2020 Regular Meetings
Meetings held via Zoom video
conference until further notice.
Since March, 2015, Mr. Rollin has served on the Board of The Academies Charter Management Organization (TACMO), formerly known as Sycamore Valley Academy. He has served as Board Chair since October, 2017.
Through his Board service, Mr. Rollin has helped to steer the Board in addressing numerous issues, including initial chartering and charter renewal, facilities, leadership transition, budgeting, personnel, and other difficult issues.
Mr. Rollin holds a B.A. in Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley and is a graduate of McGeorge School of Law. Professionally, Mr. Rollin has been an attorney since December, 1993, and has been in sole practice since October, 1999, representing clients in civil matters of all kinds, with an emphasis in business, real estate, collections, construction, and conservatorship law.
Mr. Rollin is a former member and a past president of Visalia Breakfast Rotary, and is also a member and past president of the Tulare County Bar Association. He has also served on other Boards in Visalia.
Mr. Rollin is pleased to serve on the Board of TACMO, where he contributes his legal skill and knowledge, board experience, time, and effort to make a positive and impactful difference in the lives of the students, families and staff of TACMO, Sycamore Valley Academy, and Blue Oak Academy.
Mr. Rollin resides in Visalia with his wife and two children who both attend Sycamore Valley Academy.
Erin Andersen was elected to The Academies Board of Directors in January, 2017. She is a Tulare County native with roots in the agriculture community. For eight years she was a staff member at the International Agri-Center in Tulare, where she spearheaded the fundraising, design, and construction of the AgVentures! Learning Center. Since 2006 she has worked for BMI Mechanical, also in Tulare, where she serves a dual role as the company’s Sales Manager and Human Resource Manager.
Ms. Andersen brings her expertise in business, facilities, and non-profit management to the Academies Board of Directors. Erin has a passion for lifelong learning and hands-on educational opportunities, especially for rural and underserved youth populations. She is passionate about the mission of The Academies, and is fully committed to advancing the CMO’s immediate and strategic goals.
Erin received her Bachelor of Science degree from the University of California at Davis in 1996, and obtained a Master’s degree in Business Administration from California State University Fresno in 2008. She and her husband, Aaron, live in Visalia with their son, Oliver.
Lily Wachter moved to Visalia in 2012, and she and her husband are now raising their children in the community. Ms. Wachter, a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) charterholder, joined the Board of The Academies in July 2019 and brings expertise in business, finance, and education.
Ms. Wachter earned a BA in earth and environmental science, with a concentration in mathematics,
from Columbia University in 2001. While an undergraduate, she spent a semester at Biosphere 2 in Oracle, Arizona studying environmental science through projects and field trips. After college, she became an outdoor education and environmental science teacher at the American Community School in Beirut, Lebanon.
Ms. Wachter then returned to New York City, her hometown, and joined the first cohort of an interdisciplinary doctoral program in sustainable development; she received her PhD from Columbia University in 2010. While a graduate student, she collaborated with the International Energy Agency, the World Bank, and the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies on climate, energy and clean energy projects in New York as well as abroad in Senegal and Kenya. She also helped develop several courses on the economics and science of sustainable development.
After graduate school, Ms. Wachter joined Goldman Sachs as an equity research analyst following clean energy companies in the solar, smart grid, electric vehicle, and bioproduct value chains. She analyzed many innovative companies and worked on a number of initial public offerings for biofuel and biochemical companies.
In 2012, she was offered the opportunity to join Edeniq, a biotechnology company based in Visalia that is backed by venture capital investors. Edeniq helps ethanol plants become more profitable and sustainable through the production of lower-carbon fuel, and Ms. Wachter served as the company’s Chief Financial Officer until the end of 2019. She is now the CFO of Fresno's Chaffee Zoo Corporation. The Fresno Chaffee Zoo inspires wonder of our natural world, provides an engaging learning environment, and creates a passion for conservation.
Alex Tietjen is a Visalia native. He attended Visalia public schools before going to the University of California, Santa Barbara where he earned a BA in History in 2006. After graduation he interned for a year at SCICON, the outdoor school operated by the Tulare County Office of Education, as an Outdoor Educator and this experience sparked his love of education.
In 2010 Alex began working for the Burton School District as a middle school social science teacher. In 2013 he transitioned into a role supporting teacher’s use of technology with their students. As the one-to-one technology initiative grew in the district, Alex moved into a position overseeing the entire academic technology program. He is now the Director of Technology for Burton schools, overseeing all aspects of technology use. In that time Alex earned a MS in Education with a focus on educational technology, and is in the process of earning a Doctorate in Education (EdD) from Johns Hopkins University.
Alex is excited to serve on the Board of The Academies, where he can contribute his experience and knowledge of education to make a positive impact on the lives of students in our community. He lives in Visalia with his wife and two young daughters.
Michelle Phillips joined The Academy Board of Directors in June of 2019 and values TACMO as a whole; the organization, two schools, community, parents, students, teachers and the staff. She is passionate about parent engagement, community, well-being and instilling early the desire for learning.
Michelle works in The Office of Graduate Medical Education (GME) at Kaweah Delta Health Care District and holds a certificate in Training Administrators of Graduate Medical Education. She has been a part of the Psychiatry Residency Program as the Program Coordinator since the inaugural class of psychiatry residents physicians started in 2014. She is responsible for accreditation compliance, policies and procedures and the day to day management of the program, which includes 20 resident physicians and 10 core physician faculty members. She serves as Co-Chair for the GME Wellness Committee which is responsible for wellness related policies and resources for 108 residents and over 40 core faculty as well as being one of the first contacts when there are well-being concerns.
Michelle volunteers, with Blue Oak Academy’s Parent Teacher Organization, is a bedside volunteer at for No One Dies Alone (NODA) and serves on various committees at the hospital.
Michelle Phillips was born and raised in the Central Valley. She lives in Visalia with her husband Matt and three children, Elizabeth, Adam and Liam. Liam, the youngest, attends Blue Oak Academy. She enjoys reading, volunteer work, learning to mountain bike, and trips with the family in their van they converted for camping.
Mr. Wheaton moved to the Valley to take a position in Corcoran as a high school counselor and continuation high school teacher. He later served as a high school assistant principal, and then as an elementary school principal for 11 years. After 24 years in Corcoran, Wheaton moved to Visalia Unified, where his first job called for him to oversee state and federal projects. He later served as an area administrator, and then as superintendent beginning July 2010. He wrapped up his tenure as VUSD Superintendent and joined the Tulare County Office of Education in 2015.
Craig attended American River College and later Sacramento State University to earn his bachelor’s degree. He then earned a master’s degree from San Francisco State University and later earned a doctoral degree from Pepperdine University.
When not working tirelessly for the children of Tulare County, Craig can be found outdoors. While his days of running marathons are behind him, he continues his lifelong habit of daily exercise. Wheaton enjoys strenuous wilderness hikes, pre-dawn jogs, skiing, and mountain biking. As an educator for more than 40 years, Wheaton is no stranger to encouraging students and co-workers to set academic goals and make plans to achieve them. Keeping in shape is no different, he says. It is simply part of everyday life. He offers this advice to those seeking to add more to their lives: set a goal and pace yourself. Craig credits his disciplined rural upbringing on a chicken farm in the Sierra Nevada foothills for his work ethic, his teacher-mother for his love of learning, and the Boy Scouts for his love of the outdoors. He has served on the TACMO Board as the TCOE representative since February 2017.