Our Team

Meet our staff, board, and advisors and explore job opportunities in our organization.

arrow

STAFF
Hind Behayaa
Data Coordinator

Hind Behayaa, M.S., is a Data Coordinator with Challenge Success. She manages all survey data collection and supports the Challenge Success team with communicating with schools about surveys, tracking participation rate, collecting and cleaning data, and mapping data to reporting platforms. Hind completed her Master’s degree in Science majoring in Statistics at The University of Auckland, New Zealand where she later went on to work in various roles in Data Analysis. Hind also has experience as a Teacher’s Aide, where she found joy in helping students succeed, which led to her role at Challenge Success. Hind was born in Iraq, but spent the majority of her life in New Zealand. She now resides in the San Francisco Bay area with her two young boys and husband. In her spare time, Hind enjoys spending quality time with her family, walking and creating Lego sets.

Kimberly Cawkwell
Director of Programs

A first-generation Taiwanese American, mother, educator, and creative, Kimberly Tsai Cawkwell has served over thirteen years in the education ecosystem. As the Director of Programs at Challenge Success, Kimberly is honored to be in community with others to advocate for equitable systems and practices that nurture wellbeing, belonging and engagement for all. In addition to her work at Challenge Success, Kimberly currently serves as an Educational Advisor at the High Tech High (HTH) Graduate School of Education; supporting M.Ed students in developing culturally sustaining/responsive pedagogy in their school spaces. 
Growing up as a multilingual learner in a semi-isolated motel next to a busy New Orleans expressway, living through the duality of American and Taiwanese cultures, and experiencing teaching and learning in variety of settings around the globe, Kimberly has developed a unique lens for culturally responsive environments and an insatiable desire to center student voices in classrooms. Through the opportunities to learn from students in her own classrooms to students from diverse corners of our globe, Kimberly believes deeply in student-driven transformative learning that sparks a common love and joy to seek knowledge. As she continues to support systemic change that lifts up student voices and honors the passions and identities of all students, Kim is grateful for the invaluable knowledge gained from others, holds humility as a practitioner and mentor for Deeper Learning practices, and is continuously inspired by the beautiful humans who are called to serve youth.
Prior to joining CS, Kim was a founder of two High Tech Elementary (HTe) project-based learning schools, a former coach and design specialist at the University of San Diego, New Tech Network, and Center for Love & Justice.. She holds a B.A. from the University of California, Riverside and M.Ed and multiple-subjects credential from the University of California, San Diego. When she’s not designing and facilitating learning, Kim might be found spending quality time with her two daughters, loving spouse, and family in Oceanside, San Gabriel, and Taichung. Her core values are family, joy, and equity.

Caitlin Ciannella
Director of Development & Communications

Caitlin Ciannella, M.A.,  is the Director of Development and Communications for Challenge Success, overseeing the organization’s philanthropic support from donors, foundations, and grantmakers as well as strategic communications for the organization. She brings over a decade of nonprofit experience to the role,  including working with schools and other nonprofits to expand their development, marketing, and communications efforts. She is passionate about supporting  organizations that serve children and families and partnering with philanthropists to drive meaningful change.

margaret
Margaret Dunlap
Senior School Design Partner,
Transformative Coaching & Leadership

Margaret Dunlap, M.A., is the Senior School Design Partner for Challenge Success. With a background spanning over 35 years, she has held multifaceted roles in education leadership, coaching, and program management. She supports schools in transformative reform endeavors, championing the promotion of well-being, engagement, and belonging within educational communities. Margaret resides in the Bay Area with her husband, embracing the empty nest phase with open hearts as their three children have grown and ventured out on their own.

Laura Easley
School Design Partner

Laura Easley, M.Ed., is a School Design Partner. She has worked in Chicago Public Schools, New York City’s public schools, Boston Public Schools, Denver Public Schools, and for Summit Learning and Summit’s Bay Area schools before coming to Challenge Success. She has taught students from PK to graduate level, and worked on curriculum development and assessment practices with state and national standards in 28 districts in 16 states. Her not-so-secret passion is arts integration curricula, but she loves any and all project-based curricula. She believes every student should be able to see their identities reflected in their curriculum and in potential pathways to individual success.

Ryan Fuller
School Data Analyst

Ryan Fuller, M.Ed., is a School Design Analyst for Challenge Success. He started his career as an aerospace design engineer and transitioned into education to help give others the same life opportunities that he had been provided. Over the course of the past twelve years, he has worked at the high school level as both a STEM educator and instructional leader. He studied project-based learning at High Tech High and brought back what he learned to his home state of Louisiana where he built out a science department and PBL program at Rooted School in New Orleans. Most recently, he studied data science at MITx and worked as Director of Data & Results at Living School. He is passionate about helping communities around the world build school systems that better serve their students. In his free time, Ryan enjoys writing, photography, reading, and hiking.

