Alison Martin, Board President, VIPHS/Parents in Partnership

Education, opportunity and enrichment have been the cornerstones of Alison Martin’s drive and commitment. Besides her work as an Emmy award-winning actress/writer, Alison Martin has supported and created enrichment programs in California public schools for over 15 years.

As president of the nonprofit, Parents For Carpenter, Alison oversaw and increased the fundraising drive to raise over $375,000 yearly. At that point, she expanded the school’s enrichment programs to include dance and she created the Carpenter Ave. Science Lab with a dedicated science teacher. She then moved onto Sherman Oaks Center for Enriched Studies, where she created their first elementary school physical education program with a dedicated PE teacher and their first middle-school robotics class. This robotics class then formed a team that went on to earn accolades and awards across California.

In 2011, Alison created the nonprofit, OUTSIDE IN ENRICHMENT, that worked with LAUSD to bring PE programs to underserved elementary schools. That nonprofit became Parents in Partnership, which served and supported high school students at the Van Nuys site of iLEAD NoHo.

In 2016, Alison was the lead petitioner for the current charter high school – VALLEY INTERNATIONAL PREPARATORY HIGH SCHOOL. That petition was granted in December of 2017! VIPHS encompasses the goals of student success, college readiness and safe, inclusive peer attachment that has always been important for Alison.

Robert Burke, Board member, VIPHS/Parents In Partnership

Robert Burke is currently the executive director of Valley Charter
School and is responsible for much of the success of this amazing
elementary/middle school educational institution. That should be no surprise as, Robert has served as an educator for the past 26 years and has an extensive background working in large, urban school districts. He has experience teaching at all grade levels and has served as a special education teacher, a Resource Specialist, and a counselor for adults with learning disabilities. Abroad, he has taught in Liverpool, England and been a guest
instructor in partnership with the Bureau of Education in Taegu, Korea.

Mr. Burke is the former principal of the Open Magnet Charter School, an innovative and highly successful public school, founded by parents in 1977. Through Mr. Burke’s efforts, the school received the prestigious California Distinguished School and Magnet School of Merit awards. In addition, he has successfully facilitated the renewal of the school’s charter both in 2003 and
2008. His proudest achievement is the facilitation of professional development activities that resulted in closing the achievement gap among targeted groups of students.

Prior to being the principal of The Open Charter Magnet School, Mr. Burke worked in the San Francisco Unified School District as a coordinator, administrator for middle and high school operations, and a school principal. Mr. Burke holds Master degrees in Counseling from California State University, Long Beach and Educational Leadership from St. Mary’s College.

Vanessa Mac Adam, Board Member, VIPHS/Parents in Partnership

As an award-winning, experienced content commercial producer with senior level agency background, Vanessa brings a positive, can-do attitude to all her projects with creative thinking,knowledge and flexibility to help us enjoy the journey.
Vanessa has worked at DDB offices in San Francisco, Chicago and Los Angeles, as well as other international agencies such as O &
M, David & Goliath and Draft FCB. Her experience ranges from low budget web videos, to multi-spot, international campaigns
with budgets in the multi-million dollar range. She is a creative problem solver with the ability to think on her feet and a team player with broad expertise in all aspects of production.
Vanessa’s client list read’s like a who’s who of advertising’s top brands and includes Anheuser Busch, McDonald’s, Honda, Activision, General Mills, Clorox, Wells Fargo and Bacardi to name a few. Her work has been recognized with numerous, prestigious
awards, including the national prime time Emmy, the One Show gold pencil and 3 appearances in the USA Today/Super bowl Ad Meter top 10 commercials list. She has also made time to write two children’s books with a third in the DUSTY PUPPIES series on the way!

Vanessa’s interest in education and serving others started many
years ago. She has volunteered at HOPE OF THE VALLEY serving
the homeless population there and at THE GIVING SPIRIT,
organizing outreach events for the community. She was an avid
volunteer at iLEAD North Hollywood and joined the Parents In
Partnership Board very early on. She was the chair person and
organizer for many fundraising events for the students. Serving
on the current VIPHS board continues her interest and love
of creatively serving the underserved in the San Fernando Valley.

Karen Shoemaker, Board Member, VIPHS/Parents In Partnership

Karen is one of those right-brain, left-brain people. She thrives on
creativity and is also a data-lover. The need to set measurable
goals and exceed them gives her tremendous satisfaction. Team
building is one of her greatest strengths. She knows great
potential when she sees it and really knows how to create and
motivate teams to surpass goals and have fun while doing it.

As Director of Field Marketing for Winstar Communications, Karen
built and directly managed a nationwide Field Marketing organization responsible for supporting the entire sales team.
She conceptualized and rolled out an extremely innovative award-
winning field marketing plan that was highly successful and
copied by competitors. Prior to Winstar, she was part of MCI
Communications’ Global Alliance Strategy & Development team
where she traveled extensively throughout the Americas
evaluating business opportunities for expansion and
partnership. Besides her impressive resume as a marketing
strategist, Karen has been involvement in fundraising for
educational programs for many years.
As chairperson of the Bridges Academy Walkathon, Karen
breathed new life into a stale and declining fund raiser. After
setting specific measurable goals for student participation in fund-
raising, and community involvement, she researched and
evaluated online peer to peer fundraising platforms for both event
management and team building aspects to achieve goals.

