MEET OUR BOARD MEMBERS
Jennifer Peck, Chair
Jennifer’s leadership has enabled PCY to be an influential policy-development and advocacy organization that has improved the reach and effectiveness of public funding for youth programs in California and across the country.
Jennifer led the creation of the California Afterschool Advocacy Alliance, the California Legislative Task Force on Summer Enrichment, California’s Summer Matters Campaign, and the California Community Schools Network.
Prior to joining PCY, Jennifer spent eight years as an appointee of President Bill Clinton at the U.S. Department of Education, where she supported implementation of numerous initiatives including student loan reform, School-to-Work, and 21st Century Community Learning Centers. Jennifer has a B.A. in Sociology and Women’s Studies from Colgate University and she is the mother of Emilia, a rising 7th grader who is enormously patient with her mother’s work schedule.
Benito Delgado-Olson, Vice Chair
Benito graduated with a double major from the University of California, Berkeley in 2007. During his senior year, he founded the student group that would eventually evolve into present day K to College. From its starting point, Benito has recruited a professional board of directors, designed, developed and implemented the proven K to College business model, secured both public and private partnerships at the state and local level and fundraised several million dollars for program operations. As the Executive Director, Benito is responsible for implementing K to College’s strategic plan in a cost-effective and time-efficient manner.
He is also responsible for the day-to-day operation of the organization, serves as the chief public information officer and works in collaboration with the board to shape the future goals of the organization. Since its founding, Benito has received several awards on behalf of K to College. Most recently he was recognized as a Hometown Hero by Comcast and the Bay Area News Group and honored as a recipient of the New Leaders Council ‘40 Under 40 Awards’ for his entrepreneurship in the nonprofit sector.
Nancy Kirshner-Rodriguez, Secretary/Treasurer
From 2014-2017, Nancy successfully transformed the California Commission on the Status of Women and Girls. With stabilized funding and innovative initiatives, like the California Pay Equity Task Force and an expanded STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) portfolio, including Million Women Mentors-CA and Engaging Girls in STEM, Nancy developed strategic partnerships and focused with deliberate purpose to change the lives of California’s women and girls.
Nancy led the Office of Government Affairs for the City and County of San Francisco for Governor-Elect Gavin Newsom when he was Mayor. She represented San Francisco on the Association of Bay Area Governments. In the private sector, overseeing the Consulting Division of an energy efficiency company, she focused on US Department of Energy and utility contracts, policy innovation and new business development.
During the Clinton Administration, she served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Intergovernmental Relations at the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and before that held a similar position at the US Department of Labor.
Nancy has advocated for Americans for Gun Safety and spent close to a decade as an official with the National Democratic Party. She served as Chief of Staff to the Vice Chair of the Democratic National Committee and also served as a senior member of Barbara Boxer’s first US Senate campaign in 1992.
Kirshner-Rodriguez was President of the San Francisco Commission on the Status of Women where she worked to create the internationally recognized Cities for CEDAW Campaign and championed local initiatives to reduce domestic violence and human trafficking. She recently completed eight years as the Board Treasurer of Emerge America. She currently serves on the National Leadership Council of Futures without Violence, on the Board of Californians Dedicated to Education Foundation, and on the Board of the National Council of Jewish Women in San Francisco.
Nancy graduated from Mount Holyoke College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science. She received the Alumnae Medal of Honor for her years of service to the college. She resides in San Rafael, CA with her husband Sam, and daughter Kira.
David Rattray, Board Member
David Rattray officially joined the Chamber in 2003 after being a strategic partner for several years. Since 1998, he has led UNITE-LA in building business and educational partnerships toward a goal of improving the academic achievement and enthusiasm for learning for all Los Angeles students.
Previously David spent more than 20 years in the food service distribution industry. He serves on the L.A. City Workforce Investment Board and Youth Council and is vice chair of the State Workforce Investment Board’s Lifelong Learning Committee. David earned his M.B.A. from the University of Southern California. When David really wants to shine, he plays his tuba.
