Our Governing Board
Dawn Evenson currently serves as the Executive Director of Education for iLEAD Schools Development. Mrs. Evenson has over 29 years experience in education and has substantial experience and expertise in K-8 curriculum, instruction, assessment, school leadership and governance. She has been a teacher and school administrator in both primary and secondary schools. Dawn has held several positions in the Association of California School Administrators, including serving as the Region XV president. She was awarded the 2006 Middle School Principal of the Year Award by ACSA Region XV.
Dawn is a founding administrative member of the SCVi team. She is passionate about creating educational options for families that are innovative, engaging, and supportive. Her mission is to provide equal opportunity by creating relevant, high-quality educational experiences for all learners.
Dawn grew up in Sandpoint, Idaho, a small, artsy town in the Pacific Northwest. She completed her undergraduate degree at Whitworth University in Spokane, Washington. Armed with a strong desire to teach and wanting to experience more diversity, she packed up her belongings, set out to change the world and moved to southern California! She currently resides in Lancaster, California, with her scientific husband (also an educator) and three talented daughters. She has learned a lot through her experience as a mother and as an educator riding the many bumps along the road of education. Dawn believes in living a positive life that uplifts others. She loves a good challenge and is a cancer survivor. She is also experienced in the challenges of charter school start-up, setting culture, development, governance, and sustainability, and she has led the schools to achieve their strong record of growth and achievement.
Wendy Ruiz has been a trusted advisor to iLEAD founder Amber Raskin since the school’s inception and officially joined the SCVi team in 2009, when her son was in second grade. She quickly immersed herself in the school’s culture, spearheading the spirit wear program and leading the junior Lego team for SCVi K-4 learners (a post she continues to hold today!). Since joining the Board of Directors, Wendy has served both as secretary and parent representative and has played a crucial role in supporting iLEAD Schools’ professional development, STAR Search, parent support, and WASC accreditation efforts. She has also played an integral role in building the Little iLEADers Preschool.
Wendy currently serves as a full-time faculty member in the early childhood education department at College of the Canyons, where she was the infant/toddler director for 11 years.
John Vescovo has served the SCVi Governing Board as Treasurer since 2013. His 33-year professional career has included various positions in banking, public accounting, private bank consulting, and bank regulatory management. John has held the positions of Field Team Leader for the U.S. Treasury – OCC, director of internal audit for a large California regional bank, manager of bank consulting at one regional CPA firm and senior audit manager for another, president/CEO of his own consulting business and west coast assistant regional office director for a nationwide consulting firm. John has been employed since 2011 at Bank of Santa Clarita, a local community bank which primarily services the Santa Clarita Valley, where he was recently promoted to executive vice president and chief risk officer.
John holds a bachelor’s of science degree in business administration and accounting from California State University, Northridge. He is a certified internal auditor through the Institute of Internal Auditors, and a former commissioned national bank examiner with the U.S. Treasury Department. John has authored several articles for banking periodicals and newsletters and has conducted officer and director level training at various west coast banking conferences and institutions.
John has attended hundreds of banking and accounting seminars, webinars, classes, online courses and workshops over the course of his career and is active in Toastmasters, where he achieved the designations of Distinguished Toastmaster (DTM) and former District Lieutenant Governor. He remains an active member in the Southern California Compliance Officer Roundtable and in the local chapters of various banking, auditing and risk management associations.
John has been happily married for more than 20 years and has three children and three grandchildren. He lives with his family in Newhall.
Dr. Patrick Hill
Since 2003, Dr. Patrick Hill has served as vice president of student services and chief financial officer for Learn4Life Concept Schools, a network of 18 charter schools serving 15,000 learners at 70 locations throughout central and southern California. He has been an educator for nearly 30 years at district schools throughout California and Washington, and was a special educator for learners with severe disabilities for 10 years. Patrick’s areas of expertise include special education, English language learners, student behavior, autism, and counseling.
Patrick received his bachelor’s degree in business administration from Gonzaga University, his master’s of education with a concentration in special education from the University of Washington, and a doctorate in education administration and leadership from La Sierra University in Riverside, California. He also holds a special education teaching credential and single subject business education credential.
Patrick lives with his wife of 19 years and his two daughters in Canyon Country, California. His hobbies include running, spending time with his family, yard work, comedy, hiking, and researching bullying and autism education.
Mark Chandler is the vice president of business development for Credit Union Leasing of America. Before joining the CULA Team, he was an executive coach and consultant in finance technology since 2010. Prior to that, he spent nearly 20 years at Autoland while it was the nation’s largest credit union car buying service with his final post as president. Since 1986, Mark has been involved in more than a dozen business start-ups. He brings with him strong business savvy that include fiscal efficiencies.
Elizabeth DeFrancis is the mother of two brilliant iLEAD children. She is a former preschool teacher of 13 years with Palmdale School District’s ECE program. Interestingly enough, Mrs. Evenson was actually her second grade teacher at Ocotillo Elementary School. After running into her former second grade teacher, she is now a facilitator at iLEAD Antelope Valley, where she works alongside Mrs. Bowes learning as much as she possibly can. Elizabeth spends her Thursday evenings teaching teens at her church. She also serves her community every Saturday for Breath of the Spirit Ministry. She enjoys spending her free time taking her children out and making educational games for her classroom. She is honored to be part of the iLEAD team!