Board of Directors

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Compass Charter Schools is governed by a California nonprofit public-benefit corporation and has an independent Board of Directors who meet regularly to oversee the school’s management, operation, activities, and affairs.

The Board of Directors defines, composes, and revises (as needed) the policies of the school and ensures compliance with its agreements and applicable laws and regulations.

All regularly-scheduled board meetings begin at 10 AM PST, unless otherwise noted on the agenda. Compass Charter Schools utilizes Board On Track to post our agendas, packets and minutes; please visit Board on Track to access all of our Board of Directors meeting information.

Have a question for our Board of Directors? Send an email to

Thomas Arnett | Board Chair

Thomas Arnett is passionately dedicated to helping improve US K–12 education to ensure all students are able to fulfill their potential. He currently pursues this aim through his work as a senior research fellow in education for the Clayton Christensen Institute. His work focuses on studying innovations that amplify educator capacity, documenting barriers to K-12 innovation, and identifying disruptive innovations in education.

Thomas previously served as a trustee and board president for the Morgan Hill Unified School District in Morgan Hill, California, worked as an Education Pioneers fellow with the Achievement First Public Charter Schools, and taught middle school math as a Teach For America teacher in Kansas City Public Schools.

Thomas received a BS in Economics from Brigham Young University and an MBA from the Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University.

Therese Christopher | Board Member

Therese Christopher has experience as a business administrator / manager in the art gallery business where she has worked for over 25 years. She has managed human resources and retail management for a chain of up to 7 galleries over the years.

Therese grew up in a small town in Sweden, where she went to school and learned several different languages. She worked in the restaurant business, as well as with the local tourist board in her hometown. She wanted to explore the world, and did so by traveling to Spain, England, and eventually coming to Southern California in her early twenties, where she met her husband.

Her daughter attended Compass Charter Schools since 6th grade and just graduated from high school. Therese has served on the Parent Advisory Council at CCS from its start in 2016 and has thoroughly enjoyed being involved with the development of the school.

She is committed to making sure that every child’s needs are met and that every family has a wonderful Compass experience, the way that her family has.

Bill Dennett | Board Treasurer

Bill Dennett currently serves as the Director of Pupil Services and Special Education for Mountain Empire Unified School District.  He has over 27 years serving in public education as a teacher, a site principal at both the elementary level and middle school level.

Bill received his undergraduate degree from Diego State University. He began his career as an elementary school teacher and taught grades 2 through 5 for 18 years. During that time he continued his education by obtaining a masters degree in education which served him well in the classroom. While teaching, he took on many leadership roles within his school district such as an Effective Reading Intervention Site Reading Coach, School Site Council Chair, Lead Teacher, as well as a Peer Assistance and Review Council Member and a BTSA Support Provider. 

In 2007 he decided to expand his leadership role by entering San Diego State University’s Educational Leadership program, completing the program in 2009.   After receiving his administrative credential, he took on a position as an Elementary Teaching Assistant Principal in Mountain Empire Unified.  In 2011, he became the principal of two small elementary schools, he then helped transition one of those schools into a middle school for the district, where he also served as principal. In 2014, he moved on to a role in the district’s office as a director overseeing special education and all of pupil services, including Foster and Homeless programs, district-wide attendance, and residency. He serves as the district’s UCP official chairing all SARB Hearings and assisting with charter school oversight.

Randi Pugh | Board Secretary

Randi Pugh is a “Loud and Proud” Compass parent.

Randi holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration management and has played varying roles in a multitude of industries including non-profit, retail management, human resources, and data research. In recent years she has focused on facilitating the education of her youngest child who has Autism and was no longer being appropriately served in the brick & mortar public education system.

She advocates and acts as a voice for parents who seek the best educational opportunities for their children regardless of ability. It is her passion that all students have the opportunity to develop a life-long love of learning, enabled by embracing the whole spectrum of learning methods, educational choices, and enrichment engagements.

She serves the Compass community as the chair of the Parent Advisory Committee and as a parent representative to the El Dorado County Charter SELPA Community Advisory Committee.

Lainie Rowell | Board Member

Lainie Rowell is an educator and international consultant. She is dedicated to building learning communities and her areas of focus include designing innovative learning experiences, online/blended learning, and professional learning.  

During her 20 plus years in education, Lainie has taught elementary, secondary, and higher education. She also served in a district-level leadership position supporting 22,000 students and 1,200 teachers at 33 schools. 

Lainie was a contributor to the 2019 National Standards for Quality Online Teaching and on the 2014 Blended Learning Teacher Competency Framework committee. From 2010-2014, Lainie served as the Program Coordinator for Leading Edge Certification, a national certification program in educational technology and curriculum innovation created by an Alliance of nonprofits, universities and educational agencies. She led the creation and curation of all four certifications, Online and Blended Teacher, Administrator, Digital Educator, and Professional Learning Leader. 

Since 2014, Lainie has been a consultant for the Orange County Department of Education’s Institute for Leadership Development. Lainie is the lead author of the book, Evolving Learner, and co-host of the podcast, Lemonade Learning.