Element Education Administrative Staff


Executive Director

Terri Novacek


Ms. Novacek has worked in the field of education nearly 30 years. After 10 years in a traditional classroom environment, she resigned to home-school her own children while running a tutoring business. It was then that her educational philosophy experienced a great transformation. She witnessed how incredibly inspiring and effective education can be when it is personalized for each student. She began working with Dehesa Charter School in 2002 and has served in multiple roles and regions. She was the catalyst in launching Element Education, in order to expand educational opportunities in San Diego, Riverside, and Orange County. Today, she oversees Dehesa Charter School, Community Montessori Charter School, and My Element Montessori Early Learning Centers. Ms. Novacek is a certified "Learning Success Coach" and has conducted professional development seminars and personalized learning workshops. She has her M.A. in Montessori Integrative Learning and M.A. in Education Administration. Her passion for education hasled her to author several articles on student learning styles and the power of educational choice for families.


Chief Business Officer

Doug Miller

As the Chief Business Officer, Mr. Miller brings over 15 years of financial and operations management experience to Element Education. His professional background includes over five years in the public finance environment. As the CBO, Mr. Miller oversees the financial strategic planning for Dehesa Charter School, Community Montessori Charter School, and My Element Montessori Early Learning Centers. He also manages all aspects of business services including accounting practices, budgeting, analysis, real estate, facilities, contracts, compliance, and interface with the financial community.


School Director, DCS

Celia Ewing

Ms. Ewing has extensive experience in the education field. In addition to homeschooling her own child, she has a passion for encouraging students to seek out opportunities for growth and leadership. As an educator, Ms. Ewing works closely with Dehesa Charter School (DCS) families and students to ensure they are guided, advised, and maintain a love of learning. She takes pride in developing her staff of educational facilitators, school counselors, and leadership team by providing on-going mentorship and professional development. Ms. Ewing implemented extra-curricular programs such as Robotics and Mock Trial in which many DCS students and teams have won numerous awards and competitions at the local, regional, and state levels.


School Director, CMCS

Roland Yung

With over 10 years of experience in education and academic planning, Mr. Yung is focused on developing high quality educational programs for Community Montessori Charter School (CMCS). He continues to advance the access of educational opportunities and learning options for students and families in San Diego County. His primary responsibility is overseeing the development of CMCS, which opened its doors for the first time for the 2013-2014 school year. Since then, CMCS has expanded to five Resource Centers and a Home Study Program with an enrollment of over 450+ students. Mr. Yung holds a M.S. in Education. His background includes leadership roles, staff development, curriculum, instructional strategies and philosophies, online course development, data assessment, and program development.


Director of Student Records

Kim Faust

Ms. Faust has over 13 years of charter school experience with a background in student services and administration. She has been with Element Education since 2005, serving as the school Registrar. Her expansive knowledge in maintaining student records and managing student enrollment procedures has paved the way for consistent growth at Dehesa Charter School and Community Montessori Charter School over the years. Ms. Faust's attention to detail speaks volumes while working closely with the staff to ensure accuracy and consistency across the organization.


Director of Technology

Shawn Priest

Mr. Priest began his career in public education, teaching for over 10 years. He left the education field and went on to manage computer networks in the private sector. At Element Education, Mr. Priest enjoys the best of both professions. He is responsible for the direction of technology at Element Education, incorporating new systems into the educational offerings for Dehesa Charter School, Community Montessori Charter School, and My Element Montessori. His focus is to ensure Element Education remains on pace with the rapid advance of educational technology.


Resource Manager

Tracy Goettsch

Ms. Goettsch has been with the organization for six years, managing the resource center which houses student curriculum, printed materials, and learning tools. She has a degree in Journalism and is currently pursuing a degree in Library Technology. Ms. Goettsch is professional and extremely knowledgeable in library administration. She has an understanding of the curriculum available at Element Education in support of families, students, and staff. She has three children, all of which have been students in the Dehesa Charter School program. She looks forward to assisting parents, students, and educational facilitators in any way possible.


Resource Assistant

Eva Arguilez

Ms. Arguilez has been with the organization for over six years and works closely with the Resource Manager in maintaining the structure and flow of the resource center. Her focus is on purchasing, organizing, and distribution of materials. She worked three years in the library at California State University, San Marcos were she developed an expertise in servicing the curriculum and research needs of the families, students, and staff that she encounters on a daily basis. She takes pride in supervising vendor ordering, managing the receiving process of materials, and special projects.


Administrative Services Specialist

Katherine Herrera


Business Services Specialist

Carrie Gomez

Ms. Gomez works closely with the Chief Business Officer in managing accounts payable for the business office. In addition to coordinating payments, she handles the processing of vendor invoices. She is meticulous in her work and takes pride in ensuring the business office is running smoothly on a day-to-day basis.


Administrative Services Specialist

Pam Morasco


Director of Human Resources

Administrative Services Specialist