Pamela Kading Webb
School Program Coach

Pamela Kading Webb, M.P.P., has been actively involved with Challenge Success since 2013, launching and implementing the program at Dover-Sherborn Regional Schools (K-12), the first CS Member School on the East Coast. Pam co-chaired the CS Initiative at Dover-Sherborn, served as the Chair of Parent Programs on the Dover-Sherborn CS Team, has worked with numerous other CS schools in a coaching capacity as well as presented parent engagement workshops at our national conferences. She has over three decades of experience working with nonprofit organizations in an executive management or volunteer leadership capacity. Most recently, in her role as a Board Member of Community Action Partners at Harvard Business School, Pam oversees pro bono consulting projects for nonprofit clients in the Greater Boston area. Pam earned a Master’s in Public Policy specializing in Child/Family Policy and Education.

jon kleiman
Jon Kleiman
School & District Partnership Manager

Jon Kleiman, M.A., is the School and District Partnership Manager for Challenge Success. Jon’s chief mission is helping organizations and individuals challenge the status quo. In his role as a School & District Partnership Manager with Challenge Success, Jon’s worked with dozens of schools over the past several years in reimagining how schools might better support the needs and growth of its students. Previously, Jon worked at a university helping students to engage in “vocational wayfinding.” Jon lives in Portland, Maine with his wife and three kids. Jon also hates writing bios.

tricia mcentee
Tricia McEntee
Director of Finance and Operations

Tricia McEntee, B.A., CPA is the Director of Finance and Operations for Challenge Success where she is responsible for overseeing finance, human resources, and internal operations.  Previously, Tricia spent over a decade as the Executive Director and CFO of the Esalen Institute, an iconic center for exploring and realizing human potential. Tricia began her career in public accounting with Ernst and Young, continuing into increasingly more responsible positions as CFO in various for-profit and non-profit organizations. She believes in the power of a holistic approach to human development and well-being to unleash our unlimited capacities of creativity, curiosity, and connection.

sara miles
Sarah Miles
Director of Research

Sarah Miles, M.S.W., Ph.D., is the Director of Research for Challenge Success. She oversees the organization’s Research team, leads research efforts on how schools and classrooms can best support student learning and engagement, and partners with Challenge Success member schools to translate research into practice. She also presents at conferences and writes articles for education-related journals. She has served as a coach with Challenge Success member schools and worked as a teaching and research assistant at Stanford. Prior to receiving her doctoral degree, Sarah taught fifth grade in Oakland, California and worked as a clinical social worker in the Boston area.

Sarah O’Meara Gonzalez
Administrative Associate

Sarah O’Meara Gonzalez is the Administrative Associate for Challenge Success. She provides administrative support to operations, finance and fundraising. Prior to joining Challenge Success, she worked in higher education at the University of Connecticut and Rutgers providing grant management and departmental support. She has a deep passion for education and revisioning how schools measure success to include student well-being.  

Megan Pacheco
Executive Director

Megan Pacheco, M.A., is the Executive Director for Challenge Success. She has more than 20 years of experience helping to transform schools.  She has served in a variety of roles, including teacher, school coach, and organizational leader.  Prior to joining Challenge Success, she was the Chief Learning Officer for New Tech Network, a national network of schools focused on deeper learning. She is passionate about ensuring all students experience a meaningful, equitable, and inclusive learning environment.  Her primary focus has been organizational leadership, school design, project-based learning, continuous improvement, and curriculum and assessment.  Megan has a B.S. in Mathematics and an M.A. in Mathematics Education.

denise pope
Denise Pope
Co-Founder and Strategic Advisor

Denise Pope, Ph.D., is a Senior Lecturer at the Stanford University Graduate School of Education. She is the author of, “Doing School”: How We Are Creating a Generation of Stressed Out, Materialistic, and Miseducated Students (Yale University Press, 2001), which was awarded Notable Book in Education by the American School Board Journal, 2001, and co-author of Overloaded and Underprepared: Strategies for Stronger Schools and Healthy, Successful Kids (Jossey-Bass, 2015). Dr. Pope lectures nationally on parenting techniques and pedagogical strategies to increase student health, engagement with learning, and integrity. She is a three-time recipient of the Stanford University School of Education Outstanding Teacher and Mentor Award and was honored with the 2012 Education Professor of the Year “Educators’ Voice Award” from the Academy of Education Arts and Sciences. Prior to teaching at Stanford, Dr. Pope taught high school English in Fremont, CA and college composition and rhetoric courses at Santa Clara University. She lives in Los Altos, CA with her husband and three children.

Zoë Randall
School Program Coach

Zoë Randall was born in Seoul, South Korea and is an adoptee who grew up in Palm Springs, CA during the 1980s as one of the only interracial families at the time. She is proudly joining the team as a School Program Coach for Challenge Success. She also co-leads a STEAM initiative at San Diego Unified School District to cultivate curious and creative change-makers. Prior to her current roles, she taught middle school Multimedia and elementary Engineering & Design at High Tech High. She has over 16 years of experience in education in the US and abroad; serving in a variety of roles, including Teacher, Mentor, Project-Based Learning Curriculum Designer, Professional Learning Designer, Deeper Learning Facilitator, and Project Director. Zoë is passionate about designing transformative educational programs and initiatives with an emphasis on joyful, loving, and equitable education where all learners can flourish. She is thrilled to take the next step in her work in supporting youth voices and advocacy through well-being, belonging and engagement. Zoë holds her B.A. in Visual Arts, Media & Film from UC San Diego and her M.Ed. in Educational Leadership from the High Tech High Graduate School of Education. In addition to facilitating meaningful learning, she loves to travel and explore wilderness areas with her husband, cuddle and play with her dog, and enjoy a good cheese plate with family and friends.

