Board Members

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ISSAC is grateful for the time, efforts, and commitment of each ISSAC Board Member.  

They offer invaluable life and professional experience to lead our school...for the benefit of our community and the education of our children.

JAD Allam

Jad graduated with a degree in Electrical Engineering from the American University of Beirut and a Master's of Operations Research from Georgia Tech. He currently holds the position of Group VP, GPD at Applied Medical, a medical device manufacturing company, where he has been for the past 14 years.

Growing from an entry level engineer to a managerial position at a medical device company helped Jad gain experience in solving technical, managerial and compliance related challenges. He brings this experience to our team to help ISSAC grow and serve a larger part of the community.

With ISSAC, Jad shares the belief in the value a multilingual environment brings to the development of students and the "no-limit" approach that helps teachers educate and cultivate students beyond their age associated grade level. He is committed to help ISSAC continue its success and educate and empower future global citizens.

EMILY Maekubo

Emily Maekubo began with a degree in education and 13 years of teaching in a foreign language program.  She takes pride in her success at motivating students in a challenging curriculum, and creating joyful relationships between teacher and students. 

Emily has a business degree (MBA) and decades of corporate experience in accounting, finance, sales and operations, mainly in the automotive industry.  Working at Toyota and Hitachi, Emily has been managing complex global operations successfully to goals, while maintaining budget constraints and reporting requirements. This experience gives her an excellent perspective to contribute in a governance role at ISSAC.

Global citizenship education is of particular interest to Emily, and she has experience with multinational business operations, and can advocate for preparing students to be ready for the responsibilities of career in a global economy.

 Emily brings to ISSAC her fine-tuned understanding of establishing a culture of care in an educational environment, and her vigilance and understanding of fiscal responsibility in order to build a financially healthy organization.


Carmen Basu,  born and graduated in Guatemala, Central America.  Completed B.S. in Criminal Justice in the United States.   Joined the Team of Alegria's Services in Downtown Los Angeles servicing the Hispanic community by providing tax preparation and interpreting services.  Started volunteering at different shelters and organizations at the age of 19.  Coming from different backgrounds made it easy to understand other cultures and their needs. Participating and organizing Cultural and religious events for the Indian Community.  Active member of Bengali Association of Southern California and Dakshini Bengali Association.  After becoming a mother decided to practice meditation, personal guidance and mindfulness by attending workshops at the Self Realization Fellowship in Hollywood.  

During 2013 started helping with fundraisers as well as school events at Catholic schools in Hollywood.  Moved to the City of Costa Mesa during 2016 and joined Paularino Elementary PTA where I volunteered in every  possible way. The most rewarding experience was being part of the Reading Program at the school Library.  Seeing children achieve their reading goals within weeks was the greatest reward.   PTA gave me the opportunity to use my experience and talents by being part of the Executive Board as the Membership Chairman/Vice President. 

 Some of the very successful events I had the pleasure of chairing and organizing were  Trunk-or-Treat, Ceramic Night, Multicultural night, Donuts with Dad, two Scholastic  book fairs, Muffins with Mom and co-chaired for many other events like Winter Dance.  I was also an elected member of the School Site Council at Paularino Elementary.  During that time I was able to advocate for all the needs of the students.  Have been an active member of ELAC supporting the community and encouraging non-English speakers to share their stories and participate in all school activities.   Had completed parenting workshops for NMUSD including Heroes and Anti-bullying by Ms.Trudy Ludwig just to mention a few. 2019 was a difficult year as we had to experience bullying at school.  I was already an anti-bullying promoter but having my son experience it was definitely a challenging situation.   Thanks to our positive attitude and right guidance we damages bullying caused and my son now knows how to immediately identify and speak up not just for himself but for others as well.   

KIM, Hopko

Coming from a family of educators, mother, sister and cousin were all teachers Ms. Hopko naturally followed that path into special education.  Ms. Hopko entered the field of Special Education as a Speech Pathologist after earning a Masters from Central Michigan University.

She moved to Southern California and took a position with the Los Angeles County Office of Education (LACOE) as an Aphasia teacher.  This led to a 38 year career with LACOE serving as a teacher, in various administrative positions including principal, consultant, SELPA Director and the last years as Director of Special Education for LACOE. 

Ms. Hopko always had a passion for students with disabilities and insuring that they received an equal education to their general education peers.  She worked on many local, regional and state level committees and groups that implemented law and regulations to do just that.

Since retiring from the LACOE Ms. Hopko has worked as a Senior Consultant with a Special Education Management Firm to continue her work in the realm of charter schools and school districts.  In her free time she enjoys knitting, reading, and walking. 


Jesicah has spent the last two decades supporting public education in California.  Currently, she serves as Aspire Public Schools Foundation’s Major Gifts Officer.  In this role, she focuses on building and maintaining relationships with major donors to secure philanthropic funds for 36 schools in low-income communities across California. Her career in education includes time as a teacher, dean of students, assistant principal, principal, and senior managing director for new teacher preparation.  In her most recent role as a principal, she led her charter school to 23% growth in English language arts, 9% growth in math, 55% growth in grade-level literacy, and 98% percent average daily attendance by prioritizing data-driven decision and equity-based grading.  Her school was a featured school in the book Grading for Equity.

Jesicah holds a MBA from UCLA, an master's in education leadership from Brandman University, a master's in teaching from Chapman University, and a bachelor's in communication from the University of Utah. 

Jesicah lives in Costa Mesa with her husband and two sons.  When not working with donors, Jesicah enjoys getting off the beaten path.  She has traveled to 27 different countries and is always ready to dust off her passport. 

As a board member with ISSAC, Jesicah brings a deep understanding of equity in education and experience leading and teaching in charter schools.