Founder of Fenton Avenue Charter School, MOB ExEd Corporation
Joe Lucente is a pioneer in the charter school movement and recognized as one of the state’s leading experts in charter school finance. In 1993, Joe led the conversion of one of the first conversion charter schools in California. Once considered one of the worst elementary schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District, Fenton Avenue Charter School became a California Distinguished School and a national model of a successful conversion charter school honored by the White House, U.S. Congress and California Legislature. A fearless warrior for charter school student equity and as past-President of the California Network of Educational Charters (CANEC), Joe was a driving force in the creation of the California Charter Schools Association (CCSA). Now retired from Fenton, Joe utilizes his 45 years of experience in both the private sector and public education by advising current charter school operators and serving on several boards of organizations benefiting charter school students. He is currently Chairman of the Board of CharterWorks, a new charter school service company providing quality services to Los Angeles area charter schools.
Alice M. Miller
Secretary of the Corporation and Chief Financial Officer
In addition to her role as Chief Financial Officer for The Miller Institute, Alice is the Director of Knowledge and Learning for the 360 Accelerator Association where she provides charter school leaders with information and training on all charter school issues, including finance, board governance, petition writing, curriculum and facilities.
Alice worked for the California Charter Schools Association for 16 years as the Director of Knowledge Management. She is a co-founder of California’s first charter school, the San Carlos Charter Learning Center (SCCLC) and co-founded two other charter schools, Aurora High School and Voices College Bound Language Academies. She is also a member of the Governing Council for the SCCLC and a founding board member of Voices. Alice worked for the California Network of Educational Charters in various roles from 1996-2003, including serving as CANEC’s Bay Area Region Coordinator. During her tenure as the administrator and CFO for Aurora High School, Alice led the successful effort against the first school district challenge to a Prop 39 facilities request in California. Alice’s other main interest is technology, and she has been the technology coordinator for several schools and school districts.
James R. Miller, Ph.D.
President of Miramontes Consulting
Jim Miller is Principal of Miramontes Computing, a user interaction design consultancy. He has worked in the field of human-computer interaction for over 25 years, doing research and product development in such fields as new media, Internet community development, consumer Internet appliances, intelligent interfaces, and usability evaluation methods. As a consultant, he works with large and small companies to identify customer-driven system requirements, prototype effective human interfaces to those systems, guide the prototype through the development process, and iteratively test and refine the final product.
Jim has also served as the program manager for Intelligent Systems at Apple’s Advanced Technology Group, Director of User Experience at Gateway’s Internet Appliances Division, and the manager of the Human-Computer Interaction Department at Hewlett-Packard Laboratories. He has a Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of California, Los Angeles.
Mark L. Miller, Ph.D.
President and Executive Director
Mark L. Miller, Ph.D. completed his doctorate in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT, in 1979, specializing in applications of artificial intelligence to education.
In 2000, Miller founded Learningtech.org®, incorporating it as The Miller Institute for Learning with Technology, a California 501(c)(3) non-profit. He serves as both its lead technical contributor and its President and Executive Director. The mission of the organization is to help “children of all ages” use technology more effectively for learning. The firm has helped schools throughout California and in several other states. Services include: E Rate applications; technology plan preparation; professional development relating to Computer Science, Robotics and Making; IT consultation (network design; server router configuration/administration; technology impact assessment); and sponsored research in the areas of Educational Technology and Computer Science Education.
Before founding Learningtech.org, Dr. Miller served as Lab Director for Learning and Tools at Apple, reporting to the Vice President, Advanced Technology Group [ATG], where he spent almost a decade heading up educational technology investigations. Apple programs under his direction at various times included: Apple Classrooms of Tomorrow [ACOT]; Apple Global Education [AGE]; Visualization and Simulation; Business Learning and Performance Support; and Multimedia Authoring Tools. Responsibilities included oversight of over three-dozen employees, including Apple Distinguished Scientists and numerous engineers with advanced degrees, with annual budget responsibility in excess of $6M.
Dr. Miller’s industry experience includes Texas Instruments’ Central Research Labs [TI], where Miller established its widely recognized Machine Intelligence research program, emphasizing educational applications, expert systems, natural language processing. Miller later co-founded Computer*Thought Corporation (Dallas, TX), a high-tech TI spinoff backed by venture capital, where he led the design of an advanced instructional system to retrain software engineers for the Ada programming language, then being implemented for the International Space Station.
