Our Team

At Lighthouse, we believe that shared leadership strengthens our organization and deepens our practice. Toward this end, Lighthouse employs a co-directorship to run its elementary, secondary and strategic development programs. Meet our Leadership Team!

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  • Amal AzizLodestar Extended Day Program Coordinator

  • Drea BealeLighthouse 9-12 Director of Instruction

  • Kate BowmanLighthouse 5-8 Director of Instruction

    Ms. Bowman started her teaching experience as the Program Leader for the Lower East Side Girls’ Club in New York. Since then she has accrued six years of teaching experience from grades four to eight. She has been an integral Lighthouse community member over the past seven years. Kate has served as the 5th – 8th Grade Instructional Coach and Interventionist over her last four years at Lighthouse. Kate has continued to develop her leadership and coaching craft through the REACH Institute’s Instructional Leadership Academy. She has been indispensable in starting the process of aligning practices through the 5-8 band. Kate both embodies the Guiding Principles and tirelessly works to ensure that we are developing teachers, students, and family relationships the Lighthouse way. Kate’s skillful leadership combined with her institutional knowledge are a recipe for a cohesive and successful 5-8 band.

  • Jeannie BrulandDirector of Language Programs

  • Yanira CanizalesLodestar Head of School

    Yanira Canizales is the Head of School, and the immediate-past K-4 Director of Instruction. She has seven years of teaching experience across all grade levels including leading a summer bridge experience for incoming kindergarten students with no pre-school experience, 3/4 bilingual classrooms, and middle school multiple subject teacher with ELD experience. All of her teaching experience has been in the Bay Area with a target population reflective of Lighthouse students. Additionally, Yanira has also served as a resident Principal and Dean of Instruction. At New Leaders, Yanira was the Director of the Emerging Leaders Program, where she recruited and developed teacher leaders interested in becoming urban principals. Yanira shares a life narrative that reflects that of many of our students, and is thrilled to be a part of the Lighthouse community.

  • Karen FeeDirector of Development

    Karen Fee is the Director of Development. Karen started her career as a classroom teacher with Teach For America and as an outdoor educator with Outward Bound. She earned degrees in Journalism and International Relations at the University of Southern California and a Masters Degree in Education at the University of Utah. Karen enjoys the thrill of helping people from the surrounding communities understand and embrace the magic and promise of a Lighthouse education. Karen is the mother of three and enjoys swimming, biking, running, skiing, and climbing mountains.

  • Tina HernandezLighthouse K-4 Director of Instruction

    Tina Hernandez rejoined Lighthouse as the K-4 Director of Instruction in 2014. Tina was a teacher at Lighthouse from 2005-2010, after which she went on to become a Founding Principal at Aspire College Academy. She has additional teaching experience from her time as an ELA/Math Teacher in Hayward, has been a teacher coach and PD facilitator at California Tomorrow, and serving as a College Instructor at CSU-East Bay, Heald Business College, and Chabot. She received her BA in English at CSU-Chico, and a Master’s degree in English at CSU-East Bay.

  • Tshilumba KabongoLighthouse Director of Expanded Learning

  • Paul KohLighthouse Head of School

    Paul Koh is Lighthouse’s new Head of School beginning the 2015-16 school year. Paul is a first-generation Korean-American immigrant who moved to the United States when he was six years old.  Growing up in Cupertino and San Jose, he was afforded the gifts of high quality public education, learned English as a Second Language, and after a short stint in the corporate world, discovered that his life’s calling was to give back to the community through education.  After doing his student teaching in Fremont Unified, Mr. Koh accrued four years of high school humanities teaching experience at Oakland School for the Arts and the Envision Schools.  At City Arts and Technology (CAT) High School, Paul taught using project-based pedagogy, wrote curriculum, led professional development for his peers, developed the school’s first graduation portfolio process, and piloted a new internship program.  In 2008, he became Vice Principal of Student Support at CAT and has since served as Assistant Principal at SFUSD’s Raoul Wallenberg Traditional High School and Principal at the International Studies Academy in Bay View Hunters Point (serving grades 6 – 12th grade) since 2011.

    Mr. Koh has a B.A. in Political Science from UC Davis, a teaching credential from San Francisco State University, and an administrative credential and Masters Degree in Education from UC Berkeley’s Principal Leadership Institute.  He has grown as a professional and contributed to the education profession by being a contributor to the Buck Institute for Education and serving as a Stanford Principal Fellow, deepening his practice to bring innovation in schools.   Mr. Koh is married to Jessica Wang and has enjoyed living in Oakland since 2012.  He enjoys backpacking, cave trekking, playing guitar and ukelele, live music, exploring Oakland, road biking,  and snowboarding.

