A Dedicated Volunteer Board of Directors

SVA’s volunteer Board of Directors comprises accomplished education and business professionals with a track record of success.

Current Board of Directors

Amy Frost - Board President & Founding Member

Expertise: Brown Act, board experience, corporate business experience, marketing, technology, innovation, coding, grant writing, events design coordination & facilitation, professional learning, management and leadership coaching, integrated food systems, agriculture. 

Bio: Amy Frost, a Hopland native, has over 15 years of experience working in the marketing and technology industry. As a Creative Director at Ideas Collide, Amy leads the agency’s innovation and marketing automation specialization, serving worldwide companies including international brands in hospitality, technology, consumer goods, healthcare and education. In her career, she has worked with clients like Intel, Weight Watchers, Best Western Hotels and Resorts, Vitamin Water, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Banner Health, developing integrated campaigns and solutions. She has had extensive training in management and leadership – including experience leading cross-disciplinary teams across multiple locations worldwide. Amy’s passion for creativity and innovation is demonstrated in her work, and in her dedicated community involvement and entrepreneurial spirit. 

Amy currently serves as a Member of the Hopland Municipal Advisory Council since its founding in 2016 and has a passion for building relationships in the community to create positive change. She also volunteers at various organizations and serves as a mentor to young women in tech, helping them navigate the industry and providing support along the way. Amy has volunteered for companies in education like Girls in Tech, Healthy Packs, Little Kids Rock, Childsplay, and Phoenix Children’s Hospital. She has always understood the importance of a strong public education and values the opportunity she was given through Ukiah Unified School District and the additional opportunity to pursue a college education. She believes that every child deserves a high-quality education and can succeed with support. She is passionate about innovative education for all students to ensure they have access to every opportunity, setting them up for a well-balanced life and a variety of career pathways. 

Amy graduated from Arizona State University with a Bachelor of Science in Graphic Design and a Bachelor of Science in Business Management. She was selected for the renowned Innovation Space program reserved for only 7 students in her field of study; she and her team engineered, marketed and designed an educational toy for children on the Autism spectrum. The project was sponsored by Mattel.

Email: [email protected]

Melea Meyer - Board Secretary & Founding Member

Expertise: Curriculum design, California state and Common Core Standards curriculum development, Next Generation Science Standards alignment, grant-writing, blended learning, professional learning and development, events design coordination & facilitation, compassionate systems design, continuous improvement, instructional and leadership coaching. Prior experience in teaching English, citizenship, English as a Second Language, CAHSEE Preparation; writing and research for academic content providers, and standardized assessment scoring/development.
Ms. Meyer is also a certified Project Learning Tree and Project Wet Trainer, and will contribute her Professional learning facilitation experience and expertise to SVA, as needed.

Bio: With 20+ years experience teaching, developing curriculum, writing for education content providers, and coaching educators, Ms. Meyer brings a diverse skill set to the SVA founding team. Her career has spanned the state of California and has been dedicated to supporting access, equity, and resources for traditionally underserved student groups. As a parent, homeschooler, and resident of Hopland, she is deeply committed to the success of SVA and its students. The power of personalized learning to promote student success, support democracy, and contribute to thriving resilient communities are the core beliefs that she brings to her term on the SVA Board of Directors. Melea has Bachelor of Arts degree in Humanities from Bradford College, a Master of Fine Arts degree in fine arts/writing and critical theory from Otis College of Art and Design, and she is currently pursuing her Doctorate in Organizational Innovation at National University.

Email: [email protected]

Leslie Barkley - Founding Member

Expertise: Literacy development in grades K-3, English and Spanish language development, multi-age learning, portfolio assessment, professional development design, one-on-one coaching in all aspects of literacy development (reading, writing, listening and speaking) for both certificated and classified personnel, coaching in portfolio/authentic assessment, integrated curriculum with an emphasis on literacy development design and implementation, leadership in both community and professional groups, singing with students, public school instruction for grades K – 5 in all subject areas.

Bio: Leslie Barkley, a resident of Hopland for 37 years, has been in the teaching profession for over 40 years. She has dedicated her life to providing an engaging, high-quality education tailored to the needs of each individual student. As the daughter of an army officer, Leslie attended a different school every year until 10th grade from California to Virginia to Germany, when her father retired. This experience taught her it is not the system of education, but the support of home, school and community that matters most in the education of students. In her teaching, Leslie devoted her time to developing a welcoming, inclusive classroom environment where all students succeed through focusing on their strengths. She spent her summers seeking professional development opportunities that would provide her with a wealth of teaching strategies and skills to bring language, literacy, math, music, art, science, social studies and joy to the classroom.


