Leadership Team


Leadership Team

The Leadership Team is the primary governing body of the California AfterSchool Network. The Leadership Team is responsible for providing leadership, strategic direction and support to the committees and participants in the California AfterSchool Network.


Christina Sepulveda
Committed to June 2022, CAN Leadership Team Co-Chair

Vice President, Boys & Girls Clubs of Garden Grove

Christina Sepulveda is the Vice President of Community Impact Programs for Boys & Girls Clubs of Garden Grove. Christina has been in youth development for 15 years and on the CAN Leadership Team since 2017 and Co-Chair since 2020. She is currently responsible for overseeing Early Learning Initiatives, Community Health Services, and Family Engagement/Outreach. She is responsible for the recruitment, coordination, and maintenance of community partnerships that foster the coordination of services for families in the community. She has a proven track record leading and facilitating community projects that build healthier communities through education, advocacy, and support. Christina’s focus in youth development has been on ‘whole-child’ models and mental health. Her strong belief in collaboration and serving the ‘whole-child’ has been a guiding philosophy throughout her career in youth development.


James Hall
Committed to June 2022, CAN Leadership Team Co-chair

Director of Student, Family, and Community Engagement​, 
Lassen County Office of Education

James Hall serves as Program Manager of Prevention and Expanded Learning for the Lassen County Office of Education.  In his role at the Lassen County Office of Education, he serves as an ASES Program Director; plans and implements expanded learning opportunities for students in TK to 12th grade; and serves as the county lead for Visual and Performing Arts, Tobacco Use Prevention Education, and Federal Program Monitoring.  James is passionate about out-of-school time because he was involved in after school activities as a student and saw the benefits and the awesome opportunities that were available to help expand his horizons.  He loves to see the same happen for students and adults today.  James was motivated to join the CAN Leadership Team because he desires to help address the need for high-quality programs, share knowledge, and lend support to make this a reality, no matter the size or location of the program. 


Rick Rood
Committed to June 2021, Strategy Committee

Trainer and Coach for Education Professionals with Transforming Teachers, 
Livermore Area Recreation and Park District (Retired)

Rick Rood is a 30-year frontline veteran in the OST profession, having worked in direct service with children, youth, and families since 1990. In addition to being a 5th grade mathematics teacher, Rick is also a trainer, speaker, author, and coach, serving education professionals with keynotes and workshops, as well as providing Certified High Performance Coaching for educators. Initially trained as part of the CalSAC Trainer network in 2003, Rick helped author and edit CalSAC’s training modules as well as serving as a trainer for their Training of the Trainers Institute. Rick is the host of the Transforming Teachers podcast and is currently working on his new book, “EPIC Teaching”. Rick joined the CAN Leadership Team in 2013 to increase the visibility and influence the professionalization of the Out-of-School-Time field. Today, Rick continues his mission to professionalize the Out-of-School-Time field and engage OST professionals in continuous learning and improvement.


Bruno Marchesi
Committed to June 2022, Health and Wellness Action Team Co-Chair

Director of Strategic Expansion,  U.S. Soccer Foundation

Bruno Marchesi is the California State Director of the U.S. Soccer Foundation with the goal to enhance, assist, and grow the sport of soccer in the United States. He believes that the Expanded Learning field in California serves the needs of a diverse and underserved community, especially in keeping young people physically and emotionally safe, and providing them with opportunities for academic enrichment and food security in a caring environment. Bruno joined the California AfterSchool Network’s Leadership Team, continuing to serve as Co-Chair of the Health and Wellness Action Team with the hope to be able to contribute to these important efforts. Bruno’s passion and drive come from his own core values of humility, integrity, and service.


Bill Fennessy
Committed to June 2022, Strategy Committee

Director of High School Programs, A World Fit For Kids!

Bill Fennessy is the Director of Community Partnerships and Work-Based Learning for Think Together. In his role at Think Together, he supports High School ASSETs Programs in collaborating with Career Technical Education Programs at school districts and sites to better support Workforce Readiness and Work-Based Learning activities, with a special focus on internships.  Bill is passionate about out-of-school time because he believes in the great potential of Older Youth, and wants to support their dreams by providing opportunities for their greater success.  Bill was motivated to join the CAN Leadership Team because he feels this is the next significant step in his over 15 years of being able to serve the Expanded Learning Field as a thought leader, pioneer, innovator, and practitioner.


