Our Team

GALS Inc. across the nation

GALS Inc. is committed to preparing a unique and diverse generation of well-educated and motivated young women for innovative citizenship and leadership in our global society. Our team is comprised of people who model the core values and worldview of our work across the nation and around the globe.

 

Our Staff

Carrie Wagner

CEO, GALS Inc.

Carrie Wagner, Founder and Executive Director of GALS Los Angeles, believes that learning can be joyful as well as academically rigorous.  She believes in a holistic approach to education where the student opens up to their own unique talents and skills, and gains confidence in who they are as a person. This then creates a launching pad that allows students to make even further strides academically.  

Carrie has been working in the charter school movement since 2003.  Before GALS, Carrie was  the COO of Bright Star Schools, which is a charter management organization that operates 9 high performing schools in Los Angeles. Prior to this, she spent 9 years at ExED, a leading nonprofit provider of charter school management services, where she served as President and COO. Carrie has also worked as the Social Enterprise Manager for New Directions, Inc., a nonprofit organization assisting homeless veterans, and in corporate finance at Heller Financial.  Carrie is a Certified Public Accountant with experience at PriceWaterhouseCoopers as a Senior Accountant in the audit division. She earned an M.B.A. from The Anderson School at UCLA and a B.S. in Accountancy and Computer Applications from The University of Notre Dame.  Carrie recently received her M.A. in Spiritual Psychology from The University of Santa Monica. 

Why GALS?

A product of an all girls’ education, Carrie is passionate that single gender schools empower students to use their voice, lead confidently, and develop strong bonds with their community.  

Jennifer Green

Deputy Chief of Schools

Jenn Green grew up in Denver and has worked in school districts across Colorado for over 20 years, serving as teacher, administrator, curriculum developer, dean, and instructional coach. She is a big risk-taker committed to living her dream, which includes working for the Navajo Nation, joining a circus, performing on stage in New York City, Mexico, and Europe, raising horses, managing community gardens, and building an adobe house. All these experiences inform her teaching and leadership in schools, and she is excited to take it to the next level as part of the GALS Inc. team. Jenn has a BA in Anthropology (Stanford University) and an MA in Education (University of Colorado/Denver).

Why GALS?

When I started teaching, I felt like an undercover agent for social justice, working covertly through the classroom.  Finding GALS has allowed me to fully and unapologetically engage in this radical, transformational work. I feel the calling now more than ever to use my skills and experience to help students grow into the most authentic, empowered, and embodied versions of themselves, so that they can take the lead in creating a more just and equitable world.

Our Board

Deirdre Gainor

Head of the GALS Inc. board, educational and nonprofit consultant, writer, and member of GALS LA board

Los Angeles, California

Associate Head of The Archer School for Girls for 9 years (grade 6-12 independent, college-preparatory girls’ school in Los Angeles, Ca)

  • Developed a leadership program to provide young women with skills to build their confidence as visionary, capable leaders

  • Integrated arts, mathematics, science, and the humanities to provide opportunities for young women to embrace their fullest potential in all aspects of their education

  • Served in public and independent schools to assist principals and faculty in discovering and manifesting their highest and best goals in education

Why GALS?

I believe GALS Inc. is empowering each young woman in the schools to become the best person and student she can become. The expertise of the teachers and the role-modeling/mentoring they provide is awe-inspiring. The emphasis on Whole-Bodied Education in which the mind and body are integrated is impressive. It is humbling to witness the positive effects on GALS students!

Ken Fisher

Entrepreneur 
Ft Lauderdale, Florida

  • Founder of Nationwide Paging Inc.
  • Founded nonprofit Heal The Planet Together
  • Founder and past Co-Chair of Broward County Real Estate Division
  • Co-Creator One Whole Peace
  • Completed Master’s program in Spiritual Psychology at University of Santa Monica

Why GALS?

I believe that by playing a part in educating, inspiring, and empowering our youth, I can create the largest positive impact within our society and on our planet. GALS Inc. is uniquely positioned to improve the odds of their students to function in the real world and, more importantly, to ensure their success as leaders and create happy, meaningful, and fulfilling lives.

LaRhonda Jackson

Director of Communications, Turner Sports
Atlanta, Georgia

  • Board Chair, Power of Girls
  • Chair of girls’ mentorship programming on behalf of local chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
  • Advisory Board Member, Westside Atlanta Charter School
  • Avid writer and storyteller
  • Proud “wanderluster”

Why GALS?

I grew up in a family of boys, and have long known and realized the power of my voice in a room full of men. That foundation has informed my passions as an adult, and I actively seek opportunities to help girls and young women realize the potential of their voice.

Alexandra Merlino

Finance director, CicLAvia
Santa Fe, New Mexico

  • Finance Director for CicLAvia
  • Executive Director for Partnership for Responsible Business
  • Served on the founding team for New Mexico Green Chambers of Commerce
  • Founder and CEO of Teres Kids
  • Founder and CEO of Authentics Home

Why GALS?

GALS Inc. creates an inclusive environment where growth is nourished through personalized attention and Whole-Bodied Education during a crucial time in a girl’s life. I’ve become a board member of GALS Inc. to make the opportunity a reality for more girls.

Barbara Wagner

GALS Inc. Advisory board, educational and nonprofit consultant
Los Angeles, California

  • Head of Marlborough School for 25 years (grades 7-12 independent, college-preparatory girls’ school in Los Angeles, CA)
  • Implemented innovative programs in science, humanities, and social sciences to empower young women
  • Developed a leadership program to provide young women with skills to build their confidence as visionary, capable leaders
  • Expanded programs in science and mathematics education to develop confidence and competence in young women

Why GALS?

I believe GALS Inc. is empowering each young woman in the schools to become the best person and student she can become. The expertise of the teachers and the role-modeling/mentoring they provide is awe-inspiring. The emphasis on Whole-Bodied Education in which the mind and body are integrated is impressive. It is humbling to witness the positive effects on GALS students!