Leslie’s search for ways to develop her personal teaching expertise led to several leadership opportunities. She was a California Learning Record Core Development Team member and coach, president of the Lake Mendocino Reading Council, Redwood Writing Project liaison for Lake and Mendocino counties, Redwood Writing Project Summer Institute co-director and president of the Ukiah Teachers Association. In addition, Leslie started a professional book club for Ukiah Teachers, participated in numerous district-wide committees tied to curriculum development for Ukiah Unified School District and presented workshops focused primarily on literacy development and/or assessment in Ukiah, Humboldt County and Bureau of Indian Affairs schools in the Southwest.While devoting herself to teaching, Leslie’s first priority has always been her family. Leslie took seven years off from classroom teaching to start her family and then spent numerous hours in the car, on the soccer field and watching gymnastics performances while teaching, supporting  her three boys in their pursuits. She and her husband, Don, supported Mendocino Ballet Company both by performing in the Nutcracker for 10 years and being on the Ballet Board. Leslie also spent multiple hours planning for and participating in fundraising events for Ukiah Valley Youth Soccer, Mendocino Ballet, Hopland’s St Francis Church and other community organizations. After several years of work and traveling, Leslie graduated from UC, Davis with a BA in German Literature. She then earned her teaching credential at CSU, Sacramento in 1979. After many years of teaching and raising a family, Leslie returned to school, completing her MA in Language and Literacy from CSU, Sonoma in 2009. She studied Spanish and completed the requirements for a bilingual credential. In her opinion, Leslie’s greatest achievement was becoming a National Board for Professional Teaching Standards Certified Teacher in the area of Early Childhood Specialist in 2008.

Email: [email protected]

Bessie Glossinger - Member

Expertise: Brown Act, board experience, grants management and oversight, educational technology, innovation, youth development, leadership coaching, youth development, early childhood development, expanded learning, adult education. 


Bio:Bessie Glossenger brings over 30 years of experience supporting northern California’s families and youth. Current county Lead for Region 1 System of Support for Expanded Learning. Starting as a front line staff member for After

School Programs fueled a passion to pursue a career in child and youth development. Bessie brings a wealth of professional expertise in infant, child, youth, and teen development, program development, supervision, coaching, and training. In addition, has conducted many workshops and has taught Child Development classes for both Mendocino Junior College and the Dominican college satellite program.

Email: [email protected]

Noshie Merlin - Member


Email: [email protected]

Previous Board Members

Car Mun Kok - Founding Member

Expertise: Dr. Car Mun Kok joined the University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) in January 2016 as a 4-H Youth Development advisor for Mendocino and Lake counties. Her multiple research work includes the influence of family on youths’ dietary behaviors, the impact of STEM on positive youth development, the retention of youth in 4-H, and the development of 4-H volunteer capacity. 


Prior to joining UCCE, Dr. Kok was a graduate research and teaching assistant since 2009 at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where she worked on various research projects with faculty. These included nutrition education programs in child care, the ‘Seeing i2i’ cultural competence curriculum, and other healthy living workshops. Her current work focuses on positive youth development via STEM, healthy living, and citizenship. She has presented various workshops and training for educators and teaching professionals, including the Region 1 Expanded Learning Conferences held in Humboldt, Mendocino and Sonoma in 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019. Through her current work in experiential learning and STEM education, Dr. Kok has multiple collaborations with different youth organizations like the Boys and Girls Club and schools including Anderson Valley Junior High and East Lake Elementary. 

Bio: Car Mun earned her B.A. in Psychology, an M.S. in Child, Youth and Family Studies and a Ph.D. in Human Sciences with specialization in Child, Youth, and Family Studies, from the University of Nebraska between the years of 2005 and 2015. Since then she has lived in Lake County, where she chairs the Lake County 4-H/UC Extension Agriculture and Natural Resources Department and leads a team that provides youth development programming throughout Lake and Mendocino Counties. Growing up in Malaysia, and making the change from there to Nebraska and then to rural Northern California has been quite an adventure for Car Mun, but through it all, her dedication to inspiring youth to take on leadership, build responsibility and engage in curiosity has led the way.

Kristian Vallee - Founding Member

Expertise: Nonprofit accounting and bookkeeping, audit facilitation for nonprofit financials and government grants, budget preparation and grant tracking, small business accounting setup and maintenance using Quickbooks (Enterprise, Premiere, QBO), restorative justice, project-based curriculum design and implementation, public school instruction for grades 6-8 in English Language Arts, Journalism, Yearbook, and 6th grade History and Math, curriculum design and one-on-one coaching in comedic writing and delivery.

Bio: Kristian Vallée obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree in English from University of California at Irvine and completed his Single Subject Teaching Credential through the UC Irvine internship program. While teaching 7th and 8th grade English Language Arts for 5 years in Irvine and Laguna Woods, Kristian enrolled in a stand-up comedy course at the local Improv Comedy Club. Within a few years Kristian was signed with Levity Entertainment Group, upon which he left his teaching career to pursue stand-up comedy full-time. During that time he also designed curriculum for and conducted 6-week Stand-up Comedy Writing and Performance courses at the Improv Comedy Clubs in Irvine and Brea. After seven years of writing and performing stand-up on and off the road, Kristian chose to obtain his Accounting degree from Irvine Valley College. He now lives in Hopland and works remotely as the Accounting Specialist at Orange County Human Relations Council, a nonprofit organization dedicated to teaching restorative practices and restorative justice techniques to local school districts in Orange County, as well as providing Dispute Resolution services (DRPA) for the Orange County court system.

Sonny Elliott - Founding Member


Jessica Farfan - Member


Land Acknowledgement

We of this Academy, named after the Principal Local Indigenous Village of Shanél, acknowledge with honor the Shóqowa and Hopland People on whose traditional, ancestral, and unceded lands we work, educate and learn and whose historical and spiritual relationship with these lands continues to this day and beyond.