Camino Nuevo Charter Academy

Board of Directors

Mark H. Dalzell, Chairman


Mark Dalzell recently retired from The Capital Group Companies, a large Los Angeles-based investment management firm. At The Capital Group Companies, Mark served as a Senior Vice President of Capital Research Company and a fixed income portfolio manager. Originally from Pittsburgh, PA, Mark received an undergraduate degree in international affairs from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University in 1976, and a master’s degree in public policy from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University in 1979. He has lived in New York and London, and moved to Los Angeles in 1997. He is currently a resident of Brentwood and Laguna Beach. Mark has a strong interest in public and international affairs. Since coming to Los Angeles he has been active with Pueblo Nuevo Development in the MacArthur Park area of the city and is currently the Chairman of the Board of Camino Nuevo Charter Academy. Mark is involved with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association as a Board member, and is active on the Governance Committee and the Finance and Community Affairs committees. He is also a Board member of the Los Angeles Opera.


Shiho Ito, Secretary


Shiho Ito is a community organizer and founding officer of Camino Nuevo Charter Academy. Starting in 1990 as part of the community’s grassroots organizing efforts, she served as founding officer for Pueblo Nuevo Development, the community development corporation that launched the CNCA schools. She has led outreach initiatives at Larchmont Charter, mentored at-risk youth at Community Magnet, and served on the California Council of Parent Participation Nursery Schools. Shiho currently chairs the Education Committee at Ikar, a progressive, egalitarian Jewish community. She is active in the Yale Alumni Schools Committee, Get Lit: Words Ignite, and L.A. Drama Club’s Shakespeare in the City, bringing the classics to underserved neighborhoods through performing arts classes. She works as a project consultant for Angeleno Group LLC, and as a translator for Pacific Asian Language Services. Prior to the birth of her children, she worked in film production and acquisitions for the Japanese market. She received a bachelor's degree from Yale University, where she majored in both English and East Asian Studies.


Celia Garcia Alvarado
Celia Garcia Alvarado is the Vice President of Corps Member and Alumni Impact at Teach For America in Los Angeles. In her role, she leads the largest regional team that is responsible for coaching and developing corp members and supporting and accelerating the leadership trajectory and impact of all alumni in the education sector. Prior to joining Teach For America, she was the Executive Director for Education Pioneers' Western Region, overseeing the organization's work in California, Colorado and Washington and successfully leading the launch of a new program site in Denver. Celia began her career as an educator in the Los Angeles Unified School District and was named Teacher of the Year in 2003 for her district. She was later a Managing Director on the teacher leadership development team at Teach For America-Los Angeles, and led the team responsible for coaching and developing close to 300 corps members who collectively taught approximately 22,000 students in low-income communities across Los Angeles County. Celia received her B.A. from Stanford University, her Ed.M. from Harvard University and Ed.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles. She is an adjunct faculty member at Loyola Marymount University’s Graduate School of Education.


David Gidlow
David Gidlow is an executive in the apparel industry, specializing in product development, sourcing, and manufacturing. He has worked for a mix of large corporations (Warner Bros. and Macy's) as well as smaller, entrepreneurial companies (BUM Equipment and Babystyle) and has traveled extensively in Asia, Latin America, and Europe. A native of St. Louis, David earned a B.A. in Political Science from Occidental College and an MBA in Marketing from the Anderson Graduate School of Management at UCLA. He is an avid swimmer, cyclist, and baker.


Alicia Maldonado


Alicia Maldonado is President of Mockingbird Communications and brings over three decades of experience and expertise in strategic planning and communications, media relations, community outreach, organizational development and collaboration with coalitions on social reform issues. She also has a passion and commitment to advancing education reform through small learning communities, charter schools, effective parental engagement, and other reform measures that improve the quality of education students receive. Prior to starting her own company, Ms. Maldonado served as deputy managing director for the public affairs advocacy firm GCG Rose & Kindel in Los Angeles. Before that, she worked as senior director of communications and public policy for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) and also sits on the USC Keck School of Medicine Dean's Community Leadership Council. She received her master’s degree from the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communications.


Gabriel Sandoval


Gabriel Sandoval is a Partner in the statewide education law practice group of Atkinson, Andelson, Loya, Ruud & Romo, a California-based law firm representing over 450 educational institutions including universities, community colleges, school districts, and charter schools. Prior to joining the firm, Gabriel served in President Barack Obama’s administration as Senior Advisor and Director of Policy for the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics. In this capacity, Gabriel advanced Executive Order 13555, which focused on expanding and improving the educational opportunities and outcomes for Latinos from cradle to career. While in the Obama administration, Gabriel also served as Senior Counsel in the Office for Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Education—the largest office of the federal government focused exclusively on ensuring that students are not discriminated based on race, color, national origin, sex, or disability. Gabriel is a Pahara-Aspen Education Fellow, a Member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network, and an American Marshall Memorial Fellow of the German Marshall Fund of the United States. He earned his B.A. with departmental honors from Stanford University and J.D. from Columbia University School of Law, where he was a recipient of a Human Rights Fellowship.


Cindy Lee Smet


Cindy Lee Smet had a professional career in finance prior to having a family. While her three sons were attending the public elementary schools in Hermosa Beach, she was an active volunteer and board member in both the PTO and the Hermosa Beach Education Foundation. She is a founding trustee of the Vistamar School, an independent high school in El Segundo, which opened in 2005. Cindy and her husband John have a family foundation which, among other initiatives, funds a literacy program at four Catholic Elementary Schools in the Los Angeles area. Onward Readers supports children in grades pre-K through third read at or above grade level. Cindy also currently sits on the board of the California Science Center Foundation. With a BA in Economics from the University of Virginia, she started her career as a commercial lender for a large bank in Georgia and earned her MBA at UCLA and worked in securities sales in Citicorp's investment bank. She also worked for three years in corporate finance at PaineWebber and Company.


Paul Cummins, Co-founder and Board Emeritus


Paul Cummins has devoted his life to creating opportunities for children from all backgrounds to have access to quality education that engages them, respects them, and inspires them to develop a lifelong passion for learning. In 1971, he co-founded Crossroads School in Santa Monica and, under his leadership, the school became one of the most successful educational institutions in Los Angeles and a national model for innovative, independent schools. In 1995, Paul stepped down as Headmaster of Crossroads and formed New Visions Foundation (now Coalition for Engaged Education) to offer opportunities for Engaged Education to all youth. Paul has since implemented a number of innovative programs to help children at risk. He earned a B.A. from Stanford University, his MAT from Harvard, and his doctorate from the University of Southern California. He has served as a trustee on over 20 boards. Paul and his wife Mary Ann reside in Santa Monica. They have four daughters and five grandchildren.


Philip Lance, PhD, Co-founder and Board President Emeritus


Philip Lance is a nationally recognized leader in the field of community development with extensive experience in community organizing, fundraising, and nonprofit management. In addition to being a founder of Camino Nuevo Charter Academy, Philip served as its Board President for 16 years. He also founded and led Pueblo Nuevo Development, a non-profit community development corporation, from 1993 to 2016. In this capacity, he raised $32 million from private philanthropy to help build the Camino Nuevo school facilities. Philip is an ordained minister in the Episcopal Church and currently works as a licensed clinical psychologist in private practice.