Board of Directors

Board Award 2023 Certificates_Final copy

Our Board is comprised of dynamic business, education, and community leaders who generously volunteer their time and expertise to guide the Education Alliance in its mission. Three permanent members include the Superintendent of the Washoe County School District, and both Presidents of the University of Nevada, Reno, and Truckee Meadows Community College. We are thankful for our Board’s 100 percent financial support!

Permanent Members

Dr Kristen McNeill July 2019 2x3

Dr. Kristen McNeill
Washoe County School District Interim Superintendent

Represented by
Michele Anderson
Chief Communications and Community Engagement Officer

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Brian Sandoval, J.D.
University of Nevada

Represented by
David Shintani, Ph.D.
Vice Provost, Undergraduate Education

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Karin Hilgersom, Ph.D.
Truckee Meadows Community College President

Represented by
Melissa Deadmond, Ph.D., M.P.H.
Associate Dean of Assessment and Planning

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Board of Directors

Sarah Gobbs-Hill
Education Alliance Executive Director


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John Ahdunko

John Ahdunko has been an active community member in Northern Nevada for the past 20 years. He began his career in the banking industry while earning his Bachelors degree from the University of Nevada, Reno in 2006. He has more than 20 years’ experience in the financial industry and has lead with the passion of helping more people live Greater in the various roles he has held. In his current role, he serves on the Senior Leadership team for Greater Nevada and has successfully built programs that focus on financial wellness by building strong partnerships with local and community organizations through engagement, recognition, and a passion to help more people live Greater.

Why I support education: Supporting education is very important because as individual’s access education, they are preparing to address today’s challenges and tomorrow’s opportunities.  It’s my belief that when our students become lifelong learners, it puts them in a position to be successful, adapt, evolve, and ultimately, contribute greatly to our communities.

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Brian Bosma

Brian Bosma is the Vice President of Partners & Programs at the Reno + Sparks Chamber of Commerce, bringing a deep understanding of the local community and a passion for its economic growth and development.

Previously, Bosma held key positions at influential organizations driving economic development in the area. He served as the program manager for Business Retention, Expansion, and Workforce Development at EDAWN (Economic Development Authority
of Western Nevada) and worked as the Marketing Manager for the Downtown Reno Partnership.

In his current role, Bosma is responsible for forging partnerships for the Chamber and creating programs and initiatives that provide exceptional value and visibility to its 2,300 business and non-profit members, encompassing over 110,000 employees.

One of Bosma’s notable contributions to education is his collaboration with EDAWN for the annual WCSD Taxi-Top Competition. This initiative showcases the immense talent and creativity of students in the Washoe County School District, fostering pride and strengthening community bonds.

Bosma attended Liberty University, where he was a member of the nationally ranked Policy Debate Team, served as Class President, and played a strategic role in the university’s American Advertising Federation chapter.

With his extensive knowledge of the Reno area, dedication to economic development, and a successful track record in building partnerships, Brian Bosma is excited to join Education Alliance and contribute to uniting the community in illuminating pathways for every Washoe County student.

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Kristine Brown Caliger

Kristine Brown Caliger is proud to have been raised and educated in northern Nevada, and takes even more pride in doing her part to ensure a new generation will be able to say the same.

After earning a B.A. in Music at the University of Nevada, Kristine began her career in communications, digital media, and graphic design, working with several area non-profits.

Kristine’s trajectory changed when she was hired at News 4-Fox 11 in 2013. She eventually became the station’s first Managing Editor, overseeing newsroom, editorial, and digital operations. Kristine’s leadership guided the station’s work during several election cycles, community triumphs and tragedies, and natural disasters. But the goal was always singular, though times and circumstances differed: advocating for the community, and keeping people informed.

Kristine now serves as the Vice President of Partnerships and Programs at the Reno+Sparks Chamber of Commerce, where the goal remains much the same. She advocates for and informs the business community of policies that impact them, creates ongoing educational opportunities for members, and unifies members and partners in the spirit of good business citizenship and generosity. She believes this is what serves as True North in good times and challenging ones.

Why I support education: The teachers who have made the most impact on my life are those who believed in who I could be before I did. Thank you, Mrs. Knazovich, for asking to hold my hand in our class picture because you believed I would ‘be something someday’. Thank you, Mrs. Galloway, for telling me you thought I could be the first woman to be president. Whether or not those things are true, the empowerment you gave me – and all your students – is true. I am forever grateful and will do the same for others.

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Melissa Deadmond, Ph.D., M.P.H.