Drew Schrader
School Design Partner

Drew Schrader, M.Ed., is a School Design Partner. He has worked to help educators across a wide range of contexts redesign their systems around deeper learning for all students with a particular focus on project-based learning and authentic assessment. Prior to working at Challenge Success, he served as the Director of Assessment and a School Development Coach for New Tech Network. He was also a founding teacher at The Academy of Science and Entrepreneurship in Bloomington, IN. Drew’s personal mission is the pursuit of full engagement and meaningful work for all.

eric spaly
Eric Spaly
Director of Strategic Initiatives

Eric Spaly, M.B.A., is the Director of Strategic Initiatives, focused on major projects to support the organization’s growth and impact. For over 20 years Eric has helped leaders at Fortune 500 companies, investment firms and smaller organizations with M&A, operations and strategy. He has previously worked at Bain & Company, JP Morgan & Co, and as a volunteer at several education organizations. 

Spencer Spotts
Marketing Coordinator

Spencer Spotts, B.A., is the Marketing Coordinator for Challenge Success and supports the organization’s content creation, email marketing, social media, and website management. Prior to Challenge Success, they have worked in both marketing and direct service roles for various non-profits focused on youth well-being, crisis advocacy, and health/educational equity. They are also currently a graduate student finishing their M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling to build upon their passion for advancing adolescent and LGBTQIA+ mental health. 

BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Gary Alpert

Gary Alpert, M.B.A., is the Chief Strategy Officer & Head of Business Development at Brightline, the leader in technology-enabled pediatric behavioral health care that is reinventing the way behavioral health is delivered to children, teens, and their families. Gary is a serial entrepreneur who has built, led, and grown client-facing teams at the fastest growing digital health companies. Prior to Brightline, Gary ran the Client Success team at Livongo, a leader in chronic disease management, with responsibility for managing, renewing, and expanding Livongo’s F1000 client base. He also led Customer Success and Solutions Consulting at Castlight Health, a leading health benefits navigation platform. Gary and his wife have raised two daughters in the Bay Area and frequently turn to books and advice by the Challenge Success team for parenting wisdom.

Mike Barker

Mike Barker, M.L.S., is currently the director of institutional research at Harvard-Westlake. In this role he orchestrates the school’s overall research agenda and supports analytic and planning capacity across all administrative functions. Prior to  Harvard-Westlake, Mike worked in a similar capacity at Phillips Academy Andover as the Director of Academy Research, Information, and Library Services.  Prior to Andover, Mike spent nine years working at Harvard University in their library system, finishing his time there as the Director of Financial Planning and Analysis. Mike lives in Southern California with his wife and two children.

Lisa Busby
Chair

Lisa Busby, M.A., is a private consultant as well as the Senior Strategy Advisor for Phillips Brooks School in Menlo Park, where she served previously as the Associate Head of School. This role followed sixteen years at San Francisco Day School, where she was the Director of High School Counseling and Strategic Plan Implementation Coordinator. Lisa has led the development of school programs and strategic initiatives that nurture student health, intrinsic motivation, creativity, and cultural competence. She has counseled 1000+ Bay Area families in their application processes for 6th grade through college, with a focus on balancing their academic and extracurricular goals with social-emotional needs. Lisa is a trustee at Drew School and has served on the boards of California Poets in the Schools and The Lobster Theater Project, the latter as Board President. Lisa lives in San Francisco with her husband and their two teenagers. 

Mark Boswell

Mark Boswell, M.A., currently serves as the founder and CEO of Bewake, a educational consulting firm focused on the nexus of education, equity, and justice. Prior to starting Bewake, Mark worked closely with Joe Feldman (Grading for Equity) and the Crescendo Education Group supporting educational institutions in making systems of grading more equitable. He has served in multiple roles as a school administrator, taught at both the primary and secondary level, and has developed professional development opportunities specifically for educators of color. When Mark’s face is not in a book, you can find him trying to keep up with his partner and three daughters in Atlanta, GA, or trying to solve the world’s problems by baking the perfect biscuit while listening to music from the 70s.

Jenny Fan Raj

Jenny Fan Raj, M.Des., is a writer whose work examines the intersection of marginalized voices and the humanity that connects all of us. Her work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize in fiction and published in the New York Times, The Columbia Journal, and The Laurel Review, among others. Prior to writing, Jenny worked as a design thinking consultant at IDEO, where she focused on blue sky strategy, product development, and ethnographic research. Jenny also serves on the board of Youth Speaks, a Bay-Area based nonprofit that creates spaces for youth to develop and amplify their voices as creators of societal change. In her free time, Jenny enjoys reading, traveling, and perfecting the art of layer cakes. She lives in San Francisco with her husband and two children.

Sofi Frankowski

Sofi Frankowski, M.A., serves as the Chief Learning Officer for Schools That Lead, a hub for networks of K-13 public schools collaborating to address inequities and improve student experiences and outcomes. She has taught elementary, middle school and high school students in Connecticut, Washington DC, Japan, California, and North Carolina. Her leadership has been shaped by a belief in the power of adult collaboration and a commitment to improving outcomes for all students. Sofi is National Board Certified teacher. She lives in Raleigh, NC with her two curious, adventurous middle school kids.

Meeta Gaitonde

Meeta Gaitonde, B.A., was most recently the Director of Admission for Phillips Brooks School in Menlo Park, where she started her career in education as a teacher in 2002. She chaired the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion Committee at Phillips Brooks, which was created to identify strategies to ensure the school is committed to creating and sustaining a diverse, inclusive, equitable, and just community. Meeta also served on the board of the Bay Area Directors of Admission (BADA). Meeta is now a trustee at Phillips Brooks. In her free time, she enjoys reading, sports, Indian classical dance and music, and time with family and friends. She is a Bay Area native and currently lives in Menlo Park with her husband and two children.

