"Our mission is to offer a rigorous college preparatory curriculum integrated with real-world, active learning, in a highly supportive collaborative community. Da Vinci Schools build mentoring partnerships for students and teachers with local industries and also with colleges. We create a culture of high expectations where students form safe and strong relationships with teachers, peers, parents, mentors, and the community. We provide each student with rigorous and relevant academic and workplace skills in order to prepare graduates for rewarding lives in an increasingly diverse and information-rich society. We help students explore and develop career skill sets, learn in group settings, and discover career options." -- Chet Pipkin, Board President
Chet Pipkin, the Founder, Chairman, President and CEO of Belkin International, built Belkin from the humble beginnings of his family's Hawthorne garage, manufacturing and selling printer cables. One of the fastest growing computer and consumer electronics companies in the world, Belkin now has 1,200 employees and nearly $1 billion in revenue producing everything from wireless routers to iPod accessories. In his role as Board President, Chet brings exceptional experience and business acumen at the highest levels on strategic and financial planning, building effective organizations, tactical management and executive leadership. Chet sees parallels between his philosophy of management and that of the Da Vinci Schools: give key employees tremendous autonomy and make sure that everyone knows what's expected, with measurements set for every expectation. A Wiseburn native who attended Dana Middle School (the very facility that currently houses Da Vinci Science), Chet has a long history of community involvement and working with children. He has been actively involved in the YMCA's Youth & Government program for over 30 years and serves on its Governing Board, as well as the boards of the YMCA of Metropolitan Los Angeles and Children's Hospital Los Angeles. He has coached at least one, and often two AYSO soccer teams every year for 15 years. Chet and Belkin have made enormous contributions to Da Vinci Schools in the form of technology infrastructure, in-kind support, and strategic business advice.
Don Brann is a founder of Da Vinci Schools and serves as Vice President of Da Vinci Schools’ Board of Trustees. He served the Wiseburn School District as Superintendent for 15 years and is credited with bringing the District into the 21st century. Don retired from Wiseburn in June 2008, leaving a legacy of safe, academically successful schools, three new school buildings, a growing enrollment, supportive community, and substantial funding reserve. He was recently elected to serve on the El Segundo City Council for a second time, following two stints as state trustee of the Inglewood Unified School District and interim superintendent of San Gabriel Unified School District. He is co-founder of the Small School Districts Association. Don brings business acumen, an entrepreneurial spirit, and proven management skills to Da Vinci Schools.
Art Lofton is Vice President Global Quality for Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems. He joined Northrop Grumman as a flight test engineer on the B-2 program in 1990, and has held management positions of increasing responsibility. Art secured the funding and led the creation of the Northrop Grumman Innovation Lab at Da Vinci Schools, a state-of-the-art media center, where students have access to the latest technology to research, design and bring their real-world projects to life in a creative, audio visual environment. Under Art's leadership, Northrop has made significant contributions to Da Vinci Schools in the form of targeted volunteering, in-kind giving, direct financial contributions, and academic support. Art has encouraged greater collaboration between Northrop and Da Vinci Schools by working closely with us to shape the types of real-world projects students will complete in order to develop the critical thinking and specific skill sets Northrop needs in their future employees.
Brian Meath has been a longtime supporter of Da Vinci Schools and the Wiseburn School District, having served as a member of Wiseburn's Board of Trustees from 1997 through 2010, including serving as its President three times. He is a Principal with Nigro Karlin Segal & Feldstein, LLP, specializing in payroll compliance audits for large multi-employer trust funds, working primarily with advertising agencies, and television and theatrical production companies. Brian graduated in 1984 with highest honors from UC Santa Barbara and received his MBA at UC Berkeley. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the Los Angeles Education Partnership. Brian brings substantial business and financial services experience to the Da Vinci Board.
Jennifer Morgan has more than 10 years of experience in the hotel industry, including extensive work preparing The Ritz Carlton, Marina Del Rey Hotel for the successful attainment of the prestigious Malcolm Baldridge National Quality Award for exceptional quality and organizational performance excellence. Jennifer currently serves as Vice President of a South Bay insurance brokerage company and is owner of a home fitness and health business. A resident of Hollyglen, Jennifer has served as PTA President for several Wiseburn schools and is the mother of two children who currently attend Da Vinci Schools. Jennifer's outreach to the Wiseburn community was instrumental in the start up of Da Vinci's high schools.
serves on the Board of Trustees of both Da Vinci Schools and the Wiseburn School District. He joined the Da Vinci Board in 2013 and was instrumental in the launch of Da Vinci's charters. Israel has served on the Wiseburn Board of Trustees since 2001, overseeing with his colleagues the on-time and under-budget completion of the District's construction projects fulfilling Wiseburn's promise to rebuild its schools. Israel brings a wealth of experience and valuable insight in the areas of business, facilities, finance and project management. Born in Costa Rica, Israel came to the U.S. at the age of eight speaking no English. He studied Economics and Business at UCLA, and spent nine years running the UCLA student union and concessions before moving into the food and beverage industry and now the hotel business. Israel currently serves as the general manager of the Courtyard Marriott LAX.
Roger Bañuelos serves on the Board of Trustees for both Da Vinci Schools and Wiseburn Unified School District. He has lived in the Wiseburn community for more than 15 years and has devoted a significant amount of time to community causes, including serving as a board member for the Wiseburn Education Foundation, past chairman of Wiseburn School District Citizen's Oversight Committee, AYSO coach, and Wiseburn Little League assistant coach. As President of Element Consulting, Inc., Roger has over 20 years of experience in providing program, project and construction management services to clients in the public, institutional, governmental and education sectors. Roger brings a wealth of experience in prioritizing student success and preserving a financially sound district and charter organization. Roger and his wife have four sons currently attending Wiseburn and Da Vinci schools.