Message from our Board President, Alex Ezzell:

My motivation to create SAEL stems from a few places. As a native to Nevada County and a graduate from our local public schools, I found it frustrating that I did not have a choice in matching my educational beliefs to the philosophy of a school in our community. The first time I had this chance was in selecting my college. Coming back to the community as an educator, I am thrilled at the diversity of K-8 options for families. However that brings into stark relief the absence of engaging, authentic and rigorous options for high school age students. Over the years, the reality of the situation has been driven home by alumni of Grass Valley Charter School stopping by to visit and sharing their high school experience. Instead of students continuing on a trajectory of empowerment and passion for learning, they too often reflect on the lack of rigor, challenge, positive school culture, and the real world application of their studies. Based on my experience working in an Expeditionary Learning school over the past 10 years, I know that things should and can be better. We can lead students to achieve more than they thought possible and in doing so, create the next generation of effective and thoughtful leaders. 

Alex Ezzell

Board Chair 

Alex Ezzell Resume.pdf Alex Ezzell Resume.pdf
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Linda Brown

Board Vice 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.  

Mundy Keller


I am very proud to be both a SAEL parent and board member. I strongly believe the educational model of SAEL is one in which students thrive. The knowledgeable, supportive and dedicated staff are committed to an environment that instills a love of learning leading to personal and academic growth in each student. Serving SAEL as a board member is a true honor for me.

I have lived in Nevada County since 2002. I love the rivers, lakes and mountains that surround us. I feel so fortunate to be able to live and raise my son in our beautiful and wonderful community. I am a ‘soccer mom’, book reader and gardener. My volunteer work over the years has included coaching youth soccer, baseball and basketball; Ano Nuevo State Park docent, Nevada County School District Art Docent, Nevada County Veterans Stand Down, Indio Youth Task Force, Nevada County Hospitality House, Los Angeles County Homeless Advocacy Project, San Francisco Volunteer Legal Services Program, Student Tutorial Program of Whittier Law School, U.C.S.C Suicide Prevention and the Student Assistance Program of Riverside County.

I attended the University of California at Santa Cruz and received a B.A in psychology. I then attended Whittier College School of Law and obtained a J.D. Subsequently, I went to the University of California at Riverside and received a certificate in mediation. I currently work as a mediator & attorney in Nevada County.

Rebecca Mooers


Pic coming soon!

Rebecca studied Early Childhood Education in college and has been involved with Charter schools since 1998. She worked in the middle school resource center at Grass Valley Charter School and was also involved in fundraising and a dedicated parent volunteer. She currently works in the Administrative Department at Nevada City School of the Arts doing enrollment and fundraising. Rebecca has a 9th and a 10th grader that attend Sierra Academy and is passionate about the education that they are receiving at SAEL. In her spare time she enjoys traveling and spending time with her husband and four children.

Brian Martinez


Brian Martinez has been an educator all his life. He started off as a high school math and science teacher. He then worked as an administrator at a number of different high schools, middle schools, and elementary schools. He is the principal at Grass Valley Charter School and helped that school become an Expeditionary Learning Mentor School. He was part of the founding group that started Sierra Academy of Expeditionary Learning, authored much of the charter petition, and is passionate about seeing this opportunity be available for all students in our community. 

Michael Hughes


Michael Hughes has been a resident of South Nevada County for 25 years. During this time he has been employed by Nevada Joint Union High School District as a physics teacher at Bear River High School and in the district office facilitating curriculum, instruction, and professional learning. Prior to teaching he was employed in the Silicon Valley as an electrical engineer and for two years owned and operated a restaurant in Sacramento. In his spare time he enjoys working in his woodshop making furniture for his family.

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Board meeting agendas and select minutes are available on the Board Archives page of our website. 

Upcoming Board Meetings:

Regular Board Meeting are now held on the fourth Thursday of the month as much as possible.  They are currently being held at SAEL 340 Buena Vista St, Grass Valley, CA at 5:30pm unless otherwise stated below. 


8/16/16 @ 3:30pm (Emergency)



11/2/16 @ 6:00pm (Special @ GVCS on 225 S. Auburn St, Grass Valley, CA 95945)









2016-17 Education Protection Account Resolution approved by SAEL Board of Directors on June 16,2016:

IT IS RESOLVED that the Education Protection Account funds to be received by the school in FY 2016-17 in the estimated amount of $36,100, will be used solely for instructional non-administrative expenses.