Skip to main content

Meet Our Board of Directors

Robert Avila

Robert Avila:

7/1/2018 - 6/30/2020

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. 

Summer Hash

Summer Hash:

7/1/2018 - 6/30/2020

Assistant SecretarySummer Hash and her family came to Connecting Waters Charter Schools a few years ago, after looking for an alternative to traditional schooling, where continued bullying made her daughter’s life a misery. CWCS offered a different learning environment that could be tailor made for each child's success and changed her daughter’s life. Her kids are now making great progress and thriving in 6th and 8th grade. Summer has her BA in Political Science with a double minor in International Relations and Pre-Law at CSU Long Beach. She moved to Modesto to work as the Assistant Executive Director of the Carole Sund/Carrington Memorial Reward Foundation. The foundation provided reward money for missing persons and homicide victims, and worked such local cases as Shondra Levy and Laci Petersen; eventually merging into the Laci & Conner Search and Rescue Fund in 2009. She also worked at Humphreys College as an Admissions Counselor and has personal experience and understanding of how to help students prepare for college. Summer has experience as a board member and served as Director of Marketing for 10 years on the board of Atchison Propane, a family owned company in southern CA. She is looking forward to being a part of CWCS Board and bringing her unique experience to help reach its goals and help its students.  Summer enjoys teaching her children, spending time with her family, attending her kids sporting events, and hanging out with her horse, a little quarter horse mare named Spanky.  

Jennifer Louie-Monzon

Jennifer Louie-Monzon:

7/1/2019 - 6/30/2021

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.

Jeana Sears

Jeana Sears:

7/1/2018 - 6/30/2020

Board Member- Jeana Sears was home educated as a child in the Bay Area and has been home educating her children for eight years. She has graduated two children through Connecting Waters Charter School.  Due to her experience with home education and relationship counseling, Jeana has a special interest in supporting families in their efforts toward education as well as encouraging healthy relationship dynamics. Jeana has had a degree in Massage Therapy and Holistic Health since 1999 and has been teaching yoga since 2006. Additionally, Jeana began tutoring children in reading, creative writing and beginning music in 2016. Jeana and her husband also volunteer their time to help families in blended situations, struggling marriages and custody difficulties.  

Megan Shipley
Megan Shipley:

7/1/2019 - 6/30/2021

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


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

7/1/2019 - 6/30/2021

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.