Kevin Sved - Kevin is the Chief Executive Officer of Navigator Schools. For 30 years, he has served as an educator and champion for children. Kevin started his career in youth services and as a teacher. He co-founded one of the earliest charter school networks in Los Angeles, leading The Accelerated School to be recognized as Time Magazine School of the Year in 2001. Kevin’s commitment to providing children a high-caliber education attracted him to Navigator Schools and he is excited about the opportunity to be a part of an organization dedicated to the same ideals and mission as he has been throughout his career. When away from Navigator, Kevin enjoys dancing with his wife, hiking with his four children, and practicing yoga.
James Dent - James is a co-founder, has served as founding principal of both Gilroy & Hollister Prep Schools, Executive Director, and is now the Chief Academic Officer of Navigator Schools. Prior to founding Navigator, James moved up the ranks in the public school system, from teacher, to assistant principal, to principal, always producing exceptional student results through high quality teaching and outstanding student engagement. His commitment to innovation is evidenced by the constantly evolving blended learning model at work in Navigator's classrooms, which is highly responsive to student needs. James is fluent in Spanish, is the proud father of 6 children, and is an avid spear-fisherman.
Melissa Alatorre-Alnas - Melissa is the Director of Human Resources and has been an educator and educational equity advocate for over 20 years. She believes with her whole heart and soul that, every individual, regardless of background or current reality, has the ability to achieve at high levels, be successful in school and in life, and make the world a better place. Melissa joined Navigator Schools in 2016 and is overjoyed to unite with a group of educators and parents who also believe in the endless potential of every individual. As Director of Human Resources, Melissa is determined to seek out, find and hire passionate individuals who are driven to provide a world-class educational experience to the children of our communities. Outside of Navigator, Melissa can be found adventuring with her family, hiking, experimenting with new recipes, and dreaming about the beach (every once in awhile...she actually gets there!).
Kirsten Carr - Kirsten is the Director of Engagement & Partnerships for Navigator Schools, focusing on opportunities to share the Navigator model with students all over the Central Coast while maintaining strong relations with authorizers. As a parent of two charter school alumni, Kirsten has been a charter school advocate for over 10 years, with a career history in community development and communications. Navigator’s mission and commitment to educational reform spoke to her passion and she loves being part of a true movement. As a graduate of Virginia Tech, she is a proud Hokie and can be heard cheering quite loudly during football season.
Benjamin Moeller - Benjamin serves as the Director of IT and Operations for Navigator Schools. His background includes extensive experience in both the public and private sector, providing knowledge and insight needed as Navigator strives to provide innovative and college-prep technology for tomorrow's college students. Benjamin joined Navigator to build a “think different” IT department centered around customer service and providing the best solution to the customer. Outside of Navigator, Benjamin enjoys free time with his wife and five children, hiking, bike riding, and taking photos.
Ami Ortiz - Ami is Navigator's Director of Business & Finance. Ami came to Navigator with a strong history in not-for-profit financial management. A proud mother of four boys, she is a lifelong resident of San Juan Bautista with a deep commitment to ensuring the community she loves is provided with quality education choices. She loves being a Navigator parent as well and tries to learn every song so she can join in during the Morning Message.
Heather Parsons- As the Director of Curriculum & Instruction, Heather has been instrumental in the development of both the elementary and middle school models at HPS and GPS. Heather was a founding teacher for Navigator in 2011 and remains driven to help close the achievement gap. As principal of Hollister Prep, she had the honor of developing teaching talent every day, and that is what she considers Living the Dream. Heather holds a Masters degree in Instructional Design and Technology.
Sharon Waller - Sharon is the Director of Student Services at Navigator Schools. The motto and focus of the department is Every Child By Name and Need. As one of the founders of Navigator Schools, Sharon has dedicated her professional life to ensuring all children, no matter what their abilities are, receive an excellent college-prep education. She is most proud of the special education model at Navigator where all students are included into general education classroom and are viewed as full members of the school. Sharon received her Master’s degree in Special Education from San Jose State and her Administrative Credential from Santa Clara County. Sharon is best known for her song writing abilities; the infamous “We are Navigators” song to the tune of an army march is a fan favorite and the lesser known, “Have You Ever Seen a Navi” to the tune of “Have You Ever Seen a Lassie” is less popular, though quite catchy!