Leadership

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Dr. Cristina de Jesus

President and Chief Executive Officer, Green Dot Public Schools California

Cristina is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Green Dot Public Schools California, a non-profit network of public charter schools. She has helped build the foundation of Green Dot’s success with a role in nearly every initiative and undertaking to boost student achievement across the network having originally joined Green Dot as the founding principal at Ánimo Inglewood Charter High School in 2002.  As CEO, she oversees our twenty-two middle and high schools across Los Angeles serving 11,500 students. She plays an integral role in the collaboration with Green Dot’s Teachers’ and Classified Employees Unions and she is part of the core team working on Green Dot’s national expansion work.

Before being named President and CEO, she was Green Dot’s Vice President of Curriculum and Instruction for two years before serving as Chief Operating Officer and Chief Academic Officer. 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. Cristina has earned a Masters of Education, a Masters of Education Administration, and a doctorate in Educational Leadership from UCLA.

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Annette Gonzalez

Chief Academic Officer

Annette Gonzalez serves as the Chief Academic Officer. She was previously the Vice President of Education for Green Dot Public Schools CA. She oversees the Vice President of Schools and Vice President of Curriculum and Programs supporting Green Dot’s 22 schools.  She directly leads the development of curriculum and assessments, coaching services for teachers, and the organization-wide vision of a highly effective teacher in every classroom. Previously, she served 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.

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Leilani Abulon

Vice President of Curriculum and Programs

Leilani is finishing her 16th year with Green Dot Public Schools California and currently serves as the Vice President of Curriculum and Programs.  Prior to her current position, she served as an Area Superintendent supervising a portfolio of both middle and high schools, in addition to providing professional development for all administrators throughout the year.  Leilani began her career with Green Dot as a founding teacher of one of our highest performing high schools, Animo Inglewood. She served the Inglewood community for 11 years, as a teacher, assistant principal and principal before taking on the role of Area Superintendent 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.

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Dr. Gordon Gibbings

Vice President of Schools

As the Vice President of Schools, Dr. Gordon Gibbings leads the Green Dot Public Schools (GDPS) team of Area Superintendents who are responsible for the systems of support and development for our school leaders including their hiring, onboarding, coaching, and training. Gordon and his team of Area Superintendents are responsible for ensuring all schools meet the GDPS’s rigorous academic and cultural outcome expectations. As the Vice President of Schools Gordon leads our turn-around work at Locke College Prep Academy and Animo College Prep Academy.  Prior to his six years as an Area Superintendent with GDPS, Gordon served as the Principal of Ánimo South Los Angeles Charter High School (ASLA). During his time as the principal of ASLA, the school was awarded by U.S. News and World Report with a prestigious Silver Medal three times for being a high-performing, college-preparatory high school.   As principal he also served as a Green Dot Mentor Principal for new school principals. Before joining GDPS, Gordon served as an assistant principal 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.

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Michael Lopez

Vice President of Operations and Finance

Michael Lopez serves as the Vice President of Operations and Finance. Michael is responsible for the Operations team and works closely with the Area Operations and Finance Managers and the Shared Services Team to provide all operational services to 19 California schools (please align number of schools). Prior to his current role, he served as the Director of Finance and as an Area Operations and Finance Manager. Michael joined Green Dot Public Schools in 2011. Prior to joining Green Dot, Michael worked in the Treasury department at the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority where he worked on a team that modernized the agency’s fare system from paper passes to contactless smart card technology.

Michael earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Southern California and his Masters of Public Administration from California State University Long Beach.

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Damon Hands

Area Superintendent

Damon Hands is an Area Superintendent supporting three high schools and three 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.

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Dr. Alyce Prentice

Area Superintendent

Dr. Alyce Prentice serves as an Area Superintendent in the Los Angeles, South Los Angeles and Lennox communities.  She is deeply committed to Green Dot’s mission to close opportunity gaps for students and families. Alyce was previously the principal of Animo Leadership Charter High School, Green Dot’s founding school. Animo Leadership became a Gold Ribbon School under her leadership.  Alyce joined Green Dot is 2007 as a teacher at Animo Venice Charter High School and began her administrative career as an Administrator in Residence at Green Dot in 2010. Alyce began teaching in South Los Angeles at Markham Middle School. During her first two years of teaching she was a member of Teach for America.

Alyce earned her undergraduate degree in English at the University of Oregon Clark Honors College, her Masters from the UCLA Principal Leadership Institute and her Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Loyola Marymount University.

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Xochitl Avellán

Area Superintendent

Xochitl Avellán serves as Area Superintendent at Green Dot Public Schools California. She is responsible for the oversight and support of a portfolio of schools at Green Dot as well as oversight of Green Dot’s state-accredited Administrator-in-Residence Program. Previously she was Principal at Ánimo Ralph Bunche Charter High School from 2007 – 2014, prior to which she was the founding Assistant Principal at a sister Green Dot School. She is the recipient of the 2014 Principal of the Year, Green Dot Dotty award. In 1997, Xochitl began her career as a math teacher at Berendo Middle School in the Los Angeles Unified School District; she then became an English teacher and served in the role of Literacy Coach at Theodore Roosevelt High School in Boyle Heights. As a teacher, Xochitl was Nationally Board Certified in 2003 in English Language Arts/ Adolescence and Young Adulthood.

Xochitl earned her undergraduate degree in English Literature from the University of California, Berkeley, and her Masters degree in Educational Leadership and Policy at California State University Northridge.

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Taiala Carvalho Regnier

Area Superintendent

Taiala joined the Green Dot family in 2006 as a math teacher at Ánimo South Los Angeles Charter High School and transitioned to serve the community as an administrator for the last seven years, where she is deeply committed to serving all students while they prepare for college, leadership and life.

Taiala earned her undergraduate degree in Mathematics from the University of Minnesota, her Masters of Science degree in Applied and Computational Mathematics from the California Institute of Technology, and her Masters of Arts in Secondary Education from Loyola Marymount University.

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Meghan Maguire

Area Superintendent

Meghan Maguire currently serves as an Area Superintendent in the South Los Angeles and Inglewood communities. She provides coaching, supervision, and professional development to administrators. Meghan 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 the Los Angeles area. Meghan joined Green Dot in 2007 as a teacher at Animo Pat Brown Charter High School. She began her administrative career in 2011 as an Assistant Principal at Alain Leroy Locke College Preparatory Academy where she also served as the Principal for two years. In 2014, Meghan became the Principal of Animo Phillis Wheatley Charter Middle School on the Henry Clay Learning Complex where she served for three years. Prior to joining Green Dot Public Schools, Meghan was a teacher in South Los Angeles. During her first two years of teaching she was a member of Teach For America.  

Meghan earned her undergraduate degrees in Strategic Communications and Italian from the University of Kansas, her Masters of Arts in Secondary Education from Loyola Marymount University, and her Master of Education from Columbia University

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Green Dot Public Schools California

1149 S. Hill St., Ste 600
Los Angeles, CA 90015

Phone: (323) 565-1600

ca.info@greendot.org