Our Team - Stanza Academy

Our Team

Caprice Young, Ed.D., Superintendent

Dr. Caprice Young has 20 years of experience successfully leading public and private in-person and online schools, districts and systems after a decade in finance and technology. She was elected to the Los Angeles school board and served as its president. In 2003, she founded the California Charter Schools Association (CCSA). Awards include the Coro Crystal Eagle for Excellence in Public Service, the California State University Los Angeles Educator of the Year (2016) and national Charter School Hall of Fame inductee; and serves on the boards of the Fordham Foundation and Savvy Source. Young has a B.A. in history from Yale University; a M.P.A. from the University of Southern California; and an Ed.D. in educational leadership from the University of California, Los Angeles.

“Welcome to Stanza International Academy! We started Stanza because we believe students should have the right to love learning. The quest for knowledge, understanding and new skills should be exciting and engaging! Students need to have a personalized education, tailored to their unique strengths, interests and goals. As a parent, I love it when my daughters tell me something that they are studying in school that really excites them. That fire in their eyes that sends them crawling all over the Internet to find out how new vaccines are made and the science behind it or learning 20th century history by researching the invention, life and legacy of the VW Bug or creating an app for local homeless teens to find resources and get help. At Stanza, our main goal is to support you, our student, in owning your education.

We will work with you to understand your strengths and interests and build on them. Together we will find things you love where you can reach true excellence that you haven’t yet discovered. Our students work independently online, collaboratively with other students or one-on-one with their teachers and academic coaches. At Stanza, you can take college-level courses or retake that algebra course you now regret sleeping through. You won’t have the traditional six core courses every day unless that is your desire. We also don’t believe in failure. We believe in mastery, so our grading system doesn’t include Ds and Fails—you receive credit when you demonstrate mastery of a subject, whether that takes a little more or less time than standard curricula dictate. Assessments can be based on tests, writing, projects, problem sets, inventions, Socratic conversations or other means that allow you to show your knowledge and growth the same way you would in the professional world. If you want to be an architect, for example, you will need to learn how to show your knowledge both through licensure tests and your portfolio, so we help you learn to do both.

We can’t wait to get started in your learning!

Caprice Young, Ed.D.
Stanza International Academy
Superintendent

Christine Kasitz, Ph.D., Head-of-School

Dr. Christine Kasitz is an educator with experience as a math interventionist, principal, education technology manager and online school superintendent. She has a B.S. in ceramic engineering from Missouri Science and Technology; a M.S. in educational and instructional technology from National University; and a Ph.D. in education with an emphasis in instructional design for online learning from Capella University.

Valerie J. Chase, Vice President, Enterprise Operations

Valerie Chase is a key business and operational executive who leads the development of new educational enterprises to deliver personalized learning opportunities students. She is a 20-year veteran of the online and personalized learning educational world, having led the start-up, growth and management of more than two dozen new school programs. She has an A.A. in Spanish from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid; a B.S. and A.A. in political science and Spanish, respectively, from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo; a California Clear Teaching Credential; a M.A. in organizational management and a Clear Administrative Services Credential from the University of La Verne.

Glenetta Pope, Director of Admissions and School Development

Glenetta Pope has been a dedicated educator for more than 20 years as a teacher, founding charter principal and diversity and inclusion consultant for private, public, charter and independent schools across Southern California. She understands how important an education is as it can change trajectory of a student’s life. She earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Berkeley, a master’s degree in education with a focus on teaching and curriculum from Harvard University and Master of Education at CSU Dominguez.

Kimberly Souza, Director, Technology Services

Kimberly Souza is an experienced Director of Technology Services with over 20 years of experience working in technology and education. She began her career as a software engineer, developer, and analyst working with E.D.S, JC Penney Corporate Data, and NASA before becoming involved with education. She has a B.S in Computer Information Systems from DeVry University; a M.A Ed, in curriculum and instruction with computer education/instructional technology from the University of Phoenix; and a multiple subject teacher credential from Chapman University.

Geoffrey Taylor Gibbs

Geoffrey Taylor Gibbs is a practicing lawyer and has served since as Special Counsel to the President of the University of California 2015. He also served as an aide to former Vice President (now President) Joe Biden and former U.S. Senator Carol Moseley-Braun. Since 2015, he has been the coach and program director of the Golden State Gladiators, one of the top AAU youth basketball programs in California. He brings a curiosity about the world and a passion for learning and mentoring young people to everything he does. Gibbs has an B.A. in economics from Harvard University; a M.Phil. in international relations from Oxford University (Rhodes Scholar); J.D. from the University of California at Berkeley; and an MBA from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Laura Lothyan

Laura Lothyan has been an educator for more than 15 years, and she believes that all students can succeed. Throughout her career, she has focused on helping at-risk students feel valued and capable of writing their own future. At the heart of her teaching philosophy is a focus on social justice and diverse teaching methods, educating students to be citizens of the world they seek to change. Lothyan has a B.S. in social science from Portland State University; a M.A. in teaching from Lewis and Clark College; and a post-graduate Certificate in Urban Education.

Guy Fregault

Guy Fregault lived in Guatemala for several years and began teaching in California in 1994. He has taught students at public and private schools, and has experience as a bilingual educator. He taught online at Mission Academy from 2017 to 2020. Fregault has a B.S. in mathematics and a M.S. in education with emphasis on second-language acquisition from the University of Southern California; a Clear Teaching Credential; and a law degree from Laval University, Quebec City, Canada.

Marilyn Jablonski

Marilyn Jablonski is an experienced teacher who is passionate about inspiring the love of self-expression and poetry in her students, who have excelled in international spoken word competitions and Get Lit, with several teams making the semi-finals and finals and four students selected as Get Lit Players. Jablonski has a B.A. in music from California State University, Northridge; and a Cleared Career Technical Education credential in arts, media & entertainment; business & finance; marketing & sales; and education.

Erica Konyak

Erica Konyak is an educator and student advocate with more than 15 years of experience serving in traditional, alternative and online schools. She is passionate about getting students excited about learning, goal setting, reading and leading a positive life that is physically, socially and emotionally healthy. She is committed to providing a supportive environment that nurtures her students to thrive in all aspects of their life and reach their full academic potential. Konyak has a B.A. in Liberal Studies and a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential from California State University, Long Beach.

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