governance board training

An extension of our Start-Up Bootcamp strand, these sessions are approved by the New Mexico Public Education Department. These offerings focus on a number of topics including assessment, organizational performance, ethics, and finance.

monday, november 18
Tuesday, november 19
monday, november 18

Title: In the beginning, there was HR… 

School/Organization: Colorado League of Charter Schools

Time: 9:05-10:05am

Presenter(s): Trina Maull 

Description: Starting a Charter School is not easy. There are so many things to put together

before your school’s opening and when your students arrive. And so many

“people things” to think about. Where do you start? Who can help? HR! Include

us in the beginning and we can assist and support you in building, growing and

sustaining an amazing Charter school.


Trina Maull is the Director of Human Resources and Talent at the Colorado League of Charter Schools. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration at University of Louisville and her MBA from Indiana Wesleyan University. She has over 20 years in HR and is a Certified Gallup StrengthsFinder Coach.

Title: Assessment and Use of Data in Charter School Governance

School/Organization: R. Pressler Associates; The Diamante Group

Presenter(s): Rick Pressler; Brian Diamante 

Time: 10:10-11:10am

Description: Boards of Trustees are required to make momentous decisions on a monthly basis—about budgets, personnel, programs, and policies. But to what extent are these decisions driven by data? With so many different types of assessments and so much operational data generated by schools, trustees may feel virtually bombarded by information. This session will de-mystify how different types of assessment and operational data can inform school board decisions and help trustees become better consumers of information. Participants will leave with insights about best practices that cultivate a positive data culture, as well as a coherent framework for considering what information is most useful in a given situation.


Rick Pressler is the Director of School Services for R. Pressler Associates, an educational

consulting firm specializing in program implementation, governance, and strategic planning at

independent charter schools. Rick has a Master of Public Affairs and Politics from Rutgers University and a B.A. in Music from Haverford College.


Brian Diamante is an expert in charter school data and educational data systems. He is the President & CEO of The Diamante Group, an education data analytics consulting firm, and the current Director of Data Systems and Senior State Budget Analyst at the New Jersey Charter Schools Association where he helps support the charter school sector in New Jersey.

Title: So, You’ve Outgrown Your Charter School Facility – Now What?

School/Organization: Haskell; New Dimensions High School; Tiger Academy Charter School; Reinvestment Fund; Lehigh Valley Charter High School for the Arts

Moderator: Charlie Rocheleau

Presenter(s): Molly Melloh; Susan Golden; Tina Cafiero; Diane LaBelle 

Time: 11:15am-12:15pm

Description: You find yourself outgrowing your facilities and are unable to efficiently support your students and faculty. You might be asking the question “Now What?”This discussion focuses on the real experiences of charter schools and their journey. They will share how they developed new facilities, found funding, and engaged a design and construction company to complete the project. Attendees will learn how to plan for facility growth, find a facility that works, obtain project financing and deliver a facility before the start of the school year.


Charlie Rocheleau is Education Division Leader at Haskell. His work has been dedicated to the education and municipal industry delivering a variety of design- build projects. He is an experienced hands-on executive with full authorization to commit company resources. He has extensive knowledge in construction means and methods to make sound decisions and ensure project success.

Susan Golden is the Executive Director of Tiger Academy Charter School in the northwest section of Jacksonville, Florida, the most impoverished area in the city. Before Susan began work on Tiger, she served for 34 years in the traditional public schools in Jacksonville as a teacher and principal. Susan was recruited to the YMCA in 2008 to design, build and open Tiger Academy. Tiger has just completed their 10th year in operation and in that time has made great strides in providing children in poverty with a quality education in a premier facility with wraparound services for all.

Dr. Tina Cafiero is Director of Instruction for New Dimensions High School in Kissimmee, FL and has been in the education field since 1989. She has served as a classroom teacher, a career counselor, Dean of Students, and the Director of The Center for Electronics Excellence, a State of Florida Designated Model Career Academy. In 1998 she co-founded New Dimensions High School, Osceola County’s first charter school. Dr. Cafiero has also presented at numerous conferences in Florida and other states, such topics as charter school development, financial planning and management, career education, and literacy leadership.

Molly Melloh manages the underwriting and originating of loans financing charter school facilities as Senior Director of K-12 Education at the Reinvestment Fund. She works with early stage, growing, and established schools to structure and deliver flexible financing that supports their needs. During her eleven-year tenure at Reinvestment Fund, Molly has presented on charter facilities finance at various charter forums and Conferences.

Diane LaBelle is the Executive Director & CEO of the Lehigh Valley Charter High School for the Arts (Charter Arts) and has been working in the education and community arts field for over 20 years. Now in its seventeenth year of operation, Charter Arts, located in Bethlehem, PA, has completed four years in a new 90,000 sq.ft facility in the heart of Bethlehem's Southside Arts District. Charter Arts has achieved regional and national acclaim for its education model and student success, leading to it being named a 2018 National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence by the U.S. Department of Education.

Title: Put Down the Fire Extinguisher! Tools for Mission-Centered Improvement Planning

School/Organization: Colorado Charter School Institute

Time: 2:30-3:30pm

Presenter(s): Jessica Welch 

Description: On any given day, charter school leaders rotate between principal, teacher, disciplinarian, HR manager, custodian...the list goes on. As a result, improvement planning is often subsumed in the day-to-day crisis management. In this session, participants will learn about concrete tools and structures to help shift away from crisis management and towards integrated, deliberate improvement planning.

