We are an independent, public charter high school.
We collaborate with our authorizers, the Nevada Joint Union High School District, but our board operates independently.
Tom Mooers is a Grass Valley resident and proud parent of two SAEL kids. Tom has worked as an advocate for land conservation in California for more than twenty years, currently serving as the Executive Director of Sierra Watch. He's a graduate of Green Corps, Field School for Environmental Organizing and the University of California, Los Angeles. He's an enthusiastic youth soccer coach and always up for an expedition.
Karen represents our authorizing school district, Nevada Joint Union High School District, on the Board of Directors. After 35 years in California school business administration, she recently retired as the Assistant Superintendent of the District and remains committed to bettering our schools and community through varying volunteer activities.
Fortunately, I have been involved with SAEL as a parent of two students since 2015 as well as a Board member since 2017. I have witnessed firsthand how SAEL has implemented Growth Mindset and fostered successful young people, while evolving the school itself. I truly have seen the incredible value the school brings through Expeditionary Learning and the talented and dedicated educators.
I am retired after 29 years as public architect for County of Placer and University of California, Davis. My responsibilities included scoping, design and construction for education, research, healthcare, infrastructure and community projects. I supervised dedicated and talented teams of technical, office and field staff.
I am a California Licensed Architect with thirty-eight years of experience in construction project management in dynamic team-based environments. My focus has been on creating places that are sustainable, accessible and foster healthy living. My current projects range from biomedical research to the challenges of healthcare and housing in the Intermountain and Pacific regions.
I live in western Nevada County with my wife Susan and our sons. We enjoy the resources of our county and different outdoor activities in the region.
Luke Rutten is a proud father of two daughters, one from the SAEL Class of 2020 and the other from the SAEL Class of 2021. Luke grew up in a large family in Northern Minnesota. His mother was an educator, as are several of his siblings. Since receiving BS and MS degrees in geology from North Dakota State University and UC Davis, he has worked in the field of watershed resource management and restoration, including the past 18 years as a hydrologist with the US Forest Service.
In his free time, Luke enjoys camping with his family, going to the river, riding his motorcycle, mountain biking, making music with family, friends and neighbors, and working on his property.
I am a real estate, land use planning and construction professional with a focus on building and steering teams through complex construction projects in California. At different times in my career I have worn the hats of city planner, contractor, planning commissioner, architect, and large project owner. Prior to my current role (at The Boldt Company), I spent 20 years in the community development, construction, regulatory, and healthcare sectors where I served in various management and leadership roles in both the public and private sector.
I try to stay active volunteering my time, starting with my assignment in the Peace Corps (Cote d’Ivoire 1993-1995) and including positions on local commissions and community & economic development organizations in the San Francisco Bay and Greater Sacramento areas. At different times I have also been a T-Ball, Little League and Mountain Bike coach, mostly to hang out with my sons more!
My wife Allison is the founder and Director of Gold Country Avian Studies, a nonprofit committed to improving the understanding of bird populations in the Sierra Nevada foothills through avian research and education. We have two sons, age 15 and 11, who attend Ghidotti and Union Hill, respectively. We moved to Nevada City in 2014 to be closer to the mountains and the Yuba River - where we have been coming to play for almost 20 years. I have been following SAEL’s growth with excitement and am looking forward to helping in any way I can.
Well, in 6th grade I wrote an autobiography saying I was going to be a teacher. I still have that written piece! I always enjoyed school. Old friends remember when they came to play at my house that we played school but I was ALWAYS the teacher!
