Alec L. Lee, Jr., Executive Director
An accomplished educator, Alec Lee co-founded Aim High in 1986 and serves as full-time Executive Director. Alec has a Masters in Education from Harvard University, and received a Klingenstein Fellowship from Columbia Teachers College. He taught history at Lick-Wilmerding High School, a college preparatory high school in San Francisco, for 17 years. As the Executive Director, Alec works closely with the Aim High staff, Board of Trustees, teachers, and organizational partners to achieve the ambitious goals of our current strategic plan, Vision 2015.
Matt Reno, Director of Operations
Matt Reno is an experienced educator and administrator. Matt was a teacher and site director at Aim High for 15 years, prior to joining the full-time staff in 2004. Before joining Aim High, he was the Dean at St. Joseph’s of the Sacred Heart, in Atherton, CA, for nine years. Matt has a Masters degree in Education from the University of San Francisco and a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing from San Francisco State. As Director of Operations, Matt has primary responsibility for the day-to-day management of the program finances and serves as the program director for all summer program sites and facilitates the opening and support of new summer program sites.
Stacey Palevsky Lewis, Director of Development
Stacey joined Aim High in the spring of 2013. She previously served on the development team at BUILD, a national youth entrepreneurship and college success nonprofit. Prior to fundraising, she spent a decade working as a reporter for newspapers in Indiana, Iowa, Washington and California—so she relishes any opportunity to tell stories about Aim High's remarkable students and teachers. Stacey lives in San Francisco's Bernal Heights neighborhood with her husband and their two cats. She spends her free time practicing yoga, reading, cooking, taking pictures and exploring the city. She holds a B.A. in journalism from Indiana University.
Laura Foulke, Director of Strategic Initiatives
She began serving as Aim High's first Director of Strategic Initiatives as of September 2013. Laura joined Aim High in 2004 as the founding Director of Development, a position she held until 2010. Most recently, Laura consulted with a variety of leading education organizations including: the Doris & Donald Fisher Fund, KIPP, Teach for America, Koya Leadership Partners, StartUp:Education, and Peer Health Exchange. Laura has also served as Dean of Student Support Services at Neighborhood House Charter School, Director Early College Awareness at Harvard Graduate School of Education, several positions in philanthropy and foundations, and began her career as an English Teacher in Thailand. Laura received her EdM from Harvard Graduate School of Education and her BA from Bowdoin College. Laura works closely with Aim High's Executive Director, management team and board on key initiatives including strategic planning, regional growth strategy, school and organizational partnerships and alumni engagement.
Michelle Capobres, Director of Academics and Program Evaluation
Michelle Capobres joined the Aim High team in the spring of 2011. Michelle began her teaching career as an English teacher in China and served as Program Director of Princeton-in-Asia, overseeing programs in China, Japan, South Korea, and Thailand. She taught history and literature at high schools in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Greenwich, CT and, most recently, at the Athenian School in Danville, CA. Most recently, Michelle was the Education Program Officer at World Affairs Council of Northern California. Michelle received her MA in Social Studies Education from Teachers College Columbia University and her BA in Asian Studies from the University of Michigan. She currently serves on the Executive Board of People of Color in Independent Schools (POCIS). Michelle works closely with other Aim High staff members to develop, enhance, and measure quality programming.
Terrence Riley, Business Manager & Director of Admissions
Terrence Riley is a 1996 graduate of Aim High @ Urban and returned as a Teaching Assistant throughout high school. As Business Manager and Admissions Director, Terrence is responsible for overseeing program admissions, managing year-round programs, and coordinating student and family services. He also manages the business operations of Aim High's Central Office. Terrence holds a B.A. in Economics from the University of Southern California and an M.A. in Educational Administration and Leadership from the University of the Pacific.
Matthew Becerra, Development Associate
Matthew joined Aim High in the summer of 2012. He previously worked for Aim High as a teacher and development intern. Originally from the Los Angeles area, Matthew moved up to the bay area for college in 2008. He holds a B.A. in history from San Francisco State University- specifically studing post Civil War America, Colonial Latin America, and Russia. He has also worked as an in-class tutor/assistant for the San Francisco Unified School District’s AVID program. Matthew spends his free time running outside, watching stand-up comedy, listening to his hometown Dodgers on the radio, and occasionally dabbling with the harmonica.
Russell Gong, Data Systems and Technology Manager
Russell Gong joined Aim High in March 2013, after serving for 12 years as Senior IT Manager for EdVenture Partners, a Bay Area-based educational marketing consultancy. Russell was formerly an Apple Certified Technician, and has held technical roles in industries such as computer consulting, art education, and market research. Russell has a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration - Computer Information Systems from San Francisco State University. He has taken elective courses in drawing, yoga, and tap-dancing, all of which would be unlikely replacements for his day job. In his free time, Russell likes to travel the world, bumble through the finer points of parenthood, commentate on American Idol, play music, and write songs.
Rene joined the Aim High team in the summer of 2013 as a teaching intern at the UPA site. She graduated May of 2013 from San Francisco State University with a BA in Liberal Studies emphasizing in Social Sciences and a minor in Special Education. Her experiences include being an After School Program Instructor for the Sunset Beacon Center, mentoring for the California Center for Civic Engagement, and creating curriculum with artists at the Children's Creativity Museum. In her free time, you can find her preparing for half marathons and exploring in performing arts all over San Francisco.
Maya Nieto is a 2005 graduate of Aim High at Urban who returned as a volunteer and has been working for Aim High during the summer throughout high school and college. She is a recent graduate of the University of Portland with a B.A. in Psychology and a Minor in Education. Maya worked as a Student Associate in the Alumni Relations department at the University of Portland while attending college. As the Student and Alumni Engagement Intern she will be working with the Program team. Maya will primarily be focused on increasing and maintaning communication with Alumni and Students.
Shanley Porter, Development Intern
Shanley joined Aim High as the Development Intern in the fall of 2013. She previously worked for Aim High as a teaching intern during the first summer of the Tahoe/Truckee campus. She is originally from Truckee, California and moved to the Bay Area in 2009 for college. She graduated from Santa Clara University in June 2013 with a Bachelors of Science in Psychology, along with Spanish and Urban Education minors. In her free time, Shanley likes to travel and try new places to eat in the city.
Richard Lautze, Director for Headlands Environmental Home Program
Richard Lautze, a veteran teacher at The Urban School in San Francisco, has worked part-time at Aim High for more than 15 years and served as the Director for the Headlands Program since 1997. Richard supervises both the Headlands Environmental Home program during the summer and the Winter Phase work performed by Aim High students during the academic year. Richard also works with the Site Stewardship Program of the Golden Gate National Parks Association, and works closely with lead teachers from the collaborating middle schools that are involved in the program during the academic year.