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.
Chief Academic Officer
Annette Gonzalez serves as the Chief Academic Officer. She was previously the Vice President of Education for Green Dot Public Schools. Working with the Cluster and Curriculum Directors, she is responsible for oversight and support of Green Dot’s 19 schools, the development of curriculum and assessments, coaching services for teachers, and the organization-wide transition to the Common Core. Previously, she serves as a Cluster Director, prior to which she was the principal of Ánimo Inglewood Charter High School, where she was also an Assistant Principal and the founding ninth grade English teacher. Annette began her career as an English language arts and History teacher at Lincoln Middle School in the Santa Monica- Malibu Unified School District. In addition to teaching sixth grade, Annette was Nationally Board Certified in 2001 in Early Adolescent English Language Arts. Annette earned her undergraduate degrees in English and History from the University of California, Riverside, and her Masters degree in Administrative Education from Cal State Northridge University.
Chief Talent Officer
Kelly Hurley currently serves as the Chief Talent Officer. He was previously the Vice President of Human Capital at Green Dot Public Schools. In this position, he oversees employee recruitment, personnel issues of certificated, classified and home office employees as well as labor negotiations. Prior to this role, he served as the cluster director (area superintendent) overseeing the transformation of Locke High School from April 2007 until June 2011. His role as a cluster director was to provide bi-weekly coaching and monthly professional development to principals and assistant principals as well as to ensure the success of each of the eight small high schools in the Locke transformation. Before joining Green Dot, Kelly began his educational career in the Long Beach Unified School District as a teacher in the fall of 1985. After serving twelve years as a teacher, counselor, and assistant principal, he was promoted to principal in the fall of 1997. During his tenure as a middle and high school principal, he was asked to take over two highly toxic schools to renew the culture and climate at both sites.
Chief Operating Officer
Damien White is the Chief Operating Officer of Green Dot Public Schools and is responsible for human resources, facilities, and operations. Prior to joining Green Dot, Damien was the Managing Director of Operations at KIPP LA Schools and the Director of Business Development at the Alliance College Ready Public Schools where he completed the Broad Residency program. Before joining the Broad Residency, Damien was an engineer with General Motors and held strategy and marketing positions with Toyota Motor Sales. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, an MBA from the University of Southern California and a Master of Education in Education Leadership from the Broad Residency in Urban Education.
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.