Jessica Welch is the Assessment and Improvement Planning Specialist at the Colorado Charter School Institute (CSI). Jessica holds an undergraduate degree in Spanish Literature from the University of New Mexico and a master’s degree in Mind, Brain, and Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Title: Building a Strong Board in Start-Up 

School/Organization: Education Board Partners

Time: 3:35-4:35pm

Presenter(s): Debbie Lister

Description: Building a strong and diverse board from day one is essential to ensuring the long-term success of a charter school. But how do you focus on the essentials of good governance while also juggling the endless to-do list every charter starter has to manage? Education Board Partners has worked with start-up boards across the country on this challenge. Through this session, we will share the five essential steps to building a strong board during start-up, and share tools and templates that charter starters can take back and use with their teams. 


Debbie Lister, Chief Transformation Officer at Education Board Partners, coaches, trains and consults with boards across the country concentrating on good governance, equity and quality schools. She earned a bachelor’s in political science from the University of Florida, a master’s from American University and served on a public charter school board in DC.

tuesday, november 19

Title: Top Five Financial Mistakes Charter Schools Make and How to Avoid Them

School/Organization: Charter School Capital

Time: 9:35-10:30am

Presenter(s): Tricia Blum 

Description: Whether your school is growing student enrollment, expanding facilities, or implementing new educational programs, we can all agree that financial wellness is one of the most important aspects of running a successful charter organization. In this lively panel presentation, we’ll cover the five most common financial and operational mistakes that charter schools make and give you actionable tips on how to avoid them. Get armed with the right knowledge, techniques, and materials to ensure financial success and learn how to avoid the pitfalls that may cause trouble.


Tricia Blum, formerly an interim turnaround CEO of a charter organization located in Los Angeles, California, is thrilled to be working with Charter School Capital as the head of the charter school business department. Tricia supports client schools that need strategic business, financial, and operational guidance.

Title: Are you Governing for Growth? 

School/Organization: BoardOnTrack

Time: 10:35-11:30am

Presenter(s): Mike Mizzoni 

Description: Here’s the thing that not everyone has figured out yet: governance capabilities must evolve at the same pace as the capabilities of the rest of the organization. Alongside the CEO’s growth mindset, the board should be governing for growth. But what does that look like? And how do you make it happen? Attend this inspiring, interactive discussion to learn exactly what a board needs to focus on as it grows from planning, to launch, to sustainability. In addition, boards will learn the secret to setting goals to keep this focus front and center.


Mike Mizzoni joins the BoardOnTrack team with professional experience in higher education, board governance, law, and state and local politics. Mike currently lives in Littleton, Massachusetts and is a proud graduate of both the University of Massachusetts Lowell and New England Law Boston.

Title: Charter School Grants: How to Save Time and Write a Better Grant 

School/Organization: Grants Mentor 

Time: 11:35AM-12:30pm

Presenter(s): Peggy Downs

Description: Change the way you think about grants! From identifying a shared vision to learning how to partner with donors to make a difference and figuring out how to see your grant proposal from the funder's perspective, this session provides the answers you need to write a successful grant proposal. Led by a grant writer and former charter school director, you'll learn how to craft your message to meet funders' needs, and then develop your program, find your grant donor, and write a proposal that works.


Peggy Downs is on a mission to help 100 charter school leaders write successful grants in the next 5 years. She holds a master’s degree in Educational Leadership and a Colorado Principal License and has served as a director, teacher and board member in charter schools.

Title: Charter School Finance 101

School/Organization: Avolon Accounting & Charter CFO Service 

Time: 2:05 -3:05pm

Presenter(s): Candy Yu; Andrew Lewis 

Description: Approximately 80% of all charter school closures are due to poor financial oversight by staff and board. This statistic is unacceptable and avoidable. But leaders in charter schools must put into place the correct processes from day one. While academics are the very visible side of a charter school’s success, the financial operations of a charter school are just as important but far less visible to the public. This presentation helps charter leaders design and implement accounting and internal control systems, monitor financial reports, prepare for audits and create annual budgets.


Candy Yu is a highly regarded charter financial expert who leads Avolon Accounting & Charter CFO Service in providing high quality charter school financial management from back office support to CFO strategic planning in GA. Candy and her firm have a long successful track record in turning around high-risk charter schools and establishing best practice Charter school financial management system.


Andrew Lewis currently works with various charter schools and charter support organizations across the nation as an independent consultant. He worked for the Georgia Charter Schools Association for over 12 years as EVP over advocacy and policy.

Title: Dashboards: An Essential Part of Your School’s Data Stewardship Toolkit

School/Organization: Lumen Network

Time: 3:10-4:00pm

Presenter(s): Sabrina Bow

Description: From multi-year strategic planning to quarterly goal setting, accurate and timely data is needed to make sound data-informed decisions. In this session, we will discuss the concept of data stewardship and how school leaders and board members can use dashboards to monitor key aspects of their school’s organizational health. Participants will identify data stewards in their schools, articulate SMART goals, and leave with ideas and resources to create their own dashboards.

Dr. Sabrina Bow is the founding executive director of Lumen Network, a non-profit organization supporting charter schools by promoting best practices in data-informed operations. Dr. Bow is a veteran educational leader specializing in the intersection of academics and operations as a site administrator and consultant for over 15 years. She holds an MBA from USC's Marshall

School of Business and a doctorate in education from UCLA.

#icss19 #indiecharters