Robert is a graduate of California State University, Hayward (now California State University, East Bay) with a BA in Business Administration and an emphasis in accounting. Robert began his career with Coopers & Lybrand (one of the so-called "Big 8" accounting firms) in their audit and business advisory services department. While at Coopers & Lybrand, Robert served large and small businesses as well as non-profit educational and other non-profit entities.
After leaving public accounting, Robert became the CFO of a small manufacturing company before joining his current business as its CFO/COO. In 2001, Robert and his wife purchased his current business from his prior employer. Since that purchase, Robert has overseen a doubling in the size and workforce of the company.
During his business career, Robert has been responsible for negotiating multi-million dollar financial transactions including those associated with financing his business as well as real estate purchases. For the past 20 plus years, Robert has been responsible for all aspects of his multi-million dollar business, including all human resource, insurance, accounting and site development decisions.
Robert served over 15 years as a Board member of an industry non-profit organization and served as its President for over 6 years. Additionally, Robert served as its Legislative Chair where he was responsible for writing and editing legislation, discussing and explaining such legislation to government employees and legislators and presenting legislation to appropriate governmental committees. Robert has been a resident of Marin County for over 23 years while living in Novato for the past 9 years.
MJ has spent the past 20 years volunteering in parent leadership roles working with educational non-profits. She has served as PTA President for a total of seventeen years at the elementary, middle, and high school levels. She has also served as PTA Council President and on the Board for the local educational foundation. Additionally she has served as site leadership team chair and secretary at the elementary and middle school levels. Included in her other volunteer positions are site chair for parcel tax campaigns and facility bonds, serving as the parent rep on many district committees, and collaboration with local child-centered and service agencies.
Prior to her volunteer work, MJ was Vice President for a construction management firm where she headed marketing and office administration for six years. Following college she held the position as Product Development Manager for a $42 million cosmetic brand. MJ attended the University of Connecticut and Manhattan College.
As a former Police Officer and Detective in Marin County for nearly a decade, Cindy worked in areas of juvenile law, background investigation, policy-making and contract negotiations as a former board member of the Police Officers Association. While a Peace Officer, she worked in collaboration with agencies within Marin County on the Community Mental Health Team, First Responder / Sexual Assault Response Team, and the Marin County Office of Education School/Law Enforcement Partnership. In addition, Cindy was a bicycle Patrol Officer and worked with the Marin County Cycle Coalition and Safe Routes to School. She has participated in career days at local schools with an emphasis on safety tips for young children.
Most recently Cindy served as a board member of a non-profit preschool in Novato. As a board member she worked in areas of school finance, maintenance, governance, fundraising, school administration, and community outreach. Her experience serving on a non-profit school board and as a working parent in the classroom solidified for Cindy that what she wanted most as her "second career" was to be an integral part of her children's education.
Cindy graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Government and a Master of Arts degree in Leadership from St. Mary's College. Cindy lives with her husband and two preschool age children in Novato.
The Reverend Father Luke Palumbis, M.Div., Ed.D (ABD), is a graduate of the University of Portland (Bachelor of Business Administration), then initiated a brief corporate business career prior to entering Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology (Master in Divinity). In 2003 Father Palumbis was ordained a clergyman in the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, and has served Orthodox Christian parishes since that time. In 2009, Father Palumbis began doctoral studies at the University of the Pacific (Doctorate of Education, ABD). Father Palumbis currently serves as an Orthodox Christian parish priest in the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.
With an emphasis on Educational Administration and Leadership, Father Palumbis' doctoral dissertation focuses on leading change processes, specifically the impact of institutional cultures and states of existence.
Father Palumbis currently serves as an Executive Board Member of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of San Francisco, and the international NGO, International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC). Prior board service includes service to Saint Mary's Interfaith Community Services in Stockton, CA.
