policy with Hope Street Group – facilitating focus groups, engaging stakeholders across the state, and elevating the voice of teachers in the creation and implementation of education policy.
Chris earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education-Secondary from New Mexico State University and his Masters in Elementary Teaching from the University of Hawai’i at Manoa. His training and experience have focused on issues of equity, data-based instruction, and continuous school improvement.
Jessica comes to California Education Partners with experience coaching school and district leaders and leading networks focused on school transformation, most recently as the District Partnership Director at Partners in School Innovation. As a former high school math teacher, coach and assistant principal in the San Francisco Bay Area, she experienced the impact that adult communities committed to learning and growing together as professionals could have on improved student achievement. This prompted her move to the National Equity Project where she honed her skills as a coach and professional development facilitator supporting equity centered inquiry to improve educational outcomes for underserved students.
Jessica received her Single Subject Teaching Credential, Mathematics from California State University, Hayward and earned her B.A in Mathematics from the University of California, Santa Barbara.
“No matter where we come from, we want the best for our children. I would like to see every neighborhood have access to a local public school system that can not only provide them with the sense of belonging that I enjoyed as a child, but offer them a quality of education that is the best in the business.”
Prior to entering the non-profit world, Jane spent 20 years at IBM in high-level, large account marketing positions before taking the reins as business development executive at multiple Silicon Valley start-ups. Jane financed her education and graduated Cum Laude from San Jose State University in 1982.
Ashley Cheung Dooley
Ashley Cheung Dooley
Prior to joining the California Education Partners team, Ashley was a Program Manager at the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) and worked with state educational agencies to better implement effective policies around high quality and standards-based instruction. Her projects ranged from supporting early childhood instruction, creating infrastructure to incentivize high quality instructional materials to utilizing the state role to support students who are historically below grade level. Ashley is passionate about issues surrounding equitable access and opportunities for all students and supports state and local leaders and strategies that attempt to create a more equitable system for all students.
She received her Master of Public Policy in education policy from the Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration at the George Washington University. She received her undergraduate degrees from the University of California, San Diego.
DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS, PEOPLE AND CULTURE
With a passion for supporting systematic change, Janna has dedicated her entire professional career to supporting non-profit organizations within a diverse range of demographics. After studying sociology at UC Santa Cruz, Janna spent the next 10 years expanding upon her leadership and communication skills within the mental health and foster care systems. During this time, she attended several trainings and mentorships to deepen her skills and approach in the work; a few of these include, Motivational Interviewing, Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Training, Nonviolent Communication, and Lean Management. Inspired by the importance of connection, Janna then went on to help start 1440 Multiversity, a learning and wellness destination center in the Santa Cruz mountains hosting personal and professional growth workshops with luminary faculty from around the world. Having lead a large team through the initial startup phases of an organization, and having built all the internal systems to support over 800 faculty programs per year, Janna developed a deep devotion for lean and efficient operating systems in support of meaningful and transformative work. Janna aspires to contribute to the field of education through her systematic approach to organizational health, and the integration of her work in human potential.
DIRECTOR OF DISTRICT TO DISTRICT PROGRAMS
JoDee Marcellin, Ed.D. grew up in the Bay Area and moved to attend California State University, Fresno in 1986, where she completed her undergraduate and graduate studies. JoDee’s 18 year educational career in Sanger Unified School District afforded her experiences in all levels of K-12 from high school science teacher to site and district leadership. It was her own struggles as a student that has acted as a driving force to improve instruction and educational systems that better meet students’ needs, especially those unsupported by the current structures.
During JoDee’s K-12 tenure, she built a multifaceted background that provided her a unique opportunity to join the California Education Partner team. The innovation, drive, and passion to facilitate success for ALL students held by Ed Partners matches her own and allows her to expand and deepen the amazing work she was blessed to be involved in Sanger to a larger scale throughout California.
Prior to joining California Education Partners, he was the Data Manager at Sanger Unified School District. In this role Jose worked closely with district leadership and teachers to inform and impact positive student outcomes. He leveraged his previous private sector experience as a systems manager and continuous improvement engineer to develop new data perspectives and analysis. He was also responsible for completing all data analysis and associated findings to meet all grant reporting requirements.
Jose grew up in Farmersville, a small rural community located in California’s Central Valley. His current work provides him an opportunity to make a positive impact in communities where students share in a similar experience. He is committed to ensuring all students have an opportunity to be successful and achieve their dreams.
