Valiente College Preparatory Charter School Accountability, Courage, Tenacity, Service

Skip to main content
Mobile Menu
Valiente Parents/Guardians, Remember to review your child(s) behavioral report every Thursday night!

Members

Valiente College Preparatory is an independent 501(c)3 organization governed by a Board of Directors which brings more than seven decades of combined experience in diverse professional fields including education, school administration, finance, law, marketing and management. Directors are all volunteers - they receive no compensation for their work in support of Valiente, and are bound by the same conflict-of-interest and transparency laws as all school boards in California.

The founders of Valiente College Preparatory have come together because we share a passion for helping others achieve through educational opportunities. If you are interested in joining us, please contact the Board chair at boardchair@valientecollegeprep.org or Esther Perez at eperez@valientecollegeprep.org.
Naeem Arastu

Los Angeles native Naeem Arastu brings experience in finance and accounting to the Founding Team of Valiente College Preparatory. He is currently a Vice President in the Control Investing Group at Oaktree Capital Management, a global asset management firm headquartered in Los Angeles. He has previously served on the Board of Developments in Literacy, an organization dedicated to providing quality education to disadvantaged children, with over 120 campuses and 18,000 students in underdeveloped regions of Pakistan. He holds a BS from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Jessica Boro, Board Secretary

Los Angeles native Jessica “Jess” Boro's experience as an acclaimed educator, charter school administrator, and educational consultant lend expertise in school design and management to the Founding Board of Valiente College Preparatory. She has previously served as the Founding Director of Curriculum and Instruction at Valor Academy, a charter middle school in LAUSD founded by Building Excellent Schools Fellow Hrag Hamalian. Valor Academy maintained an API over 800 in all four years under Ms. Boro’s leadership, including its founding year. She is a Nationally Board Certified teacher and the recipient of numerous prizes and honors for her work as an educator, including the Los Angeles Lakers Principal of the Month award and the LAUSD Local Hero in Education award. Ms. Boro holds a Professional Clear Teaching Credential and a California Tier II Administrative Credential. She earned her BA at Spelman College and MA in education at Loyola Marymount University. She is currently a candidate for a Doctorate in Education Leadership, Administration, and Policy at Pepperdine University.
Deena Williams, Board Chair

Deena Williams is a Los Angeles native who brings expertise in human resources and community development to the Founding Board of Valiente College Prep. She is the Deputy Director for Recruitment of the Broad Superintendents Academy at the Broad Center for the Management of School Systems. She identifies and recruits talented executives to enter a training program which prepares them to lead state education systems, large urban public school systems, and large charter management organizations. Previously, she served as an Admissions Director for MBA admissions at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. She began her career in finance with the Walt Disney Internet Group. She holds a BS in Industrial and Systems Engineering from the University of Southern California, and an MBA from the UCLA Anderson School of Management.
Carmen Avalos

Carmen Avalos is the City Clerk for the City of South Gate and President of the Cerritos College Board of Trustees who has led a career spanning public health, education, and politics. As City Clerk, Ms. Avalos has worked to end corruption, educate others on fair political practices, and lead trainings on the Brown Act for local organizations. Ms. Avalos was born in Guadalajara, Jalisco in Southern Mexico, and was raised in the Southeast Los Angeles area, graduating from South Gate High School in 1987. She holds a BS in Biology from CSU Dominguez Hills, Master's in Education from CSU Long Beach, a Master's in Public Administration from CSU Northridge, and a Clear California Teaching Credential in biological sciences.
Mark Racunas

Mark Racunas is Senior Vice President at Lockton Companies, the world's largest privately-owned independent insurance brokerage. Mr. Racunas has long been an advocate for improving education and cultural opportunities in Los Angeles, including serving as a Trustee of the California Science Center. He holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Kansas.
Jennifer Bunn Hayden, Board Treasurer

Los Angeles native Jennifer Bunn Hayden is a litigation attorney at Hueston Hennigan LLP. Ms. Hayden began her legal career as a law clerk to the Honorable Josephine Staton of the United States District Court for the Central District of California. Prior to law school, Ms. Hayden was a Teach for America Corps Member in Las Vegas, Nevada, where she taught fifth grade. During her undergraduate and law school years, Ms. Hayden also worked for the Los Angeles Mayor's Office and Los Angeles City Attorney. Ms. Hayden holds a BS from the Wharton School and a BA from the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania, an MEd in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Nevada- Las Vegas, and a JD from Stanford Law School.
Tyler Thurlow
Eric Young
Board Meeting Agendas
Board Agenda Minutes/Notes