Taylor Griffin

Taylor Griffin, B.A., currently serves as Policy Communications Lead at Block, a financial services and mobile payments company in New York City. Prior to this role, she was the Communications Manager for Global Affairs at Spotify, a global audio streaming service, devising strategic policy communications for the company. Prior to joining Spotify, Taylor served as Press Secretary to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, where she assisted in directing strategic communications, message development, and digital strategy for the Speaker and the House Democrats for six years. She is a proud San Francisco Bay Area native and currently resides in Brooklyn, NY.

Annie Hall

Annie Hall, J.D., most recently served on the East Coast Advisory Council for Challenge Success. She is an attorney with a background in corporate governance and has lent her expertise to several community non-profit organizations including the Wellesley Education Foundation and the Wellesley High School Parent Teacher Student Organization. Annie is deeply committed to improving the mental well-being of young people of all ages. She Co-Chaired the Wellesley Public School Superintendent Advisory Committee on Social Emotional Learning and recently stepped down as Co-Chair of The Resilience Project at Newton Wellesley Hospital. The Resilience Project is a community-based initiative designed to promote the mental health and well-being of adolescents. Annie lives in Wellesley, Massachusetts with her husband Ned. They have three grown children and two delightful grandchildren.

Tesha McCord Poe

Tesha McCord Poe, J.D, M.B.A., is an author, TEDx speaker, nonprofit board leader, and the founder and CEO of Joy-Raising, a consultancy that partners with organizations to address their most critical fundraising and diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) needs. Tesha leverages her legal, business, philanthropy, and educational background to create positive change having helped to lead efforts to raise more than $100 million for non-profit organizations. Tesha, an independent school alumna and parent of two independent school alums, has spent more than a decade working as a senior administrator in independent schools in the Bay Area including Castilleja School, Hillbrook School, and most recently serving as Interim Head of School at the Girls’ Middle School in Palo Alto. She is the board chair for the Mariposa Foundation in the Dominican Republic and serves on the boards of EatReal and Prospect Sierra School. She is the coauthor of Beyond Widow: Inspiration from the Trenches.

Naomi Meyers

Naomi Meyers, J.D., is a San Francisco-based lawyer, artist, and parent of three teens and tweens. She cultivated a passion for developing diverse, authentic leaders and a belief in the power of good governance practices during her 28 year career counseling companies about legal and ethical issues related to running large, international businesses. She most recently served as Vice President, Assistant General Counsel, and Assistant Secretary for Autodesk, Inc., a Bay Area software company, and is currently focused on artistic pursuits exploring the human relationship to work and creativity in a society shaped by rapidly changing technology and enduring systems that perpetuate inequality. Naomi has a particular soft spot for teenagers, and through her work with Challenge Success hopes to make a meaningful positive change in the well-being of all young people growing up in today’s high pressure, high stakes culture.

Sharon Olken

Sharon Olken, M.A., was the Executive Director of Gateway Public Schools in San Francisco, where she has worked for 20 years as a teacher, school leader, and school founder. Gateway Public Schools leads two schools, Gateway Middle and Gateway High, as well as Gateway Impact, an initiative that shares Gateway’s best practices and brings educators together to collaborate and learn from one another through conferences, speaker series, and digital publications. Gateway’s schools serve 800 students who represent the rich diversity of San Francisco and help them discover their unique potential, what they love, and the impact they hope to make on their communities. Annually, more than 96% of Gateway’s diverse graduates attend college, more than double the statewide rate. Sharon recently founded Everyday Leadership, a website dedicated to providing models of positive leadership and helping others cultivate their power and voice. She also serves on the California State Board of Education. Sharon loves her work because she sees education and leadership as two essential tools for personal growth and social change. She lives in San Francisco with her wife, Nancy.

Dan Rosenthal

Daniel Rosenthal, M.Ed., MBA, leads strategic sales at  Anthropic, an artificial intelligence safety and research public benefit corporation based in San Francisco. Prior to Anthropic, Dan held leadership roles at Stripe (economic infrastructure), Lattice Engines (machine learning), and AltSchool (ed tech) and co-founded the health startup Exercise.com. He began his business career as a management consultant at Bain & Company. Before attending graduate school, Dan taught high school humanities courses at Shrewsbury School in Shrewsbury, UK and worked as a project manager for a children’s health non-profit in Durban, South Africa. He has an A.B. in History and Literature. Dan lives in the East Bay with his wife and their two sons.

Rachel Skiffer

Rachel Skiffer, J.D., is the Head of Head-Royce School in Oakland. Prior to this, she held roles as the Head of School at Khan Lab School (KLS) in Silicon Valley and the Dean of Policy & Strategic Planning at Phillips Academy in Andover, MA. Rachel also worked in admissions and financial aid at San Francisco University High School, the Latin School of Chicago, and Harvard College. Before discovering her passion for education, Rachel spent time as a management consultant and a commercial real estate attorney. A native of San Francisco, Rachel lives in the Bay Area with her husband and their two young children.

Jeff Symonds

Jeff Symonds, M.A., is the Director of Studies at The Branson School in Ross, CA. In his 32 years there, he has worn just about every community hat, from English and Music teacher to Coach and Dean and Department Chair and even morning bus driver most recently, he has led a redesign of the school’s schedule and graduation requirements, and helped create a two-week immersive program. Jeff is also a musician who has played a gig in 47 of the continental states (apologies to Alabama).