Ken Maxey, Board Member
Susan Salcido, Board Member
In June 2018, the Santa Barbara County voters elected Susan Salcido the Santa Barbara County Superintendent of Schools, succeeding longtime Superintendent Bill Cirone upon his retirement.
Susan has served in several roles at the County Education Office since 2006 as director of Secondary Support. Following that assignment, she was appointed assistant superintendent of Instructional Services, after which she was named deputy superintendent.
As a former principal and high school English teacher, Susan has spent her career as an educator dedicated to supporting student success, while also actively promoting educational and administrative professional learning.
Susan received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from UCSB, and is currently pursuing her Doctor of Education (EdD) in Organizational Change and Leadership at the University of Southern California. In March 2016 she was appointed to the California Practitioners Advisory Group by the California Department of Education. She is also chapter board member of the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA), and was recognized by the ACSA region as Administrator of the Year in 2017.
Gerald Solomon, Board Member
Prior to this position, Gerald served as President & CEO of Public Health Foundation Enterprises (PHFE) for seven (7) years
where he transformed the organization from an LA-centric provider of funding and services into national prominence.
Gerald offers a diverse executive leadership background, having served as President and CEO of several highly successful and nationally recognized nonprofit as well as for-profit organizations, including a distinguished 18 year career as a civil trial attorney and Judge Pro Tem.
Paul Granillo, Board Member
He restructured the organization with a vision for bettering the quality of life and business climate of Riverside and San Bernardino counties.
Paul currently serves as Past-Chair of Mobility 21, a coalition that pursues regional solutions to transportation challenges. He also serves as Past-Chair of the California Stewardship Network; and is a sitting member of the Regional Economic Alliance Leaders of California.
Additionally, Paul serves on the Southern California Association of Governments Global Land Use and Economics Committee and sits on the Board of Directors for The Community Foundation serving Riverside and San Bernardino counties, and Cal State San Bernardino’s Foundation Board. He also serves as Past-Chair of the California Economic Summit and a Board Member of Californians Dedicated to Education. Paul currently serves as Board Member of the Campaign for College Opportunity and a Member of KVCR Educational Foundation.
Paul received his Bachelors of Arts from California State University San Bernardino, his Master of Divinity from St. John’s Seminary in Camarillo and holds a Licentiate in Canon Law from the Catholic University of America in Washington D.C. Paul is married to Dr. Christina Granillo, Ph.D.; they are the proud parents of Monica Marie.
Janet Auer, Board Member
Auer has 30 years of experience working in various facets of Chevron. Previously, Auer worked as a legislative/communications specialist in government affairs. Prior to that, she served as a business analyst with Chevron Information Technology Company where she supported the company’s human resource system by acting as liaison between the business needs and technical needs of the company.
Auer is focused on education because she believes that students across all geographic areas should have access to programs that enhance rigorous project-based learning to prepare them for college and career.
Auer was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, and still lives in the region.
Curtiss Sarikey, Board Member
Curtiss Sarikey is currently Chief of Staff with the Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) and brings over thirty years of experience in social work and education. He was most recently at the Stuart Foundation from 2016-17 as Senior Director where he led work for the Foundation on educator leadership, labor management collaboration, and state level policy on continuous improvement and capacity building. He was also the Deputy Chief of Community Schools and Student Services in OUSD from 2011 to 2016. In 2016 Curtiss was awarded the Community Schools Initiative Leadership Award from the National Coalition for Community Schools. He was adjunct faculty for University of San Francisco School Counseling Program where he taught courses in family engagement and school improvement.
