In addition to connecting teachers with educational resources, we also act as a fiscal sponsor for a number of organizations that do work in the community consistent with our mission. In other words, we manage finances for groups that are too small to incorporate into their own non-profit. We take care of the financial responsibilities and they are free to focus on accomplishing their goals!





Katharine Mendivil, Board President, Sr. Manager of Community Programs, California Science Center

Board President Katharine Mendivil graduated from the University of San Diego with a B.A. in Liberal Arts and a California Multiple Subject Teaching Credential. She has been in the education field for 14 years, teaching 1st – 5th grade and serving as a master teacher in the Long Beach Unified School District; training and supervising staff, educators, and volunteers; and developing and delivering programs for educators, community youth, and the general public. Her current role is as Senior Manager of Community Programs for the California Science Center Foundation, where she oversees all programs for the local underserved community, including the Curator Kids Club, a free science enrichment program for neighborhood children ages 11-13; the Community Teen Internship Program, a paid opportunity for local high school students to learn college and workforce preparedness skills while assisting with educational programs and learning science content; and the Verbum Dei Intern Program, a work-study opportunity for teens involving project-based learning. She also oversees all educational programming for guests in the California Science Center exhibit galleries, as well as Education volunteers and USC work-study students. She has served on the ECCLA Board since 2006, chairing the Leadership Development Committee and serving on the Executive Committee before being named Board President in 2014.

Willa Seidenberg, Faculty Member, University of Southern California

Willa Seidenberg is a Professor of Professional Practice at USC’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.  She is the founder and director of Annenberg Radio News, the University of Southern California’s radio news operation housed at the USC, and Intersections South LA, a reporting lab and community website for South Los Angeles.  It was through her work in South LA that she became familiar with ECCLA and its great work in the schools.  Before USC, Seidenberg was a radio and TV journalist.  She is the co-author, along with her husband, photographer William Short of two photo/oral history projects:  A Matter of Conscience: GI Resistance During the Vietnam War and Memories of the American War: Stories from Viet Nam.

Dr. Lawrence Picus, Vice Dean for Faculty Affairs; Professor of Education Finance and Policy, University of Southern California

Dr. Lawrence O. Picus is vice dean for faculty affairs and professor of education finance and policy in the USC Rossier School of Education. His current research interests focus on adequacy and equity in school finance as well as efficiency and productivity in the provision of educational programs for PreK-12 school children. Picus is past-president of the Association for Education Finance and Policy, and is the president of EdSource where he has been a member of the board of directors for 14 years.

Picus’ other books include: In Search of More Productive Schools: A Guide to Resource Allocation in Education, published by the ERIC Clearinghouse on Educational Management; and Developing Community Empowered Schools), coauthored with Mary Ann Burke. Picus is the coauthor of the Association of School Business Officials book, Principles of School Business Administration.He has published numerous articles in professional journals as well. Picus has consulted extensively on school finance issues in more than 20 states. In recent years he completed equity studies in Louisiana, Kansas, Massachusetts, and Montana and has conducted adequacy studies in Arkansas, Arizona, Kentucky, Maine, Wyoming, Wisconsin, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington.

Lawrence O. Picus’ CV

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Molly Porter, Program Coordinator, Natural History Museum of LA County

Michael Dean, Principal, Early College Academy-LA Trade Tech College

Carol Johnston, Professor, Mount Saint Mary’s University

Donna Jacobson, Principal, Alliance Richard Merkin Middle School

Elaine Avak, Former President, California Retired Teachers Association

Frances Strasberg, Former Principal, Norwood Street Elementary School

Elise Woodson, Program Manager and Education Curator, California African American Museum

Margo Leonetti O’Connell, President and Director, Leonetti/O’Connell Family Foundation


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