Melissa earned her B.S. in Biology and French from Albertson College of Idaho and Ph.D. in Cellular and Molecular Biology from the University of Nevada.  She joined the Biology Department faculty at Truckee Meadows Community College in 2005.  Seeing the need to broaden students’ perspectives and opportunities in health, Melissa co-developed the Associate of Science in Community Health Science degree and returned to University of Nevada to earn an M.P.H., Epidemiology so that she would have expertise in the discipline.  Melissa has since transitioned to administration and serves as TMCC’s Associate Dean of Assessment and Planning.  Melissa is married with two children and loves soccer.

Calen Evans


Calen Evans

Calen Evans was born and raised in Northern Nevada and is a McQueen High grad. Prior to becoming the current president of the Washoe Education Association, he was the STEM coordinator at Lemelson STEM Academy and also taught 2nd and 3rd grade there. His passion for engaging students in learning led him into STEAM education and he spent the last six years helping bring STEAM Learning to schools across the state. Evans is also the founder of Empower Nevada Teachers, a local grassroots teacher and educational advocacy group focusing on bringing positive changes to public education in Nevada. His passion to support educators drove him into educational activism and he has spent much of his professional career fighting for educators and students. Now, as the president of the local teachers’ union, he is putting all his effort and energy towards creating a public education system that truly values and supports the professionals in our schools. Calen believes that public education is the cornerstone of a democratic society and vibrant community. Evans is a father of three great children (Caden, Kaiya and Comptyn) and husband to his amazing wife, Chloe. His family, friends, and love of our local community is what drives him every day.

Lauren Garfinkel


Lauren Garfinkel, M.B.A.

Lauren moved from Las Vegas to attend the University of Nevada in 2004 and takes great pride in calling “The Biggest Little City” her forever home. Her professional career began while earning two undergraduate degrees in Journalism and Communications, working in various casino marketing positions for nearly a decade. In 2016, she switched gears into the manufacturing industry, leading the talent acquisition marketing and community relations efforts for Panasonic while additionally earning her MBA from Louisiana State University. Today, she is a global talent acquisition marketing leader for TTEC- an industry trailblazer in the BPO space.

Why I support education: Growing up, I admittedly was very disinterested in education. I had decent grades, but bare minimum effort was my philosophy which carried all the way through college graduation. It wasn’t until I started my career in talent acquisition that I realized how important education is, and how much I took the opportunities I had along the way for granted. I remember interviewing some candidates and not understanding how they could possibly not have a high school diploma or GED at their ages. The humbling yet harsh reality served to me from their stories of hardship and lack of pathways along their journeys still sits with me today. Since joining Education Alliance in 2017, I have been able to get a closer glimpse at the disparities so many students in our school district face surrounding education, while also seeing how incredible our community is in wanting to close that gap by showing their support with both their time and financial contributions. I am so honored and proud to serve on this board and will continue to support our WCSD students and educators beyond my tenure.

Jabarry Goodridge
Jabarry Goodridge

Jabarry Goodridge currently leads HR Strategy & Planning for Panasonic Energy Corporation of North America (PENA) delivering transformation projects and programs across technologies impacting organizational and cultural change. Goodridge’s passion for impacting the lives of others led him to move away from the east coast to Reno Nevada, with aspirations of creating a culture at PENA that will not only impact the lives of employees at work but in the communities
they live in. Over the past year, Goodridge has worked to create PENA Cares, a community volunteer and outreach program that aims to strengthen and enrich local Northern Nevada communities through meaningful and strategic contributions to society.

Mr. Goodridge completed his undergraduate degree in Marketing and master’s degree in Business Analytics from New Jersey Institute of Technology. Jabarry enjoys spending time with his husband and cats and can often be found enjoying volleyball during his free time.

Why I support education: My most memorable moment in education was embracing my mentor and marketing professor as I walked off the stage at graduation, as she believed in me every step of the way and pushed me to graduate with honors as a first-generation college graduate.



Victoria Mason

As the child of an American abroad, growing up in Mexico City expanded and shaped Victoria’s vistas in ways unimaginable. The cultural influences imparted by her surroundings, her Mexican stepfather and his family, became a solid part of her heritage. Today, she still holds tight to those core values and conveys them on a daily basis throughout her career, family and friendships. Attending the American School Foundation, an international academic institution for students of all nationalities, offered unique opportunities to acquire a love for learning and cultivating diversity through relationships with people from around the globe.