Kelli Tomlinson

Kelli Tomlinson, B.A., focuses her time in the non-profit sector as Director and Co-President of the Tomlinson Family Foundation. She is a board member at Trinity College in Hartford, CT and The Art of Yoga Project. She has served as a trustee at The Girls’ Middle School and Berkeley Repertory Theatre, and a member of the Common Sense Media Bay Area Council and Peninsula Bridge Parent Advisory Board. Kelli and her family are partners at the Silicon Valley Social Venture Fund. Kelli’s primary interests include progressive education, education equality, and theater. She worked as the Assistant Director of the Trinity in San Francisco Program from 1998 to 2001. Kelli resides in Atherton, California, with her husband and their two children.

Sally Whipple

Sally Whipple, B.S., has been involved in youth development through the summer camp experience for over 25 years. She and her husband own and direct Mountain Camp, Mountain Camp-Woodside, and Farm Camp, three traditional camp programs in Northern California that intentionally integrate social-emotional learning into their programs. Sally believes in the power of community and volunteering and has served as president of the Moraga Education Foundation (MEF) and PTA.  In her seven years on the MEF Board of Directors, Sally implemented its first strategic plan, met annual fundraising goals, and doubled the endowment. Sally used to teach science at Stuart Hall School for Boys in San Francisco. She is a registered yoga teacher and enjoys hiking, camping, traveling, and healthy living. Sally lives in Moraga with her husband and two teenage boys.  

STUDENT ADVISORY COUNCIL
Aadit

Denville, NJ

Why are you excited to work with the Challenge Success Student Advisory Committee?
I am excited because Challenge Success is something that is truly interesting. Reducing stress in ways that are manageable for high school students is important.

Alex

Sacramento, CA

Alex is a junior at Christian Brothers High School and a Challenge Success SAC member. He founded Christian Brothers High School’s Quiz Bowl Club, whose teams compete in the Northern California region. Alex is passionate about elevating student voices inside of school communities and is engaged in various volunteer and leadership roles in local music ensembles and nonprofits, such as the Sacramento Youth Symphony.

Bauer

West Hills, CA

Bauer is an incoming junior at Chaminade College Preparatory who wholeheartedly believes in living life to the fullest. Fueled by a deep-rooted passion for creative thinking, entrepreneurial pursuits, and making powerful memories, Bauer founded Cardboard Superheroes (www.cardboardsuperheroes.com)—an organization whose mission is to promote creative thinking. Through his organization he has presented multiple Comic-Con panels, curated museum exhibitions, served as a paid consultant for the Comic-Con Museum, and served as a board member for the Two-Bit Circus Foundation. However, Bauer aims to not only seize opportunities for personal growth but also uplift the mental well-being of fellow students through a school curriculum he developed which is currently implemented in over 200 schools. By encouraging others to pause, reflect, and embrace their unique voices, he hopes to empower a generation to savor life’s extraordinary journey. “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

Brynne

Culver, IN

Originally from the suburbs of Chicago, Brynne is a high school sophomore at the Culver Academies in Culver, Indiana, where she is a Batten Scholar. She is a member of her school’s rowing and swimming teams, as well as a member of the Campus Activities Board and Model UN. Brynne is a board member for Writer’s Without Margins, a nonprofit that aims to bring poetry skills to individuals experiencing hardship and incarceration. A lover of writing, she blogs for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline’s You Matter Blog, and has recently participated in the University of Iowa’s Between the Lines writing intensive. Her pieces have been published in the Boston Globe and Ms. Magazine. In her free time, Brynne enjoys traveling, cooking, hanging out with friends, and watching a good movie.

Diya

Irvine, CA

Diya attends Beckman High School in Irvine, California as a class of 2025 rising junior. Diya is extremely passionate in encouraging young students to find their voice and guide their peers. Diya plays competitive softball, and as a female athlete, she prides herself in empowering women and voicing for equality in men and women’s sports. Diya also takes interest in advocating for youth mental health. Partnering with Challenge Success gives her the opportunity to better the youth of society and address this issue directly. As a student athlete, Diya also understands the difficulty in balancing the rigorous academic schedule as well as athletics, which is why she takes extreme interest in encouraging young student athletes. “You’re not alone”, is the message that Challenge Success has taught Diya, and one that she wishes to impart to the younger generations of society.

Emma

Los Angeles, CA

Emma is a Taiwanese American business major at Loyola Marymount University, Class of 2026. She believes that wellness and mental health are foundations needed for success and encourages others to prioritize well-being with her advocacy. “We focus so much on becoming ‘successful’ that we lose a part of ourselves in the process.” By connecting and sharing the stories of other youth across the United States, she hopes to support the next generation by providing methods to reduce stress such as reconnecting with hobbies and interest.

Jackie

New York City, NY

Jackie is a student at Columbia University passionate about improving the educational experience for herself and her peers. She advocates for more student involvement in shaping educational policies and practices, and believes that balancing academic rigor with other aspects of life is essential for student success. Some of Jackie’s other interests include environmental science research and engineering, writing and sustainable filmmaking, meeting and collaborating with go-getters, rollerblading, and exploring nature with her cat. Don’t hesitate to reach out to her.

