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Board of Directors

The Contra Costa School of Performing Arts is governed by a non-profit, public benefit corporation called ChartHouse Public Schools. 

Catherine Foster - CEO

 

Heather Vega - Board Chair
Heather is currently a Vice President at Larson Communications. A former journalist, Heather knows what appeals to reporters, how to find the human side of any organization’s offering, and is an expert at sorting through data to find interesting tidbits that can be parlayed into larger stories. 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.

During her tenure at Larson Communications, Heather has quickly risen through the ranks, from communications manager to her current position as vice president. She has represented organizations across the country – ranging from local charter networks to nationally renowned education technology organizations. Today, she’s an expert in personalized learning as well as school systems. Heather’s uncanny ability to find the unique angle in every story has helped her clients land prominent placements in media outlets such as NPR, The San Francisco Chronicle, The New York Times, Fast Company, Denver Post, EdSurge, The San Jose Mercury News, The Huffington Post, and Associated Press.

Greg Ponikvar - Board Member
Greg Ponikvar is a passionate educational leader committed to fostering charter school excellence. With a Master of Arts in Education from Stanford University, Greg brings valuable expertise as a dedicated board member. As a founding History Teacher at Everest Public High School, he earned National Board Certification, highlighting his commitment to exceptional teaching. Greg's impact grew as the founding principal of Summit Olympus, a diverse high school in the heart of downtown Tacoma, Washington, where his leadership contributed to a 100% college acceptance rate.

Furthermore, Greg's dedication to providing enriching opportunities led him to establish the Summit Expeditions Program. As the program lead, he guided a team of teachers in offering a wide array of community-based educational experiences to thousands of students, helping them uncover their passions. This endeavor exemplifies his commitment to broadening students' horizons beyond the classroom.

Deeply dedicated to developing effective leaders, Greg established the Marshall Leadership Institute, nurturing high-quality and diverse educational leadership. Currently serving as the Executive Director of Marshall Street, a division of Summit Public Schools, Greg oversees transformative programs benefiting teachers, leaders, and student-centered schools. Guided by an unwavering commitment to excellence, innovation, and student success, Greg is grateful for the opportunity to offer his knowledge and experience to help CoCo Arts thrive.

Mackenzie Hennessy- Board Member
Mackenzie began her career in education at Success Academy Charter Schools in New York City, the largest and highest-performing charter network in the state. Mackenzie held various roles, including working in operations in West Harlem, founding SAs 48th campus as a Director of Operations, and as a Regional Director, overseeing 13 campuses. 


Mackenzie now works for KIPP Public Schools Northern California on authorizer relations, state advocacy, growth strategy, and charter renewals as the Director of Policy, Advocacy, and Community Engagement. Mackenzie has a BA in Political Science/Psychology from UCLA and an MA in Education Policy from Teachers College, Columbia. Mackenzie is a proud first-generation college student, originally from the Bay Area, and currently resides in San Francisco with her husband.


Lynna McPhatter-Harris - Board Vice Chair
Lynna McPhatter-Harris is a highly accomplished board member of ChartHouse Public Schools and the Contra Costa School of Performing Arts, with a remarkable track record in education and a deep passion for the performing arts. With extensive experience and a relentless commitment to educational excellence, McPhatter-Harris has made significant contributions to the advancement of students' academic and artistic journeys.
Dr. Lynna M. McPhatter-Harris holds a doctoral degree in Education Leadership and Administration, demonstrating her expertise in educational policy, management, and governance. Her academic background has equipped her with a comprehensive understanding of the complexities of the education system and the strategies needed to drive positive change.

Throughout her career, McPhatter-Harris has held various leadership positions in the field of education, including serving as a board member for ChartHouse Public Schools and the Contra Costa School of Performing Arts. Her tenure in these roles has been marked by her visionary leadership and a steadfast commitment to improving educational outcomes and opportunities for all students.

As showcased on her LinkedIn profile, McPhatter-Harris has a strong background in educational administration, curriculum development, and program evaluation. Her expertise in these areas enables her to contribute valuable insights and guidance in shaping the direction of educational initiatives. Additionally, her passion for the performing arts is evident in her dedication to fostering comprehensive arts programs that enrich students' educational experiences and foster their creativity and self-expression.

Beyond her board commitments, McPhatter-Harris has been actively involved in various community organizations and initiatives aimed at promoting educational equity and social justice. She is renowned for her collaborative approach, working closely with educators, administrators, and community stakeholders to create inclusive and empowering learning environments for students from diverse backgrounds.

Lynna McPhatter-Harris's contributions to ChartHouse Public Schools and the Contra Costa School of Performing Arts reflect her unwavering commitment to educational excellence, equity, and the transformative power of the arts. Her visionary leadership, extensive expertise, and dedication to student success continue to shape the educational landscape, empowering students, educators, and communities to thrive.