Announcing First Green Apple Award Winners

Dec 18 2018

Congratulations to our first Green Apple Award winners! Thank you for your hard work and dedication to the charter school movement!

Gary Bowman Executive Director, California Montessori Project 
Gary has served as the Executive Director/Superintendent of the California Montessori Project for 15 years, leading it from a small public charter school network to serving over 2,500 students across Sacramento and El Dorado counties. He has spent over 20 years working as a teacher, administrator, school board member, and consultant at traditional, charter, and private schools.

Susan Forson Founder and Principal (Retired), Watsonville Charter School of the Arts
Susan wrote the initial charter for Watsonville Charter School of the Arts with the aim of bringing art to her community. WCSA incorporates the arts into daily classroom life, creating happy and well-rounded students at the K-8 school of nearly 400. She is credited with fostering a positive culture that includes appreciation of the arts, creativity, inclusivity, and academic achievement.

Randy Gaschler Founding Board Member at CANEC, Founder, CEO & President, Innovative Education Management
Randy is a pioneer of the charter school movement in California and has led the charge in defeating several anti-charter initiatives over the years. He set the foundation for many charter schools with his personalized learning population approach and championed parent choice in education in his book, Parent Driven Schools. In 1998, he founded Innovative Education Management, which has now graduated over 13,000 students.

Bob Hampton Superintendent (Retired), Guajome Schools
Bob is one of the original charter school leaders in California and established the state’s 56th charter school, Buckingham Charter High School, in Vacaville. He has served on the charter school advisory board and as President of the California Network of Educational Charters. He has helped organizations throughout the state with mission and value development, strategic planning, and organizational risk analysis and is credited with creating academically high-performing schools.

Jean Hatch Co-founder and School Director, Redding School of the Arts, North State Charter JPA Executive Director
Jean has been involved with the charter school movement for 21 years and has seen Redding School of the Arts grow from 167 students to over 550. In addition to bringing the arts to her community, she has worked to bring Special Education services and programs to charter schools around the state. She oversees the North State Charter JPA, which supports and trains schools on compliance with IEP requirements.

Paul Krafel Founder, Teacher, and Administrator, Chrysalis Charter School
Paul has played a critical role in the establishment and continued success of Chrysalis Charter School in Shasta County. Since its initial charter in 1996, he has overseen three charter renewals and the transformation of a one room schoolhouse with one teacher and four students to a thriving enterprise of 30 staff members and 243 students. His passion and dedication have empowered both students and teachers to become their best selves.

Linda Lambdin Director, Tierra Pacifica Charter School
Linda is the first director of Tierra Pacifica Charter School, a school she helped establish with a vision of family involvement, creative expression and exploration of the physical world. She has navigated the school through four charter renewals and has developed a close-knit community of teachers, parents, and students. Her hands-on approach has ensured that teachers are valued and students are reaching their highest potential.

Charlie Leo Co-founder and Director (Retired), Natomas Charter School
Charlie is a leader and pioneer of the charter school movement in California. Before retirement, he helped establish Natomas Charter School and served as director. He created new models of public education that helped serve a broad audience. He is known for his quiet, steady, and inspirational leadership that motivated students, parents, and staff.

Dante Simi CEO, Learn4Life Concept Charter Schools
Dante cofounded and served as CEO of Learn4Life from 2001-2017, establishing a network of fully-accredited high school diploma programs to support underserved, at-risk students. Dedicated to reducing dropout rates locally and nationwide, Learn4Life now serves over 45,000 students yearly across 80 locations in California, Ohio, and Michigan. Dante is committed to his students and ensuring they become productive citizens. Under his leadership, over 150,000 students have been impacted by Learn4Life.

Ting Sun Co-founder and Executive Director, Natomas Charter School
Ting has been at the heart of the charter school movement for over two decades. She is a co-founder and the executive director of Natomas Charter School and has served in education for over 30 years as a teacher, administrator, and educational reformer. She is a passionate leader committed to the success of her school and her students.