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Governance » Board Members

Board Members





Dave Bryson, Board Chair


Dave Bryson was the Director of Operations of Bedford Stuyvesant Collegiate, part of the Uncommon Schools network in Brooklyn, NY from 2012-2017. During his time at BSC he helped lead the school toward increased student achievement, enrollment, staff retention, staff diversity, special education services, family engagement and decreased student suspension. Currently, he works on behalf of the Enroll WCC initiative supporting all families in the West Contra Costa Unified to find the right school for their child.


Prior to joining Uncommon Schools, Dave helped found a pioneering Expanded Learning Time program at the Edwards Middle School in Charlestown, MA that became the model for Citizen Schools’ national expansion. He has also worked at Breakthrough Collaborative as a partnership coordinator with organizations like Teach for America, MATCH Teacher Residency and Aspire Teacher Residency. Dave earned his B.A. from Wesleyan University and his M.Ed from Lesley University.


As an East Bay resident Dave equally enjoys hiking the hills and biking the flats. He is humbled to be joining the tight-knit community of the ARISE High School and is inspired by the vision of academics, community and social justice at the core of ARISE's mission.


Julie Obbard, Vice Chair


Julie Obbard is an education consultant focused on improving access to high quality educational opportunities for low-income youth. She works with schools, school districts, nonprofit organizations and foundations to strengthen organizational effectiveness through strategic planning, organizational assessment, research, and program design. Julie has worked with clients including: Aspire Public Schools, College Track, New York City Leadership Academy, the National Center for Teacher Residencies, the Center for Reinventing Public Education, and NewSchools Venture Fund.


Prior to starting her consulting practice, Julie worked on charter school development and statewide policy issues for the Charter School Development Center, and as a School Development Manager for the KIPP Foundation, where she focused on charter school authorization and start-up fundraising to open new KIPP schools in California. Her background also includes work in economic development and philanthropy. Julie served on the board of the North Oakland Community Charter Schools, and as Co-Chair of the Education Pioneers Bay Area Alumni Board.


Maria Arechiga



Maria Arechiga is a product of Bay Area charter schools and a native of Oakland, CA, Maria is passionate about ensuring that all students have access to a high quality education and opportunities beyond that. She has worked and volunteered as a tutor and mentor with a variety of mentorship programs. Maria is currently the Operations Manager for Making Waves Academy, where she oversees school operations functions for the middle school division. Prior to that, she led operations for Alpha Public Schools as the Senior Manager of Regional Operations. As a founding staff member of the flagship school, she supported the growth from one school to a network of four schools. During her time there, she focused on building capacity of the operations team, system creation and implementation, school operations support and reporting and compliance and served as Board Secretary and Treasurer.


Maria earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Human Biology with a focus in education and public health from Stanford University.


Miho Kubagawa


Dr. Miho Kubagawa is a Senior Associate Partner at NewSchools Venture Fund, where she finds, funds and supports teams of education entrepreneurs who are launching new, innovative public schools.

Prior to joining NewSchools, Miho spent eight years at KIPP NYC, where she most recently served as the founder and director of the teacher residency program in partnership with Relay Graduate School of Education. She also served as the director of talent, where she oversaw the recruitment, selection and hiring for the 650-person organization. Miho began her career as the founding 7th grade math teacher at KIPP Infinity Middle School, which ranked as the number one public middle school in New York City during her second year.

In addition, Miho is the co-founder and current board member of the Breakthrough Collaborative chapter in her hometown of Birmingham, Alabama. She recently graduated with her doctorate in education leadership (Ed.L.D.) from Harvard University and has a B.S. in economics from Duke University.


Javier Martinez


Javier Martinez is an Oakland native who graduated out of ARISE high school. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology from California State University, East Bay and was awarded the Outstanding Leadership Award for being the president of the Pioneer Soccer Club at the campus.

Javier has been working with Oakland youth since 2011 as a summer crew leader, ASP instructor, youth organizer, and soccer coach. Currently he is on his 6th consecutive year working as a middle school soccer coach and is also working as a Newcomer Paraprofessional in helping undocumented and recently immigrated students in middle school mathematics.

As an Oakland native and ARISE alumnus, Javier feels great joy to serve as an ARISE board member.


Gihani Fernando

Gihani Fernando

Gihani Fernando is an Oakland resident who is committed to improving local education and is very excited and humbled to be joining the ARISE community.

Gihani has spent most of her career working with a variety of organizations to advance educational and life outcomes for youth.  Most recently she served as the Network Strategy Officer for Playworks, a national network that focuses on play to help kids stay active and build valuable life skills.  In this role, she focused on developing and implementing a partnerships strategy to help more organizations integrate practices and mindsets to allow for many more kids across the country to experience safe and healthy play everyday.  Prior to that, she worked for almost a decade at The Bridgespan Group which is a leading social impact consultant and advisor to nonprofits and NGOs, philanthropists, and investors.  While at Bridgespan, Gihani led strategic planning engagements for several mission-driven organizations and foundations with a focus on education and youth development clients.  She also co-led the firm's 2014 campaign around social and emotional learning, served as Bridgespan's first Talent Manager in 2013, and co-authored two publications which were featured in the Stanford Social Innovation Review titled "Rethinking How Students Succeed" and "High Stakes Donor Collaborations".  Gihani started her full-time career in public finance investment banking and has also served in a consulting role to the World Bank.  

Gihani holds a B.A. from Stanford University with a major in Economics and a minor in Management Science and Engineering as well as an M.B.A from the Haas School of Business at the University of California in Berkeley.