Dr. Cristina de Jesus
President and Chief Executive Officer, Green Dot Public Schools California
Cristina is the Chief Executive Officer of Green Dot Public Schools California. She originally joined Green Dot as the founding principal at Ánimo Inglewood Charter High School, Green Dot's second school. Four years later, she became Green Dot’s Vice President of Curriculum and Instruction, serving in that role for two years before being named Chief Operating Officer, and eventually President and Chief Academic Officer. She plays an integral role in the collaboration with Green Dot’s Board of Directors and Green Dot’s Teachers’ Union. Prior to joining Green Got, Cristina was an English and History teacher for seven years in the Santa Monica/Malibu School District and earned National Board Certification in Early Adolescent/English Language Arts, an advanced teaching credential awarded to only a small fraction of our nation's teachers. Cristina has earned a Masters of Education, a Masters of Education Administration, and recently earned her doctorate in Educational Leadership from UCLA.
Leilani currently serves as a Cluster Director for four high schools and two middle schools in the Lennox, Boyle Heights, and South Los Angeles communities. She provides coaching, supervision and professional development to administrators at all six schools. Leilani joined Green Dot in 2002 as a teacher at Ánimo Inglewood Charter High School. She then became the Assistant Principal at Ánimo Inglewood in 2006, and the Principal in 2008. After five outstanding years serving as the leader of an urban charter high school, Leilani was promoted to Cluster Director in 2013. Leilani earned her Masters of Education from Loyola Marymount University in 2005 and her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2002.
Dr. Gordon Gibbings
Dr. Gordon Gibbings is a Cluster Director currently coaching the principals of six Green Dot charter schools serving the Los Angeles communities of Venice, South Central and Boyle Heights. Prior to becoming a Cluster Director at Green Dot, Gordon served as the Principal of Ánimo South Los Angeles Charter High School (ASLA). During his tenure as principal, ASLA earned a maximum accreditation with the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) and was awarded by U.S. News and World Report with a prestigious Silver Medal for being a high-performing, college-preparatory high school. During his time as the principal of ASLA, Gordon also served as a Green Dot Mentor Principal for new school principals. Before joining Green Dot Public Schools, Gordon served as an assistant principal and a Testing and Intervention Coordinator for David Starr Jordan High School in Long Beach California. Gordon began his teaching career as a fourth and fifth grade teacher at Florence Bixby Elementary School in Long Beach, California. During his first two years of teaching he was a member of Teach For America. Gordon earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan, his Masters from the University of California at Berkeley, and his Doctorate from the University of Southern California.
As Cluster Director, Michelle Green coaches and supports six principals and admin teams at three high schools and three middle schools in the Venice, Westchester, East Los Angeles, and South Central Los Angeles communities. Prior to joining Green Dot, Michelle led a transformation effort as principal of Benton Middle Magnet School of Visual and Performing Arts in La Mirada, California, resulting in the highest academic gains and the greatest enrollment increase across the district. Her love for students, and her determination to make a difference stems from her teaching career, having taught and served as principal at the elementary, middle, and high school levels. Michelle has worked in K-12 education in California and Texas, and has taught at the university level in the People’s Republic of China. She has also served as a Curriculum Coordinator, and Language Arts Consultant, and participated in the founding of both a private and a public school. Michelle received her degrees from the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California, and the University of North Texas in Denton, Texas.
Damon Hands is a Cluster Director supporting four high schools and two middle schools. Damon is deeply committed to Green Dot’s mission to prepare all students for college, leadership and life and serving the communities of greatest need in Los Angeles. Damon has been a part of Green Dot Public Schools since 2009. He began his service with Green Dot as an Administrator in Residence. In 2010 he served as founding principal of Ánimo Jefferson Charter Middle School. In 2013 he served as the principal of the 9th Grade Academy at Alain LeRoy Locke College Preparatory Academy. Prior to working in Green Dot, Damon was an assistant principal at Ball Junior High School in Anaheim, CA. He was a teacher at schools in Anaheim, Long Beach, Cali Colombia, and Jeddah, Saudi Arabia prior to his career as an administrator. Damon holds a BA in English and Government from New Mexico State University and MA in Education from National University. He grew up in Las Cruces, New Mexico and lives in Long Beach with his wife Steffie and son Jake.