Dr. Miller’s teaching experience includes the University of Texas (Introduction to Artificial Intelligence; Survey of Knowledge Engineering; Design and Implementation of Programming Languages; Compilers, Assemblers, and Operating Systems; Software Engineering Using Ada; Discrete Structures). He also supervised successful M.S. and Ph.D. candidates at UT and Southern Methodist University. While a graduate student at MIT he served as both Research Assistant and Teaching Assistant in the Department of Electrical Engineering and the Artificial Intelligence and LOGO Laboratories, and as a Research Assistant at Bolt, Beranek, and Newman. Miller has also taught high school mathematics, computer science, making, and other topics at K12 schools, Community Colleges, and County Offices of Education. He developed and co-delivered a high school CS elective that received University of California “G requirement” approval, for use at multiple schools in the San Francisco Bay Area. In June 2020, Miller, along with Cynthia Solomon and a half-dozen Logo pioneers, published an article, History of Logo, in ACM SIGPLAN’s History of Programming Languages journal, describing the early development of this highly influential programming language for children. Logo was made famous by Seymour Papert (1980), in Mindstorms: Children, Computers, and Powerful Ideas). Miller worked with Papert at MIT and TI; some of Miller’s contributions are mentioned in the End Notes of Papert’s seminal publication. Mark is President Emeritus of the Silicon Valley Computer Science Teachers Association. He also teaches Python and object-oriented design (Java) in the ALIGN MS program at Northeastern University’s San Francisco and Silicon Valley campuses (https://www.khoury.northeastern.edu/people/mark-miller/). Previously, he also served as a member of the Computer Science Steering Committee for San Mateo County Office of Education.
Board Member, Learningtech.org
Ted’s PhD thesis demonstrated that AI could be used in educational software to make project based learning more enjoyable and productive. It is the basis of the OS/2 help system. Ted has created many project based technology based teaching technologies ranging from PBS’s online LivingCenter to work with people with dementia to Polling Place Support tool created to train and support voting workers. Ted has run project base teaching experiences for many communities from classrooms to museums to universities.
Ted’s work strives to demonstrate considerate technology, in which people’s intentions are recognized and respected. A creator and tester of new scenarios for working with computing systems, his design practice includes consulting wherever innovation is possible.
Ted often loves to visit universities to give talks collaborate and mentor. Ted spent five years as Director of Considerate Systems research at Carnegie Mellon University Silicon Valley. He was also responsible for developing the campus. Ted spent ten years as an Associate Professor at the MIT Media Laboratory directing the Context Aware Computing group.
His successes at targeted product creation and enhancement led to his role of IBM Fellow and director of User Systems Ergonomics Research at IBM. He also worked at Xerox PARC and Atari Research Labs.
Ted’s innovation has been responsible for successful products. For example, his design of the TrackPoint in-keyboard pointing device is used in many notebook computers. His visualization and visual interface work has made impacts in the performance of the PowerPC, usability in OS/2, ThinkPad setup, Google maps, etc. Ted’s work has resulted in numerous awards, patents, and papers, and has often been featured in the press. Ted was given the American Association for People with Disabilities Thomas Paine Award for his work on voting technology, and was co-recipient of the Computer Science Policy Leader Award for Scientific American 50.
Jack Sutton, Ed.D.
Executive Coordinator for UCLA’s Academic Preparation & Educational Partnership (APEP) programs (Retired)
Jack retired from UCLA as Executive Officer for UCLA’s educational outreach programs. In addition, Jack earned his B.S. and teaching credential from UCLA, has taught high school, elementary school, consulted nationally on effective instruction and clinical supervision, served as a lecturer/faculty advisor for UCLA’s teacher credential program, served as Interim Executive Director of Computer Using Educators (CUE), Inc. and as Executive Director of Palisades Charter High School for 14 months. He received his masters and doctorate from the University of Southern California.
Chief Business Officer, Palisades Charter High School
Greg has spent over 30 years in the field of Finance and Accounting, serving in various financial capacities with both public and private organizations, including Price Waterhouse, National Sanitary Supply, Unisource Worldwide and Georgia Pacific. Ten years ago, Greg saw the need for increased financial expertise in the emerging charter education movement and transitioned into management roles with ExED, a highly regarded provider of financial and accounting services for charter schools. He now serves as Chief Business Officer of the second-largest single-site charter school in California.
Greg also serves as a Board member and President-elect of the Pacific Palisades Chamber of Commerce.
Former Board Members
Don Shalvey, Ed.D.
Deputy Director at Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Don sponsored the first charter school in California and began participation in the Bay Area School Reform Collaborative, the Hewlett-Annenberg Project, and a federal Technology Challenge Grant. He co-founded Californians for Public School Excellence that led to the Charter Schools Act of 1998. He has also been a member of State Superintendent Delaine Eastin’s Charter School Committee as well as an advisor to the California Network of Educational Charters. Earned a Doctorate of Education in Educational Leadership/Administration from the University of Southern California, Masters of Education in Counseling and Guidance from Gonzaga University, and a B.A. from LaSalle College.
Don Shalvey is a former Member of the Board. He has always been a valued mentor, and is informally considered to have “Emeritus” status.
Former Executive Director of the California Network of Educational Charters
Sue Bragato established CANEC in 1994 as the recognized state association for California charter schools. She started her work in the Charter School Movement as a founder of California’s first charter school, the San Carlos Charter Learning Center. Through the Charter Friends National Network Ms. Bragato helped establish the formation of the charter school states associations network. As a charter school leader she was awarded the 1997 Hart Vision Award for her support of the California charter school movement. For seven years she chaired the California Charter Schools Conference. She also served as a conference planner for the first three National Charter School Conferences, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education. Bragato also sat on the Board of Directors of two nonprofit organizations, BOK Ranch and Learningtech.org, and was a 4-H leader in her community. She was a graduate of Pepperdine University where she received degrees in political science and journalism, and was a former White House and Congressional intern.