Dr. Niti Madan, President
Ms. Madan received her BE in Electrical Engineering from Delhi College of Engineering in India and a MS and PhD in Computer Science from University of Utah. She is also a recipient of NSF/CRA computing innovation post-doctoral fellowship for her research work at IBM T.J. Watson. She has held technical leadership position in hardware engineering at Oracle and is presently employed with AMD research to work on next generation supercomputing. She is deeply passionate about K-12 education and wants to see each child achieve their potential regardless of their preferred learning style. She has volunteered at Oracle Education Foundation while at Oracle and mentored Design Tech high school students in design thinking based hardware design challenges. She loves to teach coding to elementary age students in her free time. She brings to Spark her passion for education, excellent interpersonal skills and critical thinking, analysis, and strategy skills to help Spark achieve its mission.
Laura Stuchinsky, Vice President
Ms. Stuchinsky earned a BA from Beacon College in community development and a MA in communication from Stanford University (documentary filmmaking). She currently serves as the sustainable transportation manager for the City of San Jose’s Department of Transportation. Prior to her current position, she served as the transportation and land use director for the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, a public policy trade group, for eight years and as a communications officer for the Association of Bay Area Governments for two years. She has extensive experience in public policy and program management, and prior work experience as a newspaper reporter, documentary production freelancer, field aide to an Oregon Congressman, and a teacher’s aide in an environmental education program affiliated with the Boston public school system.
Mayuri Vasireddi, Treasurer
Ms. Vasireddi earned Master of of Science in Electrical Engineering from Rutgers University-New Brunswick. She works at Intel Corporation as a Technical Lead for IP/SoC Integration teams for Data Center and Supercomputing Servers. She is a founding parent of Spark Charter School and has two children who have been at Spark since its inception. She believes that the best way to have children embrace curiosity and learning is by making it fun. Her children started in a play-based preschool and she chose to continue their elementary education in a project based learning environment to nurture their growth. She has been actively volunteering in her childrens' classrooms for the past 5 years
Shannon Heidemann, Secretary
Mrs. Heidemann earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from California State University-Sacramento, a Master’s degree in Teaching with a specialization in Autism at National University, and in June 2010 she completed her coursework for the Board-Certified Behavior Analyst program. She currently serves as the Manager of Behavioral Services for Autism Living, Leisure and Education Nurturing Inc. (A.L.L.E.N), a Certified Non-Public Agency (NPA) in San Jose. She previously worked as a Behavior Consultant for several NPAs in the Sacramento area before opening her own Behavior/Education Consulting firm. Mrs. Heidemann also was an active member of a Sacramento area charter school her older child attended when her family lived in that area.
Karen Gumaer, Member at large
Ms. Gumaer is a licensed California attorney and holds a Multiple Subject California Teaching Credential from SJSU. Her three children attended Moreland Discovery School, a parent participation school. She was also a founder, Board member, parent and teacher at Discovery Charter School for many years. She has experience as a parent of a child with special needs and is currently teaching at Athena Academy, a school for children with dyslexia.
Spark Charter School was born out of the common vision and tireless work of about 30 Sunnyvale families. Our founders' pool is extremely diverse, comprised of families from all over the world and from a wide range of socio-economic backgrounds. What we all share in common is the desire to provide a rich, enjoyable academic experience for our children. In addition to deep, exploratory, hands-on learning, we value community, social-emotional growth, physical well-being, and cultural awareness in the hopes of fostering successful, happy, socially responsible young adults.