  • Anna MartinDirector of Talent

    Anna Martin joined Lighthouse in 2014 as the Director of Talent. Previously, she was a Leadership and Instructional Coach in OUSD, providing support to teachers and leaders and building a teacher leadership cohort at Oakland schools with School Improvement Grants. Prior to that work, Anna spent 8 years working at Lee Mathson Middle School in San Jose as a Professional Learning Facilitator and Lead Humanities Teacher, where she began as a Teach for America corps member. She is a National Board Certified educator, leadership and instructional coach, and talent strategist committed to building the systems needed to ensure that historically underserved students receive an excellent, equitable, and empowering education.

  • Brandon PaigeDirector of Finance & Operations

    Brandon Paige is the Director of Finance and Operations. Prior to joining the Lighthouse staff, Brandon served as Lighthouse’s client manager at Edtec, providing business back office services and becoming well-acquainted with Lighthouse over three years. Before joining Edtec, Brandon was a high school math teacher for six years in Brooklyn and San Francisco. He received his A.B. in Economics at Princeton and his Masters in Teaching from Pace University and was also a NYC Teaching Fellow. Brandon is thrilled to to serve in a role that combines his two passions: the students that we serve and creating a gold-standard financial and operational infrastructure of a high-performing school.

  • David PhilhowerLodestar Director of Instruction

  • Steve SextonCo-founder

    Steve Sexton was a Co-founder of Lighthouse Community Charter School. He served as 9-12 Director of Instruction for over a decade, as well as Head of School in 2013-14. He got his start in teaching through Teach for America in 1995 where he taught science for two years in Watts. After a short stint teaching in a one-room schoolhouse in Upstate New York, Steve continued his teaching career under the tutelage of Ted and Nancy Sizer at the Francis Parker Charter School outside of Boston. In addition to teaching, Steve was the Curriculum Director for Teach for America where he authored TFA’s teacher education curriculum. Steve received his Bachelors of Science Degree from the University of Utah, having majored in Mechanical Engineering and minored in Nuclear Engineering. In his own words, “I work at Lighthouse because I can make a difference in children and youth’s lives everyday.” One thing you may not know about Steve is that he once lost a bet to his students and had to wear a dress all day.

    Steve passed away on October 30th, 2015 after a battle with brain cancer. His memory lives on in the lives of his three children and the countless lives he touched as an educator.

  • Jenna StaufferCo-founder & CEO

    Jenna Stauffer is a Founder of Lighthouse Community Charter School and the CEO. She oversees the finances, fundraising, and external partnerships at Lighthouse. Having entered teaching in 1995 through Teach for America, she has taught in both urban and rural settings. In addition, she was the “Teacher On Set” for a series of educational documentaries made about New York State. A Hoosier native, she received her degree in Wildlife Ecology from Purdue University in 1995. While working on her Masters Degree in Education at Harvard University in 2000, the concept for Lighthouse was born. Jenna is a member of Oakand Rotary and sits on the advisory boards of two new start-up charter schools. In her own words, “I work at Lighthouse because I believe the world will be a more peaceful and just place when all children have the opportunity to receive an excellent education that they can then use to achieve their dreams.” One thing you may not know about her is that she raised wolf puppies while in college. When she is not at Lighthouse, she enjoys hiking with her family, Steve, Luke, Ruby, and Wyatt Sexton.

  • Aaron VanderwerffDirector of the Creativity Lab

Board of Directors 2014-15

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  • Melissa Barnes-Dholakia

    Executive Director, MBD Partners

    Melissa Barnes Dholakia is founder of MBD Partners, supporting new and existing charter schools in the areas of school design, charter development, goal setting and monitoring, performance reporting, and grant writing. Prior to this work, Melissa served as co-Director of Lighthouse Community Charter Public Schools for ten years, joining the original founders in year two of operation to grow Lighthouse into an exemplary, urban charter school organization. Prior to entering administration, Melissa worked as a Humanities teacher in Washington State and at a public K-12 bilingual school in Hsinchu, Taiwan. She also spent four years as a Product Manager and Content Producer, developing online Masters in Education programs for Canter & Associates, Lodestar Charter Petition – ii. Executive Summary via Walden University and Laureate Education. Melissa was a 2002 New Leaders for New Schools Fellow, through which she received her administrative training. She earned her MA from the University of Oregon, where she also held a Teaching Fellowship in the College of Education, and her BA and Teaching Credential from Whitman College.

