SPS Board of Directors

Learn more about our SPS Board of Directors below.

Mr. Robert J. Oster
A private venture investor since 1987, Mr. Oster has worked with both institutional and other private investors in all phases of venture investing. Prior to venture investing, he worked as a professional economist and in several high-level finance positions, the last being Vice President of Finance and Administration for Oracle Corporation, where he spearheaded Oracle’s initial public offering. In addition to chairing the SPS Board, Mr. Oster is Chairman of the Nominating Committee of the Board of Overseers of the Hoover Institution of Stanford University and Chairman of Spirit of America. He received his BA in economics with honors from Occidental College and an MA and PhD in economics from the University of California at Berkeley.
Mr. Diego Arambula

Chairman of the Board
Arambula was a member of Summit’s faculty for over a decade, before shifting his focus towards creating transformative change in his hometown of Fresno, CA. He joined Summit Preparatory Charter High School as a social science teacher at the beginning of its third year of operation and taught for six years. After stepping out of the classroom, Arambula helped launch Summit’s first high school that integrated a blended learning model, Summit Public School Rainier, in East San Jose. After a year as the founding Executive Director of Rainier, he moved into the role of Chief Growth & Innovation Officer, helping to expand Summit schools and infuse innovation throughout the organization. Prior to coming to Summit Public Schools, Arambula served as Communications Director for Congressman Cal Dooley, after serving as Deputy Campaign Manager. He holds a BA in government, with honors from Harvard University and a MA in education from Stanford University.

Ms. Lizzie Choi
Lizzie Choi (she/hers) is a Senior Vice President at the Pahara Institute. Her team leads operations and efforts to catalyze action and collaboration amongst the Pahara network.

Prior to Pahara, Lizzie served as the Chief Program Officer at Summit Public Schools, where she led the Summit Learning Program. Under her leadership, the program grew from the founding cohort of 19 schools across ten states to 380 schools in 40 states serving over 65,000 students. Partnering with a diverse range of schools reinforced Lizzie’s commitment to equity and her appreciation for collaboration. Her time in the classroom as Summit Everest’s founding Algebra II teacher is where she discovered her passion for helping students and adults develop pathways to reach their full potential.

In addition, Lizzie partners with organizations through seasons of growth and scale and coaches senior leaders. She previously led sales and customer success for Desmos’ new middle school math curriculum, partnered with Moonshot edVentures, Prepared Parents, Strive, and Swing Education. She has also acted as an Advisor for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Lizzie received her BA in public policy, with an emphasis on education policy, from Stanford University and her MA from the Stanford Teacher Education Program. In her free time, she enjoys the arts, spending time with family and friends, and discussing Enneagram.

Ms. Michele Hansen

Michele Hansen is an advocate in the education space and a former educator herself, who started as a first grade teacher in the Poway Unified School District and soon after became a First Grade Team Leader. For the next nine years, Michele spent her time at Intel Corporation in Santa Clara, CA, leading marketing and engineering teams, forging external relationships, supported in defining joint goals, strategies and budgets for Hewlett Packard’s Executive Team.  Michele then joined California Charter Schools Association as the Vice President of Products and Services, while managing the public relations, marketing, data analytics, finance and strategic planning. Previously, Ms. Hansen served as the is currently the Co-Founder, President and CEO of Activate Instruction, which provides an enriched, personalized learning experience through playlists. Ms. Hansen presently serves in a volunteer capacity as the Vice-Chair of The Girard Foundation Board of Directors.

Michele received a Bachelor Degree in Government from Claremont McKenna College, a Masters in Education from Stanford University, an Elementary Multiple Subject Teaching Credential from the University of California, San Diego and a Master of Business Administration in Marketing from the the J.L Kellogg Graduate School of Management. Michele’s experience and knowledge about instruction, business management, finance, professional development, public relations and marketing as well as organizational leadership make Michele an exceptional nominee for the Summit Public Schools Board of Directors.

