New Los Angeles Elementary Charter School

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Board of Directors

The New LA Board of Directors are volunteers who govern the school. The board meets monthly throughout the school year. Meetings are held at the school and are open to the public.
Allison Arkin, Board Chair
Allison Arkin is an experienced Los Angeles litigator and special education attorney who focuses her practice exclusively on special education law. Ms. Arkin has extensive experience working with parents of special needs children with a wide range of disabilities, helping them obtain appropriate services from both school districts and regional centers. She received her J.D. from Fordham Law School, and attended Wesleyan University for her undergraduate work. As a mother of two, Ms. Arkin is passionate about every child's right to receive an appropriate education, and she works tirelessly to ensure that each child receives the best possible services.
Steve Barrett
Steve Barrett is the Director of Outreach at Wildwood School in West LA where he heads the Wildwood Outreach Center-- an internationally recognized teacher professional development provider. With over 25 years in education, Steve has worn many hats: as a public high school teacher in Illinois, and as a teacher, dean, and program director at independent schools in Southern California. Steve holds a B.A. in the Teaching of History from the University of Illinois at Chicago and an M.Ed. in curriculum development from DePaul University.
Deb Christenson
Deb Christenson teaches history to juniors and seniors at Wildwood School. Committed to learner-centered classrooms and project-based learning, Deb started teaching in small, rural classrooms and has taught humanities in both public and independent schools for over forty years. She has been involved in creating two start-up secondary schools, Wildwood Secondary and Souhegan High School in New Hampshire. Both those experiences were part of the Essential Schools movement, which is important to her educational philosophy – that teachers are coaches in the learning process and students are workers, in charge of their own learning. Deb holds a BS degree in English from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Two grown daughters and a grandson join Deb’s students and colleagues in teaching her new lessons every day.
Kevin Doyle
Kevin Doyle has worked in mortgage related finance for over 20 years starting in New York with PaineWebber prior to moving to Los Angeles in 2000.  While in Los Angeles Kevin held a senior role at Countywide Securities Corp and subsequently launched and sold his own finance company, 12th Street Capital.  Kevin is currently a Managing Director at Incenter Securities Group.  Kevin has been on the Board of Directors for the Santa Monica Boys and Girls Club for over ten years and currently serves on the Resource Development Committee.  Kevin also serves on the Finance Committee for Carlthorp School and independent school in Santa Monica where two of his three children attend.  Kevin Graduated from the College of the Holy Cross in 1993 with a BA in Economics, and from Fordham University in 2001 with an MBA in Finance.
Tim Kusserow
Tim Kusserow is the Head of School at Carlthorp School in Santa Monica and is one of only three to hold the position in the school’s seventy-seven year history. His educational leadership in Los Angeles spans both the public and independent school systems. Tim began his career as a teacher in the inner city of Los Angeles and became a LAUSD school administrator prior to arriving at Carlthorp in 2008. He has served as Dean of Faculty, Principal, and most recently Associate Head of School at Carlthorp where his vision, leadership, and connection with the community has been instrumental in fostering new academic initiatives. Tim is a native of Santa Monica and a graduate of the University of Notre Dame.  He also holds a Masters Degree in Public Policy from the University of California Berkeley. Tim is a member of the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) organization, a graduate of the NAIS Fellowship for Aspiring School Heads (2014), and serves on the Board of the Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce. In his spare time Tim enjoys reading, exercising, and going to the beach with his family.
Jonathan J. López
Jonathan J. López, Managing Director of Impact with City Year Los Angeles, is responsible for overseeing the execution of City Year’s work in 31 Los Angeles schools serving more than 10,000+ students. This includes setting a vision for the site’s work and leading a team of 40 professionals to execute on the evaluation, service quality, and learning and development needs for the site's 270 AmeriCorps Members. He is also responsible for building strategic partnerships with our district partners and the communities in which City Year Los Angeles serves, while ensuring a meaningful service experience for all CYLA AmeriCorps Members.

Prior to working at City Year, Jonathan was an Assistant Principal at Camino Nuevo Charter Academy's Harvard Campus. Camino Nuevo Harvard was a K-8 public school serving families from the McArthur Park/Pico Union neighborhoods. Jonathan worked as a school teacher, parent coordinator, and assistant principal while at Camino Nuevo. He started his teaching career as an AmeriCorps member with Teach For America at John Adams Middle School in Los Angeles after graduating from the College of the Holy Cross with a B.A. in political science and Spanish. His experience as an educator, and the theoretical grounding gained from his Master’s Degree in Education at Loyola Marymount University and doctoral studies at UCLA, all come into play in the powerful work he gets to be a part of at City Year Los Angeles. Jonathan and his wife are the proud parents of a three-year-old daughter.
Susan Nickerson, Board Secretary
Susan Nickerson grew up in Long Beach, California and graduated from UCLA. Following undergrad, she pursued work in the entertainment industry, eventually starting her own visual research company. Armed with energy and a drive to solve problems, no matter how difficult, she built the premier research and clearance agency for the television advertising market and claimed her first Emmy-award-winning spot within a few years. Nickerson Research continues to be a sought-after participant in major advertising projects, with credits including the Apple “Think Different” spot and the Adidas “Impossible is Nothing” campaign, featuring Muhammad Ali boxing his daughter, Laila. Susan’s eldest daughter was a member of the class of 2014, and her younger daughter was in the class of 2016. She is committed to embracing the diverse and wondrous Carthay neighborhood she and her family call home. Susan holds a B.A. in Theater from UCLA.
Peter Sheehy, Ph.D.
Dr. Peter Sheehy is the co-founder and co-director of KidUnity, a non-profit organization that develops service learning and civics programs for children and their families. He received his Ph.D. in history from the University of Virginia and taught United States and modern world history in the high school division of the Horace Mann School in New York City for nine years before moving to Los Angeles in 2010. In New York City Peter also served as a consultant to The Library of America to train public elementary and middle school teachers in the use of primary source historical documents. He recently co-edited a United States history document reader for Oxford University Press.
Bari Cooper Sherman
Bari Cooper Sherman is a Principal and General Counsel of Turner Impact Capital, LLC (TIC). TIC is a private equity real estate firm focused on addressing social issues through real estate solutions. TIC currently manages the Turner-Agassi Charter School Facilities Funds, a series of closed-end funds focused on building facilities for best-in-class charter school operators, the Turner Multifamily Impact Fund, a closed-end fund focused on preserving and enhancing affordable, quality rental housing options in urban areas, and the Turner Healthcare Facilities Fund, a closed-end fund focused on developing critically needed community-serving healthcare facilities in order to improve healthcare outcomes for residents in underserved communities. Bari has been a practicing attorney for over 25 years and was formerly the General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer for Canyon Capital Realty Advisors LLC ("CCRA", n/k/a Canyon Partners Real Estate). She began her career as a real estate attorney at Ervin, Cohen & Jessup LLP in Los Angeles where she became a partner. She then went on to be the Associate General Counsel at a privately held import company and immediately prior to joining CCRA was a partner at a boutique real estate firm in Los Angeles. Bari is a graduate of The George Washington University (BBA, Finance; JD).