Janey

Denville, NJ

Janey is a senior, at the Morris County School of Technology, with a career interest in Secondary Spanish Education. She is passionate about helping students find their voice in the classroom and increasing student engagement levels. Students are at the forefront of creating a whole new world; our job is to give them the best tools to create their own path to success. She was once told, “Change starts with a conversation” and with the help of Challenge Success and the Student Advisory Council change in the academic field is possible. Janey’s other interests include traveling, cooking, and living life to its fullest. 
“Be the change you wish to see in the world” – Mahatma Gandhi

Katie

New York City, NY

Katherine (Katie) attends the Chapin School in New York City, Class of 2025. Katie is passionate about being involved in her school community, where she has a deep-rooted commitment to fostering a safe, engaging space for the discovery of authentic diverse voices, both academically and socially, whether it is serving in her school’s student government since 8th grade, to informally checking in with her peers. Believing that education is an equalizer, she enjoys serving as a Teaching Fellow with the Summer STEPS kindergarten readiness program, building upon her experiences gained from tutoring with Reading Partners. She seeks to look past the dominant voices in history to unearth the quieter, often overlooked voices, illuminating their contributions to humanity. Her passion for history scholarship has led her to intern at New York museums, engage in research projects, and establish her school’s History Club. As a nationally ranked triathlete and varsity athlete, she believes in the benefits of physical activity to maintain her holistic well-being.“Be the change you wish to see in the world” – Mahatma Gandhi

Lila

San Francisco, CA

Lila is a sophomore at San Francisco University High School with dual passions for psychology and writing. She is currently building a nonprofit that strives to destigmatize mental health for AAPI youth, as she believes mental wellness is something to be celebrated, not shunned. At Challenge Success, Lila hopes to help introduce this idea to schools, making them places where mental health and personal growth are valued and discussed. When she’s not advocating for youth mental wellness, you can find Lila writing, playing the NYT Spelling Bee, or listening to Taylor Swift.

Logan

Los Angeles, CA

Logan is a current junior at Palisades Charter High School in Los Angeles and is passionate about all things education, women empowerment, and student well-being. Whether it’s tutoring younger students at a Kumon Math and Reading Center, founding a girl power-themed event series for elementary school girls, or assisting classes at her dance studio, she has always enjoyed mentoring students and being a role model. In addition, she loves learning about business, specifically marketing, and spent a year participating in a women-in-business program with Women Founders’ Foundation before being asked to lead their social media, including content creation and graphic design. At school, she is on the dance team and has been in numerous school musicals, as well as being in the National Honor Society and the California Scholarship Federation. In her free time, she loves reading too many rom-coms at once, trying (and often failing) to make new Pinterest recipes, cheering for the 16-seeds in March Madness, and updating her Spotify playlists way too often.

Mikaela

Northern California

Mikaela is a rising senior at Stanford Online High School and resides in Northern California. She is passionate about business, environmental sustainability, and female empowerment. She is a competitive tennis player and in her free time, she likes to experiment in the kitchen, read non-fiction books, and watch comedy TV shows. A fun fact about her is that she has a twin sister. She loves to play with her two dogs and in the future, she hopes to learn how to surf and scuba dive.

ADVISORY COUNCIL
Alison Abbo

Alison Abbo, M.B.A. has a professional background in finance and over 30 years of volunteer experience focused on education and youth well-being. She is currently a trustee at Woodside Priory School. Alison lives in Woodside with her husband and is the proud mom of three daughters.

Soundhari Balaguru

Dr. Soundhari is a clinical psychologist and Founder of Integrated SEL, a coaching, training, and consulting business that supports educators center social-emotional wellness and belonging, to shift school culture and climate in positive directions. She helps schools integrate Social-Emotional Learning, Restorative Discipline, Culturally Affirming Practices, and Educator Wellness, so that SEL is not a boxed curriculum, but lives dynamically throughout the school-day. Her child-centered approach, paired with a systems perspective, provides educators with practical tools for engagement and implementation. After working in schools for 18+ years, she believes that for students to meet their full potential, schools need to prioritize relationships, validate and affirm their students’ identities, and support students and adults to grow and learn from their mistakes. Dr. Soundhari is working towards a future where schools can promote what is therapeutic, even if it’s not therapy, and all students are valued and affirmed.  

Diana Cornejo-Sanchez

Diana is a first-generation bilingual college student who always knew she wanted to be an educator. She started her educational journey as a high school Humanities teacher with San Diego Unified. After teaching, she joined the University of San Diego’s Jacob’s Institute for Innovation in Education, where she supported large urban school districts in strategic thinking to bring about systemic change to provide students with active learning experiences. Her work here led her to lead change as a school director transforming a charter school to project-based learning. Her passion for supporting teachers all throughout her journey brought her back to High Tech High, where she currently supports HTH’s 16 schools as the Director of General Education & Instructional Leadership and Development.

Christine Fairless

Christine Fairless is a proud Bay Area native, born in San Francisco and raised in the East Bay. She currently resides on the peninsula and is beginning her second year as the Head of School at The Girls’ Middle School in Palo Alto. She is committed to leading the school in its important mission of empowering students in finding their voices while seeking out and valuing the perspectives of others. 
Before joining The Girls’ Middle School, she was the Middle School Director at St. Paul’s School in downtown Oakland. Christine is passionate about creating positive experiences for middle schoolers – especially in math and science as both areas can be gatekeepers for future opportunities. Christine is also dedicated to providing experiences for students to explore their identities, find their passions, and learn how to problem solve across differences.