I fell in love with the German language in my freshman year of High School. My teacher Frau Ross was amazing and German came easily to me, so I decided I would become a HS German teacher. I have an AS degree in German and a BA in Liberal Studies with a minor in German. As I put myself through school, I was fortunate enough to get a job in a federal day care center working with preschool to 6th grade kids. There I truly fell in love with elementary education. My Multiple Subjects Life-Long Credential and 14 years teaching (4/5th, 6th. K. 3rd, 4th again) lead me to getting my Masters in Education and my Preliminary Admin Credential from USF. I was first a Principal in San Jose (where I was born, raised, and taught). I then got the best admin job ever in Nevada County in a small school district with a Superintendent who hired his favorite 2 Principals to make a dream team! Declining enrollment took me to Yuba City Unified where I retired in 2009 after 34+ years in education to take care of my terminally ill husband who passed away in 2012.
I love being an educator and always have! My parents advised my brother and I to find our passions in the working world so that on any given "bad day" the love would sustain you and on the good days it would be most enjoyable! They were correct! There never has been a day in my career that I didn't want to return work the next day. Even as a retiree, I mentor beginning teachers and beginning Principals/Administrators. I have substituted for my daughter's 2 maternity leaves for 4 months each time teaching 6th grade and I just subbed for her this week in her 5th grade class! I have babysat my 2 grandkids 2 days a week while they were preschoolers...(they are now in 3rd grade and Kindergarten) and enjoyed the best job of all...being Grammy! I love teaching, teachers, students, parents and learning! Life is GOOD!!!
Former Board Chair
I am Linda Brown, a retired school administrator. I have lived in Nevada County since 1990 when I came to be principal of Hennessy School now Grass Valley Charter School. Working and doing service in this child centered county has given me great satisfaction and joy. After teaching many different grade levels and special education I ended my 39 year career as Assistant Superintendent of Grass Valley School District and administrator of Grass Valley Charter School. Being a board member of SAEL has allowed me to continue to serve the children of our community and support Expeditionary Learning, one of the premier educational models in the United States.
Over the years I have served on Grass Valley Schools Foundation for Arts and Science, co-chaired the P.L.A.Y. Community Playground project,and am a member of Lake Almanor Country Club's Long Term Planning Committee to mention a few of my service endeavors. We have 5 children, their spouses, and 10 grandchildren. We farm walnuts in Butte Co. and summer in Plumas County at Lake Almanor. We have wonderful friends and family in education and enjoy all that northern California has to offer. After retiring 9 years ago I look forward to becoming part of the SAEL community. I believe in Expeditionary Learning's research based Core Practices and their Design Principles. Each child attending SAEL is coached and supported to acquire the skills and knowledge necessary to become an excellent citizen.
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Regular Board Meeting are held on the third or fourth Thursday of the month as much as possible. They will usually be at 5:30pm in Room R4 at SAEL on 505 Main Street, Nevada City, 95959. During COVID-19, meetings are happening on Zoom. Those links are available on the school's main calendar that is public on the calendar page of the SAEL website as well as on the agenda in the packets.
SPECIAL 8/3/20 @ 5:30pm on Zoom
8/13/20 @ 5:30pm on Zoom
9/17/20 @ 5:30pm on Zoom
10/8/20 @ 5:30pm on Zoom
11/19/20 @ 5:30pm on Zoom
12/10/20 @ 5:30pm on Zoom
1/21/21 @ 5:30pm on Zoom
2/18/21 @ 5:30pm on Zoom
3/18/21 @ 5:30pm on Zoom
4/15/21 @ 5:30pm on Zoom
5/20/21 @ 5:30pm on Zoom
6/17/21 @ 5:30pm on Zoom
10/10/19 - canceled due to power outages
10/14/19 - 4pm in Principal's Office SPECIAL rescheduled after power outages
11/12/19 SPECIAL 5:30pm @ SAEL
3/12/20 SPECIAL 4:30pm @ SAEL
3/26/20 - Virtual - see places and meeting info in packet
4/23/20 - Virtual - see places and info meeting in packet
5/1/20 - SPECIAL - Virtual - see places and info meeting in packet
5/21/20 - Virtual - see places and info meeting in packet
6/10/20 - Virtual - see places and info meeting in packet
Board meeting agendas and select minutes are available on the Board Archives page of our website.