Dr. Charles Merritt
Chuck (Charles) Merritt Ed.D. is a long-time public-school educator and currently is faculty at Fresno Pacific University serving as a clinical associate professor and the coordinator of the Bilingual Authorization for FPU. Dr. Merritt has degrees from George Fox University (Ed.D.) and San Francisco State University (MA.Ed.) as well as a BA in Spanish Language and Literature from the University of the Pacific in Stockton, CA. Dr. Merritt has taught Spanish for Mission San José High School in Fremont, CA, and for Palo Alto High School. He also served as a school administrator for a total of 17 years, most recently as principal of Escondido Elementary School, a dual-language school in Stanford, CA. Chuck worked in education in the Bay Area for over 30 years before moving to Fresno to work with FPU. Through the preparation of bilingual teachers in the Central Valley and through dual language advocacy, he hopes to support the growth and development of dual-language schools in the region. Dr. Charles Merritt is an active member of the following educational organizations: AERA (American Educational Research Association) CCTE (California Council on Teacher Education) CABE (California Association for Bilingual Education) CABTE (California Association for Bilingual Teacher Education) Fulbright Association (past fellow, 2010-2011) He participates regularly in CTA's Bilingual Coordinators' Network meetings, joining LEAs across the state (such as Fresno COE and others) as a representative of IHE (Institutions of Higher Education). Dr. Merritt's research agenda focuses on the enactment of DLE (Dual Language Education). Recent papers include: “Equity or Enrichment?: Dual Language Policy from Master Plans to Program Review,” accepted by AERA 2020 Annual Conference, San Francisco, CA, April 2020 with Sharon Merritt, Ph.D. (Conference canceled: paper posted at http://tinyurl.com/u7czgdm) The focus of his contribution to the CGA would include the areas of a) DLE program enactment, b) questions of equity as they apply to the running of a dual immersion school, c) the application of biliteracy language policy to the school curriculum, d) staff training in the best practices of DLE, e) developing a teacher pipeline for CGA by offering CGA classrooms for quality student teaching opportunities meeting University teacher preparation program requirements.
Dr. Alfredo Cuellar
Dr. Alfredo Cuellar is an Educational leader who has worked on all levels, from K-12 to doctoral programs and research centers. Presently he is President of the Education and Leadership Foundation, as well as Secretary of Mexicanos USA Foundation, and part of the Board of Directors of Clovis Global Academy. He has been a consultant who helps executives, in schools, colleges, and universities to solve challenges in instruction, organizational culture, improve success rates, retention rates, and chairs, and instructional teams improving their performance, and increase results across the organization. He has done extensive work in international settings, mainly Mexico and Cuba, in all areas of education (new programs, curriculum development, and calibration, on-line, distance learning, hybrid, and web-enhanced instruction, supervision, conflict resolution, financial management, increase revenue, instructional support, institutional and instructional research, strategic planning, and interdepartmental collaboration). Dr. Cuellar is a seasoned instructor in colleges, higher education, and graduate courses, including seminars, workshops, and symposia to chief executive officers and management teams. He is also an acclaimed international presenter. Born in the border city of Matamoros, Mexico, Dr. Cuellar became bicultural and bilingual, by attending American schools in Brownsville, Texas in the morning, and Mexican schools, at the same level, in the afternoon. He obtained a Bachelors's, a Masters's, and a Ph. D at the University of Alabama. He has worked in more than 20 universities and became the first Mexican Professor teaching at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and Human Development; some of the seminars, which he established then, are still taught at Harvard. He is the author of numerous scholarly publications in the United States, Mexico, and other countries on topics related to Mexican culture, Mexican immigration, education, social science, higher education, educational policies, organizational cultural change, human resources, and social research. He was the Director for Education and Social Policy for the State of Tamaulipas in Mexico, Senior Instructor and former Chair of Educational Leadership at the Graduate Program of Educational Administration at California State University, Fresno; Dean of Social and Behavioral Science at Imperial Valley College; and Human Resources Officer at Fresno Economic and Opportunities Commission. He appears regularly as a political and social issues commentator on Univision, other local TV channels in English and Spanish, and radio stations. Dr. Cuellar understands our local community at a deep level as a result of his years of work in the community. His relationships have been instrumental in bringing together the founding team of Clovis Global Academy. CGA can rely on his expertise for the development of strategic initiatives, community building, policy development, and human resource development, to name a few. Dr. Cuellar is also a prolific translator and has been the source of high-quality translations for Clovis Global Academy.
Kiranjot Hundal was born in India and came to the United States at the age of 18. She is an energetic software engineer experienced in developing robust applications for high-volume healthcare, networking, and cloud computing companies. Kiran has contributed to the developments that enable faster cancer cure by designing hi-tech software applications that count cancer cells. Most recently, Kiran has been developing cloud-based software solutions for security devices at Pelco Inc. in Fresno. Kiran organizes free summer coding camps for kids where they learn to make websites and small apps. She has also been invited to speak and address about 500 developers at the Angular Conference being held in February of 2020 in India. Kiran is a systems thinker with a strong analytical mindset. Her approach to making decisions driven by data is a strong asset for CGA. Kiran also sees CGA as an expression of her values to enrich and serve the community and share her gifts with others.
Virna L. Santos
Virna L. Santos is a solo practitioner in Santos Law Group in Fresno, California, a firm she founded after serving in the U.S. Department of Justice for nearly 20 years, first as Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of California in Fresno and until 2014 in the Criminal Division in Washington, D.C. There, she led a team that provided criminal justice training to judges and prosecutors throughout Latin America, including Colombia, El Salvador, and Mexico. Ms. Santos brings a distinctive perspective to our board as the product of a bilingual and bi-cognitive education in her native Puerto Rico. With those skills, she was able to attain a high level of achievement, earning her law degree from Harvard Law School and her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California at Los Angeles in 1987. Thus, she understands the advantages that our bilingual curriculum will provide our students and will help guide other board members with her firsthand experience in bilingual education. Further, Ms. Santos’ legal experience will assist in the review of legal matters before the board, including contracts and board governance, expertise that she has gained in her last appointment as a Commissioner with the Fresno House Authority, and her current service on the Girls Scouts of Central California South’s Board of Directors. Ms. Santos’ demonstrated commitment to youth mentoring will reinforce the board’s mission to foster an empowering and encouraging school environment in which students will work creatively and become life-long learners. Finally, the board can rely on Ms. Santos’ personal experience as a mother of a bilingual child who studied Spanish in Colombia to underscore the components of a successful bilingual education, including a rigorous academic framework and parental collaboration.