Our Mission & Vision

For more than 25 years, The Accelerated Schools (TAS) have embraced a commitment to academic excellence and achievement guided by the belief that all students can excel when nurtured in a school environment that combines high expectations for students, and active involvement from parents and the community.

TAS prepares students with the foundational knowledge, tools and skills needed to be productive, engaged citizens and lifelong learners. Our goal is to instill from an early age the important academic and character strengths that will help them succeed in college, career and life.

We believe TAS enriches the lives of students and their families through a mix of academic, cultural, and community-focused programming and has been instrumental in transforming the South Los Angeles community.

students doing science experiment

Mission Statement

The Accelerated Schools will graduate students who are prepared to succeed at the university and career of their choice who will enter the workplace as informed and productive employees, entrepreneurs, community leaders, and will act as responsible citizens.

Our History

1993

Co-founders Johnathan Williams and Kevin Sved embark on journey to create TAS

1994

TAS opens in a rented space with 50 students in grades K-5, making it the first charter school in South Los Angeles

1997

TAS moves to larger, 3.9 acre facility donated by Carole Little & Leonard Rabinowitz

2001

TIME Magazine names TAS the Elementary School of the Year, calling it one of the nation’s “most accomplished K-12 institutions”

2003

With a generous lead gift from the Annenberg Foundation, the Wallis Annenberg High School (WAHS) opens its door to serve grades 9-12

2004

ACES, a dual language immersion program for grades K-6, is established

2013

WAHS earns Gold Medal Award, and ranks in the top 500 high schools in the country by U.S. News & World Report

2016

U.S. News & World Report names WAHS a Top High School in the U.S.

2019

Grace Lee-Chang appointed CEO

2021

Wallis Annenberg High School receives 6 Year WASC Accreditation

CEO’s Message

Dear TAS community,

During these extraordinary times, I’m honored and humbled to lead a community of exceptional faculty and staff who care deeply for the South LA community and always go above and beyond the call of duty. They are both the heart and backbone of The Accelerated Schools.

Since our founding, The Accelerated Schools have embraced a commitment to academic excellence and a guiding belief that all students can excel in a school environment that sets high expectations coupled with high support. We promise to “accelerate” learning beyond a typical trajectory and instill from an early age the important academic and character strengths that will help students succeed in college, career, and life.

Above all, we believe that as educators, we each have the power to make a positive impact on the lives of our students, families, and our community at large. It is up to us to use this influence to remove barriers, encourage students to aim high, and cultivate habits of success that will prepare them to pursue their passion in the global 21st century economy. Now more than ever, as we face unpredictable changes in our global community, we must ensure our students have all the tools they need to succeed.

I am proud to continue working alongside our entire school community to achieve what we collectively want for students – success beyond their years here at TAS.

Warmly,
Grace Lee-Chang

Our Leadership Team

Grace Lee-Chang

Chief Executive Officer

Francis Reading

Francis Reading

Director of Elementary Education

Kimberly Sheehan

Director of Operations

Robert Canosa-Carr

Robert Canosa-Carr

Director of Secondary Education

Lenita Lugo

Lenita Lugo

Director of Curriculum & Instruction, Instruction and Assessment

Robert French

Director of Human Resources

Karin Figueroa

Karin Figueroa

Principal, ACES (TK-6)

Kim Clerx

Principal, TAS (TK-8)

Burgandie Montoya, Ed.D

Director, College & Career Readiness & WAHS Principal

Vincent Shih

Vincent Shih

Chief Financial Officer

Tom Nizetich

Tom Nizetich

Director of Facilities

Cong Liu

Cong Liu

Technology Manager

Our Board of Trustees

Leonard Rabinowitz
Hilton & Hyland
Board President

Peter B. Morrison
Skadden, Arps, Slate,
Meagher & Flom LLP
Board Vice President

Lawrence Picus, Ph.D.
Rossier School of Education, USC
Trustee

John W. Ward
Wells Fargo & Company
Trustee

Binti P. Yost
KPMG LLP
Trustee

Elisabeth Weiss, Ph.D.
Viterbi School of Engineering, USC
Trustee

Scott Yetter
Pastor, Free EV LA Church
Trustee

Presidents Emeritus

Scott Bottles
Wells Fargo & Company
President

Eric C. Johnson
Victex Inc. / Crail Johnson Foundation
President

Juli P. Quinn, Ph.D.
FREEducation, LLC
President

Simeon P. Slovacek, Ph.D.
California State University, Los Angeles
Vice President

To view board meeting dates, click here. To view board meeting materials, click here.