Urban Discovery Academy

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Board of Trustees » Board Members

Board Members

Edward L. Abeyta - School Facility Committee
Esther M. LaPorta - Secretary
MaeLin Levine - President
Andrea N. Myers - General Member
Paul Ryan - Finance Committee
Jim Zoll - School Site Advisory Committee


Board Member Biographies

MaeLin Levine, AIGA Fellow - President
Ms. Levine is a partner in the national award winning design firm, Visual Asylum, located in downtown San Diego. Ms. Levine has extensive experience in leading nonprofit organizations as well as professional experience in working with many nonprofits on fundraising efforts as a consultant. Ms. Levine currently serves as Education Chairwoman on the Board of Directors of AIGA San Diego. Ms. Levine’s professional experience also includes brand developed for educational resource materials such as National Geographic School Publishing, Pearson, McGraw Hill and La Jolla Country Day School, USD, UCSD. Ms. Levine is an educator at Point Loma Nazarene University and San Diego City College, and a former participant in the CCDC’s Downtown Educational Task Force. Ms. Levine received her BFA degree in communications design from the University of Denver, and attended an Executive Development program at the Harvard School of Business. A passionate advocate for innovative education, Ms. Levine was the lead petitioner for Urban Discovery Academy’s charter petition with two children, one currently enrolled in UDA.
 
Esther M. LaPorta - Secretary
Ms. LaPorta is currently working as an independent fundraising consultant. Ms. LaPorta retired from the University of San Diego (“USD”) as Associate Vice President for University Relations where she held many other leadership and development positions during her 16 year tenure at USD. Prior to her work with USD, Ms. LaPorta served as Executive Director of the Palomar College Foundation and Director of Development for University of San Diego High School. Ms. LaPorta volunteers her time as President of the board and member of the Community Council for Mary Magdalene Apostle Catholic Community and as a member of the Cabrillo-Diego Branch of the American Association of University Women, where she also once served as Branch President. Ms. LaPorta has also been involved in numerous other nonprofit organizations. Early in her career, Ms. LaPorta also taught speech and drama. Ms. LaPorta holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Drama and English from Marywood University in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Ms. LaPorta’s career and interests have been devoted to education, to nonprofit management and to resource development.
 
Edward L. Abeyta, Ph.D.
Edward is Director of K-16 Programs at UC San Diego (UCSD) Extension. Prior to joining UCSD Extension in 1995, Edward began his service at UCSD as a counselor for the Early Academic Outreach Program serving underrepresented students in San Diego high schools and later assumed the role of Registrar and Director of Academic Services at UC San Diego Extension. Dr. Abeyta has a B.A. from the University of New Mexico, a M.A. from the University of San Diego and his Ph.D. in Post Secondary Adult Education from Capella University. Edward has been recognized from UCSD and the UC Office of the President for his involvement in staff diversity and development initiatives. In 2008 Edward was selected to a two year term as the Staff Advisor to The Regents where he served on the UC Diversity Commission, Post-retirement Task Force, and The Regents UC Commission on the Future. Edward is also Trustee of the San Diego Youth Symphony and Conservatory, board member on the San Diego Workforce Partnership Workforce Advancement Committee and Youth Council, and founder of the Science, Technology, Engineering, +Arts, and Math STEM to STE[+a]M global network.
 
Andrea N. Myers

Ms. Myers is shareholder with the firm. Her practice emphasizes complex business litigation, real property disputes, professional liability defense, and employment litigation. Ms. Myers received her B.A. in economics and government from Claremont McKenna College in 2003, and her J.D. from the University of San Diego School of Law in 2008. While in law school Ms. Myers received multiple honors in legal research and writing, and the award for excellence in oral advocacy. She was also the recipient of the CALI Excellence for the Future Award in Law of the American Democracy. Prior to joining Seltzer Caplan McMahon Vitek, Ms. Myers worked as an analyst for Mercer Consulting. Ms. Myers was a summer associate at Seltzer Caplan McMahon Vitek in 2007.

 
Paul Ryan
Paul Ryan is a seasoned executive who has experience leading a wide variety of business functions across multiple industries, with experience in both Europe, Asia Pacific and the United States. He currently leads partner strategy and transformation activities for Hewlett Packard Enterprise Group. He lives in San Diego with his wife and daughter, enjoys biking, skiing and cooking and in 2008 he was fortunate to be involved in the creation of the Urban Discovery Academy Charter School in downtown San Diego. And holds an Executive Degree in Business Administration and Accounting from Cambridge University, England.
 
Jim Zoll
Jim Zoll has an earned doctorate from the University of San Diego in educational leadership. Thirty six years of teaching and administrative experience in the public/private K-16 education and busi­ness arena. Arizona, Alaska, California, Massachusetts and New York State teaching and administrative creden­tials to warrant appointment as superintendent. Sensitivity and experience in multi-cultural environment in urban, suburban and rural settings. Ability to maintain momentum in moving a school forward with a common vision. Superintendent communication/public relations skills in representing a school district to its public/private constituencies through high visibility and involvement in the community. Experience in developing partnerships between education, business, government, and other community groups. Knowledgeable and experienced in long-range planning, community growth and development, fiscal management, new construction, budget and facilities development, personnel management and educational technology (administrative and instructional). Success­ful in working with federal, state, and county governance, local governing boards, site councils and student governments in defining roles and developing mutual trust. Experience in working with ethnically diverse community populations and representative political groups in a sensitive and positive way. Possess a comprehensive understanding of and a commitment to the unique needs of a school district, including elementary, middle, high school (technical and college preparatory) continuing, alternative, technical, special and developmental education.