  • Roosevelt Callahan

    Roosevelt Callahan is currently a strategy and operations consultant. Roosevelt has held several roles across Teach For America, including managing and supporting a portfolio of regions, leading operations and logistics for the New York Training Institute, and managing large cross-organization technology projects. Roosevelt has also led instructional operations for Success Academies Charter Network and has worked as a business analyst in the financial services industry and management consultant in the technology industry.  Roosevelt currently resides in Oakland, CA and is a graduate of North Carolina A&T State University with a degree in Computer Science.

  • Sarah Chavez-Yoell

    Executive Director, East Oakland Boxing Association

    Sarah is the Executive Director of the East Oakland Boxing Association a non-profit, community-based organization that provides education, enrichment, and health programs for children and youth. Sarah previously worked as a constituent liaison for Oakland City Council member Larry Reid. Sarah was born and raised in Oakland; she is a graduate of Castlemont High School. Sarah holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and a Masters degree in Public Administration, both from California State University, East Bay. Sarah has served on the board since 2008.

  • Wayne Delker

    Chief Innovation Officer (retired), Clorox

    Wayne L. Delker has spent more than 30 years in business leading innovation organizations and developing innovation processes, capability and culture. He recently retired as senior vice president & chief innovation officer of The Clorox Company and was appointed to the company’s executive committee in June 2009. Delker, who previously held the title vice president — global research & development since joining Clorox in 1999, served as the company’s chief technical and innovation executive. He led worldwide R&D for all of the company’s products, providing technical and scientific guidance within the operating divisions and other staff functions, and oversaw the company’s stewardship activities, ensuring the health, safety and environmental benefits of Clorox products. During this time Clorox achieved a record level of growth from innovation, was recognized by Forbes Magazine as one of the top 100 global innovators and won the Corporate Innovator of the Year Award from the Product Development and Management Association in 2013. Delker is currently building on this foundation to successfully apply the lean innovation methods developed by start-up companies to large enterprises in the profit and nonprofit sector. These practices enable the acceleration of innovation as well as allow companies to build bigger and better ideas. Wayne has served on the Board since 2015.

  • D’Lonra EllisPresident

    General Counsel at Aspire Public Schools

    Board President D’Lonra Ellis is General Counsel at Aspire Public Schools. She holds her BA in Architecture, Preservation, and Planning from Columbia University and her JD from Stanford Law School. She states that she serves on the Lighthouse Board because “I believe in the Lighthouse mission, and because I believe that Lighthouse fills an important educational niche in the Oakland community.” In her free time, D’Lonra enjoys reading as much as possible. D’Lonra has served on the board since 2007.

  • Mike “JB” John-Baptiste

    Executive Vice President, SendtoNews

    JB (Mike John-Baptiste) is an angel investor in and co-founder of Story Of and also serves as Managing Partner at MK-Ultra, a development agency with a focus on consumer and enterprise mobile apps and websites. Story Of is building a variety of products anchored on the premise that consumers, small businesses and large brands can build more valuable and sustainable connections with each other by creating and publishing personal media along specific themes and stories. Prior to his recent endeavours, JB re-located and incubated Toronto-based startup Peerset to San Francisco (housed in his basement) and launched display ad targeting and brand insights products leveraging big data sourced through a network of social media publishers. Peerset was sold to KIT Digital, a publicly traded video SAAS company and the technology is now the core recommendation engine for IP-based online video streaming deployments around the world. JB spent the first 12 years of his career as a software and digital media banker, followed by various senior roles leading Business Development and Partnerships for a wide range of technology-based businesses both private and publicly-traded. JB has served on the board since 2005.


  • Christina Legg Greenberg

    Founder and Partner of Edgility Consulting

    Christina Legg Greenberg is a Founder and Partner of Edgility Consulting. Edgility is a talent management consulting firm that finds the leaders education organizations need to make a difference. Previously she founded and led Redwood Circle Consulting and worked for New Leaders’ Bay Area team recruiting, selecting and placing principals. She has a B.A. in Political Science from UCLA and a Masters Degree in Public Affairs from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University. “I serve on the Lighthouse Board because I am deeply committed to increasing academic achievement and college readiness for all students in my community and I am passionate about Lighthouse’s efforts every day to make college and career a reality for all Oakland students.” With her free time, Christina likes to play outdoors with her kids and husband, enjoy music and theatre, cook and eat great food and travel. Christina has served on the board since 2011.