Teaching English as a young adult and then Spanish upon relocating to the U.S. came naturally. A mother to five, Victoria relished in spending countless hours volunteering in classrooms and on various PTA boards throughout their school-aged years; gaining an even stronger commitment to improving our educational systems and the opportunities made available to all children, from all areas in our community. Her career spans decades in both real estate development in California and the hospitality industry in northern Nevada, striving to build partners-in-education relationships within those realms along the way. Now, after 22 years in Reno, her dedication to joining forces within the business and education sectors in our region is stronger than ever before. When not working, Victoria enjoys gardening, decorating, cooking and, mostly, time with her children and two dogs.

Landon Miller
Landon Miller, M.A.

Landon Miller, a graduate student at the University of Nevada, Reno studying Spanish in the World Languages and Literatures program, has called Northern Nevada home his entire life. He graduated from Wooster High School’s International Baccalaureate Program and went on to pursue a degree in Journalism from the Reynolds School of Journalism at Nevada. Landon has taught journalism at the Reynolds School since 2016. Landon currently teaches Spanish at the university.

Landon also works for Reno Media Group as an on-air host for 95.5 Alice and 101.7 Juan. Landon is excited to enter the bilingual broadcasting market. Prior, Landon was the evening news anchor at KTVN 2 News, anchoring newscasts between 5:00-11:00 p.m. During his time at 2 News, Landon earned two EMMY awards. Landon ultimately wants to combine his love of broadcasting and Spanish on a larger platform to reach and help a new audience.

Why I support education:
Being on the Outstanding Educator Selection Panel was a great reminder of the important work the Education Alliance does. We can talk about school budgets and teachers spending their own money on supplies all the time, but actually reading teachers’ stories and truly experiencing the need was eye-opening.

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Chris Morgan, M.B.A.

Mr. Morgan currently leads the Mobile Lab Program for Deloitte’s Leadership Center for Clients in the United States. In the Lab, he applies design thinking and research-based content to create immersive, interactive facilitated sessions to help teams achieve breakthrough solutions to their most complex strategic and adaptive challenges. Mr. Morgan has accelerated the performance of over a hundred teams from around the U.S., Canada, Europe, Mexico, Brazil, China, Japan, and India. Mr. Morgan completed his undergraduate studies in economics at the University of California, Santa Barbara and the Institut d’Etudes Politique in Grenoble, France and his master’s degree from the Haas School at the University of California, Berkeley.

Why I support education:
To quote one of history’s great philosophers, Whitney Houston, ‘I believe the children are our future.’ It’s our children who will be our community’s, our country’s, and our world’s next leaders. It’s our responsibility to provide our kids with an unparalleled education so that can take care of themselves and our world. There’s no greater investment than ensuring at-risk kids get the support they need to thrive, that talented kids get support they need to reach their full potential, and that all kids graduate with the skills to provide for themselves and our society. I’ve been blessed to have great educational opportunities – every child should have the same good fortune.



Manuel Ortiz, M.A.

Manuel Ortiz was raised in Reno, Nevada and was born to a Nicaraguan mother. He and his siblings are first-generation college students who participated in the Dean’s Future Scholars program and graduated from Procter R. Hug High School. Manuel was recommended to the Dean’s Future Scholars program as part of the second cohort when he was a sixth-grade student attending Glenn Duncan Elementary. Manuel has had the opportunity to give back to the Dean’s Future Scholars program by serving as a mentor, summer program coordinator, and graduate assistant. In 2018, he earned his bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education with an emphasis in History and TESOL. He continued his education by earning his master’s degree in Higher Education Administration in 2020.

Manny has experience working within the Washoe County School District as a TEAM UP Site Coordinator for six years and at the Equity and Diversity Department for one year. Manuel’s journey as a Dean’s Future Scholars program participant came full circle in 2021 when he became the Assistant Director. Outside of work, Manuel enjoys spending time outdoors, cooking plant-based meals, and spending time with his daughter and wife.

Most memorable educational moment:
It is always a joy to see the growth in students after years of working with them. Going back to a school and visiting students who you have built a relationship with is very rewarding.



Ralph Rodriguez

Ralph Rodriguez has been a Reno resident for the past 25 years, and a proud graduate of Robert McQueen High School. For over a decade, he has turned his passion for health and fitness into a rewarding career as an instructor specializing in personal training, bootcamps, and more. Ralph is the General Manager of Eldo Fit – the wellness program for Caesars Entertainment corporate headquarters,.

Outside of his passion for helping others achieve their health and fitness goals, he has been a Pop Warner football coach since 2018, and is returning to McQueen High School this fall as a coach for the freshman football team.

