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Meet Our Board of Directors

Robert Avila

Robert Avila:

July 1, 2020- June 30, 2022

Board Member:  Robert Avila has been married to Lisa for 34 years and they have two children, Stephen and Sarah.  Sarah graduated from Connecting Waters Charter Schools.  Robert served as parent council president and he and his wife started the Science Olympiad program at CWCS.   Robert earned a master’s from the University of Phoenix in Business Administration and was employed by Nestle USA for 30 years as a National Sales Manager.  He was a strategic Sales Leader with experience in successfully elevating revenue and capitalizing on business opportunities for profit and growth in the food, dairy, and confections industry. Robert was acknowledged for consistently exceeding sales quotas and driving upwards of 100% annual growth. He was a proactive leader and who empowered sales teams to exceed aggressive goals.  He is a cancer-survivor and overcomer.  Involved with running for over thirty-eight years, he enjoys coaching high school and club track & cross-country.  Reaching the heart of a child is Robert’s passion in life.  He not only teaches runners how to win on the track but also how to win in life by loving and serving others.  Robert brings his strategic leadership skills and business acumen to CWCS.  He is a visionary thinker who has a passion to help the youth reach their full potential. 

Bonnie Cerruti

Bonnie Cerruti

12/1/ 2020 -6/30/2022

Board Member: Bonnie has been a parent at the school for over 16 years. Her youngest attended K-12th, graduating as a National Honors Society Student, a 4 year CA Scholarship Federation Student and with over 40 units of college under her belt.  As a parent, Bonnie served on the Parent Council Board and understands the parent perspective. 

Bonnie has a heart for children and for volunteering. She founded and served as executive director for The Sonora Children’s Theatre. The theatre school employed over 15 instructors teaching in a wide variety of theatrical fields and was a vendor for CWCS, giving Bonnie exposure to the vendor side of things. 

After leaving the Sonora area, Bonnie found herself creating engaging curriculum and instructing as a “small group leader,” at the Modesto and Ceres Learning Centers. She was employed by the school for 9 years giving her experience as a school employee and the opportunity to meet several of the amazing families that attended CWCS.  She also met many of the School employees and was enlightened by seeing a glimpse of the “behind the scenes” work that takes place at the learning centers and the library. 

As one of the first volunteers for The Carole Sund Carrington Memorial Reward Foundation, Bonnie served 5 years. She has served with Valley Home Educators and as the Guild President for Juline Regional Youth Ballet. Other experience includes managing a United Express Airline station, inside sales for the Modesto Bee and currently managing properties while overseeing the complete remodel of a 36 unit complex. Her “fun” job is working security for College and NFL Games, including Superbowls and PGA.

Jennifer Louie-Monzon

Jennifer Louie-Monzon:

7/1/2022 - 6/30/2023  

Assistant Board Secretary:

Jennifer Louie-Monzon is a parent at Connecting Waters East Bay. She and her family are Bay Area natives and are still pretty new to the adventures of homeschooling. Jennifer has two children, a continuing 5th grade son and a 2nd grade daughter who will start her journey at CWEB this coming fall. When Jennifer’s son completed the 1st grade, she and her husband realized that the traditional classroom setting was not ideal for their gifted child with impulsive-type ADHD. Jennifer and son both take equal ownership in their decision to begin their homeschooling journey, and they are enjoying their partnership thus far. Jennifer studied biomedical engineering at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo and has worked in the medical device industry ever since. Prior to being a CWEB parent, Jennifer held various PTA officer positions at her children's public school. During her two-year term as PTA president, she held the officers to three standards: improve relations with school leadership, sponsor programs and events that benefit all students fairly, and modernize PTA operations to become more efficient. Jennifer is excited to bring her professional and volunteering experiences, and her dedication to helping students and their parents to the CWCS Board.

Shaheen Rasheed

Shaheen Rasheed:

7/1/2021 - 6/30/2022

Board Member: Shaheen Rasheed is an educator’s educator. Her passion for education has driven her 20+ year career as a private school teacher turned parent educator and education consultant.

