B.E.S.T. ACADEMY BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Educational & Industry Experience

B.E.S.T. Academy is honored to have high-quality individuals with educational and industry expertise serve as Board of Directors in supporting our students and educational communities. Developing the appropriate policies to ensure those fundamentals are maintained, the Board of Directors consists of respected leaders in Southern California communities that are committed to providing high-quality educational options for B.E.S.T. Academy students.

Kris Stanga

Kris has 31+ years of educational experience serving in roles from teacher to superintendent/principal. In her last position, Kris supported Santa Cruz county school districts through the County Office of Education to provide support and leadership to increase district capacity (knowledge, expertise, and strong working relationships) that produced adaptive and flexible learning organizations through a collegial, systems approach with the goal to increase student achievement. Kris believes that coordination of personnel and resources along with the climate of the district key to the success for its students and team members. Now retired, Kris volunteers on the Santa Clara University Catala Club Board, works with the Pearson Company on the CalAPA program, and spends time with her husband and family.  

Joseph Cipres

Joseph has 25+ years of educational leadership experience. During his tenure, Joseph held positions as a 5-8th grade GATE teacher, Middle School Interventionist, Community Day Middle School Teacher, HS Alternative Math Teacher, Track and Field Coach, TOSA, Vice Principal, Director, and a Dietician. Before retiring, Joseph was a strong voice and advocate for children requiring alternative settings and educational approaches. He structured programs to include social emotional supports, differentiated instruction, varied assessment, and continuous feedback. Joseph’s philosophy has been to learn from the past, work in the present and strive for a better future. Now as a retired Educator, a husband and father, he shares his learning as a mentor to the local university. He volunteers his time to the church, community and the city.

Edward Singh

Edward Singh is currently supporting multiple projects as a Project Cost Manager for II-VI Optical Systems. He collaborates with functional management to develop, translate, integrate and consolidate program data into strategic quarterly, annual and five-year Forecasts and presents monthly financial reports including gross margin analysis, revenues, cash, inventory, budget vs. actuals with variance analysis in monthly reviews to Executive Leadership Team. During his time there, Edward also helps mentor, train and develop junior analysts and early career hires on rotational program.

Ognen Nastov, Ph.D

Ognen earned a B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). While at MIT, Ognen developed an expertise in applied math and numerical methods, with an emphasis on computational modeling and simulation tools. He implemented a 2D semiconductor device simulator for his B.S thesis and used genetic algorithms to design CMOS op-amps for his M.S. thesis. For his Ph.D work, he developed new spectral methods for circuit simulation of highly non-linear circuits. At MIT, Ognen was equally interested in becoming both an accomplished researcher as well as an effective educator. He was a teaching assistant for an introductory computer science undergraduate course, a graduate course in numerical algorithms, and a recitation instructor for an acoustics senior-level course taught by Dr. Amar Bose, the founder of Bose Corporation. After completing his doctoral work, Ognen worked for Motorola, Agilent Technologies, and Applied Wave Research on research and development of Electronic Design Automation (EDA) circuit and electro-magnetic (EM) simulation tools. Most recently, Ognen founded his iOS software company Hyperspace Labs, and released the app Shapeshifters. His current focus is in AI (data science/machine learning). Ognen believes a STEM-focused school curriculum is essential in preparing our youth to be the future innovators, researchers, leaders, and educators. STEM skills such as problem solving, information gathering, evaluating, and making sense of data are broadly applicable across the entire 21st century spectrum of careers. 

Michal Alchikh,DDS

Michal is a doctor of dental surgery and graduated from the International University of Science and Technology in 2013. Michal volunteers helping Syrian refugee children with oral and treatments and hygiene, serves as a volunteer tutor at San Diego City College in several subjects including Math, Science, and Arabic helping college students achieve their highest potential. He is a true believer that education is a basic right that should be available for everyone who seeks it, regardless of their financial capability, and he hopes that he would be able to help other students aspire to achieve productive careers and make rewarding wages.

Chad Leptich

After receiving a Bachelors Degree from Fort Lewis in Durango, CO, Chad went to work for as an accountant at a Fortune 500 company located in Mexico. He then earned a Master’s in Business Administration while working in the fuel distribution industry.  After entering into school business, Leptich completed the CASBO training certification for the title of Chief Business Officer (CBO). Leptich is now the Chief Business Officer for Julian Union School District with experience in how Charter Schools operate in today’s environment. Chad Leptich also holds a Customs Broker License which was used in the distribution industry.

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