Board of Directors

President
Karl Debro
Gateway to College, Contra Costa College

Karl Debro has taught at every level from middle school to graduate school. Dr. Debro has led professional development on institutional racism, student success, culturally responsive pedagogy, and equity for high schools and colleges. A recipient of the Jefferson Award for public service, Debro has been honored for his work to bring safety and respect to LGBTQ students by PFLAG and the United States Congress. Dr. Debro currently directs a concurrent enrollment program for high school push outs and drop outs at Contra Costa College. He holds a Bachelor’s in Philosophy from UC Berkeley and a Doctorate in Education from Mills College. He lives in Oakland.

Vice-President
Kathleen Harris
Youth Ventures Joint Powers Authority

Kathleen Harris is the Executive Director for the Youth Ventures Joint Powers Authority. The JPA is recognized throughout the country for its leadership and work with low-income youth to improve educational and life opportunities. Kathleen previously served as the Director of Collective Impact with Great Oakland Public Schools Leadership Center and the Program Director, Housing and Ending The Cycle of Poverty with the Marin Community Foundation. She holds a a Bachelor’s in Liberal Arts and Sciences from San Francisco State University and a Master’s in Educational Leadership and Administration from the National Louis University.

Secretary
Anna Marie Schmidt
Education Evaluator

Anna Marie Schmidt is a nonprofit consultant, supporting organizations in program development, performance measurement and impact evaluation. She has worked domestically and in Latin America helping internal staff identify and measure meaningful change among constitutions.

Treasurer
Chris Prentiss
Adamas Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Chris Prentiss is the Vice President and Corporate Controller at Adamas Pharmaceuticals, Inc. He is senior-level professional with extensive experience in finance, internal audit and public accounting, focused on life sciences and a proven ability to manage and lead through change, improve operations, and develop departments from the ground up. He is a results-oriented leader who achieves or exceeds goals with confidence and integrity. He has strong qualifications in accounting and financial management, SEC reporting, internal controls, system implementation, process improvement and staff development.

Executive Director
Joel Mackey
joel@edfundwest.org
(510) 233-1464, x101

Joel Mackey has over 20 years of non-profit management experience. As Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity of the East Bay, Joel is skilled in successfully convening community engagement initiatives. Working as a policy specialist for Making Waves, Joel understands the importance of building a college going culture for students in the school District. Joel is an instructor teaching non-profit management courses at University of San Francisco, San Francisco State University, and California State University –East Bay.Joel is an attorney, having graduated with a Juris Doctor degree from Boalt Hall School of Law at the University of California, Berkeley. He also received a Master of Divinity degree from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary at Northwestern University. He completed his undergraduate studies at Trinity College.

Director
Michael Aaronian, Jr.
West Contra Costa Unified School District

A graduate of El Cerrito High School and UC Berkeley, Michael Aaronian has served public education for more than 30 years. He has served as a high school (El Cerrito), middle school, and elementary principal. Twice serving as a manager in county offices of education, Michael led programs in career development and human resources. He has also served as a teacher, counselor, and co-administrator within and outside of West Contra Costa. Michael’s advocation is football officiating, at which he has served at the Division I level since 1995.

Director
Raquel Donoso
Mission Promise Neighborhood

Raquel Donoso is a public policy advocate, philanthropic leader, and organizational strategist whose work has focused on education, health, the environment, civic engagement, immigration, and women’s rights. As the daughter of immigrants and a former young, single mother she knows first-hand the systemic barriers that impede opportunity in the United States. That is why she is devoted to achieving equitable results for families in California. Raquel is currently the Director of the Mission Promise Neighborhood (MPN), a $30M Department of Education cradle-to college-to career collective impact initiative led by the Mission Economic Development Agency. Prior to MPN, Raquel was CEO of the Latino Community Foundation, where she led the organization through its largest growth period and launched innovative grant making programs. Raquel has also worked on state policy issues, spearheading campaigns on health access, environmental health, and education equity. Raquel completed her undergraduate and graduate studies at UCLA.

Director
Superintendent Matt Duffy
West Contra Costa Unified School District

Superintendent Matt Duffy came to the District with great leadership experience in urban schools and districts. Most recently, Matt served as the Assistant Superintendent in Milpitas Unified. There he was in charge of teaching and learning, leadership, enrollment, technology, Special Education and LCAP development. Matt’s recent accomplishments include starting a new Dual Immersion school in Milpitas, significantly expanding professional learning opportunities for all staff and growing the music program each year. Prior to Milpitas, Matt spent nine years in Oakland Unified serving as a principal and an area superintendent. Matt originally hails from New York City where he spent 4 years teaching middle school in the South Bronx and 3 years as a Vice Principal in Harlem. Matt lives in Oakland with his wife Tamara and two boys Caelin and Leo, ages 7 and 5.

Director
James Lee
Richmond Chamber of Commerce

James sees himself as an artist, a builder, an entrepreneur, and a family man. He has a beautiful wife of 20 years and three wonderful children. James prides himself in being an entrepreneur and builder of dreams. James enjoys the following activities during his time away from work. He loves snowboarding, cycling, playing his guitar, photography and hiking with his wife. In January 2016, James was hired as the president/CEO of the Richmond Chamber of Commerce.

Director
Mara Lockowandt
East Bay Center for Performing Arts

Dr. Mara Lockowandt is the Director of School Partnerships at East Bay Center where she oversees the strategic development of a nationally recognized teacher professional development program, school and community youth programs, and early childhood education programs. She is dedicated to improving outcomes for diverse and marginalized youth including asylum seekers/refugees, low income, trauma-sensitive, and those with varying abilities. Previous to joining East Bay Center, Dr. Lockowandt worked as an educator, researcher and evaluator for youth and arts programs in London, UK. Dr. Lockowandt has an MA from King’s College London and a PhD from Royal Holloway, University of London specializing in diaspora and immigrant theatre traditions.