Elise Darwish, Chair
Elise leads Ensemble Learning's strategic vision to improve charter school quality and remove barriers to achievement for underserved students. Previously, she was the founding chief academic officer at Aspire Public Schools, where she grew the organization to a high-performing charter management organization with 38 schools in Tennessee and California. She was also the founding instructional coordinator at the San Carlos Charter Learning Center, the first charter school in California and the second in the nation. Elise served as OSA's Interim Executive Director in 2016, and is a Pahara Fellow and a Leap Ambassador.
Mike is CFO and VP of Operations for Center for Youth Wellness, a San Francisco non-profit focused on helping children who have been exposed to Adverse Childhood Experiences. Prior to that role, he served as the CFO of Reading Partners, where he helped support the growth of the organization through the implementation of improved forecasting, reporting, and payroll systems. Mike began his career in the tech sector, and then made the move into nonprofits when he joined Aspire Public Schools as their CFO from 2004-11. Mike has served as Interim CFO for a variety of educational non-profits at various stages of their life cycle and has also done consulting for a number of other education-related organizations. He also serves on the board of Education for Change. Mike lives in Oakland with his wife and two daughters, one of whom attended OSA, in the Visual Arts department.
Steven Borg, Vice Chair
Steve Borg is a senior vice president and corporate marketing director with California Bank & Trust, a division of Zions Bancorporation. He has over 30 years of financial service industry experience, with a focus on marketing communications, strategy, product/channel management, and customer experience. A key tenant of Steve's core values is that we stand on the shoulders of others, and benefit from the work of those who have come before us. Steve is instrumental in volunteering his expertise and working with our Advancement team.
Mr. Jonathan Dharmapalan serves as Founder and Chief Executive Officer at eCurrency Mint Limited. He has been Head of Global Telecommunications Center at Ernst & Young LLP since May 2011. In this role, Mr. Dharmapalan is responsible for leading a team of over 2,000 telecoms specialists across the world, in their work with the world's leading operators. In his 25-year career, he has served some of the largest companies in the telecommunications sector. He has served his clients from the early days of divestiture and privatizations through the years of unprecedented growth of wireless and broadband technologies. Mr. Dharmapalan also has significant experience in the related sectors of Technology, Media and Entertainment, and was leading Ernst & Young's Telecommunications Center in Beijing. He began his career in telecommunications at AT&T Bell Laboratories. Mr. Dharmapalan holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from Northeastern University and a Masters of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from The California Institute of Technology. He is a proud parent of an OSA graduate and two current OSA students.
Ms. Huber works as a labor organizer and is the parent of two current OSA students.
Milica Mitrovich, Secretary
Milica Mitrovich is a retired attorney having practiced as a litigator for 15 years in the Bay Area. She has extensive community service experience focusing on children and teens including as a founding Board Member of Facilitating Leadership in Youth, a non-profit providing educational support to youth in Washington DC's lowest income neighborhoods, and tutoring math and literacy for low income immigrant and refugee children with London, UK based non-profit IntoUniversity. Milica also served as parent peer group coordinator at her sons' school in Washington. She holds an MA in the History of Art from George Washington University, a JD from the University of Virginia School of Law and a BA from the University of California, Berkeley. Milica is also a member of the Board of Advisors for the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, DC.
Dr. Woods is a native of Oakland, who received her: B.A. in Sociology from the University of California, Berkeley; Masters of Social Work from the University of California, Los Angeles; and Master of Public Health and Ph.D. in Social Work from the University of California, Berkeley.
Dr. Woods served as a founding faculty member of the Masters of Social Work Program at CSU East Bay where she was the First African American Female Chair of the Academic Senate. After Serving as Chief of Staff to University President Leroy Morishita, she was appointed the University's first Chief Diversity Officer. She served in that role for 5 years.
Currently, Dr. Woods is is a retired Professor Emerita teaching course in Race, Gender, and Inequality and Social Work Practice. She also provides Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion consultation to higher education institutions as well as professional development in the area of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. She became interested in serving on the board when her nephew attended school at OSA.