Mark brings 15 years of successful K-6 teaching and technology experience to the classroom. At the middle school level, he taught all core subjects in addition to math, speech, and technology electives. He has also assisted teachers in integrating standards-based multimedia projects in both science and history. As Site Technology Mentor, he managed technology selection, purchases, installation and training for 700 students and 40 teachers. Mark has also served as a district technology coordinator supporting 70 teachers and guiding the technology needs of 1400 students.
Mark attended Sonoma State University where he received his multiple subject teaching credential and BA in history. He has also attended San Diego State University where he's completing his master's degree in instructional technology.
Kevin earned his B.A. in Asian studies from Carleton College. After graduating from Carleton, Kevin lived in Tokyo, Japan for four years where he taught English as a foreign language. In addition to his teaching responsibilities, Kevin wrote practice questions for the Berlitz TOEFL study guide and worked on an educational program for Japanese public television.
Upon returning to the United States, Kevin earned a multiple subject teaching credential and a CLAD certificate. Kevin has taught elementary school for 13 years. During that time Kevin has continually updated his skills by taking part in courses and conferences put on by such organizations as the Bay Area Science Project, the East Bay Science Project, and the California Association for the gifted.
Susan brings 28 years of teaching experience to the classroom. Over the years you may have found her in grades K-6 or possibly at the high school level teaching German. Susan attended Purdue University and received her teaching credential and Master's degree from Sonoma State University.
Susan has served as a master teacher to several teachers in Novato as well as a BTSA mentor. She has been the recipient of both the Novato Rotary award for outstanding teaching and has two Golden Bell awards; one for teaching and the other as part of a team bringing history alive in the classroom.
During the summer, Susan and her husband enjoy traveling to all parts of the world or simply sitting on the beach enjoying a beautiful sunset. For the last 15 years she has spent a portion of her summer working in collaboration with the staff of Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia. She works with teachers from different regions of the U.S. to help them understand how our country was formed and then relate this idea to their own students for understanding. Susan has also worked closely with the staff at Colonial Williamsburg to develop curriculum for ongoing electronic field trips aired monthly during the school year calendar.
For the past 24 years Dede has been teaching children ranging in age from six to sixteen years old. Prior to her teaching career Dede had a 15 year career in banking.
A San Francisco native, Dede graduated from San Francisco State University and earned her teaching credential from Dominican University. She is also certified in Guided Language Academic Development and Gifted and Talented Education. Dede has been part of a technology team for teacher training at the County level and has taught teacher education classes for Dominican University in the area of integrating technology into the curriculum.
She is the recipient of the Golden Bell Award and the Novato Rotary Award for outstanding teaching. Dede has served as a master teacher for several California credentialed teachers and has also served as a mentor teacher in the Novato Unified School District.
Creativity both in and out of the classroom is Dede's passion. She is an avid quilter and knitter. Dede also truly enjoys developing artistic, exciting, interactive, integrated curricular units for her students throughout the year. She enjoys traveling with her husband and has almost met her goal of visiting all 50 states of the United States. Dede feels she was born to teach and loves every minute of her teaching day.
Amy is a native of San Joaquin Valley, where she is a fifth generation Californian. Amy received a Bachelor of Science degree from California State University at Fresno in the area of Business/Marketing. Prior to pursuing a career in education, she lived in Chico and San Francisco while working as a bank officer. Amy attended Dominican University to earn a Multiple Subjects Credential with a CLAD certificate.
Amy has taught kindergarten for 13 years and continues to enjoy being a teacher of young children. Amy loves watching students grow, mature and thrive. When Amy is not at school, her hobbies include reading, gardening, and traveling with her husband and family.
Janis graduated in 1980 from San Diego State University with a degree in liberal studies with an emphasis in education. Next Janis studied accounting and then worked for ten years as an in-house accountant for two international shipping companies. Her duties included maintaining the GL, cash forecast, budgeting and employee efficiency. In 1992 she earned her teaching credential from Dominican University. Janis worked as a substitute teacher while her children were young. She taught fourth grade at St. Anselms Elementary for three years, and then she was hired to teach kindergarten within NUSD. She has been in this position for sixteen years.