Ralph has a strong bond to his community in which he proudly serves and values the intrinsic reward of mentoring youth and volunteering. His two children are his world, and he constantly finds ways to teach them the importance of volunteerism and giving back as today’s children are tomorrow’s future.

Why I support education: Almost every single person who has had an influence on me throughout my life has come through the school system. Whether it be sports, music, or academics, every educator I have ever had along my path has taken the time and effort to instill the characteristics in me that I live by today. Our teachers give endless amounts of their valuable time to our children day-in and day-out, especially in place of us parents who cannot be there all the time. We count on them and trust them to teach the values that are crucial to surviving in the “real world”. Not all heroes wear capes, but I believe it’s safe to say that teachers are some of the biggest heroes who deserve more recognition.



David Shintani, Ph.D.

David Shintani is the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education at the University of Nevada, Reno. He previously served as the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in the College of Agriculture, Biotechnology and Natural Resources at the University of Nevada, Reno where he is a faculty member in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. David earned his B.S degree in Genetics from the University of California, Davis and his Ph.D. in Botany and Plant Pathology from Michigan State University. In addition to the WCSD Education Alliance Board, David also serves on  Washoe County School District Career and Technical Education (CTE) Advisory Technical Skills Committee.

David Taylor


David Taylor

David is the Community Relations and Communications Manager for Microsoft’s Americas Operations Center (AOC) in Reno, NV, leading strategic programs for community relations and communications. Taylor manages sponsorship programs, charitable giving, community outreach, public relations, and social media for Microsoft in Reno (watch Microsoft Reno 25th Anniversary Celebration).

Under David’s leadership, Microsoft’s Americas Operations Center in Reno makes an impact and contributes to the community through more than 20+ local signature outreach programs and events. In the past five years alone, Microsoft Reno has contributed more than $3 million to the Northern Nevada community.

David has more than 24 years of experience as a marketing communications and public relations professional. His various leadership roles range from positions at marketing and public relations agencies, non-profit organizations, and with private and publicly traded financial institutions. David has led media relations efforts for two of northern Nevada’s
largest special events, Reno-Tahoe Open PGA TOUR Event and The Great Reno Balloon Race. Also, he previously served as Director of Marketing for Boys & Girls Club of Truckee Meadows, managing all facets of marketing communications
and public relations for the non-profit with 20+ sites in northern Nevada. In 2015, the Boys & Girls Club of Truckee Meadows received the national “Gold Award” for “Overall Comprehensive Marketing” for their 2014 marketing campaign.

David has received various awards and recognition from the Sierra Nevada Chapter of PRSA including the 2019 “Hall of Fame Award” distinction. David was also a “Top Twenty under 40” honoree by the Reno Gazette-Journal. He has served on various nonprofit boards and committees including his current service as board member for Junior Achievement of Northern Nevada and co-chair for the Nevada Corporate Giving Council.

David earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the Reynolds School of Journalism at the University of Nevada, Reno. David lives in Sparks, Nevada with his wife Carrie, and their two children, Tori and Jaxon.

Why I support education: It’s been an honor and a privilege to have produced several education programs over the years such as Microsoft’s DigiGirlz and High School Engagement Program. Working with our employees in Northern Nevada we have been significant contributors towards literacy projects with the United Way of Northern Nevada and the Sierra; supporting STEM education for the Boys & Girls Club of Truckee Meadows and sponsoring ongoing initiatives for the Education Alliance of Washoe County.



Cristal Herrera Woodley, M.B.A.

Cristal Herrera Woodley, M.B.A., is an award-winning marketer and communicator who enjoys driving strategy and executing programs that build brand awareness, penetrate new markets, drive revenue growth, and strengthen competitive market positions. Her marketing experience has helped organizations develop compelling campaigns that drive growth and loyalty. Currently, she is the Director of Marketing, Communications and Customer Engagement at Renown Health.

As a native northern Nevadan and a first-generation Latina, Cristal understood the importance of education early in life. Her family instilled this thought of the American Dream and worked hard to provide the next generation with the opportunity of formal education. As a result, she is extremely humbled and blessed to be one of the first in her family to graduate from the University of Nevada, Reno, with degrees in Accounting and Information Systems. Along with a master’s in Information Technology.

Why I support education: Education helps develop our future! My favorite memories are from my volleyball and softball coaching days at North Valleys High School. It was inspiring to see how sports impact academics and confidence in our kid’s lives. As a coach, I was conscious of being an advocate for higher education and motivating my team players to do more and be more. I’m excited to share that our future is bright because of our community’s commitment to improving our education system.

We invite you to join in the conversation! Contact us at if you are interested in board membership.
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