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


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


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


TAS moves to larger, 3.9 acre donated facility


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


WAHS opens its door to serve grades 9-12


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


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


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


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


Grace Lee-Chang appointed CEO

CEO’s Message

Grace Lee-Chang

Dear TAS community,

As I enter my first year as CEO, I’m honored and humbled to lead a community of extraordinary teachers and staff. Their hard work and partnership are the backbone to our tradition of excellence at 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 when supported in a school environment that sets high expectations. Our 3 founding principles are: building on strengths, empowerment coupled with responsibility, and unity of purpose.

Our overarching goal is to instill from an early age the important academic and character strengths that will help our students succeed in college, career, and life. More than 90 percent of our seniors get accepted into college every year — a credit to our small class sizes, quality teachers, and high standards of academic excellence.

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 give them access to the skills and competencies that will prepare them to be competitive in the global 21st century economy.

I look forward to collaborating with our entire school community to achieve what we collectively want for students – success beyond their years here at TAS Schools.

Grace Lee-Chang

Our Leadership Team


Grace Lee-Chang

Chief Executive Officer

Francis Reading

Francis Reading

Director of Elementary Education

Robert Canosa-Carr

Robert Canosa-Carr

Director of Secondary Education

Lenita Lugo

Lenita Lugo

Director of Curriculum & Instruction, Instruction and Assessment

Robert French

Robert French

Director of Human Resources

Karin Figueroa

Karin Figueroa

Principal, ACES (TK-6)

Kim Clerx

Principal, TAS (TK-8)

Rosie Hoang

Rosie Hoang, Ed.D.

Principal, WAHS (9-12)

Randhir Bains

Randhir Bains, Ed.D.

Special Education Administrator

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

Elizabeth Galaviz
ACES Parent Representative

Lawrence Picus
Rossier School of Education, USC

John W. Ward
Wells Fargo & Company

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

Scott Yetter
Pastor, Free EV LA Church

Binti P. Yost

Presidents Emeritus

Scott Bottles
Wells Fargo & Company

Eric C. Johnson
Victex Inc. / Crail Johnson Foundation

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

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.