Lauren is a progressive educator who has dedicated her career to offering a high quality public school choice to the families in the Pasadena area for the past 26 years. In 1999, she joined a group of passionate educators as a founding teacher at Odyssey Charter School. Over the course of her twenty years at Odyssey, Lauren held multiple roles leading up to Executive Director. During her tenure as Executive Director, has grown the Odyssey organization from 260 students at one campus, to two campuses serving over 700 students in Altadena and Pasadena community. In collaboration with a dynamic team of educators and staff, Odyssey has become a top K-8 elementary public schools in our state and our students score in the top 10% of all public schools in California.
Lauren grew up in Pasadena, attended Pasadena public schools, graduated from Blair High School, earned a Bachelor’s degree from Santa Clara University, and a Master’s degree and a Teaching Credential from Pacific Oaks College. Beyond the many hours spent at supporting Odyssey Schools, she enjoys gardening, traveling, reading, and biking the local trails of Altadena.
DR. CARLOS GARCIA SALDAÑA
Carlos joined Odyssey Charter School in 2009, and currently serves as the Founding Principal of OCS- South. As a lifelong educator, he is committed to the values of community, academic excellence, and diversity which are found throughout many aspects of the Odyssey Schools. Before this role, he served as the Assistant Director at Odyssey Charter School overseeing the areas of assessment, accountability, reporting, marketing, and technology. Prior to joining Odyssey, he spent eleven years working in higher education in counseling/advising and student affairs at various large public universities in California and Maryland.
Carlos earned a B.S. in Marketing & International Business Administration from Cal Poly Pomona, an M.Ed. in Counseling & Personnel Services from the University of Maryland, and an Ed.D in Educational Leadership for Social Justice from Loyola Marymount University. He finds balance from professional responsibilities by reading, traveling, cooking and baking, as well as spending time with friends and family.
Sylvia Corona is an educator who believes that education is both an act of service and social justice. She started her teaching journey with LAUSD in 2000 through Teach for America. She joined the Odyssey staff in 2005. During her time at Odyssey, she has taught all grade levels between 4th-8th grade, coached girls basketball, developed and organized our annual High School Fair, and was the Middle School Coordinator for seven years. She has also partnered with Teach for America to train and mentor new teachers. During her free time, she enjoys hanging out with her family, traveling, reading, and hiking.
In 2004, Rachelle joined the Odyssey team and has been serving as the Director of Operations since 2007. As an integral part of the administrative team, Rachelle guided and supported the schools growth from 260 students to over 700. Prior to joining Odyssey, Rachelle worked at Cal Poly Pomona as the Coordinator of Residential Education and Leadership for the Housing Department, as well as the Project Coordinator for the Careers in Child Care Project at East Los Angeles College. Rachelle has worked with the National Conference for Community and Justice doing Human Relations training, and was the Director of NCCJ’s Latina/o College Leadership Institute.
She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Child Development at Whittier College and her Master of Arts Degree in Leadership Studies with an emphasis in Organization Development from the University of San Diego. She enjoys spending her free time at Disneyland with her family.
Katrina Franklin has garnered 10 years of accounting experience working as a Tour Accountant, Non-Profit Auditor, & Tax Preparer & Research Analyst. Prior to working at Odyssey, Katrina found her passion for serving charter schools & students as an Accounting Associate in 2010 at Excellent Education Development. She worked her way up the ranks to Assistant Vice President of School Finance where Odyssey was a part of her accounting client portfolio. Katrina joined the Odyssey team in 2013 as the Business Manager overseeing the Human Resources and Financial Operations of the school. Katrina attained her BA in 2006 from the University of California Santa Cruz and earned her Master’s Degree in Accounting from the University of Phoenix in 2009.
Chasityflame Price joined Odyssey in 2015. She completed her Liberal Studies BA and Education Specialist Credential at California State University Northridge. Her passion for teaching sprouted at the age of 8 when her teacher took interest in her joy of writing. From that day on she knew she wanted to make children feel seen and special. In college, she decided this passion would best serve students with special needs and thus made it her focus. Her biggest motivation is her sister Breezydai, growing up and supporting her sister’s special needs instilled her desire to ensure all children with special needs receive the best care, understanding, and education. Working the past 5 years as an Inclusion Specialist has prepared her to step into the role of Director of Special Education and touch the lives of more children. Other passions include writing, bike riding, trips to the beach, visiting the local farmers market, spending time with friends, and watching movies.
My path to Odyssey began at Baylor University where I earned a Bachelor of Science in Education. After teaching in Texas and continuing here in California, I spent eight years teaching grades K-5. Over the course of my classroom tenure, I discovered my passion for helping students prepare for and reach higher education options. To do this more impactfully, I pursued a role in administration and earned a Master’s Degree in Administration from Loyola Marymount University. Leveraging my degrees and practical experience, I led my charter school to significantly increase test scores, which resulted in the achievement of becoming a California Distinguished School.
After four years as an administrator in Huntington Park, California and becoming a new mom to my son and daughter, I moved closer to home to serve the kids in my local community. For the past five years, I have been the Assistant Principal at Pasadena High School where I oversaw the special education and counseling departments, 504 processes, teacher and professional development sessions, classroom observations and testing. During this time, my children grew up and began their own educational journeys. After touring almost every elementary school in Pasadena, I found what I believe to be the most well-rounded and supportive school for children- Odyssey Charter Schools. My son is currently a proud second grader and my daughter is an enthusiastic kindergartener at Odyssey South.
I have spent my career supporting, mentoring and encouraging students to strive to their potential. Now, as a teacher, administrator, mom and a Pasadena resident, I am proud to be bringing my experience, passion and commitment to furthering the strength of Odyssey Charter Schools.
Boonrasi Norman joined Odyssey in 2009, and currently serves as the Events Coordinator. Prior to this role, she was a Teaching Assistant in the 1st and 2nd grade classrooms. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in English Literature at UCLA and has a degree in Culinary Arts, with a specialization in baking and pastries. During her free time she enjoys spending time with her family, discovering new restaurants, dance and music.
Melissa Herrera started as Odyssey’s Lunch Coordinator in August 2013. Prior to working at Odyssey, she previously worked as a Tutor and Recruiter with various non-profit organizations in the Inland Empire and Los Angeles County area. Melissa received her B.A. in Business Administration from Cal State University San Bernardino. With a passion for nutrition and healthy student eating, and a background in Business/Education, she found a position at Odyssey Charter School. When not working at Odyssey, Melissa enjoys traveling, movies, volunteering and finding new vegan restaurants.