The Odyssey Charter Schools Governing Board is composed of up to nineteen members who serve to provide leadership and guidance to the school as related to fiscal and governance matters. Our diverse board members bring a variety of experience, expertise, and talents which work in unison to ensure the success of our school and students.
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Rhonda Graham, Board Chair
A Los Angeles native, Rhonda has lived in Northwest Pasadena for over 20 years and raised her family there. She has three sons, two of whom attended Odyssey Charter School. Her oldest son, Ronald, is in his senior year at University of La Verne and plans to become a teacher. Evan is attending Pasadena City College, while Kai just entered University of California – Davis studying Biotechnology. Rhonda previously served on the board of Odyssey Charter School from 2009 to 2015, initially as a parent representative and ultimately as a community member. She has also been an active supporter of both Odyssey and her sons’ high school (also a charter school). Rhonda and her family are active with various animal rescue organizations in the local community.
Jexy Wadle, Board Vice-Chair
Jexy Wadle joined the Odyssey Charter School Governing Board in 2012 as a parent representative member. She currently the Lead and Founding Teacher of the Humanities Academy of Art and Technology in Los Angeles Unified School where she serves as the instructional lead teacher and second administrator at the new pilot high school. She entered teaching in 1993 as a corps member in the Teach For America Program and went on to become a literacy coach at Roosevelt High School. In 1999, Jexy earned her National Board Certification as a secondary language arts teacher. As a teacher, she was involved in her school’s accreditation process and was on the school reform governance committee. She went on to earn her Master’s Degree in Educational Leaderships and policy Studies from Cal State Northridge.
Before coming to Odyssey, Jexy was on the board of her son’s co-op nursery school. She was the board president for a year and a half and she was on the personnel committee for three years. Jexy was very involved with all aspects of running the school, including hiring employees, working with state licensing agencies, and serving as a liaison between parents and teachers. Jexy is very interested in seeing Odyssey continue to grow and improve. She feels that her experiences as a public school educator and as a nursery school board member have provided her with a unique insight that she will bring to Odyssey’s Governing Board.
Marisa Davis, Board Secretary & Odyssey Charter School Parent Board Member
Marisa Davis joined the Odyssey Charter School Governing Board in October 2016 and currently has two children attending Odyssey. She has her BFA in Textile and Surface Design from the Fashion Institute of Technology and her MBA from Western Governors University. She works as a contract Textile Designer in various industries and as a marketing and business consultant to artists. Her interest in education started as a volunteer improving facilities in New York City public schools and has extended over the years through human rights education and anti-bias trainings, the Alternative Education Resource Organization and ongoing advocacy for all children’s right to education. She is honored to be a continued part in supporting the OCS mission and our wonderfully unique community.
Parent Representative Board Members
Ryan Mackey, Odyssey South Parent Representative Board Member
Ryan Mackey is a systems engineer and data scientist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, where he has worked since 1996. He is currently supporting the 2022 Europa Clipper mission to explore the ocean moon of Jupiter. He has authored over 50 articles and received 3 United States Patents for his work in autonomous and reasoning systems and spacecraft fault protection. He set his sights on a career in aerospace at an early age, inspired by the launch of the Voyager outer planets mission when he was three years old. Growing up in the Santa Cruz Mountains of California, he attended the progressive and experimental Popper-Keizer School, graduated from the University of California at Santa Cruz, and completed his graduate studies at Caltech. For the last two years he has trained as part of the JPL Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART), and holds current certifications in First Aid and CPR / AED, FEMA CERT, and FEMA Disaster Management. He is active in the Washington Square Neighborhood Association, contributing to block parties and serving as Newsletter Editor.
Dr. Stacey Finely, Odyssey Parent Representative Board Member
Dr. Stacey Finley joined the Odyssey Charter School Governing Board in October 2020. She completed her undergraduate degree at Florida A&M University, a historically black college in Tallahassee, FL. She then went on to complete a doctoral degree in chemical engineering at Northwestern University. Dr. Finley is currently an Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Southern California, where her research group builds mathematical models to predict tumor growth and better understand cancer treatments. Dr. Finley has volunteered with many outreach programs, at the K-12 level and with the broader public. She is especially passionate about bringing math to life through hands-on activities, particularly for students in 4th–9th grades, when they most often turn away from math and computational thinking. Dr. Finley is mom to two daughters in elementary school at OCS, and a toddler son. She is honored to serve on the Governing Board and provide a unique perspective as a STEM professor in higher education.
Community Board Members
Rene G. Alicea, Community Board Member
Rene joined the Odyssey Charter School Governing Board in October 2016 as a Community Representative. In his professional role, he serves as the Finance Director for Cockram Construction Inc. René has over 10 years of experience working in all the financial and accounting areas in the engineering and construction industry. He joined Cockram Projects Inc in 2005 as Accounting Manager for the Puerto Rico Division and later that year took over the accounting and finance duties of the USA Division. He became the Financial Controller for the USA and Puerto Rico Divisions in 2010 and Director in 2011. René’s responsibilities have increased to include duties as the Company Officer and Company Secretary for the USA and include administrative leadership for all areas of the USA business.
Rene earned an MBA in International Business and a Bachelor’s in Business Administration with majors in Accounting and Finance from University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras.
Dr. Joretta Joseph, Community Board Member
Dr. Joretta Joseph joined the Odyssey Charter School Governing Board in 2012 as a community member, and assumed the role of Board Chair in October 2013. Joretta has spent the past five years of her professional career in higher education as program administrator, faculty member, and advisor at the University of Southern California and Pasadena City College. Prior to her work in academia, she worked in various accounting and finance roles in both the public and private sector.
As a scholar, her research interests lie in the area of equity in education for historically underrepresented groups in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines. Joretta earned a doctorate in education from the University of Southern California, an MBA from Howard University, and a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Clark Atlanta University.
Patrick Ontiveros, Community Board Member
Patrick joined the Odyssey Governing Board in April 2016 and brings a wealth of charter facility experience and expertise to our Board. He currently serves as the General Counsel & Senior Project Manager for Pacific Charter School Development. In this role oversees PCSD’s legal matters, including contracting and managing outside legal counsel, and as Senior Project Manager, Patrick manages the development of campuses for PCSD’s charter school clients.
Prior to joining PCSD, Patrick was an attorney with Wendel Rosen Black & Dean LLP in Oakland, California, where he focused on corporate transactions and represented private companies and municipal entities. Previously, Patrick was an attorney with a boutique Silicon Valley law firm counseling both high tech and emerging growth companies and venture capital investors. Patrick began his legal career in New York City with Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP in its Public Finance and Structured Finance Departments. He is licensed to practice law in California and New York.
Susan Ruffins, Community Board Member
Susan Ruffins is rejoining the Odyssey Charter Schools Governing Board, this time as a community board member. She served as parent representative and treasurer to the governing board from 2002 to 2007 during the school’s early years in Pasadena, through its initial five year renewal and its relocation to its current site in Altadena. Susan’s two children attended Odyssey from 2000 to 2010. She is currently a senior administrator at the Beckman Institute on Caltech’s campus where she helps organize and financially oversee multidisciplinary research. Prior to joining Caltech Susan was a vice president in charge of west coast mortgage banking at what is today Banc One Corporation, part of Chase. She has a degree in business and foreign languages from Penn State and an MBA from New York University, Stern School of Business. Susan is originally from Pittsburgh and has lived in New York and Chicago, and has resided in Los Angeles since 1993.