Board of Directors

Board of Directors
The Board of Directors of Synergy Academies includes individuals who have a variety of knowledge and success in organizational leadership and public education, including professional experience relevant to Synergy’s mission:
Edward 'Ted' Morris (Chair), Executive Director, Collegiate Charter High School. Ted began his career in education teaching in South Los Angeles and has worked as an elementary and middle school teacher and a charter school founder and leader for over 25 years. He was a Building Excellent Schools Fellow prior to founding Futuro Prep Elementary School, which merged with Endeavor College Prep to become a K-8 charter school and is now part of KIPP SoCal. Ted has extensive experience in all aspects of charter school governance, finance, compliance, operations, and instructional leadership. He holds a dual degree in Economics and Japanese from Claremont McKenna College and a Master in School Administration from UCLA's Principal Leadership Institute. Term expires 06/30/25.


Brenda Andrade, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Chemistry at California State University Los Angeles. Throughout Dr. Andrade's career as a research scientist and scholar, she has trained and mentored students pursuing their careers in science. Being a first-generation college student and discovering the challenges of reaching her career goals without guidance made her determined to improve the path for future generations of scientists and give back to underserved and underrepresented communities in STEM. Term expires 06/30/24.


Marc Bauer, Attorney, Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, LLP. Marc is a public finance attorney based in Los Angeles who has worked on many facilities financing transactions for charter schools.  Term expires 06/30/25.


Danette Garcia, Field Deputy, City of Los Angeles Council District 9. Driven by passion for her community, Danette has volunteered and worked for local government, non-profits, and local businesses in South Central LA. In her current role, Danette is involved in district affairs, connecting and collaborating with community members. She is an alumna of Synergy Charter Academy and Synergy Kinetic Academy, and holds a Bachelor's of Arts in Political Science and a Minor in Labor Studies from UCLA. As a South LA resident and a Synergy alumna, Danette brings a relatable perspective and a desire to empower Synergy students and staff. Term expires 06/30/24.


Erik Hagstrom, Director of Real Estate, KIPP SoCal Public Schools. Erik has extensive experience in charter school real estate, managing the entitlement and construction of build-to-suit charter school facilities in both Washington State and California. He also served as the Director of Real Estate for a national engineering firm, where he oversaw the acquisition and asset management of a portfolio of owner-occupied real estate investments. Erik has an MBA from the Marshall School of Business at USC, a BA in Architecture from UC Berkeley, and has experience as a licensed real estate salesperson in California. Term expires 06/30/24.


John Holman, Partner, Architect Capital. John has over 11 years of transaction experience as an investor, investment banker, and corporate attorney. He has worked on numerous transactions involving companies across many different industries and growth stages. John is currently a Partner at Architect Capital, where he co-leads the firm’s investment and capital raising activities, as well as firm-wide strategic initiatives. Prior to Architect, John worked at Victory Park Capital, Houlihan Lokey, and Latham & Watkins. Term expires 06/30/25.


Dulcie Kermah (Vice Chair), Director of the UHI Student Research Core, Biostatistician, and Assistant Professor at Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science. As faculty, Dr. Kermah has had the opportunity to be a mentor and advisor to middle, high school, and undergraduate and graduate students for over 15 years. Additionally, she develops and implements research training programs to expose and train student's to gain skills and knowledge in pursuing careers in the biomedical, behavioral, social and clinical sciences. She is passionate about increasing educational opportunities for students from underrepresented minority communities, with a focus in STEM education. Term expires 06/30/24.


Aubrey MarshTax Manager, Citrin Cooperman. Aubrey is tax accountant with a strong focus on real estate partnerships.  She also assists with forensic analysis in various litigation matters, including damage calculations and money laundering schemes.  Prior to working in public accounting, Aubrey worked as a Client Manager with a firm that provided back office services to Charter Schools. She was also a middle school math teacher in Uganda for two years during her Peace Corps service. Term expires 06/30/25.


Nazareth Riquelme, Coordinator of Literacy and Language, Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District. Nazareth has worked in education in Los Angeles for nearly 20 years with the guiding belief that the commitment we make to students, teachers, leaders, and schools is critically important in shaping a world that reflects the values of equity of access and opportunity for all. In her current role, she supports the implementation of effective instructional practices across the K-12 grade spans and works with district and site leadership, instructional coaches, and teachers to advance district goals. She has also served as a school leader in local charter schools and as an adjunct professor of early literacy with Loyola Marymount University. Nazareth initially began her work in education as a Teach For America teacher in the inner city of Los Angeles. Term expires 06/30/24.


To contact the Members of the Board, please call (323) 235-7960.