Maria Cuevas
Committed to June 2022, Leadership Development Committee

Regional Director, LA’s Best

Maria holds an LA’s BEST Regional Director position with the Los Angeles Unified School District, in which she is responsible for providing support and development to a Region. Her role includes monitoring program sites to ensure that program values are implemented and that sites are in compliance with terms and conditions of grants. As well as creating and supporting continuous learning opportunities for staff in successfully integrating ideas and strategies towards quality student engagement. Maria’s passion comes from 26 years of experience in the afterschool movement. Maria has seen first hand the memorable impact afterschool programs have in the communities we serve and through the experience has assimilated the understanding needed as an afterschool practitioner into the various field positions she has held within the LA’s BEST Afterschool Enrichment program.  Maria was motivated to join the CAN Leadership Team because she is committed to working to develop the growth and progress of our staff so that our children have a safe place to engage in meaningful learning experiences. 


Dr. Marie M. Pinto
Committed to June 2022, Finance Committee

Chief Executive Officer (CEO), ProYouth

Dr. Marie M. Pinto is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for ProYouth, a nonprofit, Expanded Learning organization based in the Central Valley of California. In her role at ProYouth, Marie oversees the operation that serves 15,000 students, on 50 school sites, in six school districts and two counties. Marie is passionate about out-of-school time because it provides opportunities to those children who may not access to academic support, enrichment, a healthy meal, and a caring adult. Marie was motivated to join the CAN Leadership Team because it allowed her to participate in the process that can effect positive change for the field of expanded learning, and to work and interact with the change agents of the state.


John Acosta
Committed to June 2022, Leadership Development Committee

Youth Development Director,  YMCA of San Joaquin County

John Acosta is the Youth Development Director for the YMCA of San Joaquin County. At the Y, he manages, directs and coordinates the after school program and day camps, assuring high-quality programs. He has been working in the after-school setting for over ten years and is very passionate about the significant impact it makes in a student’s life. Joining the CAN Leadership Team gives John the opportunity to share his knowledge and experiences to other afterschool leaders


Laila Jenkins-Perez
Committed to June 2022, Strategy Committee

Expanded Learning Program Managers, Oakland Unified School District (OUSD)

Laila Jenkins-Perez is one of three Expanded Learning Program Managers for the Oakland Unified School District (OUSD). Included in their role at OUSD, is to ensure that all 76 expanded learning programs are designed to complement learning and enhance the achievement opportunities for all students; assist K-12 schools in implementing operational/programmatic systems to fulfill the goal as full-service schools by aligning after-school programs with the school day; implementation of grant-funded quality after-school programs to ensure that program goals are achieved, necessary parties are mobilized, and efforts of all personnel involved in the programs are operating at a high standard. Laila is passionate about out-of-school time because it represents actualized social justice at its core with youth at its center.  Laila was motivated to join the CAN Leadership Team because she is excited to serve her community at the state level, enhance her strategic systems design experience, and amplify the expanded learning voice, visibility, and value.


Michael Funk
Committed to June 2023, Ex-Officio

Director, California Department of Education – Expanded Learning Division

Michael Funk, Director of the Expanded Learning Division for the California Department of Education, led the development of “A Vision for Expanded Learning in California, Strategic Plan 1.0: 2014–2016” which resulted in numerous successes in embedding quality, systems, and technical assistance to support programs and elevate expanded learning as a key partner in the K–12 education system. The plan created a California statewide system of support. Michael led the second iteration, “A Vision for Expanded Learning in California, Strategic Plan 2.0: 2019–2023”, to sustain California’s momentum and innovative path to support quality expanded learning programs across the State. Through the Compassionate Systems Framework, the System of Support for Expanded Learning works with the Center for Systems Awareness to support staff and students. One of the many passionate reasons Michael joined the CAN Leadership Team is to see that California’s Expanded Learning Programs be an integral part of young people’s education, engaging them in year-round learning opportunities that prepare them for college, career, and life.