The Contra Costa School of Performing Arts is governed by a non-profit, public benefit corporation called ChartHouse Public Schools.
Deborah Padberg - Board Chairperson
Deborah Padberg is a Bay Area native who lives in Walnut Creek, California. Deborah has worked with non-profit organizations for over 20 years with a specific emphasis on helping children and families. Having visited over 40 countries with World Vision, Deborah has a unique perspective of the challenges of poverty and education globally. In her current position of Director of Philanthropy for World Vision Bay Area, Deborah is working towards ending extreme poverty in developing countries. Deborah holds a Masters of Arts in Education from Mills College and an undergraduate degree from Cal State University Chico. Deborah is married and has two children.
Marie Issa Gil - Board Vice Chairperson
Marie Issa Gil is a mission-driven, nonprofit leader and charter school administrator who is deeply invested in her community and school families. As Bay Area Regional Director for Rocketship Public Schools, she develops and implements strategies to drive community engagement and foster public and political support to promote a culture of achievement, excellence and mutual respect in education. Marie brings various perspectives to local board governance that ranges from DEI principles to growth and innovation models. She is a disciplined thinker who leverages collaborative systems to reach goal for maximum impact to build first class educational options for parents. Marie believes in the power of parents to champion their children’s education, demand political attention, hold leaders accountable, and enable high-quality public schools to thrive in their community.
Marie Issa Gil earned her master degree in Public Administration from the University of San Francisco and brings over 25 years of community leadership in start-ups, nonprofit administration and federal and state programs. As a mother of two charter school high-schoolers, she enjoys spending as much time possible at home cooking, swimming or outdoors attending to her succulent garden and fruit trees.
Heather Vega - Board Secretary
Heather Vega is a communications pro and former journalist who uses her talents to support educational organizations making a difference in the lives of children. Currently, Heather is an Account Director at Larson Communications, the only strategic communications firm in the nation specializing in public education reform.
An expert in personalized learning, school systems and preparing teachers, Heather has represented organizations across the country – ranging from local charter networks to nationally renowned education technology organizations. Heather joined Larson Communications after eight years as an award-winning education reporter at the San Mateo Daily Journal, including freelance work which appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle and Parenting on the Peninsula. Heather earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism with a minor in social science from San Francisco State University. Heather lives with her husband and son in Concord. She is also active with the Make-A-Wish Foundation as a long-time wish granter.
David Wendt - Board Chief Financial Officer
Life is change. Some question whether the means justify the ends or the ends justify the means. Possessing a degree in social work and nonviolent conflict and change, a masters degree in dance, further education in the visual arts and theatre technology and having managed technology operations for many years I have come to the conclusion that the means justify the ends. To achieve the ideals of civilization, methods that facilitate progressive change must lead. Performing arts is one way that expresses the need for change and that is what brought me to the board of CoCoSPA. Edith Hamilton said it well, “Civilization, a much abused word, stands for a high matter quite apart from telephones and electric lights. It is a matter of imponderables, of delight in the things of the mind, of love of beauty, of honor, grace, courtesy, delicate feeling. Where imponderables are the things of first importance, there is the height of civilization, and if, at the same time, the power of art exists unimpaired, human life has reach a level seldom attained, and very seldom surpassed.”
Tamara Gerlach - Board Trustee
As owner of EncoreGym, Tamara has developed and trained thousands of local youth in gymnastics, dance, and teacher training since 1989. Her newest venture is Genius Juicery, coming soon to the Shadelands SportsMall. She is a former USA Gymnastics National Team coach, Junior Olympic Program Committee Member, and Member of the Board of Directors for USA Gymnastics. She has been involved in sports as a competitive athlete, coach, choreographer, and judge. After retiring from competitive dance in her mid-thirties, Tamara parlayed her experience into the creation of AromaDance, a fusion of aromatherapy, dance, and creative movement that can now be experienced with certified leaders throughout North America, Europe, and Australia.
She is a Bay Area native and studied at San Francisco State. She is the proud mother of two adult children: Sierra, who is in the tech industry, and Kyle, who owns and operates a local hardscape/landscape company.
Jill Wilk - Board Trustee
Jill brings over 20 years of human resources experience working as director-level, generalist, and consultant with start-up, small, and mid-sized organizations in non-profit, manufacturing, high tech, retail, construction, medical and academic services. She currently serves as the Vice President of HR Services for Payentry, a full-service payroll provider as well as owner of her HR Consultant business. She holds a Masters Degree in Human Resources Management and Organizational Behavior, as well as a Bachelor’s degree in Theatre and Speech Communications. Jill is an avid community with the Walnut Creek Police Department, as part of the Pet Hug Pack pet therapy program with Tony LaRussa’s Animal Rescue Fund, with the Kennedy King Scholarship Fund as a board member, and with numerous campaign initiatives for the City of Walnut Creek. She lives in Walnut Creek with her husband Kevin, who serves on the Walnut Creek City Counsel, and her two children, Darielle and Shane.