He spent 10 years with San Francisco Unified School District as a school social work and supervisor, 5 years as Executive Director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of the East Bay, Inc., and 5 years with the US Navy as head of Oakland Naval Medical Center’s Family Advocacy Program. He is currently a member of the Steering Committee for the National Coalition for Community Schools, California State Social Emotional Learning Workgroup, and UCLA/Mental Health Services Oversight & Accountability Commission, and a board member with Peter Senge’s Systems Leadership Institute, Californians Dedicated to Education Foundation, and Region A Board Director of the California NASW. He has consulted with cities and school districts across the country in areas of collective impact, community schools and social emotional learning. Curtiss received a BA from the State University of New York at Geneseo and a Masters of Social Welfare from the University of California at Berkeley. He is also a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) and has education pupil services and administrative credentials from San Francisco State University and Sonoma State University.
Socorro Shiels, Board Member
Ms. Shiels proudly serves as the Superintendent of the Sonoma Valley Unified School District (SVUSD). SVUSD serves the city of Sonoma and the unincorporated Valley area between Glen Ellen and the Napa County border. She works alongside the proud and hardworking staff over 600 employees who educate and nurture nearly 4000 students across five elementary schools, two middle schools, and both a comprehensive and continuation high school. The school district is excited to be moving forward several key bond projects, including improvements to classrooms, greater technology, and pool and athletic fields. The first year of her tenure, new board members and staff met to update the district mission, vision and core beliefs. This work, once through the final vetting and after final board approval, will serve as the North Star for decisions in the district regarding student success. District work will begin to focus on using data to problem-solve together, having the best instruction in every classroom and strengthening the system to meet every student where they are.
Previously, Ms. Shiels served a statewide organization as the Director of Education for the California Collaborative for Educational Excellence (CCEE), where she worked closely with districts. As a Sonoma County resident, she traveled the state to support and champion districts seeking to improve outcomes for those historically underserved. Post-fire, it was clear it was time to reinvest personal effort and attention to the local community she values so much. She feels privileged to be able to serve students and families of the Valley.
She has over 20 years of public education experience at the administrative and classroom level. She also had the opportunity to serve as the Superintendent of Santa Rosa City School (SRCS) District for four years. Her proudest career highlights include empowering district culture shift to restorative justice for the entire school community and intentionally creating inclusive community and organizational cultures.
As a Santa Rosa resident for nearly a decade, she has been a strong supporter and partner of a community working together. She believes that public-private partnerships across the county to ensure community health, economic vitality, and educational attainment at all organizational levels. She is a proud member of the Valley community and looks forward to working together on behalf of each and every student. The future of the Valley is in SVUSD classrooms right now.
MEET OUR STAFF
Jessica Howard, CEO
Previously serving as Director of STEAM Initiatives, Jessica stepped into the role of CEO in July 2019. She joined CDE Foundation as an Education Pioneers fellow in 2014 and has been instrumental in the organization’s growth and partnership development ever since.
Under Jessica’s leadership, the CA STEAM Symposium has grown into a premier event attended by STEAM educators from across our state and across the country. Her work has increased the quality and accessibility of STEAM professional learning opportunities for educators, helped build and communicate support for more equitable standards implementation, and brought private and public funders together to better resource California’s teachers, students, and schools.
Prior to joining CDE Foundation, Jessica worked in higher education as an undergraduate admissions officer at the University of Southern California and as a Congressional district staff member. She holds a M.S.Ed. in Education Policy from the University of Pennsylvania and a B.A. in Art History from Williams College. Based in Los Angeles, Jessica also volunteers with several non-profits in the Southern California region to support equity in expanded student services, arts and STEM education, and college access. Teachers are her heroes
Who was your favorite teacher and why? My favorite teacher was Ms. Martha Wheelock. Her AP English Literature class was one of the hardest I have ever taken. I dreaded the pop-quiz essays, though my writing vastly improved as a result. However, Ms. Wheelock didn’t just demand excellence from us: she infused our class with passion for life and social justice, for seeing connections between subjects and perspectives that were seemingly unrelated or even at odds, for challenging our assumptions while deeply respecting our humanity as learners and thinkers. One of our projects, a transcendentalist-inspired initiative called “Emersonian Gifts,” tasked each of us with channeling a special passion or talent into a gift for a fellow, randomly-assigned classmate. Students received solo dance performances, hand-made pottery, serenades, a tour of the library, and more. The point was to share our unique gifts with one another, generously celebrating individual strengths as a way to build community.
