Our 2016-17 LFCSA Board Members

Our 2016-17 LFCSA Board Members

Board meetings are open to the school community and we encourage your participation. Board meeting materials can be accessed here. Copies of all Board meeting documents are kept in a binder at LFCSA.  Contact Michelle Jones at michelle@losfelizarts.org to make an appointment to review any documents.

Mary Ann Gallo, President

Amarpal Khanna, Treasurer

Miguel Luna, Member

Qiana Patterson, Member

Nika Serras, Vice President

Tiffany Siart, Secretary

Sadie Whittaker, Member



Mary Ann Gallo grew up in the Los Angeles area.  After graduating from Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania with a degree in English Literature, Mary Ann returned to L.A. and worked in live action, visual effects and animated production.

After the birth of her first child, she shifted focus to her children’s education, serving on the board of their co-op preschool and becoming involved with the founding of Los Feliz Charter School for the Arts.  As a volunteer, she has served in numerous capacities throughout the organization including community engagement and Capital Campaign fundraising.  She has been a member of the PTA Executive Board, the School Site Council, and for the past four years, the LFCSA Board of Directors.

In 2014 Mary Ann completed a yearlong course in non-profit management through UCLA Extension.  She then began working at Against the Stream Buddhist Meditation Society, where serves as volunteer coordinator in addition to coordinating and managing silent retreats.



Amarpal M. Khanna, is an arts advocate with over fifteen years’ experience as an Arts Education administrator, visual/media arts educator and a professional artist. Khanna was born in Puerto Rico, and raised by immigrant parents in New York, Florida, and Texas before settling in Southern California. The eldest of four siblings, his Jamaican mother and East Indian father instilled in him the importance of education. As a first generation American, his strong commitment to embodying those lessons led him to creating change opportunities. Being deeply impacted by the 1992 Los Angeles civic unrest, and struck profoundly by the lack of arts education resources in the South Los Angeles community, Mr. Khanna started working with urban youth and school communities to effect change through the arts.

Mr. Khanna is one of the founding instructors and administrators of ICEF Public Schools, a Los Angeles based charter management organization with 12 campuses serving over 4,200 students in the South Los Angeles region. In his role as Director of Visual and Performing Arts, Mr. Khanna created and developed an innovative arts department delivering high quality, college prep arts curriculum aligned to state and national standards. During his tenure ICEF Public Schools was the first charter organization group to partner with the Los Angeles County Arts Commission’s Arts for All program in the 10 year history of the County program.

With a strong focus on arts education in urban communities and youth development, Mr. Khanna has produced many successful programs, designed curriculum, and supervised workshops. He has also taught and maintained courses in many diverse education communities comprising of grades K-20, non-profits, and arts organizations throughout the Los Angeles region, nationally and internationally. These include Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Dr. Paul Cummins’ New Visions Foundation/Camp Community Partners working with incarcerated youth, AnimAction, Inc. in Los Angeles and New York, and medical outreach group Integrative Clinics International working with orphaned youth in Jamaica

As an arts advocate, Mr. Khanna was involved with the state level CREATE CA initiative, including being a Arts Education Taskforce member and contributing to the Blueprint for Creative Schools report. He has presented at Otis College of Art and Design and at the Center for California Studies 20th annual “Envisioning California” conference. Mr. Khanna currently serves on the board of the Los Feliz Charter School for the Arts located in Los Angeles, CA. Mr. Khanna holds a BFA in Illustration from Otis College of Art and Design, an MA in Education Studies from Loyola Marymount University and is currently a doctoral candidate at Loyola Marymount University’s Education Leadership for Social Justice graduate program.



