Our Story

Driven by a strong belief that school should create opportunities for all children to grow and succeed, the Sobrato family began a journey that led to SEAL’s genesis.

Student Learning a Song

In 2008, with the Sobrato family specifically focused on improving outcomes for English Learners in San Jose and Redwood City, the Sobrato Family Foundation partnered with Dr. Laurie Olsen to design and pilot a new, comprehensive approach to learning in preschool and early elementary grades. The result of this pilot was the creation of the SEAL (Sobrato Early Academic Language) model. After external evaluation results proved SEAL’s outsized impact, the model was expanded and replicated, first in the Bay Area and then throughout the state. In 2019, SEAL became an independent organization with the aim of scaling our impact and engaging new partners in projects and activities that connect educators, families, researchers, advocates, and policy leaders to elevate English Learners and Dual Language Learners* and promote multilingualism for all students in California.

Our Journey

* The term Dual Language Learners refers to preschool-aged or younger children who are learning two (or more) languages at the same time or who are learning a second language while continuing to develop their first (or home) language.

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Our Executive Team

Anya Hurwitz

Anya Hurwitz, Ed.D.
Executive Director

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Benjamin Buis
Chief Financial and Operations Officer

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Patty Delaney

Patty Delaney
Director of Program and Partnerships

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Jill F

Jill Fraka
Director of Training

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Jennifer Diehl

Jennifer Diehl
Director of Innovation and Strategy

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Martha Martinez

Martha Martinez, Ph.D.
Director of Research and Evaluation

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Our Team

Jennifer Ancheta-Garcia

Jennifer Ancheta-Garcia
Program Coordinator

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Francesca Aspromonte
Grants Manager

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Jennifer Clinkscales
Program Specialist

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Robert Cramer
Systems and Data Support Manager

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Adriana Diaz

Adriana Diaz
Program Coordinator

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Nanette Garcia

Nanette Garcia
Materials and IT Support Senior Coordinator

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Charice G

Charice Guerra
Program Manager & District Relations Administrator

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Laura Hernandez

Laura Hernandez
Program Manager

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Marna Ledesma

Marna Ledesma
Program Coordinator and Coach Coordinator

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Alison Soo Ping Lee
Accounting Manager

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Erin Magill Peleti
Program Specialist

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Jen McNeil
Program Manager and District Relations Administrator

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Joanna Meadvin

Joanna Meadvin, Ph.D.
Program Coordinator

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Katie Mlakar

Katie Mlakar
Program Coordinator

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Paula Motas
Production Manager

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Patricia Montes Pate

Patricia Montes Pate
Program Coordinator

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Grace P

Grace Perilli Diaz
Human Resource Manager and Executive Assistant

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Michelle Rosecrans

Michelle Rosecrans
Program Coordinator

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Ana Sanchez

Ana Marisol Sanchez
Program Specialist

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Corina Sapien

Corina Sapien
Program Manager and District Relations Administrator

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Jaylene Shelby

Jaylene Shelby
Program Coordinator

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Heather Skibbins

Heather Skibbins
Program Manager

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Cory Wechsler

Cory Wechsler
Program Coordinator

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Dr. Camille R.Whitney
Research and Evaluation Manager

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Ashleigh Williams

Ashleigh Williams
Program Specialist

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Michelle Zacarias
Communications Manager

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Saul Zevada

Saul Zevada
Business Manager

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Our Board of Directors

John Matthew Sobrato

John Matthew Sobrato
Chair

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Anya Hurwitz

Anya Hurwitz, Ed.D.
President

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Kenji Treanor

Kenji Treanor
Governance Chair and Secretary

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Lisa S

Lisa Sobrato Sonsini
Treasurer

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Libia Gil

Libia Gil, Ph.D.
Trustee

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José Manzo

José Manzo
Trustee

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Feliza I. Ortiz-Licon, Ed.D.
Trustee

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Ana Tilton

Ana Tilton, Ed.D.
Trustee

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Sarah Valencia
Trustee

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Ruby Takanishi

Our founding SEAL board member, Dr. Ruby Takanishi, early education leader and research pioneer, passed away peacefully in August of 2020. Ruby played a critical role in SEAL’s pilot, replication, and growth into a nonprofit organization. During the preliminary years leading to SEAL’s development, Dr. Takanishi was one of the leading experts tapped by the Sobrato Family Foundation. It was Dr. Takanishi’s early education policy research that helped set the stage for the SEAL model. Her legacy within the field and the extended SEAL community inspires our collective responsibility to carry it forward.
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Financials

SEAL is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization and prepares its financial statements in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America (U.S. GAAP). We want you to know how your investment is used, so you have confidence that your generous gifts make a meaningful impact on the classrooms, schools, and districts that we help transform through our effective model.

FY 2019-2020

Audited Financials | 2019 Form 990

FY 2020-2021

Coming Soon.

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