Carolyn Yaffe, Executive Director
Valley Charter Schools
Carolyn has been an educator for 22 years and throughout her career has focused on promoting equity of opportunity and outcomes for all students. Carolyn began her career as a high school English teacher in the Bronx, NY in the late 1990s. In 2006, Carolyn founded the Academy for Young Writers (AFYW), a small, project-based 6-12 school located in Brooklyn, New York. Under her leadership as principal, over 90% of AFYW students graduated and were accepted to college. After serving as a principal, Carolyn became the Executive Director of School Quality for the New York City Department of Education, where she oversaw school quality and principal practice evaluations across 1,700 schools. Most recently Carolyn served as the Chief Executive Officer of School Empowerment Network, an education non-profit focused on new school design, leadership development, and school quality evaluations. Before joining Valley Charter Schools as the executive director, Carolyn served on the board for two years. Carolyn holds an undergraduate degree from Boston University, an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Maryland, and a degree in educational administration from Baruch College. Carolyn enjoys exploring Los Angeles with her husband, son, and daughter.
Dr. Elizabeth Adams, Principal
Valley Charter Elementary School
Dr. Elizabeth Adams has been an educator for 16 years. She began her career teaching in Lawndale, CA for nine years. She then joined the VCES family in 2013 as a founding 5th-grade teacher. She immediately appreciated the community and collaboration among the teachers. After teaching 5th grade for five years, she became VCES' reading specialist, which allowed her to work with students across all grade levels. In her out of classroom role, she has also been the coordinator of professional development for teachers and she took on numerous school-wide responsibilities, such as writing our most recent charter renewal. Elizabeth earned her doctorate in educational leadership from California Lutheran University. As a part of her dissertation titled Redefining Family Engagement for Immigrant Latino Families, she interviewed families to better understand the multitude of ways that they contribute to their children's education. In addition to her doctorate, she has a master's in child and adolescent literacy, a reading specialist credential, and an undergraduate degree in liberal studies from Loyola Marymount University. When not at work, she is often doing puzzles or attending car-related events with her husband and two young sons.
Brenda Sadeghi, Interim Principal
Valley Charter Middle School
Brenda Sadeghi grew up in Tulare, California and now considers herself a true Los Angeles
native. She received her bachelor’s degree from California State University, Northridge (CSUN), where she double majored in political science and Chicano Studies and went on to get her teaching credential from Fresno Pacific University. She also holds a master's in educational leadership from CSUN. Prior to joining VCMS, Brenda taught at ExteraPublic School in Boyle Heights. She especially treasures what she calls the “oh moments” in the classroom. “I love teaching when the vast majority of the class has little experience with the concept because when they start to understand the concept, they often say, ‘Oh, I get it!’ Then I feel our experience has come full circle,” she explains. In her spare time, the Lake Balboa resident enjoys trying new things such as parasailing and kayaking. She also seeks out local destinations where she can experience different cultures and traditions.