Ellen Concepcion – President
Ellen 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.
Carrie McConn – Treasurer
Carrie has been working with local organizations for many years. Served 6 years on the Executive Board of the John Muir PTA, holding positions of Secretary, Treasurer and Auditor, and 7 years as Coordinator of the Timberwolf Reading Program. She owns and operates Domestic Threads, a small sewing business, selling handcrafted goods online and in local craft shows. Carrie is married with 3 children, 2 are students at schools in Martinez, and 1 is a student at Los Medanos College in Pittsburg.
Mary Peterson – Secretary
Corinne 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.
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.
Rona Zollinger, Ph.D.
Rona 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.