Founding Team


Dr. Anthony H. Johnson
Lead Petitioner, Founder, and School Leader

Dr. Johnson is an author, public speaker, educator, university lecturer and advocate for students, teachers and families. Born in Mississippi, he has lived in several states and has a wealth of experiences across many aspects of education. He has ten years of experience working in California public schools. He previously taught English and English Language Development (ELD) and has been an administrator for the past seven years. Most notably, he has experience both in school turnaround and founding a new school. He was part of the transformation of an established high school from being under state sanctions to receiving national recognition in the span of three years. He also spent 4 years as the founder of an innovative, comprehensive high school serving 1,600 students with a mastery-based grading system and a 1:1 student to computer ratio. This involved strategic planning, garnering community support, hiring staff, and managing a $90 million dollar budget. Prior to entering the field of education, Dr. Johnson was a minor-league baseball player in the Washington Nationals organization. He holds a Masters in Curriculum and Instruction and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Saint Mary’s College of California.

Expertise: Curriculum, Instruction, Assessment, Technology & Innovation, School Leadership, Operations, Start-Ups, Community Outreach and Communication

Founding Board of Directors

Dr. Dean Elias, Chair
Professor Saint Mary’s College Kalmanovitz School of Education

Dr. Dean Elias started his path toward education working in anti-poverty programs in the 60’s and 70’s. He worked in support of Job Corps and Model Cities programs, first from Washington, DC, then from SF. He founded a small school within a college, Antioch University Seattle, in 1976. He served there for over 12 years and then transitioned to Goddard College as Provost to support a new President dedicated to rebuilding Goddard, and thence to CIIS, where he was invited to develop a new school of Transformative Learning and Change, developing BA and PhD. programs. After a brief stint with WASC, he became the Dean of Saint Mary’s School of Extended Education. Dr. Elias was attracted to the Promise Academy Board because of its commitment to pioneer approaches to working with the most disadvantaged students in San Jose, and to serve as a laboratory for transforming public schools.

Expertise: Higher Education, Operations, Start-ups and Community Outreach and Communications

Michael Hexner, Treasurer

Mr. Hexner was Founder, CEO and Chairman of Wheel Works. He sold Wheel Works on Dec. 31st, 1999 when it was ranked the 15th largest independent retail chain in the U.S. He then became President, COO, and CIO of Morgan Tire Company, dba Tires Plus, the 5th largest independent tire retailer in the U.S. He left Morgan at the end of 2002 after he helped build it to the largest independent retail tire chain in the U.S., with over 6,000 employees, and locations in 25 states.

After leaving Morgan, he became President of the NCGA Foundation. During this time, he founded Youth on Course, now raising over $1 million per year to provide a green venue for kids to learn values and life skills. He was then elected President of the Northern California Golf Association. In 2007, he co-founded and served as CEO and Chairman of SmartPillars, which developed and sold online marketing software. In 2010, he took over as managing partner of DealerFusion, an online video company. Both companies were sold in October of 2014. He is presently Executive Chairman of Zoomvy, a new communications application with breakthrough co-browsing technology, on the board of Heritage Global, Inc., an advisor to and a mentor to a number of young people.
Michael loves the challenge of creating and building solutions and believes there is few greater needs than coming up with a solution help young people in disadvantaged circumstances get the best education possible.
Michael is a graduate of Williams College and has a Masters of Mediation and Conflict Resolution from Creighton University.

Expertise: Technology & Innovation, Finance, Operations, Start-ups

Dr. Carol Brooks, Secretary

Carol Brooks is an accomplished and seasoned educator with extensive leadership experience in public school educational settings. Her background includes more than 20 years of experience as a teacher and principal serving in large, urban, and public elementary and middle schools in California and Virginia. Carol works collaboratively with multidisciplinary teams and has a talent for mentoring administrators, teacher-leaders, and developing staff to create sustainable professional learning communities. Her dedication to promoting opportunities for equitable access to high quality education for all scholars, particularly students of color, has led her to develop innovative programs to provide all scholars with real-world experiences.

As a change agent with a transformational leadership style, she has an established history of increasing student achievement, improving teacher effectiveness through professional development training and coaching, building a positive school climate, and establishing business partnerships to promote equity, access, and awareness for females and students of color through STEM education.

Expertise: STEM, Collaboration, Elementary Education, School Leadership

Corrine Satalaya, Member

Corrine Satalaya currently works for Lowe Enterprises Real Estate Group as a Senior Property Manager. Previously, she worked for Balco Properties from 2010-2016, where her role was Real Estate Operations Manager overseeing 60+ properties in the portfolio and managing the day to day operations of the property management team. She worked on acquisitions and dispositions, implementation of capital improvement plans, and was responsible for the preparation of annual property budgets. She began her career in the commercial real estate industry with Mohr Partners – Commercial Real Estate Brokers. Corrine graduated from California State University, East Bay with a bachelor’s degree in English. She has a California Real Estate License, a California Notary Public License and is scheduled to graduate in 2018 with a Master’s in Leadership and a concentration in Organizational Learning & Change. When she’s not working, Corrine enjoys traveling, reading, and spending time with her family.

Expertise: Real Estate, Finance, Fundraising, Community Engagement & Outreach

Shirley J. Everett, Member

As the senior associate vice provost for Residential & Dining Enterprises (R&DE), Shirley J. Everett is responsible for employing an organizational model that is dedicated to student advocacy, exceptional customer service, performance benchmarks, professional development, succession planning, staff wellness, sustainable practices and fiscal stewardship and with direct oversight for Student Housing, Dining, Hospitality & Auxiliaries, Conference Services and key business partners.

Beyond serving on the Stanford University President’s Full Cabinet comprised of senior administrators that shape Stanford’s direction, policy, and planning, she also provides strong visionary leadership for an 800+ talented team of employees that houses 12,000 students and dependents, serves18,000 meals daily, hosts 18,500 conference guests and a half-million Athletic concession guests each year. She also administers fiscal stewardship for a $1.7 billion asset portfolio — comprising over 5 million square feet of space equal to one-third of Stanford’s physical plant — and a $204 million annual operating budget. Additional responsibilities includes, overseeing the overall direction and performance of human resources and organizational development, financial management, asset renewal, capital and strategic planning, concept development and facilities design, asset renewal, information systems and IT security, institutional compliance, innovation and sustainability, and public relations for R&DE

Expertise: Fiscal Health, Organizational Growth & Development, Capital and Strategic Planning, IT Security and Public Relations.