What is your superpower? My love of language, lead to my super power in crossword puzzling.
On the weekend you can usually find me… hiking Fryman or Temescal Canyon, volunteering with local mentoring organizations, browsing bookstores, or hunting for the best gelato.
Wendy Dougherty, COO
Wendy is a Teach For America alumna and began her career as a bilingual elementary teacher in Compton. She later pursued international development and worked for theWorld Bank and with USAID, Ministries of Education and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Africa, Asia and Latin America on projects to improve the quality of teaching and learning and promote gender equity.
Wendy has significant consulting experience from her work at KPMG providing strategic advice on grant making effectiveness and measuring social impact for international funders, private foundations, and public charities. At West Ed, she provided consulting services to state-level education agencies and associations in the area of standards, assessment and accountability.She most recently was engaged on The Big Lift collective impact initiative with Daly City Partnership and Jefferson Elementary School District, one of seven districts participating in the San Mateo County collective impact initiative aimed at improving PreK-3rd grade literacy, focused on high-quality preschool, reducing chronic absence, providing summer learning, and engaging families to support learning in school and at home.
Wendy lives in San Carlos with her husband and daughter. Wendy has served as a PTA Board Member and is a member of the American Evaluation Association. Wendy received her Master of International Affairs from UCSD’s School of Global Policy and Strategy, and her B.A. from Duke University.
Who was your favorite teacher and why?
My favorite teacher was my Spanish teacher in high school. Mr. Martinez was strict but also funny and thanks to him I learned all the irregular conjugations and to speak Spanish. He inspired my lifelong love of Spanish and Latin American culture. My super power is learning languages and speaking fluent Spanish and a little Portuguese and French that I also studied. On the weekend you can usually find me at the yoga studio, swimming, riding bikes with my husband and daughter, and spending time with friends.
Ed Honowitz, Senior Director, California Labor Management Initiative
Ed’s work in the California State Senate focused on K-12 education policy, school-based health, community schools partnership strategies and cross agency collaboration. Ed was a school board member in the Pasadena Unified School District for 12 years. He was elected twice as a member of the California School Boards Association delegate assembly and served on the School Boards Association legislative and conference committees.
Ed has presented at both the California and National School Boards Association annual conferences on community engagement, arts education and community school collaboration and at the California League of Cities annual conference. Ed is currently a board member of the California Alliance for Arts Education and is a member of the Public Engagement Panel of Advisors for the Institute for Local Government. Ed and his wife live in Pasadena. Their three children are products of Pasadena public schools and the University of California System. Go Bears and Gauchos!
My favorite teacher was Ned Sutro – An amazingly creative history social science teacher who would do things such as coming to class as Abraham Lincoln (in full costume) to do a lesson on the civil war. We built a full size gazebo that sat in the middle of the class. He did period cooking classes feeding us food from various historical periods. And he focused the class on the most rigorous writing exercises of my high school career having us write based on original source materials from various thought leaders throughout American history. My super power is networking and making connections. On the weekend you can usually find me in the garden, working on our house or going on a hike!
Gustavo Morales, LMI Program Manager
Gustavo joined the CDE Foundation in September 2019. Prior to working at CDEF, Gustavo supported the development of community schools in Los Angeles. Gustavo brings 13 years of experience working with youth development, family engagement, community organizing, and public policy. He is a member of the national Community Schools Leadership Network and is a distinguished fellow with Skilling America.
