Governance: Tree of Life International Charter School
Founding Board of Directors
Deborah Wallace–School Director, Tree of Life International Charter School
Born and raised in Napa, CA, Deb learned Spanish at an early age. After receiving her Multiple Subject Teaching Credential from Santa Clara University, Deb began her teaching career in Santiago, Chile. She and her husband later returned to Napa and began their life-long careers as Bilingual teachers. Deb was one of the first bilingual teachers hired in Napa Valley Unified and later became a Program Coordinator, Assistant Principal and Principal at Napa Valley Language Academy, an award winning dual immersion charter school. She received a fellowship to study Bilingual Leadership Development at Sacramento State Univ, and obtained her MA in Ed Admin in 1997. She currently works for Shasta County Office of Ed as an Administrative Leadership Coach, and Director of Services for Foster and Homeless Youth. In addition, she is an adjunct Professor of Ed at Simpson University teaching Multicultural Education. She believes that by giving children two languages, we can build a bridge that brings families together to create life-long bonds, and has the power to transform a community.
Todd Goble, President of the Board
Todd Goble graduated from Allegheny College, in Meadville, PA with a B.A. in English and an M.A. in Education. He began teaching in the Cleveland area in 1970. Todd has been involved with alternative high school education since 1974, when he helped start and teach in a school for potential drop-outs that continued for 26 years in Ohio. He was a teacher at an at-risk high school, an assistant high school principal, a principal of an at-risk high school, and a principal at a career-technical high school. He is certified as a public school superintendent and started work on a PhD in Urban Education at Cleveland State University. Todd served as teacher, principal and executive director for Pikes Peak Academy, an alternative Christian high school for at-risk students in Colorado Springs. He served as VP for Education for the StreetSchool Network from 2003-2010, when he designed and implemented a national replication model under a Bill and Melinda Gates grant called the Alternative High School Initiative. He also integrated accreditation into this process. Todd has been involved with accreditation since 2005 and is a Lead Evaluator with AdvancED. During 2011, he was Interim Executive Director of AHSI, and a Senior Fellow at the Sagamore Institute. From January 2014 to October, 2015, he was the CEO for The Summit Education Group and led them to become accredited as an AdvancED corporation. He is owner and principal consultant at the T.W. Goble Group, LLC, an educational consulting firm.
Dawn DeJong, Instructional Coach and Founding Board Secretary
Dawn has been in education for over 30 years. She has a BA in Bilingual Ed. from Eastern University and an M.Ed. in Curriculum Development and Instruction from Wesley Collage. She taught Spanish in a successful charter school in Dover, DE for several years, 2nd grade in a large school district in San Antonio, TX for 5 years, ESL at the University of Texas San Antonio and is currently teaching a TESOL Curriculum Design course at Simpson University. She is married to James DeJong, a brilliant polyglot, and has two beautiful grown daughters.
Jim DeJong, Founding Board Treasurer
Professor DeJong was born in the USA, but raised by teacher parents in South India where he did his schooling in an International School. He learned the local language, Tamil, and German as a student and later turned language learning into his college major. He studied abroad in Vienna, Austria for a year and then returned to Tacoma, WA where he completed a BA in German with minors in Spanish and French. After this he spent two years in Pamplona, Spain completing the coursework for an MA in Spanish Literature, and beginning his career as an ESL teacher working with children, teenagers, and adults in a private language academy. He also met his future wife there. He completed his MA in Spanish Literature at the University of Delaware with extra coursework in language pedagogy and linguistics. He was a full-time Spanish Instructor at the University of Delaware for 14 years, and served additionally as a course coordinator for multilevel courses as well as a study abroad director on 3 occasions. In 2005 he moved to San Antonio, Texas where he was an adjunct Spanish faculty member at Trinity University for 10 years, and at the same time an adjunct ESL instructor at San Antonio College for 8 years. He and his wife bought and ran a business for three years in Texas before selling it in anticipation of making a move to California. Currently he resides in Redding, CA where he has begun work as the lead paraprofessional for ESL and World Languages at Shasta College, and as an adjunct professor of Linguistics/TESOL at Simpson University.
Dr. Carol Wertz, Founding Board Member
With over 35 years in education, Carol has developed a wealth of experience in a variety of areas. She holds an MA in Education from Sonoma State with an emphasis in reading, and a doctorate from USC in Educational Leadership. She has taught every grade level from pre-K to adult, both in the United States and overseas. She brings her unique educational experience to Simpson University in Redding, CA, where she has overseen the masters’ and credentialing program in Korea, has directed multi-million dollar grants, and is currently training future teachers in best classroom practices in the areas of language arts and multicultural education.
Janine Mason, Founding Board Vice President
Born and raised in New Zealand, Janine studied at the University of Otago, receiving her BS in Anatomy and Physiology. Janine is the director of Kingdom in the Classroom, an initiative to encourage educators to bring joy and wonder into their classroom environment. Janine has a background in people development, adult training and project management, for both non-profit and profit-based organizations. In addition to being a wonderful mother to four children, Janine is known for her perceptive questions that quickly help clients get to the heart of the matter and develop practical and holistic approaches for moving forward. Janine and her husband Andy are the directors of Dream Culture – a movement catalyzing people to discover and live their dreams. She is the author of Dream Culture: Bringing Dreams to Life, and Kingdom Tools for Teaching.
Damaris “Dee” Cabanillas, Administrative Assistant, Founding Board Member
Dee was born in San Diego and attended school in both Mexico and the US throughout her early years. She attended South Western College and Shasta College and graduated from Bethel School of Ministry. She has worked for almost 6 years with Shasta Head Start in the Language Services Department and is now a Bilingual Case Worker, Parent Trainer and CPR first aid instructor.