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The Urban Corps Charter School volunteer Board of Directors meets four times each year and is responsible for establishing policies that affect Urban Corps Charter School including overseeing the budget, educational outcomes and the overall academic practices and quality of participation, as consistent with the mission and vision of the school.

Click To View The Board's

Agendas, Minutes and

Current Year Meetings Schedule

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Atousa Monjazeb


Atousa Monjazeb holds a B.S. degree in Biology from UC San Diego as well as a M.Ed. from National University. Upon graduating from UCSD she worked as a research Scientist at a private biotech company in La Jolla, Ca. She traveled abroad training sister labs on specific research techniques. 6 years and 2 publications later she left the lab to go to graduate school. At National University she obtained an M.Ed. with supplemental credentials in Health, Biology and Mathematics. Having a great passion for the entrepreneurial life as well as mathematics she transitioned into mortgage lending. She is currently a Sr. Mortgage Banker with 13 years of experience ranging from being the C.O.O of a Mortgage Company to now running her own mortgage banking office. The common motif in her life has been her passion for education. Regardless of which arena she was working in she led Education and training courses.

Monjazeb is fluent in Farsi and conversational in Spanish. She holds a DRE license as well as an MLO license. She holds certifications from the DOC and EAFC. She served on the Wounded Warrior homes Board for 2.5 years, which offers transitional housing to soldiers needing assistance transitioning back to civilian life.

On an average day you'd find her playing with her two little kids or running to train for an upcoming half-marathon.

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Michele Marcus

Vice President

​Michele E. Marcus, Ph.D. is has devoted her career to youth education. She is currently National Director of Program Quality for AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination). Michele is responsible for overseeing AVID program quality through the secondary site certification process including the development and implementation of certification tools and quality indicators based on AVID program standards. She also oversees processes for recruiting, selecting, training, and evaluating educators who serve as AVID Summer Institute staff developers.

Michele holds a Ph.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles in Administrative and Policy Studies; an M.A. in Curriculum and Instruction from San Diego State University, and a B.A. in English from San Diego State University. Before joining AVID, she served as San Diego Unified School District Principal for ten years. She has also been a principal at Mission Bay High School and Marston Middle School. She served as a high school English teacher at Kearny, Snyder Continuation, San Diego and Serra; served as middle school Vice Principal at Mann, Muirlands and Correia; served in special assignments as Career Education Resource Teacher, HR Secondary Schools Staffing Administrator, and in the San Diego County Office of Education as Management Academy Coordinator.

Over the years she has won numerous accolades for her contributions to youth education including: the 2009 AVID Ten Year Outstanding Service Award; the 2005 AVID Outstanding Contributor Award; the 1999 ACSA California High School Principal of the Year Award, and the 1995 California League of Middle Schools’ Outstanding Educator Award.

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Karen Ludwig

​Karen Ludwig holds a dual masters degree in Reading and Learning Disabilities from Northeastern University and a BS in Education from the University of Illinois Champaign / Urbana.  During her career she has held positions as a Reading Specialist and as a general education and special education teacher in Chicago in both private and inner city schools.  During the last 15 years in San Diego City Schools, she served as a Diagnostic Resource Teacher supporting special education students in southeast San Diego.  She was also responsible for developing and presenting staff development for district special education teachers in Classroom Collaboration, Reading Instruction in Content Areas and Best Teaching Practices.  Karen also served as a Mentor Teacher and was elected Mentor Teacher of the Year.  She has worked privately as a special education consultant and tutor.

As a volunteer she has served on the boards of Lawrence Hall for Boys and the Junior Board of the Chicago Symphony.  In San Diego she has been a tutor for Urban Corps and is currently serving on the board.  Karen is also active in the San Diego Chapter of ARCS Foundation where she serves on the board as New Member Director.

Gardening, traveling and three grandchildren fill her spare time.

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John Mendez

As principal and founder of Mendez Strategy Group, John brings more than 15 years of experience in developing and executing advocacy campaigns, government and community affairs strategies, and media relations initiatives. His campaigns have successfully targeted elected and appointed officials, government and regulatory agencies, Fortune 500 corporations, as well as Latino, African American and Asian American markets and constituents. He is an effective communicator and skillful team player with vast experience in land use public affairs, government relations and advocacy, media relations, public-private-nonprofit partnerships, crisis management, events, marketing communications and business development.

John's civic and charitable involvement spans includes service on the Scripps Mercy Hospital Community Advisory Board, the Chula Vista Centennial Committee, City of Los Angeles, Mayor's Summer Night Lights Advisory Council, the Los Angeles Sports and Entertainment Commission and the HOPE ( Champion Advisory Board. In addition he has also served as the San Ysidro Health Center's 45th Anniversary Gala Chair and has been active with the MAAC Project.

John received a B.A. in Political Science in 1990 from University of California, Riverside. He resides in Chula Vista, California with his wife and four children. The family is active at EastLake Community Church, where he and his wife help couples strengthen their marriages.

Board of Directors

Board members Diane Chalmers, Ingrid Nielsen and Karen Lugwig present the first Urban Corps Charter School Board of Education Scholarship to Tyea Whitson in December 2015. The award is intended to promote and encourage Corpsmembers to take the next step and enroll in college. It is awarded to a student who has demonstrated a strong interest in pursuing their higher educational goals.


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