Pamela Klister joined SVEF in August 2008. Born and educated in the United Kingdom, Pam traveled extensively while working in both the travel and recruitment industries. Achieving the position of Director of Sales for an IT recruitment company, she was transferred to San Francisco in 1989, and in 1992 moved to Laguna Hills to run the West Coast operation. She is married and has two sons currently attending school in the Saddleback District. Pam has served on various school boards as a PTA President, Vice President, Parliamentarian, as well as being elected by the parents in 2006 to serve on the Valencia Site Council for a 3-year term. In addition, she also served five years as President of that school’s Education Foundation and has continued to work part time since 2006 for the Capistrano School District in Special Education. In 2004, she lead one of the major fundraisers in SVUSD helping to raise over $400,000 to save class size reduction district wide. Pam is passionate about working within organizations that acknowledge current issues and wants to ensure that her own district continues to provide the highest level of education and support for all children.
Ellen Phillips joined the board in 2007. She has been an employee, parent, and volunteer in SVUSD over the past 25 years. Ellen has worked for SVUSD, both at the primary level at La Madera Elementary School and at the secondary level at Silverado High School. She is also employed part-time by the Coastline Regional Occupational Program and has worked for SVUSD Adult Education. Both of Ellen’s daughters graduated from El Toro High School. She has been a member of the community for many years and has been involved in a wide and diverse variety of community organizations, including Rotary Club, Bobby Sox Softball, local community theater, and school site councils. She believes that there are many parents and community members in the Saddleback Valley that would like to assist in improving educational opportunities for our children, and that the SVEF can be the vehicle to mobilize their efforts.
Vicki Harris joined the Board in December 2007. Vicki and her husband are 30-year residents of Lake Forest and have two children who attended Saddleback Valley district schools. Vicki’s employer, CapitalSource Bank in Laguna Hills, is very supportive of its employees’ efforts to volunteer in their local communities so the foundation is a good fit for her. Many of her years of volunteer service have been dedicated to education- related causes and organizations. Some of the organizations with which Vicki volunteers are: Exchange Club of Irvine – mission is to prevent child abuse; Jr. Achievement – promotes free enterprise in grades K-12 and Habitat for Humanity – helping families realize home ownership. She is also an active member in the South Orange County Chamber of Commerce.
Sarah Nagel has been on the Board since 2003. As a practicing Certified Public Accountant, she has been doing tax preparation, planning, small business advisory services, tax problem resolution and representation services to individual clients since 1984. She is the President and Founder of Expressions of Grace, a non profit and Expressions, Inc. Her 3 children have attended school in the Saddleback Valley School District where she has been active in the PTA and School Site Council. She has a daughter currently attending Mission Viejo High School.
Avis French has been on the SVEF Board since 1987 and has served in various positions over those years. She worked in several writer positions in her 27 years at Unisys until she retired at the end of 2001. Since then she has remained active in SVEF as well as continuing to volunteer in a wide array of programs within the local educational community. Avis has been a member of the National Management Association (NMA) since 1986, was named national Member of the Year of NMA in 1995, and currently serves as an NMA Associate Director. Since 1984, Avis has conducted several blood drives every year for the Orange County Chapter of the American Red Cross. She has been a trustee of the Rehart Memorial Scholarship since 1995. Avis has been a member of ToastMasters International since 1986; she has been the recipient of several awards including the Beckwith Award for leadership, humor, and community service; since 2003 she as served as the leader of the Founders District Judges Bureau that provides assistance for a variety of speaking and academic events sponsored by local service organizations and educational institutions.
Keith Powell has been Head of Acquisitions at the UC Irvine Libraries since November 2006. Keith’s work experience includes eleven years in library acquisitions and serials at UC Santa Barbara, four years as Acquisitions Librarian at Alabama State University, and five years as a regional sales manager with an academic libraries materials vendor. A graduate with an M.S. from the School of Information Sciences at the University of Tennessee, Keith also holds an M.A. in History from UC Santa Barbara. Keith is the immensely proud father of two children: his daughter Evan, a seventh grader at La Paz Middle School; and his son Aidan, a fourth grader at Valencia Elementary. Both children have been enrolled in the district since kindergarten, beginning at Valencia Elementary. Keith understands the importance of education to every child and is committed to finding ways to support and enhance educational opportunities for our children here in the Saddleback Valley Unified School District.
Cynthia Jensen-McMullin joined the SVEF in 2011. She has always had a passion for education, particularly in the areas of science, engineering and mathematics. She has had children in the SVUSD since 1996 and has participated in PTA and STPO at various levels. In addition to serving on various committees, Cynthia has been a PTA secretary, auditor, treasurer, parliamentarian and president. Cynthia continues to serve on the board as treasurer for the Valencia Education Foundation. She has also served on technical boards including the Society of Women Engineers, Women in Science and Engineering, The International Society for Optics and Photonics and Graduate Women in Science. She is a senior member of Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers. Cynthia’s education includes a BS in engineering from California State Northridge and an MS and PhD in engineering from the University of California, Irvine. Cynthia has a loving family, including her husband Don and two sons.
Dr. Fish has been an active force in K-12 education for over 40 years. He recently retired as Superintendent of the Saddleback Valley Unified School District where he served from 2005 through June of 2010. Prior to this he served as superintendent of Torrance Unified and West Covina Unified School Districts. Steve’s early career in education was as an elementary school teacher in both Magnolia School District and Long Beach Unified School District. His first efforts in administration came in the 1983 school year when he was promoted to the role of Program Specialist for the California State Demonstration Program within the Long Beach Unified School District. Two years later he became an elementary school principal in Long Beach. District responsibilities including Area Superintendent and Deputy Superintendent followed within Long Beach Unified.During his time as superintendent, Dr. Fish developed a pattern of improving each of his school districts by developing and articulating a long term vision, improving API, modernizing school facilities, streamlining operations and organizations, and supporting technology based student data decision making. While in Saddleback Valley Unified, Steve successfully oversaw the expenditure of over $200 million in new construction and improvement in learning environments across the district. Declining enrollment combined with the California fiscal crisis to create severe challenges for school districts all over the state. In order to keep the school district solvent, Steve was able to reduce the general fund budget by some $67 million over 5 years while managing expectations of school district parents and community. Dr. Fish has his BA and Masters degrees from California State University, Long Beach and earned his Ed.D from the University of Southern California. He continues his involvement through teaching at USC and volunteering in public schools. He resides in Orange County with his wife Sue. He is the father of two sons and the proud grandfather of two grandchildren.
Tammy Blakely joined SVEF in September 2011. She serves SVEF as the liaison for the Saddleback Valley Unified School District. Tammy has 18 years of experience working in education. She has worked in SVUSD for the past 12 years and has worked as a site administrator and as a District Office administrator. Tammy’s experience in education includes being a counselor at the elementary and high school levels, teaching Health to high school students, being an Assistant Principal and Principal at the intermediate level, and serving all k-12 students at the district level. She is passionate about serving kids and communities in public education and welcomes the opportunity to work with dedicated partners in education.