In 2014 she served on the board of Parents In Partnership as
Director of Ways and Means committee. Karen was instrumental
in flushing a possible fraud at senior levels of charter
management organization resulting investigation. She worked
with head of school to identify new charter management
organization and help establish that new CMO.
As ePhilanthropy Consultant for Mediasation Web Development in
2007, Karen conceptualized and defined web applications for
nonprofits such a South Carolina Autism Society and the Beating
 The Odds foundation. Besides working with technical and creative
teams to bring ideas to life, she created a social media apps for
nonprofit education and engaged in graphic design to help
develop the look of the site.
Her marketing work as a branding consultant involved working
primarily with small businesses, nonprofits, and start up
companies to define brands and create plans to achieve the goals.
From comprehensive brand identity programs to executed
promotions and communications, Karen has worked on projects
large and small.

Karen earned her M.B.A. from James Madison University and her
bachelor’s degree in Marketing Management from Virginia Tech.
In her spare time, Karen enjoys fundraising for schools, traveling
and learning new software. She lives in Studio City, California
with her husband and two children.

Andrea Slad, Secretary,
VIPHS/ Parents in Partnership

Pro-active, organized, hard working, Andrea is passionate about
education and allowing the “whole child” to succeed. Staring off
her career as a bookkeeper for the Hanuer company, Andrea
decided she wanted to see the world and bthen hagen working for
United Airlines. Andrea worked as both gate and flight attendant
at LAX and Chicago O’Hare airports. Those positions taught her to
be detail-orientated, highly aware of safety issues and dedicated
to serving others.
When her child entered school, she decided to switch careers so
she could be more of a hands-on mother and began working as a
business associate for Larchmont Charter – a job she continues to
hold today. She coordinates Account Payables with some of
her responsibilities including: registering all vendors and code
connections between campus to line items, scanning allocated
invoices to Larchmont’s back office – EDTECH, coordinating
specific on-campus check writing, traveling to the four campuses
to collect money and inter-campus mail.

She is
 also responsible for fund dispersement across all four campuses.
In her free time, she volunteered at her son’s high school and
that was when she became a Parents In Partnership Board
member. Her duties on the board were extensive as she helped
with communication, fundraising, grant-writing and event
planning. When Valley International Prep High School’s charter
 was accepted, she was ready to set up to the VIPHS board and
assume the roles as secretary.


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VIPHS is operated by Parents In Partnership (“PIP”) in accordance with the Charter Schools Act and nonprofit public benefit corporation law. VIP will be governed pursuant to the Bylaws adopted by the PIP Board. The Board of Directors of PIP and the administrative staff will be responsible for all aspects of the day‐to‐day operations of the Charter School, including, but not limited to, making necessary provisions for accounting, budgeting, liability, payroll, purchasing, and insurance. The Board of Directors will help ensure effective organizational planning by approving long‐range goals and annual objectives, monitoring the general policies including but not limited to: compliance, health and safety, facilities, and resource usage. The day‐to‐day operations and management of VIP will be provided by the Executive Director and the administrative staff.


The PIP Board of Directors (“Board of Directors” or “Board”) will hold the mission of the Charter School and will ensure Charter School carries out the terms of the charter. The Board of Directors is accountable for the academic, financial, and operational success of the Charter School, and is responsible for providing financial oversight of the Charter School.

The Treasurer and the Finance Committee (if established) will support the Board in monitoring the Charter School’s finances as well as ensure that the Charter School has robust financial and accounting systems and procedures in place. The Board will be responsible for providing fiscal accountability by approving and monitoring the budget, which will be initially reviewed and provided to the Board by the Charter School staff. In compliance with Education Code Section 47606.5, the Charter School will consult with teachers, principals, administrators, other school personnel, parents, and students to develop an annual budget and LCAP (by May of the previous year) and present it to the full Board for review and approval. Monthly financial reports with analyses of actual revenues and expenses versus budgeted amounts will be submitted to the Board along with an income statement and balance sheet. The Board will contract with an approved education auditor to conduct an independent financial audit.

The Board will be responsible for hiring, supporting and evaluating the Executive Director, and will set the compensation for the Executive Director to execute the day‐to‐day management of the Charter School. To ensure the Executive Director is effectively implementing the mission of VIP, the Board will evaluate the Executive Director on a yearly basis and provide a written evaluation to be placed in the personnel file of the Executive Director. The Executive Director will be responsible for hiring, supporting and evaluating all school staff. In addition to managing the Charter School staff and implementing the day‐to‐day program of VIP, the Executive Director will be responsible for providing timely reports to the Board of Directors. Each month, the Executive Director will report back to the board through written management reports, financial and academic dashboards provided at all meetings which will be publicly announced and held in full compliance with the Brown Act. The Charter School Principal is responsible for ensuring the academic success of the Charter School.  The Principal works closely with the Executive Director, and is responsible for submitting reports to the Executive Director regarding school culture, academic data, and professional development of the staff on a regular basis.


College. Culture. Communication.

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