The development team is a parent-led group working with educators, consultants, consulates, and with a model school, International Studies Charter School in Miami, Florida. Together they have embarked on creating an educational option that focuses on high academic standards in a dual language immersion context. According to the Guiding Principles for Dual Language Education, Second Edition, (Howard et al, 2007) “Studies of effective schools consistently and conclusively demonstrate that high quality programs exist when schools have a cohesive school-wide shared vision and a set of goals that define their expectations for achievement, as well as an instructional focus and commitment to achievement and high expectations that are shared by students, parents, teachers, and administrators…While important in other schools, equity is crucial in the dual language program model with its emphasis on integrating students of different ethnic, language, and social class backgrounds.” This petition will demonstrate a cohesive program that will yield increasing outcomes. Although the ISLA petition has already been conditionally approved, it was subsequently withdrawn due to the need for access to additional real estate inventory.
The mission of ISLA is to provide a nurturing, bilingual learning environment in which all students have the opportunity to achieve college preparedness, global competence and career readiness. ISLA’s multi-cultural campus creates an inclusive community in which language becomes a pathway towards cultural and social awareness, and a means of fostering curiosity in all aspects of life.
The vision of ISLA is to develop well-rounded, bilingual individuals who are lifelong learners, prepared to contribute to their communities and thrive in a global society.
Board of Directors
Guendalina Ajello Mahler, Ph.D. – Guendalina Ajello Mahler is an art historian with a PhD from the Institute of Fine Arts at NYU. Having led a major cataloging project at the UCLA archive, today she lectures and publishes on Renaissance art and architecture as an independent scholar and an associate of the UCLA Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies. She also continues to consult on Italian archives for the UCLA Library. Ajello Mahler was born and raised primarily in Italy, and educated in Italian, French and English, at nine different schools in Italy, Switzerland, England and the United States. This varied educational experience gave her a profound fascination with different approaches to learning, and a life-long gratitude for the benefits of a multi-lingual education.
Michael Rasic – Michael Rasic is the Chief Financial Officer for Parasail Health, Inc. Formerly, he served as the CFO for ZestFinance, Inc., EVP – Accounting & Finance, for CoreLogic, Inc., was the Chief Financial Officer, Metrocities Mortgage Corp., and a Partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP. Mike’s other relevant experience includes, Treasurer, for the Crescenta Valley Little League, and Treasurer for Valley View Elementary Foundation in Glendale, California. He earned a Bachelors in Accounting from Santa Clara University and an MBA from University of California, Los Angeles.
Reggie Sellards, Ed.D. – Dr. Regula Sellards was born in Switzerland where she taught middle school and adult education for more than 10 years. She has a broad range of experience in management, client relations, team building, development of and instructing effective training and education programs for company processes and operations. For the past ten years, she has worked as a consultant to school administrators and has trained school personnel on state programs. Reggie is multi- lingual, speaking English, German, French and Italian, which makes it no surprise that her twin boys are in a German immersion elementary school program. She has published research papers and a dissertation regarding dual language education. Her study examined key factors relevant to the success of dual language programs and pedagogy. Reggie also holds an MBA degree from San Francisco State University.
Jeana Trost – Jeana Trost is an experienced transactional attorney, entrepreneur, and real estate investor. Jeana started her legal career at the international law firm of White & Case LLP as a transactional attorney focusing on a variety of commercial matters involving real estate, finance, and general commercial and corporate matters. She has also served as Vice President – Legal to HCP, Inc. (NYSE: HCP), an S&P500 company with over $21 billion in assets under management, and as Associate General Counsel of DineEquity, Inc. (NYSE: DIN), where she headed the legal transactions team. Jeana has also devoted significant pro-bono hours during her legal career representing charter schools in various areas in Los Angeles, and was recognized for her efforts by the City of Los Angeles, the County of Los Angeles, as well as the State of California. Jeana also serves as a Commissioner of Insurance for the County of Los Angeles. She received a BA in English at the University of California, Berkeley, and a JD from UCLA School of Law. She runs a commercial transactional legal practice at Trost Legal PC and resides in Los Angeles with her husband Glenn, and their two children.
Philip Wolfson – Phil Wolfson is a Special Education Program Administrator supporting seven Green Dot high schools and middle schools. He has been with Green Dot Public Schools since 2008, during which he contributed to creating Green Dot’s special education models and support systems while launching the special education program for the Locke High School transformation and James B. Taylor Middle School. Phil started his educational career with LAUSD in 1992 and spent 11 years at Graham Elementary as a general education and special education teacher as well as working for LAUSD Division of Special Education as a Program Specialist and Compliance Specialist. Phil has extensive experience supporting schools with professional development, program development, compliance monitoring and support, behavior consultation, and RtI systems training and implementation. He has also served as a LACOE mentor teacher, California State Los Angeles university support provider, and taught graduate-level special education courses at California State University, Los Angeles and Loyola Marymount University. Phil earned a B.A. degree from Occidental College and an M.A. degree in Special Education from California State University, Los Angeles. He also possesses General Education and Special Education teaching credentials and an Administrator’s credential in the State of California. He has two sons in an Italian immersion elementary school program.