Karen's understanding of the current state of public schools expanded when her work took her into a different school every week. At the same time, she was an active charter school parent. Witnessing the dedication and passion, as well as the struggles, inside the public schools contrasted with skewed news reports. She enrolled her children in an LAUSD middle school and quickly became a fierce advocate for the whole school community.
She was well equipped to play this role. Karen's critical approach to problem solving had been shaped years before. Professional stints with fearless and famous architects Thom Mayne and Frank Gehry raised her level of perspective. Even as an administrative underling, Karen thrived amidst the deep engagement and the creative buzz of the most innovative workplaces imaginable. She later launched a public relations practice serving architects, arts and design organizations such as the Southern California Institute of Architecture and the LA Forum for Architecture + Urban Design, as well as nonprofit institutions like LACMA and the LA Poverty Department. She also collaborated to produce unique fundraising events like Art is Smart with world renowned contemporary artist Meg Cranston.
In her public education advocacy, Karen has worked on campaigns to elect local, state and national officials who support public education. She served as chair of the Education Committee of the Venice Neighborhood Council and is involved in the West LA Democratic Club. She has provided an important parent’s perspective to news sources such as the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, KCRW's Which Way LA?, and through her own writing on education and political blogs like CityWatchLA, K12 News Network, the Badass Teachers Association, and the blog of the influential education historian Diane Ravitch.
Nancy is a life-long educator, with a Masters Degree in Education and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Southern California. She recently retired after 36 years with the Los Angeles Unified School District. She founded the Marina Del Rey Performing Arts Magnet with 90 students, and served as its coordinator for 15 years, shepherding its growth to its current enrollment of over 300.
Earlier in her career, she was a Dean of Students, working specifically with students on probation, and students with drug and alcohol violations. She became an Impact Program Advisor for the school district, facilitating faculty trainings at various schools, and writing and editing training manuals for Impact and DARE, substance abuse prevention and early intervention programs. As a crisis team leader, she visited campuses that were experiencing problems such as racial unrest after the Rodney King verdict. Nancy is accomplished in the private sector as well. She is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and was elected President of the Board of the Westside Waldorf School after being elected President of the parent group during a period of significant capitol improvements and development. She was once a competitive body builder and is the proud mother of a UCLA baseball player.
Adam is a dedicated advocate for public education. With three young daughters, Adam and his wife Maritza, became especially engaged with their neighborhood elementary school when conflicts arose over a charter school co-location on its campus. A law librarian, Adam pursued every avenue necessary to protect the school that generations of family members had attended. The charter school left after two years. He documented the happenings in his blog called Adventures in Charter School Co-location with Stoner Elementary. Adam is also amusician.