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Board of Directors

2024-2025 Board of Directors
Member Role Email Term/Yrs Board Term Exp.
Ginny Merrifield Board Chair 3 2026
Alberto Ochoa Secretary 3 2025
Jasmine LeFlore  Treasurer 3 2027
Laura Andrews Member 3 2027
Rebecca Smith Member 3 2027
Matthew Spathas Member 3 2026

Ginny Merrifield

Ginny Merrifield currently serves as a founding member of the Board of Directors and current Chair of e3 Civic High. She is passionate about improving access to high quality academic instruction and engaging educational experiences for K-12 students. Ginny is the Executive Director of the Parent Association Inc., a statewide nonprofit organization dedicated to helping parents take a leadership role in advocating for the best interests of all children in public schools. The organization was founded in January 2021 to support the full reopening of K-12 schools in California. The organization continues to advocate for putting the needs of students first and empowering parents to have a meaningful voice in school policies. Prior to the Parent Association Inc., Ginny was the Chief Operating Officer of CONNECT, the first non-profit business accelerator in San Diego, focused on the growth of life science and technology companies. Prior to her role at CONNECT, Ginny was the Executive Director of the Gary and Mary West Foundation, the second largest private foundation in San Diego County. As Executive Director, Ginny oversaw a $20 million per year grant portfolio of approximately 50 nonprofit organizations in San Diego and Omaha.

Rebecca Smith

Rebecca Smith is an educator, aspiring artist, and community leader based in San Diego. Through her consulting practice, Above & Beyond Productions, she advises on leadership development, organizational strategy, community engagement, and talent management for nonprofit organizations, small businesses, and corporate teams. She is the Performance Curator for TEDxSan Diego 2023-2024. Her experience includes working as a Career Coach at Qualcomm, providing executive leadership at High Tech High and San Diego Workforce Partnership, and serving as an Art Commissioner for the City of San Diego and a Board Member for United Way of San Diego County. Rebecca holds a Master of Education from University of San Diego.

Alberto Ochoa

Dr. Ochoa is Professor Emeritus in the College of Education at SDSU. He began his academic work at SDSU in 1975. He has served as Chair of the Department of Dual Language and English Learner Education (Formerly Policy Studies) at San Diego State University for over 15 years. He also served as the Academic Director of the Joint Doctoral Program between Claremont University and SDSU (1999-2005). In the Policy Studies and Cross-cultural Department, he has also been responsible for the implementation and evaluation of the bilingual teacher education programs at the elementary and secondary levels. At SDSU he has maintained an active record of professional development, grant writing and service to the community. His academic work in participatory action research has combined theory and practice in the resolution of equity problems confronting social and educational institutions. He seeks the challenge of participating in community and institutional development programs and projects that have as their goal to promote democratic schooling and broad-based community participation in the decisions that affect the quality of life of school communities--in both domestic and international settings.

Matt Spathas

Matt Spathas is Founding Principal of SENTRE and a member of the company's Board of Directors. With over 40 years in real estate, he has acquired, developed, managed, and facilitated transactions exceeding $2.5 billion in real estate transactions and assets. Before joining SENTRE, Matt spent eight years with Trammell Crow Company, the nation’s largest commercial development firm. Matt is passionate about transforming the 150 year old educational delivery system to better prepare students for the flat world and global economy. In 1999, Matt founded the educational resource website to facilitate and share best practices, ideas and innovation in education. Matt is a frequent speaker in educational forums on the topic “Engaging, Empowering and Preparing Students for the 21st Century.” In 2004, Matt journeyed to seek out next generation real estate and best practices, touring 38 buildings in 5 countries and 12 cities. This tour also included visiting two K thru 12 international schools, the Western Academy of Beijing and Concordia International School of Shanghai. Matt is a graduate of Oregon State University. In 2008, he was honored by the Oregon State University College of Business at its 100th year anniversary of Innovative Global Leaders. In 2015 Matt received the Celebration of Excellence Distinguished Service Award from Oregon State. Matt served on the University of San Diego School of Leadership and Education (SOLES) Advisory Board, was past President of Big Brothers Big Sisters San Diego and past President of the Point Loma Cluster Schools Foundation. Matt is past board chair and currently serves on the Board of Directors of e3 Civic High, a public charter high school uniquely located within the downtown San Diego Public Library. This innovative urban mixed-use project is considered the first of its kind in the US—a school integrated within a public library.

Laura Andrews

Laura Andrews is currently the Sr. Family Resource Center Coordinator for one of San Ysidro Health's social services departments. Ms. Andrews began her advocacy work 19 years ago. As a committed member of the community and became involved with the planning and development of the Bronze Triangle CDC where her business skills and migrant perspective created an opportunity to lead the organization as the Economic Development Coordinator. Living and working in an underserved community led her to a better understanding of the underlying contributing factors that limit families to building a safe and healthy lifestyle. Her awareness of advocacy propelled her to be a voice for newcomers to the United States. In the last 15 years Ms. Andrews has participated in many roles that will positively impact the health and wellness of our underserved communities. For example Ms. Andrews has served on the board of directors of San Ysidro Health, was a member of the local board for the Emergency Food and Shelter program governed by FEMA, an ambassador of the San Diego Liver Coalition and currently a board member and one of 4 founders of e3 Civic High School in San Diego.


Jasmine LeFlore

Jasmine LeFlore, MSE, MBA, is the Co-founder and Executive Director of Greater Than Tech (GTT), a San
Diego-based non-profit that brings immersive STEM and business education programs to young girls and
students in underserved communities. A powerhouse with purpose, she is also a full-time Advanced
Technology Solutions Lead at Collins Aerospace, serving as a real-life example and role model for girls of
color looking to engineer their own futures in tech. LeFlore believes she can inspire change and is
passionate about diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) initiatives in STEM workplaces and classrooms. Her
work has been recognized through various entrepreneurship, industry and community service awards,
including earning a 2023 NAACP San Diego Branch Freedom Fund Award, the San Diego Magazine
Woman Builder of the Year award in 2022, and the 2022 Outstanding Engineering Service Award by the
County of San Diego Engineers, and the 2021 Black Engineer of the Year Science Spectrum Award. She
has received her BSE in Aerospace Engineering from University of Michigan, her MSE in Interdisciplinary
Engineering from Purdue University and her MBA from Indiana University. She is a RISE San Diego gen 7
fellow and was born and brought up in Flint, MI.