Janis earned her CLAD from the University of San Diego in 2001 and has attended many professional development classes, including EISS, GLAD and the Bay Area Writing Project.
Dr. David Patterson
Dr. Patterson has over 20 years of experience creating, managing and helping others develop high performing schools. He is the founder of the Rocklin Academy Family of Schools (2000 – 12) and currently serves as Executive Director Emeritus.
Rocklin Academy schools include two high performing Core Knowledge elementary charter schools and a college preparatory middle-high school emphasizing high academic and behavioral standards, commitment to student personal best and full partnership with parents. He is currently the founding Superintendent of Athlos Academies, an innovative start-up charter management organization dedicated to the development of high performing charter schools that are built on three pillars of a Prepared Mind, Strong Character and Healthy Body. The California Charter Schools Association recognized Dr. Patterson as the recipient of the Hart Vision Award for Charter School Leader of the Year in 2012 and 1998 for outstanding leadership and excellence in education.
Prior to opening the Rocklin Academies, Dr. Patterson was the former Director of Governmental Relations for the California Network of Educational Charters, the predecessor of the California Charter School Association, representing charter schools before the legislature, the State Board of Education, CDE and the Governor's Office. He has also served many years as an elected school board member in Del Paso Heights and Rocklin. Prior to serving as Director of Governmental Affairs Dr. Patterson served for ten years at the California Department of Education where he became the Department's point person for charter schools. He is a recognized expert in charter school law and policy, school reform policy and research and an acknowledged leader in state and national political and legislative activities.
Dr. Patterson has a Doctorate in Education and Policy from USC, a Masters in Higher Education Administration from George Washington University and a BA in Political Science from UCLA.
Dr. Brett Prilik
Dr. Prilik has a Doctorate in Education from the University of Northern Colorado with emphasis in school administration and special education. He has a variety of both pedagogical and practical experience and has worked as a teacher, a district level administrator and a building administrator. Dr. Prilik has served as an adjunct faculty member at the University of Northern Colorado in the School of Education. To date, he has participated in the development of six different school programs both in the public school and non-profit environment.
Dr. Prilik is the Executive Director of Springboard. Founded in 1987, Springboard provides extended day programming and academic support to students in grades K-8. Dr. Prilik, through his extensive educational background, determined there was a need for an after school program that could help close the achievement gap that existed between public school children and those who attended private or other high performing schools. Springboard's vision is to reform education nationwide and bridge the increasing educational divide that exists between students in the United States and other countries around the world so that all children have the resources and support needed for success.
Greg is a Deputy Attorney General for the State of California, specializing in federal and state appeals. He earned a B.A. in Economics from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, and his J.D. from the University of San Francisco School of Law. Greg and his wife have lived in Novato for ten years and have two children currently attending NUSD schools. Greg has been active in Cub Scouts and Novato youth baseball and soccer for several years.
Jay is a serial entrepreneur known for his work founding and running companies such as Equinix, Digg, Revision3, and SimpleGeo. His work has had a profound impact on the development of the Internet itself, the development of social media and the new age of a prolific, ubiquitous and location-aware set of technologies. In 2008, Jay was selected by Time Magazine as one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World. Currently, Jay serves on various boards as well as advises a number of companies. Most recently, Jay served as CEO of SimpleGeo, Inc. As Chief Executive, Jay was responsible for developing a business strategy and executing on the promise of location awareness services. Additionally, in 2005, Jay founded and served as CEO of Revision3 Corporation, the first Internet-based television network.
