BOARD OF DIRECTORS
The Los Angeles Universal Preschool (LAUP) Board of Directors is a governing entity that is entrusted with guiding our organization's mission in making voluntary quality preschool education universally accessible to every four-year-old in Los Angeles County whose parents choose to participate, regardless of their family's income.
The 2015-2016 LAUP Board of Directors is comprised of the following:
Richard Martinez became Superintendent of the Pomona Unified School District (PUSD) in 2009. He has focused on closing the achievement gap and preparing youth for a 21st century global economy by promoting high standards for all students. His professional career began as a crisis intervention counselor in Bell Gardens, where he served in the police department, providing crisis response and counseling services in the areas of child abuse, domestic violence, and gangs. Martinez began his career in education in the Montebello Unified School District as a Child Welfare and Attendance Counselor. In PUSD, he has distinguished himself as a team builder and effective collaborator. He has served on many local, county, and state boards and committees in the areas of school leadership, finance, urban education, legislative policy, safety, guidance, and child welfare. Martinez is proud to share that he is a product of Head Start and the Los Angeles Unified School District. He earned a bachelor’s degree in social work from California State University, Los Angeles, and obtained his counseling and administrative credentials from the University of La Verne.
Nestor Barrero, J.D.
Nestor Barrero is currently the vice president of Employment Law for NBC Universal in Universal City. At NBC Universal, Barrero provides preventive legal advice and training for managers, and provides advice on internal policies and procedures affecting the NBC Universal workforce in the corporate, broadcast and network operations, film, NBC and Telemundo television stations, as well as worldwide theme park businesses. He is also responsible for counseling management on all employment law matters. Barrero is a member of the California State Bar Labor and Employment Law Section. Barrero also serves on the Board of the Constitutional Rights Foundation, and is a member of the Hispanic National Bar Association and the Association of Corporate Counsel.
Barrero has served as President of the California Employment Law Council. He is also active in professional and community organizations such as the Bilingual Foundation of the Arts and the UCLA Academic Advancement Program. Barrero, who is a resident of Monrovia, was elected to the LAUP Board of Directors to represent the Corporate and Development sectors in 2011.
Dora Jacildo is the Executive Director of Comprehensive Child Development, Inc. She has over 24 years of experience in the field of early care and education, beginning as a preschool teacher and later transitioning to manager of the Resource and Referral Department at Connections for Children. During her time at Connections for Children, she helped hundreds of child care providers start their own businesses, and was instrumental in improving access to and the quality of child care programs in Los Angeles County. She helped develop the pilot for KCET's “A Place of Their Own” and “Los Niños En Su Casa,” and actively participated in drafting the initial quality standards for LAUP (where she was appointed to the Board of Directors by Supervisor Don Knabe in 2013).
Dora has served on many local committees and councils as member or chair, including vice president of the California Child Care Resource and Referral Network, and chair of the Los Angeles County Policy Roundtable for Child Care and Development. Jacildo has a master's degree in Human Development and Social Change from Pacific Oaks College. She was a part-time faculty member at Los Angeles Harbor College and taught in the Child Development Department. She also served as Executive Director for Children Today and SAHARA before joining the staff at Comprehensive.
Francie Alexander is the Senior Vice President and Chief Academic Officer for the Intervention Solutions Group at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH). She manages the evidence-based portfolio of research projects. She’s especially focused on translating research results into recommendations for product development. She provides thought leadership to the group on topics ranging from early learning to support for adolescent learners who struggle. Francie has a long legacy of service to education. Before joining the LAUP board she served on the LAUP Corporate Council and currently serves on the Children’s Museum of Manhattan (CMOM) advisory committee on expansion, the Text Project Advisory Board and the PBS Next Generation Media Advisory Board. She has been a frequent guest on NBC’s TODAY Show and has written columns for The New York Post. Additionally, Francie has authored almost 50 children’s books including Dots! Dots! Dots! at the Museum, Clifford’s Phonics Fun, and How Does Your Salad Grow? Her latest are three new alphabet e-books for HMH’s iRead, a digital foundational reading program.
Bishop Henry W. Hearns, Sr.
Bishop Henry W. Hearns, Sr., a resident of Lancaster, has been actively involved in civic and other community activities for much of his life. A retired Chief of the Environmental Branch at Edwards Air Force Base in the Antelope Valley, Hearns is the only African-American minister ever elected to the City of Lancaster City Council. He served for 10 years as vice-mayor and two terms as mayor of Lancaster. Hearns continues to serve on numerous boards and committees, including the United Way, NAACP, the Housing Urban Development Community Development Act Board, the American Cancer Society, the Advisory Board for the Boys & Girls Club, and as program sponsor for the Antelope Valley Black Infant Health Program. In 1965, Hearns was selected as senior pastor for the Living Stone Cathedral of Worship Church in Sun Village. Hearns was appointed to the LAUP Board of Directors by Supervisor Michael Antonovich in 2011.
Kathleen Malaske-Samu recently retired from the County of Los Angeles where she addressed child care and development issues for 22 years, including serving as the Director of the Office of Child Care from 2001 to 2015. Prior to her work with Los Angeles County, Ms. Malaske-Samu was the Executive Director of a child care resource and referral agency serving the eastern San Gabriel Valley. Her child development classroom experience was earned in Minnesota and California, working with preschool and school age children. Ms. Malaske-Samu holds a BA in Child Psychology from the University of Minnesota, and Master of Arts degrees from Pacific Oaks College in Human Development and University of California Los Angeles in Urban Planning. Ms. Malaske-Samu was appointed to the LAUP Board of Directors by Supervisor Sheila Kuehl in 2015.
David Crippens is a consultant whose experience includes over 30 years of nonprofit management, fundraising and media development, with a major focus of providing interim leadership and management for nonprofit agencies facing transitional challenges. He formerly served as senior vice president of Foundations and Education for KCET-TV. In that capacity, he was responsible for raising more than $70 million for programs and educational services. He is also the beneficiary of many awards for his service to education, broadcasting and nonprofit organizations.
Crippens currently serves on the Unite-LA Board of Directors, as well as the Los Angeles Workforce Investment Board Youth Council, and is a past member of the School Construction Bond Citizens Oversight Committee. He is a graduate of Antioch College and San Diego State University. Crippens was appointed to the LAUP Board of Directors by Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas in 2011.
Jean Bixby Smith
Jean Bixby Smith is a long-time business leader, volunteer and community activist. She is retired from Bixby and Alamitos Land Companies, having served both organizations as board chair and president. She has been a trustee of Scripps College since 1980, where she held the position of board chair for eight years. Smith also served on the board of the Long Beach Day Nursery for nine years, including two years as president and two years as treasurer. Her current community boards include: the Long Beach Community Foundation, American Red Cross (Greater Long Beach Chapter), Rancho Los Cerritos Foundation and Tichenor Orthopedic Clinic for Children. In addition, she is a director of International City Bank. Smith was elected to the LAUP Board of Directors to represent the Corporate and Development sectors in 2004.