She holds certifications in Teaching English as a Second Language (TESOL) and Early Childhood Education. Her Masters in Education, with an emphasis in Curriculum and Instruction, furthered her understanding of educational pedagogues and strengthened her resolve to work towards a more holistic approach to education. She and her family have been with Connecting Waters Charter School since 2005 when the first Rasheed child started schooling. Since then, two of her four children have graduated from Connecting Waters, and two are current students in Connecting Waters East Bay.

Shaheen works as an Instructional Designer for a technical training academy in the Bay Area. In her free time, she blogs and lectures about homeschooling, parenting and alternative education. She is a founding member of the East Bay Muslim Homeschoolers group and an advisor to the Silicon Valley Muslim Homeschoolers group of the Bay Area. She has been published in various online and print magazines. She has taught part time at a local community college and currently teaches classes online. Shaheen has been an active part of the Parent Advisory Council (PAC) of CWEB since its inception and looks forward to adding value as the newest member of the Board of Directors of Connecting Waters Charter Schools.

Megan Shipley
Megan Shipley:

7/1/2022 - 6/30/2023

Chairman of the Board  Megan Shipley has been homeschooling her 4 children for over 16 years. Two have graduated and the younger two children, ages 12 & 16, are homeschooling through Connecting Waters Charter School. They joined CWCS when they moved from Tennessee 7 years ago. Megan joined CWCS while living in the Bay Area and served as the chair of the Parent Advisory Council. She now lives in the Central Valley and is very connected to the homeschooling community here. The Shipley family started homeschooling when the oldest child taught herself how to read at the age of 4, subsequently launching the family into the complexities of educating gifted children. All of the children learn very differently from each other, so Megan has also done extensive research into the various learning styles. Her homeschooling methods have varied from classical to eclectic. Through all of this, she has learned that every child can learn and wants to learn.  She believes our job as educators is to provide the proper resources for each individual child. In addition to her experience as her children’s teacher, she believes her background in accounting will play a crucial role during her tenure as a board member. She is also a huge “technology geek” and believes we need to keep up with current trends; however, she is a strong advocate of children picking up real books, playing outside, learning valuable life skills, and just being kids. She is very passionate about education and the power of our children to shape the future of our country as well as the world. She reads extensively about educational issues and the challenges facing charter schools today.

John Thompson

John Thompson


Board Secretary: John Thompson is a retired educator with over 30 years of elementary teaching experience.  A graduate of Bethel College (B.A. in Business, 1978), he also has experience in banking, and running a modeling studio. John and his wife Lisa have enjoyed raising a blended family of 7 children, with ages spanning 28 years.  John and Lisa currently have two children in Connecting Waters, a high school junior and a 4th grader.  

John has a passion for helping to create meaningful learning experiences for young students.  Although a career public school teacher, homeschooling is near and dear to his heart.  He enjoys traveling, gardening, friendship, laughter, prayer, and nurturing healthy family relationships.

Nina Vieira





Nina Vieira

7/1/2022 - 6/30/2023

Board Vice - Chairman: Nina Vieira is a stay at home mom who has been homeschooling her two children, now in 9th and 7th grade, for the past 10 years. This year, Nina is serving as our Board Secretary, and has previously served as Treasurer and Co-Chairman. Before stepping into her role as a homeschooling mom, Nina worked for The Outdoor Channel as manager of the editorial department. Prior to that, she spent six years as Assistant Editor for a mail order book company, feeding her love of reading. Both positions required her to pay great attention to detail, making sure that her staff and company met all deadlines given, without mistakes. She now spends a majority of her time as a homeschool teacher, wife and youth worker for her church. Some of Nina's strengths are being organized, which is a great necessity while homeschooling, being teachable, and being committed to my children's education and to Connecting Waters Charter Schools. She loves the variety of learning options her children have at CWCS, and serving on the Board allows her to be active in her children’s school, while also ensuring that CWCS will be around for future students. She believes that homeschooling her children in this independent study program, whether the kids are taking online classes, learning center classes, or do home study, has created a close-knit environment within her family and built confidence within her children that they can achieve success in whatever they pursue as they grow up.