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

Board Member Application

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.

Samantha Herrod | Parent Representative

Samantha Herrod holds two bachelor’s degrees in fine arts from the University of San Francisco and the College of the Arts, and has had the pleasure of being a paraprofessional and instructional aide for the Los Angeles Unified School District soon after graduating. Also during that time, Samantha had the honor of being an individualized tutor for a south Los Angeles school, Locke High School, in their math program called Mother of Many.

Since that time, Samantha has dedicated her time to educating her son, who is a Compass scholar and has been for the past eight years and is on his way to high school. They are very loud and proud! She also teaches a variety of art classes, one being art therapy, in which she instructs those who are experiencing homelessness and/or suffering from mental illness, for a non profit in south Los Angeles. Samantha’s expertise in marketing and customer service are also some of her specialties.

Samantha grew up in Los Angeles, California, where she got her love for art and education from her family. Her first experience in education was at her grandmother’s daycare, where she was guided to instruct young children in primary learning. This led her to also teach her first art class for the Star Program at Fairburn Elementary.

It has always been important for Samantha to represent children and to always allow them to have their own voice. She has been allowed to continue this service, especially as a member of the Parent Advisory Council for the past four years. She was raised with the concept that children need a village, and with Compass, you definitely have your village!

Lainie Rowell | Board Secretary

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.

William Stinde | Board Treasurer

Stinde has experience in finance having served as a Controller and Chief Financial officer for several for profit corporations.  He also holds licensure as a CPA (Certified Public Accountant) and CMA (Certified Management Accountant).  In later life Stinde returned to school after earning a PhD (Doctor of Philosophy in Business and Public Policy) teaching both MBA and undergraduate students in Finance, Accounting, Ethics and Business Strategy at several Southern California colleges and universities.

Previous active Board Member of for-profit companies:  Provided the board with financial and business advice.  Fantech a Start-up Manufacturing company which became quite profitable repaying all the original investors within three years.   X-Arm, Inc. an entertainment company that was not successful in the marketplace and liquidated in an orderly process.

Active Member of the Institute of Certified Management Accountants (ICMA) Planning Committee.  This special committee was responsible for the developing the plan for growth which changed the Institute from a domestic institute to a worldwide “brand.”  The IMA now has a significant presence in China, the Middle East and Europe.

Stinde is pleased to currently serving as Treasurer on Board of Compass Charter Schools an online K-12 school accredited by WASC with a presence in both Northern and Southern California.