Mr. Steven Humphreys
Mr. Steven Humphreys has been a member of Summit’s Board since its founding, and was one of the original contributors to our initial charter. He was instrumental in recruiting Ms Tavenner and others into Summit from its early days, and has served on the Summit Board for 18 years. In addition to serving on the board of Summit Public Schools, Steve has served as a trustee of the Portola Valley School District and on numerous other boards. Steve is currently CEO of a publicly-traded security company, Identiv, Inc, which protects places including the White House, all of our federal courthouses, airports, schools and other security-sensitive places. He’s started and run several other technology companies, and began his career at General Electric Company where he worked in a variety of manufacturing and information technology positions. Steve received a BS from Yale University and an Masters in Science and Masters in Business Administration from Stanford University.
Mr. Andy Thompson
Mr. Thompson is President, Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of Proteus Digital Health. He is a veteran of Silicon Valley biomedical startups, formerly serving as President, Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of FemRx and Chief Financial Officer of CardioRhythm. As a consultant and venture capital investor he contributed to several successful healthcare companies including Cell Genesys, Cytotherapeutics, Northstar Neuroscience and QRx Pharmaceuticals. He holds an MA in engineering from Cambridge University and was a United Kingdom National Engineering Scholar from 1982 to 1985. He also holds an MA in education and an MBA from Stanford University. Mr. Thompson was a founding board member and Foundation President of Summit Preparatory Charter High School.
Mr. Jimmy Zuniga
Jimmy had the unique and formative experience of being a member of the second graduating class at Summit Prep. His experiences there inspired me to pursue a career in education, and with the support of the Gates Millennium Scholarship, Jimmy completed a B.A. in Psychology and an M.A. in Educational Studies at Tufts University. His graduate work at Tufts focused on the critical analysis of equity in U.S. public education, and it spurred his interest in school design and conditions for innovation. Afterwards, Jimmy received an M.A. in Education and Single Subject Credential at the Stanford Teacher Education Program (STEP) where he concentrated his studies on using Complex Instruction to teach heterogeneous classrooms. In 2014, Jimmy returned to Summit to teach high school English at Summit Everest for four years. As a teacher, Jimmy was deeply involved in Summit’s development of its personalized learning school model and interned with various teams across Summit’s home office to broaden his impact. In 2018, Jimmy became Executive Director of Summit Everest and led the school for four years, including through the rapid transition to virtual school during the pandemic. In 2022, Jimmy moved to Panorama Education and focused his work on coaching school and district leaders around the country in their efforts to use whole child data to drive school improvement work. Today, as a Portfolio Director at Transcend, Jimmy leads the Network Team’s learning agenda in service of expanding the organization’s reach, value, and impact.

If you would like to contact our SPS Board of Directors, you can reach them at CABoardofDirectors@summitps.org.

Washington Board of Directors

Learn more about our Washington Board of Directors below.

Ms. Malia Burns
Malia is the CEO of OpenSeat, a national non-profit supporting mental wellness in schools.  Most recently before joining OpenSeat, Malia served as the Chief Program Officer at Summit Public Schools where she designed and implemented organization-wide pilots and programs to improve student outcomes while also overseeing Summit’s Special Education team and support of Multilingual Learners. Prior to her work leading  initiatives for Summit, Malia was a senior director of schools, leading the Washington region and was the founder and leader of Summit’s first high school in Seattle – an innovative, diverse, and community-oriented school.

Before her work leading at Summit, Malia was an assistant school leader and teacher at the Noble Network of Charter Schools in Chicago, IL. She began her teaching career in the Bronx where the incredible young people in her classes taught her the magic that can happen in a classroom and the transformational possibility of school when we get it right.

Malia was born on Kauai and connects her deep belief in the power of diversity to growing up in a culturally rich and diverse community. Malia is an alum of Seattle University and Columbia University. She lives in Seattle with her husband and two sweet, energetic sons. In her free time, you can find Malia watching the sunrise over Lake Washington with her rowing team or eating great food in friends’ homes or in Seattle’s great restaurants.

Ms. Thushari Gooneratne
Thushari Gooneratne is currently a Community Manager at JP Morgan Chase & Co in Tacoma, Washington. Ms.Gooneratne’s role has brought her to the Summit Olympus community as a champion of financial education for everyone- including empowering our high school students during Expeditions about financial literacy. Ms. Gooneratner is an experienced leader with more than twenty years of experience in the finance sector.

Ms.Gooneratne received her Bachelor of Science from Oklahoma State University in Business Administration and Management, and her Master’s in Business Administration and Organizational Leadership from Ashford University Graduate School of Business.

Ms. Mafara Hobson
Mafara Hobson is a dynamic storyteller and executive communications strategist with more than a decade of experience in mission-driven, strategic communications and media relations. She has demonstrated expertise in creating and disseminating transformative narratives that have advanced key objectives in government, corporate and nonprofit sectors.

Mafara is the current Director of Communications at the Swedish Medical Center where she directs strategy, plans, executes internal communications and public affairs across five hospitals and seven campuses in the Seattle area. Mafara joined the Swedish Medical Center after more than two years as the Executive Communications Director at the City of Seattle. Mafara came to Seattle after serving an appointment in the Office of General Services in the Obama Administration.