Kenneth R. Ginsburg

Kenneth R. Ginsburg, M.D. is a pediatrician specializing in Adolescent Medicine at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and is a professor of pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. He is a Director of Health Services at Covenant House Pennsylvania, a shelter for homeless and marginalized youth. He has written extensively promoting teen health and resilience, including the books Reaching Teens: Strength-based, Trauma-sensitive, Resilience-building Communication Strategies Rooted in Positive Youth Development. He has also produced and edited the multimedia professional toolkit, Reaching Teens: Strength-based Communication Strategies to Build Resilience and Support Healthy Adolescent Development. His definitive memorandum for the American Academy of Pediatrics, The Importance of Play in Promoting Healthy Child Development and Maintaining Strong Parent-Child Bonds, formed the basis for his congressional testimony in May 2007.

Aditi Goel

Aditi Goel brings over 20 years of nonprofit and education expertise to the work of solving critical problems around equity and opportunity. The unique multi-sector experience Aditi has from her leadership at Google where she designed + launched CodeNext, leading the education policy and program portfolio at the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, WestEd and as a Teach for America teacher enables her to provide strategic advisory services through P16 Partners for clients across school systems and the nonprofit, private, ed tech and philanthropic sectors.

Rabbi Patricia Karlin-Neumann

Rabbi Patricia Karlin-Neumann came to Stanford University in 1996. She is the first university chaplain from a tradition other than Christianity in Stanford’s history. In 2001, she was appointed Senior Associate Dean for Religious Life. She teaches and lectures widely on Jewish feminism, rabbinical ethics, the relationship between religion and education, and social justice. She was ordained at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in 1982. She has been a Hillel director and Jewish chaplain at UCLA and at the Claremont Colleges, a congregational rabbi in Alameda, California, and a Regional Director for the Union for Reform Judaism, the congregational arm of the Reform Movement. At Stanford, she teaches courses including “Spirituality and Nonviolent Social Transformation” and “Rereading Judaism in Light of Feminism.” She is married and has two children.

Michael Keller

Michael Keller, Ed.D., is the Director of Social and Emotional Support in the Laguna Beach Unified School District. He leads school-based mental health professionals and the health services teams in implementing systems of care TK-12.  He is a licensed educational psychologist and nationally certified school psychologist and earned his doctorate of education in educational leadership and educational psychology. Michael has taught advanced graduate courses on trauma and grief counseling in the schools, positive behavior assessment and interventions, and learning theory at the University of Southern California and CSU Long Beach. He has presented nationally at conferences in school-based mental health and model programs in applied social and emotional learning. He lives in Long Beach with his wife and two children.

Nick Kovacs

Nick Kovacs spent seven years as Head of Upper School and is currently the Deputy Headmaster at Crescent; an all-boys school located in Toronto, Canada. Nick oversees the day-to-day operations of the Lower, Middle and Upper Schools and is responsible for launching and leading strategic initiatives in the areas of academic planning, health and well-being, and community diversity. Previously, Nick worked as a teacher and Vice-Principal at St. Michael’s Choir School (Toronto), taught and held various leadership positions at Neil McNeil High School (Toronto), Mentor College (Mississauga), and Vandyke Upper School (Leighton Buzzard, UK).

Patricia Russell

Patricia Russell is an experienced educator and was the Dean of Studies at Phillips Academy in Andover, MA when she joined the board of directors of the Mastery Transcript Consortium in 2016. She was the founding interim executive director and currently serves as the MTC’s Chief Education Officer.

Rebecca Sacerdoti

Rebecca Sacerdoti, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist who has significant experience working with adults and teens in a variety of settings, including private practice, agency work, and in schools. Her research experience stems from time spent as a Project Director in the Department of Psychiatry at Stanford University. Rebecca currently works in private practice in San Francisco. As a mother of two girls and as a clinician who works with teens, her support of Challenge Success is both personal and professional. Rebecca is acutely aware of the pressures at play for teens and believes Challenge Success is the antidote because it offers schools, public and private, concrete ways to support, buffer and inspire teens. More importantly she believes it holds the potential to radically alter the current trajectory of the teenage experience on a national level.

Brad Sachs

Brad Sachs, Ph.D., is a psychologist, educator, consultant, lecturer, and best-selling author specializing in clinical work with children, adolescents, couples, and families. He is the Founder and Director of The Father Center, a program designed to meet the needs of new, expectant, and experienced fathers. He has published numerous books and articles for both professional and lay readers, including The Good Enough Child: How to Have an Imperfect Family and Be Perfectly Satisfied and Family Centered Treatment with Struggling Young Adults. Brad is also a published poet, composer, and performer. He wrote Hard Tales to Tell, a cycle of sixteen original songs based on stories his patients have told him and a book of poetry, Why Am I Telling You This? And Other Poems From Psychotherapy.

Catherine Steiner-Adair

Catherine Steiner-Adair, Ed.D., is a leading expert specializing in child development, education, and family relationships. She speaks and consults on a wide range of topics, including social and emotional intelligence, health and well-being, leadership education, and nourishing healthy relationships in the digital age and developing a thoughtful approach to technology in school and life. She is a longtime “fan” and colleague of Challenge Success, Denise Pope, and Madeline Levine, as well as a CS Conference keynote presenter.

Pamela Kading Webb

Pamela Kading Webb, M.P.P., has been actively involved with Challenge Success since 2013, launching and implementing the program at Dover-Sherborn Regional Schools (K-12), the first CS Member School on the East Coast. Pam co-chaired the CS Initiative at Dover-Sherborn, served as the Chair of Parent Programs on the Dover-Sherborn CS Team, has worked with numerous other CS schools in a coaching capacity as well as presented parent engagement workshops at our national conferences. She has over three decades of experience working with nonprofit organizations in an executive management or volunteer leadership capacity. Most recently, in her role as a Board Member of Community Action Partners at Harvard Business School, Pam oversees pro bono consulting projects for nonprofit clients in the Greater Boston area. Pam earned a Master’s in Public Policy specializing in Child/Family Policy and Education.