My favorite teacher was my political science teacher in college Dr. Bergstrom, who challenged me to learn differently. He encouraged me to think through solutions myself and determine my own steps. My superpower is vacation planner. I am the first to volunteer in planning a new trip. On the weekends you can find me trying a slice of cake (or two) at a bakery in Los Angeles.
Jessica Seybert, Events Coordinator
She comes from a food service background and her most recent stint was as Catering Manager at a private middle and high school. Jessi was raised in Redwood City and is a graduate of Redwood City schools. She is excited to use her skills in event management to transition into non-profit work.
My favorite teacher was my high school Latin teacher, who instilled in me a great joy of knowledge and learning far beyond the walls of our classroom. My superpower is gift-giving and almost every weekend, you can find me building sandcastles with my daughter at our favorite beach.
Glennon Stratton, STEAM Program Director
Prior to joining CDEF, Glennon led strategic initiatives at Portland Public Schools that included launching 6 new MakerSpaces, engaging 7th-grade students with Career and Technical Education experiences, and creating a trauma-informed continuum of care to support students facing substance use and mental health challenges. At the Colorado Charter School Institute, he led programming for students experiencing homelessness, at-promise youth, and emergent bilingual students. During his Education Pioneers Fellowship at the Los Angeles Unified School District, he supported the implementation of the district’s new professional development and evaluation system. Before working for K-12 agencies, Glennon led dynamic programming for at-promise youth and people with disabilities at the nonprofit U.S. Sailing Center.
Based in Long Beach, Glennon actively volunteers at local nonprofits in the region. He also enjoys sailing, snowboarding, surfing, cycling, photography, and movies. He earned his M.B.A. and B.A. in Communication from the University of Southern California.
My favorite teacher was my photo-journalism professor, Mr. Rick Meyer. I greatly enjoyed his courses because he provided us with practical industry experience and always gave detailed feedback to help students improve their craft. My super power is making fresh popcorn, and on the weekends you can find me outdoors. I enjoy spending time sailing and surfing on the ocean and snowboarding in the mountains.
Karyn Warner, STEAM Program Manager
Prior to working at CDEF, Karyn worked in the Redwood City School District and is co-founder of the Bright Futures: Equitable Access to Learning in the Digital Age Conference which brings together Bay Area educators, researchers and ed tech developers to share best practices. Karyn brings her combined experiences as a former elementary classroom teacher and staff development coach to the STEAM Program Manager position. She co-taught the first coding club in her former district and recently presented Breathing Through Frustration: Teaching Coding to Kids. As a guest presenter at the TELOS at Stanford Equity in Education Conference, Karyn shared her experiences amplifying student voice in the K-8 classroom. She is passionate about supporting student centered learning opportunities for ALL students with a specific focus on making their learning visible and relevant to their daily lives. As the STEAM Program Manager, she supports our ongoing STEAM initiatives as well as the annual STEAM Symposium and CA4NGSS coalition activities.
Karyn has a background in Journalism and for many years worked in the technology industry as a technical writer and trainer. She especially enjoys digital storytelling to communicate big ideas in an engaging, personal way. Volunteering in community programs like City Trees and the Redwood City Parks and Rec Department is both a joy and a way for her to connect more closely with her neighbors. Karyn is based in Redwood City and enjoys sharing time with her family and friends at the beach kayaking, paddle boarding, scuba diving and exploring new places while riding on her orange eBike nicknamed Poppy. Although Karyn has three sons, she counts her Maine Coon cat, Waldo, as her child as well.
My favorite teacher was my high school ELA teacher, Mrs. Sharples, who taught me to take action whenever I saw injustice. Don’t wait for somebody else to do what must be done. YOU can do it! My super power is never postponing joy! On the weekend you can usually find me riding my eBike on coastal trails hoping to get lost enough that I find new places to explore.
California Education Policy Fund
California State University
Council of Chief State School Officers
David & Lucile Packard Foundation
Dirk & Charlene Kabcenell Foundation
First 5 California
S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation