CCGI Team

Executive Team

The Executive Team is responsible for providing strategic leadership, oversight, and guidance of the California College Guidance Initiative (CCGI). They are additionally responsible for measurement and learning across the organization, and the development of new initiatives.



Tessa Carmen De Roy
President
T: 323.999.7161
E: tderoy@CaliforniaColleges.edu

Colleges attended and degrees earned: Ed.D, and Masters in Urban Planning, University of California, Los Angeles
Where I grew up: Los Angeles, California
First people in my family to go to college: Both of my parents were first generation college students. My mom went to college on a New York Regents scholarship, and my dad used veterans benefits to finance his education. My family is a perfect example of how assisting students in accessing educational opportunities changes the trajectory of entire families.
Why I work for CCGI: I’m deeply concerned about the gaps in knowledge and information that prevent both people and systems from fulfilling their potential. Working at CCGI, I have the daily privilege of trying to fill some of those gaps, while working with a passionate and talented team. 
My interests/hobbies: I spend my free time with my kids, on the yoga mat, or exploring the endless range of food adventures available to me in Los Angeles.


Kathleen Schock Headshot

Kathleen Schock
Deputy Director of College Next
T: 559.514.8017
E: kschock@CaliforniaColleges.edu

Colleges attended and degrees earned: B.A. International Relations, University of Southern California; M.A. Journalism, UC Berkeley; Ed.D. Educational Leadership, Fresno State
Where I grew up: Fresno, CA
First people in my family to go to college: My parents. My father spent his childhood working in the fields but through access to higher education ultimately became a physician. His story is emblematic of the power of education to create economic possibilities that can have a generational impact.
Why I work for CCGI: I believe that it is our responsibility as a society to ensure that every student has access to the tools and resources that will put them on track for success in life. I work for CCGI because it addresses systemic barriers to achievement while empowering California students to proactively set and achieve their goals through education.
My interests/hobbies: I love to eat, which means I’ve become a capable cook to support my habit and a regular in spin classes to atone for it. My other interests include hiking, traveling, reading, going to the movies, and spending time with my husband and stepdaughter.


Qiana Wallace

Qiana Wallace
Deputy Director of Measurement and Learning
T: 951.790.2519
E: qwallace@CaliforniaColleges.edu

Colleges attended and degrees earned: B.A. Psychology, San Diego State University; M.S.W., University of Southern California; Ph.D., Claremont Graduate University (currently enrolled)
Where I grew up: I grew up in southern California in Los Angeles and the Inland Empire.
First person in my family to go to college: I am the first person in my family to go to college.
Why I work for CCGI: I work for CCGI because I am fully committed to supporting access to higher education for students in a way that is easily accessible and supported by educators and partners across our public education systems.
Fun facts: I was in Gerber baby food ads when I was a toddler and I was in an African Drumming and Dance Ensemble in college.


CaliforniaColleges.edu Team

The CaliforniaColleges.edu Team is responsible for the development, maintenance, and iteration of CaliforniaColleges.edu, the State of California’s college and career planning platform, including content and collateral to effectively engage educators, students, and families.



Leigh S. Ranck
Vice President of CaliforniaColleges.edu
T: 424.272.6714
E: lranck@CaliforniaColleges.edu

Colleges attended and degrees earned: B.A. in Journalism and Politics, New York University
Where I grew up: Arlington, Texas
First person in my family to go to college: My grandfather
Why I work for CCGI: Through hard work and dedication, I made the most of my K-12 education and earned a degree from my dream school. I am proud to play an integral role in designing a platform and accompanying communications that make it easier for educators to give students the support they need to reach their college and career goals.      
My interests/hobbies: I enjoy playing competitive tennis, traveling both internationally and around the U.S., and listening to blues and jazz. 


Ben Baird Headshot

Ben Baird
Director of CaliforniaColleges.edu Data Infrastructure
T: 916.581.1643
E: bbaird@CaliforniaColleges.edu

Colleges attended and degrees earned: M.S. in Information Systems, Drexel University; B.A. in Spanish Language and Literature, University of California, Santa Barbara
Where I grew up: Born in San Francisco and raised in Sacramento, CA
First people in my family to go to college: My grandparents
Why I work for CCGI: I’m motivated to help school districts use data to identify problems and figure out how to solve them. If I can make the process of successfully transitioning to college easier for California students, even by just a few clicks, I consider my work a great success. 
My interests/hobbies: I enjoy playing the piano, restoring cars, and gardening.


Meredith Curry Headshot

Meredith Curry
Director of CaliforniaColleges.edu Content and Data Management
T: 408.901.0290
E: mcurry@CaliforniaColleges.edu

Colleges attended and degrees earned: M.B.A., California State University, Long Beach; B.A. in English, University of California, Los Angeles
Where I grew up: California (Sacramento and San Jose) and the Philippines
First person in my family to go to college: Me
Why I work for CCGI: I know the work our team does has the power to impact so many young lives and whole communities. I enjoy supporting all CCGI departments by troubleshooting issues, resolving problems, and building people’s capacity with Salesforce, training, task management, etc. 
My interests/hobbies: I love to exercise my creativity and particularly enjoy singing, dancing, and poetry. I also speak Tagalog. 


Dean Robinson Headshot

Dean Robinson
Deputy Director of Technical Projects
T: 442.444.0636
E: drobinson@CaliforniaColleges.edu

Colleges attended and degrees earned: B.S., Information Technology Management, National University
Where I grew up: San Diego
First person in my family to go to college: Me!
Why I work for CCGI: I work for CCGI to make a difference in people's lives. In return, CCGI provides me a dynamic work environment with incredibly talented colleagues.
My interests/hobbies: I have been a student of classical, jazz, and latin guitar since I was ten years old. I also enjoy fine dining and wine tasting.


Frances Suderman Headshot

Frances Suderman
CaliforniaColleges.edu Manager
T: 909.454.6945
E: fsuderman@CaliforniaColleges.edu

Colleges attended and degrees earned: B.A. in English; M.A. in English Composition; two years of continuing education in Educational Leadership, California State University, San Bernardino
Where I grew up: Lake Arrowhead and San Bernardino, CA
First person in my family to go to college: Me
Why I work for CCGI: Every day, I have the opportunity to show people something new and guide them to discovery. The best part of my job is seeing educators grow and take initiative to help students who would otherwise not have well-informed guidance.  
My interests/hobbies: I enjoy reading, playing with my hound dog, visiting craft coffee shops and breweries, and traveling.


Laurel Sunderman Headshot

Laurel Sunderman
CaliforniaColleges.edu Communications Manager
T: 916.750.0602
E: lsunderman@CaliforniaColleges.edu

Colleges attended and degrees earned: B.A. and M.A. in English, California State University, Sacramento
Where I grew up: Pine Grove, CA
First person in my family to go to college: My grandfather
Why I work for CCGI: I love to take complex ideas and figure out how to communicate them clearly through writing and design. My job allows me to exercise my greatest strengths and to be part of a mission I truly care about.    
Fun fact: When I was young, my parents gave me their Beatles albums and a record player, and I’ve been a “Beatlemaniac” ever since.


Maribel Chonhim Headshot

Maribel Chonhim
CaliforniaColleges.edu Specialist
T: 626.594.5309
E: mchonhim@CaliforniaColleges.edu

Colleges attended and degrees earned: M.A. in Educational Counseling and PPS credential, Azusa Pacific University; B.S. in Sociology, University of La Verne
Where I grew up: Born and raised in Duarte, CA
First person in my family to go to college: My older sisters attended community college, and later, four-year universities. I was the first to attend a four-year university right after high school.
Why I work for CCGI: I thrive in an environment where every day is different and there is always something new to learn. Also, knowing that my work impacts students throughout California inspires and motivates me to always do my best. 
My interests/hobbies: Some might call me a Disney fanatic! I have been in awe since my first trip as a child, and I try to go as often as I can. 


Hieu Cooney Headshot

Hieu Cooney
User Support Specialist
E: hcooney@CaliforniaColleges.edu

Colleges attended and degrees earned: B.S. in Biological Sciences, University of the Pacific; M.A./M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction, University of Phoenix
Where I grew up: Greenville, South Carolina
First person in my family to go to college: My dad, who was also my inspiration to pursue the educational field.
Why I work for CCGI: I am an advocate for teachers and students and believe the tools we put in their hands can create a better future. I enjoy working with a great team and a powerful tool that can guide and motivate students to plan for their future beyond high school.
My interests/hobbies: I love boating and fishing on the Sacramento River, as well as salsa dancing.

Partnerships Team

The Partnerships Team supports school districts in the effective adoption and integration of CaliforniaColleges.edu. The team focuses on building educators’ capacity to systematically set goals and plan implementation strategies, and provides data auditing and alignment to ensure accurately informed student accounts, which serve as the basis for monitoring progress toward reaching postsecondary goals.


Maya Ramos Clayton Headshot

Maya Ramos Clayton
Vice President of District Partnerships
T: 323.902.7319
E: mclayton@CaliforniaColleges.edu

Colleges attended and degrees earned: M.S. in Professional Writing, New York University; B.A. in Comparative Religion and African Studies, Smith College
Where I grew up: San Francisco’s Richmond District (CA)
First people in my family to go to college: My parents
Why I work for CCGI: My job requires a level of grit, thinking, and patience that really sustains me personally and professionally. I draw energy from our talented, hardworking, and persistent team, including educators on the ground who literally devote their lives to the work of supporting students to meet their aspirations and goals.
My interests/hobbies: I’m an avid writer and I love travelling with my family.


Andy Alcaraz headshot

Andy Alcaraz
Deputy Director of Partner District Data Services
T: 818.642.6439
E: aalcaraz@CaliforniaColleges.edu

Colleges attended and degrees earned: B.A. in English, University of California, Berkeley
Where I grew up: Los Angeles
First person in my family to go to college: Me!
Why I work for CCGI: I was once a lost high school student, who eventually became a lost community college student before eventually becoming a knowledgeable college graduate. Navigating the college-going terrain was difficult as the first person in my family to go to college. I work at CCGI to provide students with all the resources necessary to guide them on their college journey.
Fun facts: I'm a huge baseball and statistics nerd, and I love playing, too!


Jennifer Pritchard headshot

Jennifer Pritchard
Deputy Director of District Partnerships, Central Valley
T: 559.512.0224
E: jpritchard@CaliforniaColleges.edu

Colleges attended and degrees earned: M.S. in Counseling and Student Services with PPS Credential, Fresno State University; B.A. in Chicano Studies and Law & Society, University of California, Santa Barbara
Where I grew up: Fresno, CA
First person in my family to go to college: Me, but it took a village to get me there! I owe a special thank you to my high school counselor, Ms. Sanchez, and of course mom and dad.
Why I work for CCGI: CCGI allows me to apply my strengths related to "a-g" alignment with CMP, CSU/UC admissions, and "in the trenches" experience as a high school counselor. I love being able to help districts provide an extra layer of college and career guidance, increase awareness about “a-g” requirements, and improve outcomes for all students. 
Fun facts: I love music (R&B, Oldies, and even a little Country), enjoy traveling, exploring new places, and spending time on the lake with my family. Summer is by far my favorite season and Cancun/Isla Mujeres is my go-to destination!


Hannah Smith Headshot

Hannah Smith
Deputy Director of District Partnerships, Northern California
T: 510.698.9341
E: hsmith@CaliforniaColleges.edu

Colleges attended and degrees earned: M.Ed. in Prevention Science and Practice, Harvard Graduate School of Education; B.A. in Ethnic Studies and Education, University of California, Berkeley; A.A. in Social and Behavioral Science, City College of San Francisco
Where I grew up: I lived in a small town in New Hampshire before moving to Los Angeles in my early teens.
First people in my family to go to college: My older sister was the first to go to college, and my mother earned a degree when I was older.
Why I work for CCGI: I believe so strongly in CCGI’s data-informed approach. Data has the power to create and maintain programs, address student barriers, and effectively gauge the best methods and strategies to support students on their educational journey. 
Fun fact: I have seven siblings.


Kristina Tyler Headshot

Kristina Tyler
Deputy Director of District Partnerships, Southern California
T: 858.371.3115
E: ktyler@CaliforniaColleges.edu

Colleges attended and degrees earned: B.A. in Educational Studies, B.A. in Public Policy and American Institutions, and M.A. in Urban Education Policy, Brown University
Where I grew up: Temecula, CA
First people in my family to go to college: My parents were the first in their families to go to college. As the daughter of first generation Mexican-Americans, this was a significant accomplishment that informed my own education and postsecondary endeavors.
Why I work for CCGI: In my multi-faceted role with CCGI, I am able to use my skills and experience to support educators and contribute to the development of a platform that ensures all students have access to college and career planning resources. 
My interests/hobbies: I enjoy running and doing HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) workouts, spending time with my family, and wine tasting.


David Durand Headshot

David Durand
District Partnerships Manager, Bay Area
T: 252.538.3803
E: ddurand@CaliforniaColleges.edu

Colleges attended and degrees earned: B.A. in French, University of Wisconsin, Madison; M.A. in Education Leadership and Change, Antioch University, Los Angeles
Where I grew up: North Hollywood, CA
First people in my family to go to college: My mother.
Why I work for CCGI: Significant support from community-based organizations helped me gain access to college and prepare for the journey, which led to a profound postsecondary experience. I work at CCGI to pay it forward by supporting processes that bring awareness and capacity to young people.
Fun fact: I taught myself how to play the guitar from Youtube videos.


Anna Lorena Garcia Headshot

Anna Lorena Garcia
District Partnerships Manager, Central Valley
T: 661.438.1144
E: agarcia@CaliforniaColleges.edu

Colleges attended and degrees earned: B.A. in Liberal Studies, University of LaVerne
Where I grew up: I was born in Sonora, Mexico and moved to Wasco, CA, in the heart of the central valley, when I was 10. 
First person in my family to go to college: Me, and it was the best experience and accomplishment of my life. 
Why I work for CCGI: I take pride in being able to help a variety of people with different backgrounds reach their fullest potential in pursuit of their personal, academic, and professional goals.
Fun fact: I was once on a television game show called Street Smarts. I answered questions and the contestants had to verify my answers as true or false. Interviewing and filming was a lot of fun!


Ying Lo-Khang Headshot

Ying Lo-Khang
District Partnerships Manager, Greater Sacramento
T: 916.827.0509
E: ylo-khang@CaliforniaColleges.edu

Colleges attended and degrees earned: M.S. in Social Work, Columbia University; B.A. in Social Work and Education, University of California, Berkeley
Where I grew up: Sacramento, CA
First people in my family to go to college: As one of 10 children, I had older siblings who attended local colleges, but I was the first to attend college away from home.
Why I work for CCGI: As a first-generation college student, I know how hard it is to access higher education resources. I love that CCGI enables districts to better provide these resources so that all students can have an equal opportunity to go to college.
My interests/hobbies: I enjoy Broadway musicals and Zumba. 


Jossie Munoz Headshot

Jossie Muñoz
District Partnerships Manager, Inland Empire
T: 951.444.8412
E: jmunoz@CaliforniaColleges.edu

Colleges attended and degrees earned: M.A. in Higher Education and Student Affairs, New York University; B.A. in American Studies and Spanish, Dickinson College
Where I grew up: Corona, CA
First person in my family to go to college: Me
Why I work for CCGI: I believe in paying it forward. As a child, I witnessed first-hand the struggles low-income and first-generation students face in navigating the college application process. I enjoy giving back to my community by working with educators to help current students prepare for life after high school.
Fun fact: I made it to the sixth round on the game show Minuto Para Ganar (Minute to Win It).


Alejandra Solorzano Headshot

Alejandra Solorzano
District Partnerships Manager, San Diego
T: 619.381.3475
E: asolorzano@CaliforniaColleges.edu

Colleges attended and degrees earned: B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies, University of California, Berkeley; Project Management Certificate, San Diego State University
Where I grew up: San Diego, CA
First person in my family to go to college: Me
Why I work for CCGI: I am fortunate to have a family that has always supported my educational goals and a community that has empowered me to strive for the best.  I believe it is my responsibility to give back to my community, and CCGI will provide me the platform to impact lives statewide through education.
Fun fact: In 2011, I embarked on an amazing 14-month trip through central and South America that allowed me to learn about new cultures and make lifelong friends.


Ebony Staten Headshot

Ebony Staten
District Partnerships Manager, Inland Empire
E: estaten@CaliforniaColleges.edu

Colleges attended and degrees earned: M.A. Public Administration; B.A. Communication Studies: Public Relations, California State University, San Bernardino
Where I grew up: Rialto, CA
First person in my family to go to college: My mother
Why I work for CCGI: I work for CCGI because working to bridge the gap between K-12 experience and life beyond is a dream come true. I am energized by the opportunity to draw from my experience as a University Academic Advisor and Program Coordinator for students who may have fallen between the cracks and applying that knowledge and training on a larger scale.
My interests/hobbies: I love to laugh, eat, and spend time with my family.


Silvestre Vallejo Headshot

Silvestre Vallejo
District Partnerships Manager, Greater Los Angeles
T: 323.591.4694
E: svallejo@CaliforniaColleges.edu

Colleges attended and degrees earned: B.A. in Cinema-Television Production, University of Southern California
Where I grew up: A small town in the state of Jalisco, Mexico and later in Long Beach, CA
First person in my family to go to college: Me
Why I work for CCGI: My job allows me to collaborate on a wide variety of different projects, which is intellectually stimulating and helps me to constantly learn new skills. I love knowing that the work I do better equips counselors to help students discover their own aspirations and reach their goals.
Fun fact: When I was 20, I backpacked alone through Spain, France, and Italy.  


Raj Kaur Headshot

Raj Kaur
Data Services Specialist
T: 916.706.6753
E: rkaur@CaliforniaColleges.edu

Colleges attended and degrees earned: B.A. in Organizational Leadership, Brandman University
Where I grew up: The bay area, and after high school, Sacramento, CA
First person in my family to go to college: Me. I’ve always had a strong interest in education and the pursuit of a meaningful career. 
Why I work for CCGI: In my job, I pursue my passion for advocating for education. I dig into the details and apply my knowledge and skills to support districts in solving important data-related issues to help students. I appreciate that CCGI provides students with information about all their options so they can choose their own path.
My interests/hobbies: I hope to pass on my love of education to my son. I read to him daily so that he can fall in love with the intriguing world of books and have a passion for gaining knowledge. I also like to read books that help me gain insight into my own life journey.


Heather Miller Headshot

Heather Miller
Data Services Specialist
T: 916.662.5490
E: hmiller@CaliforniaColleges.edu

Colleges attended and degrees earned: B.A. in Organizational Communication, California State University, Sacramento; International Quality Management Standards certification, British Standards Institute
Where I grew up: Madison, WI
First person in my family to go to college: My great-great grandfather on my mother’s side 
Why I work for CCGI: I enjoy the opportunity to work with complex data and interact directly with school districts. There is nothing better than leading an educator toward that “aha moment” that will make their jobs easier. 
Fun fact: I used to teach ballroom dance professionally and trained with some of the ballroom dancers seen on the International Dance Circuit. 


Thomas Ponik Headshot

Thomas Ponik
Data Services Specialist
T: 916.300.2620
E: tponik@CaliforniaColleges.edu

Colleges attended and degrees earned: Certificate in Health & Fire Science, Sierra College; A.S. RCP Respiratory & Pulmonary Science, San Joaquin Valley College
Where I grew up: Bayonne N.J. & Brooklyn N.Y.
First person in my family to go to college: My mother earned her nursing degree.
Why I work for CCGI: Working for CCGI allows me to pay it forward and do my little piece to help students throughout California achieve their educational goals. The mission here and work ethic is something I truly believe in. Being a part of CCGI’s team and knowing that the work we do here has such a positive impact on students, it motivates me to push my strengths to always perform at the highest level.
My interest/hobbies: I’m originally from Brooklyn, NY and worked as a firefighter for the people of New York City. I love to hike, explore lighthouses and abandoned areas, and visit lost coastal towns. I also enjoy snowboarding, and outdoor photography.


Business Operations Team

The Business Operations team ensures the alignment of CCGI’s technology platforms, implementation strategies, and operational protocols. The team manages all CRM (Salesforce) data for the organization, and facilitates team effectiveness across our statewide, virtual workplace.


Chris Gardiner Headshot

Chris Gardiner
Deputy Director of Business Operations
T: 916.720.9178
E: cgardiner@CaliforniaColleges.edu

Colleges attended and degrees earned: B.S. in Social Science, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. Certified Salesforce Administrator.
Where I grew up: Pleasanton, CA
First people in my family to go to college: My parents
Why I work for CCGI: My work enables CCGI staff to successfully grow partnerships with school districts. I take pride in supporting internal processes that ultimately make educators’ lives easier and help students discover paths they may never have thought possible.  
Fun facts: I am an official member of the Barry Manilow fan club, and I was once the Catholic Youth Organization (CYO) free throw champion for the state of California.


Sheri Hiebert Headshot

Sheri Hiebert
Senior Business Operations Specialist
T: 530.763.3521
E: shiebert@CaliforniaColleges.edu

Where I grew up: Wichita, KS
First person in my family to go to college: My mother
Why I work for CCGI: I believe in the opportunity CCGI provides educators, students and families working together to achieve shared goals for college and career success.
Fun facts: I’ve raised and trained horses for competitions and I’ve also modeled for Macy’s.


Laurel Papke Headshot

Laurel Papke
Senior Business Operations Specialist
T: 408.676.9420
E: lpapke@CaliforniaColleges.edu

Colleges attended and degrees earned: B.A. in Communication, Arizona State University
Where I grew up: San Jose, CA
First people in my family to go to college: Both of my great-grandfathers went to college, one becoming a doctor and the other an attorney. 
Why I work for CCGI: I love telling people about the work we do. Whether they’re remembering their own college or career planning experiences or desperately looking for help for their own child, there is always someone in the room who says, “I need that!” I’m proud to work with a great team and impact so many lives in a positive way.
Fun facts: I enjoy a good jam session on my drums, tending to my garden, and am an avid animal lover.  


David Silva Headshot

David Silva
Business Operations Specialist
T: 916.768.8844
E: dsilva@CaliforniaColleges.edu

Colleges attended and degrees earned: California State University, Sacramento and Bethany Bible College, Santa Cruz
Where I grew up: Sacramento, CA
First people in my family to go to college: My maternal grandfather, and in my immediate family, my sister
Why I work for CCGI: I have over 15 years of experience in office management and leadership over dynamic, virtually-based teams. It’s very satisfying to be able to use my knowledge and skills to support CCGI operations and help ensure California students are prepared for life after high school. 
Fun fact: I have a background in classical singing and theater. In 1995, I won the Birdsall award for best supporting actor at the Magic Circle Theatre in Roseville, CA.


Contact Us

Tessa Carmen De Roy, Ed.D.
President
T: 323.999.7161
E: tderoy@CaliforniaColleges.edu

K-12 DISTRICT PARTNERSHIPS

For districts interested in partnership, contact partnership@californiacolleges.edu.

College Partnerships

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