CHIEF OF STAFF
“It has been a privilege to spend my entire career in public education. My teaching career began as a student teacher in the Garden Grove Unified School District and ended 41 years later in the same district, the last 14 of which were as superintendent. Along the way I had the opportunity both to teach and serve as a site administrator in elementary and secondary schools as well as to work in a variety of positions at the district level. Each of these experiences allowed me to work alongside and learn from remarkable teachers, administrators and support personnel. The opportunities I had to work with masterful teachers taught me the importance of building caring relationships with students, establishing high expectations and providing all the support necessary for students to meet those expectations. Skillful leaders taught me the importance of applying these same principles to leading schools, and later to leading a system of schools.
Over the years I found that the solutions to even the most complex problems most often were found in the minds of those closest to the work. Given the opportunity to work together, I watched teachers, administrators, support staff, parents and students find and execute creative and practical solutions for challenging situations. Enabling them to do this was simply a matter of giving them the time, space and structure necessary for the work.”
DIRECTOR OF THE STANFORD UNIVERSITY/SFUSD PARTNERSHIP
Since 2009, Laura Wentworth has been the Director of the Stanford University, San Francisco Unified School District Partnership. In 2014, with the help of Laura’s leadership, the Graduate School of Education funded the Partnership at $1 million a year over five years to build the capacity of Stanford professors and San Francisco administrators to partner on projects aimed at making improvements in San Francisco and beyond. She received her Master’s in instruction and curriculum from the University of Colorado, a Masters in the social sciences of education and a PhD in administration and policy analysis in education from Stanford University.
PROGRAM ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT
For the past 14 years Violet worked as an administrator and librarian for the largest preschool under the Woodland Group of Pre-Schools in Hong Kong. She is delighted to be back in the Bay area to be closer to her family. She is a graduate of Oakland High School and is happy to be back in the city where she started her academic journey. She studied Linguistics at the University of California, Berkeley and Computer Science at California State University, Hayward. She worked as a systems analyst for IBM in both Hong Kong and San Francisco as well as for Wells Fargo Bank in San Francisco. She served as internal product support for database management at IBM Hong Kong.
Violet believes that a caring and safe environment for children induces learning. She is happy that at Ed Partners, she could contribute to better California's public school education. In her spare time she likes to curl up with a good book or watch Korean drama at home.
OPERATIONS AND EVENT COORDINATOR
Kaitlyn joined Ed Partners after moving from the Midwest, where she worked for Drury University’s Admission program. There, she coordinated the University’s campus visit program and recruitment events before transitioning into her role as an Admissions and Financial Counselor where she recruited and advised prospective students through their college admission and financial aid process. Kaitlyn implemented recruitment events across the United States as well as college prep discussions and panels in Southeast Missouri for high school students and families. Having grown up in a rural, public education system, Kaitlyn finds it incredibly rewarding to work in support of educators and to assist in providing opportunities for students. In her free time you can find her somewhere outdoors exploring, or alternatively, indoors watching movies!
ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR OF RESEARCH PRACTICE PARTNERSHIPS
Michelle Nayfack is the Associate Director of Research Practice Partnerships. As part of this role she serves as the Director of the Stanford-Sequoia K-12 Research Collaborative, which was launched in 2017. This Collaborative is a partnership between Stanford University and nine school districts in San Mateo County. Researchers from Stanford’s Graduate School of Education and practitioners across all nine districts are working to conduct research in partnership that will both inform policies and practices within the districts and contribute to generalizable research in education more broadly. Prior to serving in this role, Michelle held a variety of education policy research positions at Stanford’s Policy Analysis for California Education (PACE) and the American Institutes for Research (AIR). Michelle started her career in education as a high school English teacher in Los Angeles. She holds a B.A. in English Literature from Columbia University, a California teaching credential from California State University, Northridge and a PhD in Urban Education from University of Southern California.
Amy has worked in the educational field for over 20 years. She formally worked in Sanger Unified School District in which she served students first as a classroom teacher, then school psychologist, special education program manager, and K-8 principal. Her most recent role in Sanger Unified was Coordinator of Inclusive Practices and Supports. She has experience in a variety of roles in both special education and general education providing a wide lens and varied perspective to support all learners within an organization. Amy has experience in developing, implementing and supporting district initiatives such as; Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS), Professional Learning Community (PLC), Response to Intervention (RTI), Positive Behavioral Intervention and Supports (PBIS), and Universal Design for Learning (UDL).
Amy has received degrees and credentials from California State University Fresno, California, B.A. in Psychology, Multiple Subject Teaching Credential, Education Administration and Supervision Clear Credential; Fresno Pacific University, M.A. in Education, Pupil Personnel Services Credential, Specialization School Psychology, and National University, Fresno, Certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis.