Brandon Wiley

Dr. Brandon Wiley is an accomplished educator who currently serves as the Chief Academic Officer at The Alexander Dawson School, a PreK-8 independent school in Las Vegas. The Alexander Dawson School was the first Challenge Success School in the state of Nevada and began their partnership in 2017. His experience as a classroom teacher, school & district administrator, national nonprofit leader, and international education consultant provides him with a diverse perspective on education-related topics. Before joining Dawson, Brandon spent 10 years working in senior leadership for several education nonprofit organizations leading professional learning efforts as the Executive Director of Asia Society’s International Studies Schools Network, Senior Director of School Development for Sprinpoint, and then Chief Program Officer for PBLWorks (Buck Institute for Education). In each of these roles, Brandon promoted the use of student-centered teaching practices, equitable access to high-quality education and outcomes for all students, and fostering inclusive community processes for change and innovation. In his spare time, Brandon is an avid traveler and has visited nearly 30 countries and counting!

Matt Wulfstat

Matt Wulfstat served as the head of Stratford School for nearly a decade leading the private independent school’s growth from 6 to 18 campuses and 200+ to 800+ faculty and staff.  He currently serves on educational boards including ISG (a subsidiary of International Student Services, ISS has served private schools around the world for over 60 years), KSS (a growing group of immersion language schools in the US) and Brandeis Marin (a K-8 private school in Northern California).  Matt is a former Wexner Heritage Fellow and Young Presidents Organization (YPO) member and has been a speaker at national conferences on educational investment and innovation.  Matt earned an MBA, MA in Education and BA.  He has four children and is a longtime fan of Challenge Success’ work as both a professional and a parent. 

Calla Griffith

Calla Griffith is a committed ambassador for the health and well-being of kids in the local community and beyond. She has over 20 years of fundraising and event planning experience, and significant expertise in making an impact in the non-profit sector through building awareness, developing allies, and raising funds for organizations across the Bay Area, including the Children’s Health Council, Menlo Park City School District, and Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital. She currently lives in Menlo Park, CA.

Leigh Sherwood Matthes

Leigh Sherwood Matthes is a native New Yorker with a 15-year history in marketing and advertising between NYC and Los Angeles. Currently she is an active philanthropist and real estate developer. She serves on the National Advisory Board of the Haas School of Public Service based at Stanford University as well as the Advisory Board of Every Mother Counts, a NYC-based global organization whose mission is equitable maternal health care for all. Leigh also serves on the Slide Ranch Advisory Board whose mission is to connect children to nature to foster future environmental stewards. She is a past Director of Holsted Marketing, a NYC-based direct marketing firm and a past trustee at the UCSF Foundation, the Katherine Delmar Burke School, and the Bay Area Discovery Museum.  She was also a member of the UCSF Cancer Council, the Center for Childhood Creativity, and Convent of the Sacred Heart Advancement committee. Leigh lives in the Bay Area with her husband and two children.

AFFILIATED RESEARCHER
Victor R. Lee

Victor R. Lee is an Associate Professor in the Graduate School of Education at Stanford University and leads the Data Interactions & STEM Teaching and Learning (DISTAL) Lab. Through his research, he asks what future-facing STEM knowledge, tools, and practices are important to know to enable active participation and critical engagement with our increasingly digitally-infused lives. He then uses the tools of educational design research to create examples for how we could get there. Currently, this involves researching and designing learning experiences and resources for data literacy, K-12 data science education, and artificial intelligence literacy. He also has maintained a portfolio of research related to elementary computer science education, maker education, and science cognition. His research is most often done through research-practice partnerships and involves design, implementation, analysis, and continual revision of new learning experiences in actual learning settings (such as schools, districts, or libraries).

Lee completed his undergraduate studies at UC San Diego with emphasis in cognitive science, human computer interaction, and mathematics. He earned his doctorate in Learning Sciences at Northwestern University where he was supported for several years through a fellowship with the NSF-funded Center for Curriculum Materials in Science. Since leaving the midwest and beginning his professional academic career, he has received the National Science Foundation CAREER award, the Jan Hawkins Award, a post-doctoral fellowship from the National Academy of Education and the Spencer Foundation, and various best paper awards. His book, Learning Technologies and the Body (published by Routledge), is the first compendium of current research of embodied technologies for learning. With Abigail Phillips, he published, Reconceptualizing Libraries: Perspectives from the Information and Learning Sciences (2018). In 2021, he co-authored the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine’s consensus report on authentic computing education experiences. Currently, he is contracted for a new book on K-12 data science education. Victor sits on the editorial board of several leading journals, including Journal of the Learning Sciences and Cognition & Instruction. He is a past-president and elected fellow of the International Society of the Learning Sciences.

JOIN THE CHALLENGE SUCCESS TEAM

We’re always looking for talented people to join our team. Explore our open positions or reach out to us directly with your resume and tell us why you’d be a great addition to our team: jobs@challengesuccess.org

NOMINATE

Think you or someone you know might be a good addition to the Challenge Success Board of Directors, Student Advisory Council, or Advisory Council? Complete the form below to share your recommendation.