Board of Directors
The New LA Board of Directors are volunteers who govern the school. The board meets monthly throughout the school year. Meetings are held at the school and are open to the public.
Jonathan J. López, Board Chair
In 2022, Jonathan J. López, Ed.D. took on the Managing Director, Charter Schools role at Para Los Niños. In this role, Jonathan collaborates with PLN Charter Schools Leadership to continue building upon a culture of growth, achievement, support, and holistic success for all students and staff. Prior to working at Para Los Niños, Jonathan worked in various K-16 public education settings including Arizona State University’s campus in Downtown Los Angeles, City Year Los Angeles, Camino Nuevo Charter Academy, Teach For America, and the Los Angeles Unified School District. Jonathan received a Doctorate in Educational Leadership at the University of California, Los Angeles. When he is not indulging his professional passions, he is joyously raising his daughter and admiring her warrior’s spirit.
Matt Albert, Treasurer
Matt Albert, Ed.D., founded and ran New Los Angeles Charter Schools for over a decade. The schools are independent public charter schools serving 600 students in grades K-8. The students who attend the schools are almost entirely low income and non-White. Prior to founding New LA, Dr. Albert was a school administrator and high school teacher at a highly respected independent school in Los Angeles. A well-known professional, Dr. Albert helped develop a school leadership certificate program at UCLA Extension and teaches organizational leadership in the program. He currently serves on the board of directors of the Center for Reflective Communities, a non-profit organization that develops a caregiver’s reflective capacity in order to improve the life-long developmental outcomes for all children but most especially those growing up in adverse circumstances. He has two school age children and lives in Los Angeles, CA.
Steve Barrett, Secretary
Steve Barrett is the Director of Outreach at Wildwood School in West LA where he heads the Wildwood Outreach Center-- an internationally recognized teacher professional development provider. With over 25 years in education, Steve has worn many hats: as a public high school teacher in Illinois, and as a teacher, dean, and program director at independent schools in Southern California. Steve holds a B.A. in the Teaching of History from the University of Illinois at Chicago and an M.Ed. in curriculum development from DePaul University.
Susan Nickerson, Board Member
Susan Nickerson grew up in Long Beach, California and graduated from UCLA. Following undergrad, she pursued work in the entertainment industry, eventually starting her own visual research company. Armed with energy and a drive to solve problems, no matter how difficult, she built the premier research and clearance agency for the television advertising market and claimed her first Emmy-award-winning spot within a few years. Nickerson Research continues to be a sought-after participant in major advertising projects, with credits including the Apple “Think Different” spot and the Adidas “Impossible is Nothing” campaign, featuring Muhammad Ali boxing his daughter, Laila. Susan’s eldest daughter is a member of the class of 2014, and her younger daughter is in the class of 2016. She is committed to embracing the diverse and wondrous Carthay neighborhood she and her family call home. Susan holds a B.A. in Theater from UCLA.
Alan-Michael Graves, Board Member
Dr. Alan-Michael S. Graves serves as the Director of National Programs for the Good Plus Foundation where he focuses on a broad range of multidisciplinary activities, from research and program development to training and advocacy for policy change. Alan-Michael has worked in the human services field, with extensive experience as a manager and administrator, for both public and private agencies, for the past 15 years. He has brought these diverse perspectives to his work helping agencies develop, implement and evaluate inter-agency systems of care, family partnerships and community programming. Engaging parents to utilize effective strategies to significantly and positively impact the lives of their children is a passion of Alan Michael.
Allison Arkin, Board Member
Allison Arkin is an experienced Los Angeles litigator and special education attorney who focuses her practice exclusively on special education law. Ms. Arkin has extensive experience working with parents of special needs children with a wide range of disabilities, helping them obtain appropriate services from both school districts and regional centers. She received her J.D. from Fordham Law School, and attended Wesleyan University for her undergraduate work. As a mother of two, Ms. Arkin is passionate about every child's right to receive an appropriate education, and she works tirelessly to ensure that each child receives the best possible services.
Bari Sherman Cooper, Board Member
Bari Cooper Sherman is a co-founder of Turner Impact Capital, one of the country’s largest and fastest-growing social impact investment firms. Bari serves as Turner Impact’s General Counsel and oversees the day-to-day legal aspects of Turner Impact’s business and strategic planning as well as all fund formations and investor partnerships and negotiations. Bari has been a practicing attorney since 1990. In addition to serving on the New LA board, Bari is the board chair of LCS Support Corporation, a corporation formed to support operational, facilities, and philanthropic needs of Larchmont Charter School, a Los Angeles-based charter school operator serving TK-12th grade students.