As a founder of both California Education Partners and the Silver Giving Foundation, Phil Halperin has dedicated his career to the kids of California. His work has led him to champion efforts to empower and improve school districts, strengthen pre-school statewide, promote local investment in public schools, support teachers, and build robust and innovative partnerships that close opportunity gaps and help students stay on the path to success in college, career, and life. Phil earned his A.B. in Political Science from Stanford University and his MBA from Harvard Graduate School of Business Phil has also co-chaired six successful campaigns which have raised collectively over $4.0 billion for the public schools and children of San Francisco.
Luis is a former Dual Language Spanish Immersion elementary teacher and K-8 principal in the San Francisco Bay Area, his work now focuses on supporting district administrators in creating and designing district-level improvement work to increase the academic outcomes of Latinx, African American and socio-economically disadvantaged students. Luis strongly believes in the power of education as an agent for personal and social change. He has worked throughout his sixteen-year career to help provide access to this power to students and families for the betterment of their communities.
Luis holds a Masters degree in Education from the University of California, Berkeley, where he received his Administrative Services Credential and a Masters degree in Teaching from New College of California, where he received his Multiple Subject Teaching Credential. He received a B.A. in History from the University of California, Riverside.
DIRECTOR OF FINANCE
Melinda joined California Education Partners in February 2019 and brings over twenty years of accounting and finance experience from both for-profit and nonprofit organizations. Before joining Ed Partners, Melinda was the Director of Finance at Tides with prior finance management positions at Brandeis Hillel Day School, Presidio Graduate School, Kaiser Permanente, and Heald College. She earned her BA in Accounting and MBA in Finance from Golden Gate University. Melinda is dedicated to making an impact in the education sector, and she is passionate in supporting Ed Partner’s mission and vision.
When not working, Melinda spends quality time with her family, especially with her nieces and nephews. She also enjoys dining out with friends and trying out new restaurants.
Iva is a former English as a Second Language teacher and has lived in Asia and Russia for several years. She taught English to children in Taipei, Taiwan, as well as to teenagers and adults in Moscow, Russia. She also actively volunteers as a Film Selection Juror for the United Nations Association Film Festival, a nonprofit documentary film festival dealing with human rights issues. Prior to joining California Education Partners, Iva also worked as a Manager in the office solutions industry, an Administrative Assistant in nonprofit, participated in several film projects, and taught ESL privately to children and adults of all ages.
Iva holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Cinema, specializing in film production and screenwriting from San Francisco State University, as well as an Advanced Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL).
OPERATIONS AND EVENT ASSISTANT
Recently graduated from the University of Oregon, Lena has decided to start her career path at Ed Partners. During her time in college she was heavily involved in Kesem, a student-led nonprofit providing year-round support to children through and beyond a parent’s cancer diagnosis and treatment. After starting as Development Coordinator in 2017, she transitioned into her role as Director where she further expanded Kesem’s impact across the state of Oregon and applied a model based on diversity, equity and inclusion to make programs and services more easily accessible for all families. Lena has truly found a passion for nonprofit work and looks forward to using her experience within Ed Partners to continue helping others. When she’s not working you can find her hiking, playing volleyball or searching for a new vegan restaurant.
Keyur Shah PROGRAM MANAGER
Keyur has spent his career working in low-income schools designing systems that enable students to be prepared for college and beyond. He began his career as a high school science teacher and math instructional coach in Miami, was an AP of curriculum and instruction in Chicago, and most recently was a high school principal in San Jose. Holding degrees in education and engineering, Keyur couples pedagogical knowledge of student learning with a strong data-driven approach to drive school and district decision-making. As a second-generation college graduate, Keyur strongly believes in the power of education to transform not only individual lives, but entire communities.
Keyur has a B.S. in Engineering Management Systems from Columbia University, and a M.A. in Policy, Organization, and Leadership Studies from Stanford University. He loves to spend time with his wife cooking, rock climbing, and visiting National Parks across the country.
ANALYST IN RESEARCH PRACTICE PARTNERSHIP
Prior to joining the California Education Partners team, Fran served as the Research Director at the California Child Care Resource and Referral Network and as a senior specialist at the Center for the Study of Child Care Employment at UC Berkeley. Her research focused on data and analysis that would help advocates and policy makers strengthen the early childhood education system in California and throughout the nation. Her projects ranged from standardizing and analyzing administrative data from 58 county agencies to document the supply and demand of child care services in California and conducting multiple workforce surveys of California’s early childhood educators. Fran is passionate about the use of data and research to improve policies and programs for our nation’s children.