Mafara has deep roots in public education advocacy and was a pivotal member of Washington DC Mayor Adrian Fenty’s team at a time of significant transformation within the DC public school district. Later Mafara joined forces with StudentsFirst a national non-profit organization in support of education reform based in Sacramento. As the Marketing and Communications Chief, she drove digital and social media strategies in creating a grassroot movement to attract and engage more than one million parents, students and public school advocates across the country to join forces with the movement. Mafara holds a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from Howard University.

Ms. MAK Mitchell
MAK is currently President of Consensus Now! LLP and she brings many requisite skills for a
Summit Board member. She has focused her career on creating small district schools and public
charters and instilling all schools with more local autonomy than their peers.

She began this work in the Cambridge Pilot School in Massachusetts and continued it by creating
new small schools for native students in the Alaskan Arctic and Kodiak Island. She became the
superintendent of Shoreline, Washington for seven years where she led an award-winning site-
based decision-making approach for schools. She was then asked to serve as a small school
consultant to the Gates Foundation in Washington state.

The Bloomberg administration in New York City was phasing out large district schools and
replacing them with 200 site-based small district schools and 50 charters. They invited MAK to
join a team of five leaders who instigated the reforms over a ten-year period. They delivered
schools with more autonomy, equity, parent choice and more rigorous instructional experiences
for both charter and district small school students. She led instruction and school governance
issues, emphasizing equity and consensus decision-making processes for new charters and small

Throughout her career, MAK paralleled her work in schools with university teaching to ensure
credentialed principals who could then lead the reforms. She taught principals ethnographic
methods for ten years at UW’s Danforth Principal Program and taught organizational change to
doctoral leadership students at Seattle University. In NYC, she trained principals and
superintendents at CUNY’s Hunter College.

After leaving NYC, Harvard invited MAK to teach coaching for school turnaround as an adjunct
and featured her as a guest speaker to the HGSE faculty. MAK holds a M.A.T. and Ed.D degrees
from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and a B.A. in Honors English from Le Moyne

Ms. Leslie Liao
Leslie Liao is currently the Chief Financial Officer at Impact Public Schools in Washington State. Leslie possesses twenty years of demonstrated experience in public accounting, corporate finance, investment management, and public school leadership. After an accomplished career in finance and accounting in the private sector, Leslie joined the Impact team to lend her talents to public education. Leslie is also a passionate educator, which is evident both through her work with Impact Public Schools and as Adjunct Faculty at Portland Community College.

Leslie received her Bachelor of Science, Double Major in Accounting and Finance from Portland State University, and a Master of Science in Financial Analysis from Portland State University. She is a CFA charterholder and a licensed CPA. She is a parent to two school-aged children and lives in Seattle.

Mr. Stefan Sobiek
Stefan Sobiek is currently the Director of Operations for Evergreen Goodwill, overseeing the Goodwill Job Training and Education Centers in Northwest Washington. Stefan possesses vast experience in education, both inside the classroom and in leading school operations and compliance. After starting his career in San Francisco as a dual language immersion teacher, Stefan moved to Seattle and became the founding Spanish teacher at Summit Sierra. He later transitioned out of the classroom and led operations for both Summit Sierra and the Summit Washington regional operations. Stefan also has experience as an operations leader in the non-profit sector, where he served as the Operations Officer for National CASA/GAL, an organization that coordinates and trains volunteer advocates for children who have experienced abuse or neglect. 

Stefan received his B.A in Spanish and Sociology from the University of Washington and his master’s degree from Loyola Marymount University in Urban Public School Administration.

Ms. Sherry Woodard
Ms. Woodard is a former Intelligence Specialist, 902nd Military Intelligence Group, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington and part of the Summit Olympus community. As a caregiver in the community, Ms. Woodward is deeply committed to advocating for Summit Washington schools and to bring greater awareness to our program and mission through the caregiver lens.

If you would like to contact our Washington Board of Directors, you can reach them at WABoardofDirectors@summitps.org.

Board Meetings

See meeting dates, agendas, and minutes of all Board Meetings

Contact Us

CA Board Members: CABoardofDirectors@summitps.org

WA Board Members: WABoardofDirectors@summitps.org

Please note, communications to and from members of the Summit Public Schools Boards of Directors are subject to open public meetings laws in both California and Washington. Board members receive all written correspondence, however members may not respond directly to your message because Board members communications concerning the matters of Summit Public Schools outside of the public meeting are restricted pursuant to CA Govt. Code 54950 et. seq. and RCW 42.30. The Board welcomes public comment during our meetings and may direct staff to include matters raised in written correspondence in an agendized portion of a future meeting or may direct staff to respond to the written correspondence.