Chief Executive Officer and Superintendent
Dr. Caprice Young is a transformational education leader with a proven track record of leading complex organizations and championing big visions to success. She has a deep commitment to student voice and success. Raised in a foster family, she has a deep commitment to closing the achievement gap for students, no matter their life circumstances. Dr. Young's leadership experience spans multi-state and international operations, instruction, technology, finance, philanthropy, educating high-need students, advocacy, and organizations undergoing significant transformations. She has led five charter public school systems ranging from 1,750 to 49,000 students and four to 85 school sites. She received the Coro Crystal Eagle for Excellence in Public Service, the California State University Los Angeles K-12 Educator of the Year award, and the National Charter School Hall of Fame membership. She is the former president of the Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education (1999-2003) and the founding CEO of the California Charter Schools Association. Education: Ed.D. UCLA; M.P.A. USC; and B.A. Yale University. She holds a Certificate in ESG Investing from the CFA Institute.
Chief Academic Officer
James is a Navigator Schools co-founder. He has served as founding principal of both Gilroy and Hollister Prep Schools and as Executive Director. He 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.
Director of Talent
Melissa 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 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 Talent, 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 a while, she actually gets there!
Director of Engagement & Partnerships
Kirsten is the Director of Engagement & Partnerships for Navigator Schools, focusing on strong school culture, and 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 almost 20 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.
Director of Strategy
Neena is the founder and former CEO of Hayward Collegiate Charter School. Hayward Collegiate merged with Navigator Schools, and Neena is now Director of Strategy for the network.
Director of Student Services
Tina is our new Director of Student Services. An update to her biography is on the way.
Director of Schools
In her 15 years' experience in education, Crystal has served as a classroom teacher, academic coach, vice principal, and principal. Crystal was a founding Navigator teacher and has been instrumental in the development of the academic model at Navigator’s campuses. She is driven to support Navigator’s partner organizations to close the opportunity gap through excellent coaching practices. Crystal is a proud Gaucho, holding a BA and Master's degree from UC Santa Barbara. In her personal time, you can find her gardening, practicing yoga, and spending time with her husband and two sons.
Director of Business and 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.