Miguel Luna is the founder and Executive Director of Urban Semillas and a Principal at GML. Miguel specializes in cultivating relationships with and between community-based organizations, businesses, elected officials and their representatives, environmental organizations, academia, governmental agencies and individual stakeholders.  He guest lectures at Universities throughout the state presenting on topics like: “Understanding Diversity within Diversity”, “Cultivating Community Relationships vs. Marketing”, “Sight, Site, Cite: Having a vision, Choosing a project location, Developing a plan” and “Community Reconnaissance: Outreach.” Miguel is passionate about educating our youth and providing them with the tools necessary for them to engage and participate in water dialogues, social justice and environmental equity issues.  He is a native of Colombia, an avid reader and longtime advocate of community playing an active role in city, state and nationwide policies. He has been an urban resident of Los Angeles for 25+ years.



Nika Serras has been a parent at LFCSA since 2009 and, with 2 children attending, will be so until 2020.  She has served on Site Council as Secretary for the past 2 years, and has just begun another term.  Her husband Den has been the Tech Chair for 3 years, managing all aspects of the school’s technology.

Nika holds an MFA in theatre from California Institute of the Arts where she instructed undergraduate students in critical thinking, creative process, and how to form their own aesthetic both as artists & citizens.  She has taught workshops for students across the country, led after-school academic programs, and directed children’s theatre productions in area elementary schools.  Prior to grad school, she spent 5 years as a lead actor in a touring repertory Shakespeare company in the Bay Area, Festival Theatre Ensemble.  She also did various regional, state, and national tours for companies such as the San Francisco Shakespeare Festival.

She is a member of the Sag-AFTRA Guild.

Nika has also been an award-winning screenwriter, screenplay analyst, and script competition judge.  Currently she works at Applied Minds, an innovation design & tech company that blends art & science to create products for the education, architecture, entertainment, defense, agriculture, and tech industries.



Qiana Patterson is the interim CEO of New Global Citizens. In her role she focuses on the intersection of global education and 21st century learning. As a former teacher, middle school dean, and education technology company manager, she brings a unique perspective of working with students, teachers, and private industry innovators to nurture global citizens both inside and outside of the classroom.

Prior to joining New Global Citizens, Qiana was the Chief Operations Officer of Edlio, Inc., a Los Angeles based educational software platform provider. Qiana was also the VP of Operations and Senior Project Manager for Educational Networks.

Qiana holds an MBA from the University of Southern California, a multiple subject credential from the University of California, Los Angeles, and a BA in anthropology from the University of Washington.



Tiffany Siart came to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Los Angeles from Human Rights Watch (HRW) where, as Southern California Director, she managed a large network of volunteer committees to support HRW through educational outreach, fundraising and advocacy on human rights issues.

Prior to HRW, Tiffany spent over five years in private law practice at Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy, LLP, where she worked closely with corporations and their Boards on issues related to corporate governance and best practices. She also developed a robust pro bono practice focusing on the rights of children and immigrants, working with the ACLU of Southern California and Public Council. Prior to her law practice, Tiffany served as a press aide to Texas Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison and as a research assistant to former Mayor of Los Angeles, Richard Riordan.

Tiffany received her Bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of California at Berkeley, and her Law degree from the University of Michigan.



Sadie Whittaker, PhD has over 10 years of experience in the biotech industry, in clinical development for biologic medicines, and in advocacy and communication.

Sadie has a passion for public health and has initiated and successfully launched multiple public health communication campaigns, including a campaign with the Centers for Disease Control to prevent infection in cancer patients, and a program to prevent the spread of Ebola in West Africa during the crisis in 2014.  A firm believer in the power of collaboration to tackle public health issues, Sadie specializes in the development of public/private partnerships, academic and not-for-profit engagement across regions, developing and maintain productive working relationships with advocacy groups to meet public health goals.

In 2015, Sadie launched her own company, ScienceOne LLC a strategic consultancy focusing on external/medical affairs and the generation of engagement, communication, and advocacy strategies for members of the healthcare community.

While science has been the focus of her career, Sadie is passionate about the arts, and enjoys life drawing and watercolor painting.

She received her PhD in molecular biology at University of Birmingham, UK, and her BSc in Biochemistry from University of Leeds, UK.