  • Soo Zee Park

    Chief Business Officer

    Soo Zee is the Chief Business Officer at Leadership Public Schools. She is the former Director of Real Estate Development for Community Housing Opportunities. And was the Director of Operations for Leadership Public Schools. Prior to joining LPS, she worked with the non-profit Unity Council and Fruitvale Development Corporation as the project manager for the $68MM mixed-use Fruitvale TransitVillage adjacent to the Fruitvale BART Station. She also worked on a $2MM Fruitvale Streetscape Project with the City of Oakland. Soo Zee has over seven years of experience in architecture and construction administration working on a variety of residential, mixed-use, university and museum projects including the award-winning Tenderloin Elementary School in San Francisco. Soo Zee holds a Bachelor degree in architecture from North Carolina State University and a MBA from John E. Anderson Graduate School of Management at UCLA. Soo Zee has served on the board since 2004 and chairs the Facilities Committee.

  • Jenny Paul-Rappaport

    Senior Development Director, UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital

    Jenny comes to Lighthouse with a record of 9 years experience in government relations, advocacy, policy development, campaigns, and public affairs. She has 4 years experience in development and philanthropy. As the Senior Development Director at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals Foundation since 2014, Jenny created and implemented individual outreach and cultivation strategy for donors during a comprehensive campaign for the Hospital. Prior to her time at the Hospital, Jenny was the Regional Development Director for Brown University in the San Francisco Bay Area. Jenny also worked for Preschool California as a Senior Policy Analyst, directing a comprehensive federal relations program.  Jenny is passionate about doing work that supports children’s health and education. She has a Master of Public Policy degree from U.C. Berkeley and a Bachelor’s degree in Physics from Brown University.

  • Kristin Richmond

    Founder and CEO, Revolution Foods

    Kristin Groos Richmond is Co-Founder and CEO of Revolution Foods, a company bringing healthy, fresh meals and nutrition education to Lighthouse and other schools across the country, serving 120,000 healthy meals per day! Kristin attended Boston College and the Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley. In her own words, “I serve on the Lighthouse board because it is an incredible opportunity to work with a team and a school I believe can transform education in our community. Lighthouse is setting a gold standard for high expectations and a quality education for each and every student!” In her free time, Kristin spends lots of time with her little boys, Watts and Caleb, and husband Steve. She loves to hike, garden, swim and travel and aspires to learn to surf and play guitar this year! Kristin has served on the board since 2010.

  • Brian Rogers

    CEO, Rogers Family Foundation

    Brian Rogers currently serves as the Chief Executive Officer of the Rogers Family Foundation located in Oakland, California. Having served as Executive Director of the Rogers Family Foundation from 2003 to 2014, Brian was promoted to the role of Chief Executive Officer in 2014. During his tenure at the foundation, Brian has helped to create and grow Oakland education organizations such as Great Oakland Public Schools Leadership Center, the Oakland Education Fund, the Oakland Charter Collaborative and the Oakland Literacy Coalition. Brian currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Lighthouse Community Charter Schools and Education for Change Public Schools. Before joining the Rogers Family Foundation, Brian was the manager of the Lair of the Bear, a family summer camp run by the University of California, Berkeley, Alumni Association. Prior to that, Brian was an English teacher and Varsity Tennis Coach at his alma mater, Bishop O’Dowd High School in Oakland. Brian graduated from UC Berkeley’s Haas Business School as an undergraduate in 1995 and received his California single subject teaching credential from St. Mary’s College in 2000. Brian currently lives in Orinda with his wife Katie and their three children. Brian has served on the board since 2003.

