Board of Directors

Ellen Concepcion – President

2016 NLC ellen head shot croppedEllen is the co-founder and Director of New Leaf Collaborative and oversees the Community Science Workshop Program, she also teaches 7th & 8th grade science at Mare Island Technology Academy. Through New Leaf Collaborative’s programs, Ellen hopes to inspire youth to learn, act and think creatively, confidently and responsibly and to introduce them to career options that lead to sustainable prosperity.



Mary Peterson – Secretary

Melissa Boyd

Corinne Christiansen

corrine christiansen croppedCorinne has been teaching for 21 years in Japan and California. She believes that every student wants to succeed but may not know how. She sees her job as helping her students gain the strategies and skills that will help them become successful in class, in the community and in their future. Corinne co-founded the New Leaf Leadership Academy and Empowering Educators.



Jennifer Kennedy

Jen Kennedy is a art educator in the Mt. Diablo Unified School District. As well as being a teacher of 21 years, she is a working photographer. Jen’s experience in the classroom has lead her to find that the heart of successful education comes through working on the connection students have to each other, their environment & their ability to speak their voice.




Ron Skrehot







Rona Zollinger, Ph.D.

ronaRona Zollinger, NLC’s co-founding board member and Empowering Educators Program Manager/Facilitator finds inspiration in the process of imagining educational environments that nurture connections between teachers, students, communities and the earth. In addition to her after-hours workshop facilitation, she works as the College and Career Pathways Coordinator for Martinez Unified School District. For the last decade, she facilitated a transdisciplinary curriculum for at-risk youth where students and community leaders worked in concert for learning and change called the New Leaf Leadership Academy. She was recently the Contra Costa County Teacher of the Year and a National Geographic Grosvenor Teacher Fellow.