Previous to the rise of social media, Jay founded Equinix (EQIX) in 1998 with Al Avery. Equinix is now the largest datacenter company in the world and is responsible for maintaining the physical "Internet airports" that allow over 70% of the world's Internet traffic to reach its final destination. Jay was responsible for the original and sustaining business model, which lead to Equinix becoming a multi-billion dollar international company. During his seven years at Equinix, Jay provided technical leadership as Equinix's CTO, designing their products, datacenters, and leading research and development. On July 15, 2003, Jay testified before the U.S. House of Representatives Select Committee on Homeland Security Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Science and Research & Development, as part of an industry panel on "The Private Sector's Role in Keeping America's Cyberspace Secure."
Jay is a firm believer in public education. He was raised in Michigan by his public school teacher parents, and his three children are currently enrolled in public elementary, middle and high schools in Marin County, California. Jay earned a Bachelor of Science from Boston University.
The EdTec Team and its Corporate Leaders
EdTec is a professional services firm that brings high-level expertise to solving the business problems of charter schools. The EdTec team has extensive expertise in business management (public and private), school finance, negotiation, grant writing, IT management, accounting, and student information systems.
Joshua Newman, President & CEO, has an extensive background in educational policy, charter schools and business management. He started his career as an educational policy analyst for the California Post-Secondary Education Commission. He then joined the staff of the State Legislature, first as an Assembly Fellow and finally as the chief-of-staff for a standing policy committee chaired by then-Assemblyman Sam Farr. In that role Joshua wrote legislation affecting California's public education system including the landmark AB 803 which established the state's school computer technology infrastructure. After earning an MBA in 1986 at Harvard Business School, he worked in industry for a dozen years, first as a management consultant with the Boston Consulting Group and then as a senior executive in venture-backed high technology companies. He has served as the CEO of two such companies, and has raised over $150 million from venture capitalists, an IPO and corporate M&A transactions.
In 2001 Joshua returned to education by first working as a senior executive at Leapfrog Enterprises, a $500 million global manufacturer of electronic learning toys. He was in charge of international joint ventures, and was responsible for completing a $35 million Joint Venture with a leading Japanese education company.
Also in 2001, he founded EdTec Inc. to provide complete outsourced business services to charter schools in California. EdTec combines his background in educational policy, his desire to help reform public education in California, and his background in helping to start and manage small, growing organizations. EdTec has a staff of about twenty-five, based in the San Francisco East Bay. In addition to an MBA from Harvard Business School, Josh holds a BA from UC Davis.
Steve Campo, Executive Vice President, is an experienced executive for venture-backed technology companies and an attorney. Most recently, he was President of a company that operates websites for major retailers such as Lands' End and JC Penney. Steve has experience in the education field, having worked for LeapFrog Enterprises, a leading educational technology company with computerized curriculum in over 100,000 classrooms nationally. Steve began his career as a corporate and securities attorney with major Chicago law firms including Jenner & Block, during which time he undertook numerous pro bono engagements through a legal services clinic. A father of three, he is active as a coach in youth sports leagues. Steve holds a JD from Georgetown University and a BA from the University of Pennsylvania.
Mark Campo, Vice President of Development, has over fifteen years of professional services management. Mark holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from Dartmouth College.
Jayna Gaskell, Vice President of Educational Support Services, has worked in education for the last eighteen years. Jayna holds a Masters degree in secondary education from Emory University.
Diane Heltrey, Vice President of Client Services, is focused on expanding EdTec's services in the greater Los Angeles area. Diane has expertise in strategy and planning, change management, performance management, and Six Sigma process. Diane holds an MBA from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business and a BA with honors in Management Science from UC San Diego.
Peter Laub, Senior Vice President, is an experienced manager and entrepreneur in the education and arts fields. Peter holds an MBA, MA Ed, and Certificate of Public Management from Stanford University and a BA from Yale.
Adam Musch, CFO, has held a number of senior finance positions in venture-backed technology companies around California. Most recently he was Director of Finance at a wireless technology company. Adam holds an MBA from UCLA and a BA in Economics from Stanford.