  • Robert Schwartz

    Partner at Silicon Schools Fund

    Rob is a partner at Silicon Schools Fund. He is the former Executive Director of Level Playing Field Institute, which is a program committed to eliminating the barriers faced by underrepresented people of color in science, technology, engineering and mathematics and fostering their untapped talent for the advancement of our nation. Before joining LPFI, Rob spent three years as Chief Academic Officer for Inner City Education Foundation Public Schools in South Los Angeles, leading the strategic expansion of the academic program from three schools with 500 students to 15 schools with almost 4,000 students. As an instructional leader, Robert facilitated the curricular design of the charter organization’s rigorous academic program with the goal to prepare students to attend and compete academically at top colleges. Robert was the founding principal at ICEF’s flagship high school, where he led its growth from 93 to 375 students. Under Robert’s direction, the first three classes achieved a 100% graduation rate with 97% accepted to four-year universities. As a 1994 Teach for America corps member, Robert spent seven years at his placement site in East Los Angeles. He was twice named teacher of the year and was made lead teacher and science department chairperson in his second year. Robert graduated cum laude from Binghamton University with a double major in Biology and Classical Languages, and earned his MA in Urban Education Policy Planning and Administration and Ed.D. in Urban Educational Leadership from the Rossier School of Education at USC. In 2009, Robert was named to the African American Achievement Commission by the California State Board of Education. Robert has served on the board since 2012.

  • Delphine Sherman

    CFO at Aspire Public Schools

    Delphine Sherman is the CFO at Aspire Public Schools. She is responsible for the financial management of Aspire which has an operating budget of $130M and currently serves over 13,000 students. Prior to joining Aspire, Delphine was the VP of Client Services at EdTec, working with dozens of charter schools across the state in a financial and operational capacity. In fact, while at EdTec, Delphine was the Client Manager for Lighthouse Community Charter Schools, and she fell in love with the school leaders and the sense of community surrounding the school. Over the last several years, she has kept in close contact with the school community which has paid off because in 2013, Delphine joined the Lighthouse board and is thrilled to be serving on the Finance Committee. Delphine is a graduate of Dartmouth College and has an MBA from UC Berkeley. She has also served on several non-profit boards in the Bay Area and is currently an advisory board member for the Center for Nonprofit and Public Leadership at the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley. Delphine has served on the board since 2013.

  • Sara Solar


    Sara lives and works in Oakland, where she launched her career as a teacher at Markham and Maxwell Park Elementary Schools in East Oakland. She currently works at Educate78, a nonprofit organization focused on school quality in Oakland, leading efforts to make Oakland a magnet for great teachers and school leaders. Before joining Educate78 she lived and worked in Tennessee where she was a Dean of Instruction at turnaround middle school Cameron College Prep, led by LEAD Public Schools, and portfolio director for the Memphis Priority Schools Talent Strategy efforts to retain, develop, and recruit exceptional educators to transform Memphis’ lowest performing schools. Prior to moving to Tennessee, Sara worked at The Bridgespan Group, supporting education organizations on their core strategies. Sara earned her MA in educational leadership at Stanford and BA in Political Science at Yale.

  • Jonathan VellineVice President

    Executive Vice President, Wells Fargo

    Jonathan Velline  is responsible for managing Wells Fargo’s network of more than 6,300 ATMs which is the third largest bank ATM network in the United States. Jonathan is also responsible for distribution analysis for Wells Fargo’s network of more than 3,000 banking stores. Jonathan holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of California, Berkeley.  He is currently the board Vice President and has served on the board since 2006.

  • Carina Wong

    Deputy Director, K - 12 Education, Gates Foundation

    Carina currently serves as a deputy director at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation on the K12 Education team. She has worked in education policy and workforce development for over two decades at the national, state and local levels.  Carina is passionate about the arts as well as feeding children and their families healthy, local and organic foods.  She led the Chez Panisse Foundation started by Chef and Author Alice Waters, where she launched the School Lunch Initiative and managed the Edible Schoolyard Project.  She is also a Trustee of the Oakland Museum of CA. Carina has a B.S. in Foreign Service from Georgetown University and a Master’s in Education Policy and Administration from Stanford University. She has taught abroad and is a former US Peace Corps Volunteer and the mother of three young children.




  • Lisa Zuffi

    Senior Vice President/Relationship Manager, Presidio Bank

    Lisa Zuffi is Senior Vice President/Relationship Manager in the East Bay Regional Office of Presidio Bank. Before that, she worked as Senior Vice President for OnePacificCoast Bank in Oakland. In addition to 17 years of banking experience, Lisa Zuffi is a well-rounded, energetic, and warm-hearted individual with roots in the local community. She served as Editor for Women Sports Magazine and later Northern California Real Estate Journal after earning a B.A. in English from University of California Berkeley. After a couple of years in the corporate world, she joined the U.S. Peace Corps. to implement community development projects in West Africa. That same dedication to helping others continues, not only in her work but, through her volunteerism as a Credit Committee member with the Oakland Business Development Corporation, board member with Options Recovery in Berkeley, and now as Board Member at Lighthouse Community Charter School. Lisa has served on the Board since 2013.