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Governing Board
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GOVERNING BOARD 

 
Ms. Linda Lopez - Board Chair
Ms. Lopez is a former Arizona State Legislator and was a Director at the Easter Seals Blake Foundation prior to her retirement in 2016. As a State Representative and then a State Senator, Ms. Lopez served her district and Arizona from 2001-2014. Ms. Lopezz holds a Bachelor of Arts: Women's Studies and Psychology from the University of Arizona and also attended the University of California, Berkeley. Passionate about health, education, and women's issues at the legislature and in throughout her professional career, Ms. Lopez has also fostered 44 children. She has received numerous awards and recognitions and has sat on many boards at the local and national level. She is currently a board member of the Foundation for Blended and Online Learning; the Center for Applied Behavioral Health Policy (ASU) Advisory Board; the U of A Mel & Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health Advisory Committee; and the Governing Board of Arizona Virtual Academy.
 
Dr. Abdullah Yilmaz - Board Member
Dr. Yilmaz has been a member of the Daisy Education Corporation Board and School Governing Boards since their inception in 2000. He is one of the co-founders of Daisy Education Corporation and was one of the original charter signers for Sonoran Science Academy. Mr. Yilmaz is currently employed by Texas Instrument Corporation in Tucson, AZ as a Design Engineer. He graduated from Texas Tech University with a Ph. D. in Electrical Engineering and also has a Masters in Science. Mr. Yilmaz holds several US Patents and has published many articles regarding electrical engineering. He is also a current member of MGTS, a group technical staff of Texas Instrument Corporation. 
 

Mrs. Becky Kirkpatrick - Board Member
Mrs. Kirkpatrick is a Kansas native who has lived in Tucson for the past 25 years. She is married with one child who attends Sonoran Science Academy-Tucson. An active parent, Becky donates time to the school where she is President of the PTO. Her background in working with children makes her a valuable school volunteer. She is proud to serve on the SSA School Board because of the opportunity it offers her to directly contribute to the success of the school.

Elizabeth Parsons, Esq.
 - Board Member
Ms. Parsons is an attorney licensed in Washington DC, New York and Arizona. She has over twenty years of business and corporate law experience within a range of organizations, including a leading international law firm, a national legal recruiting firm, and a Tucson-based law firm. Her clients benefit from her experience in business management as well as across multiple areas of law, including finance, corporate governance, contracts, licensing, employment law, technology-based projects, environmental law and real estate.

Ms. Parson’s clients span numerous industries and have included lenders, investors, international project operators, equipment suppliers and small business owners. She has particular expertise structuring and managing financing arrangements as well as advising lenders and borrowers in workouts of distressed debt. She earned her Juris Doctor at Georgetown University Law Center, magna cum laude, and her Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Political Science at James Madison University, summa cum laude.

Ms. Lesly Baca Ruiz - Board Member
Ms. Ruiz is a Sonoran Science Academy-Tucson alumna, who transferred to the school in 2006 from a public high school where academics was not always a priority. Becoming an SSA Eagle was the best choice her parents made for her; at SSA she discovered she had a unique opportunity to really expand her knowledge and do something with her life. She feels she was also fortunate to have the best guidance from passionate teachers who believed in her, as well as the support of her family and her new classmates. She graduated in 2008 and was accepted to the University of Arizona where she studied Political Science, with an emphasis in International Relations.  Throughout the years she continued to be involved in the SSA-Tucson community where her youngest sibling, who has been a student since kindergarten, is now a sophomore. She has previously served the school as an Alumni Coordinator communicating with other alumni, planning alumni events, and sharing her experiences with soon to be college freshmen. Ms. Ruiz currently works for the United States Social Security Administration. She is also an active member of the Daisy Corporate Board. Ms. Ruiz understands the importance of education and is delighted to take on the responsibility of school governance to assure students are provided the best opportunities to achieve success.

Email the Board

Crissie Rowley - Secretary to the Board (crowley@sonoranschools.org)  

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Sonoran Science Academy East K-8 | 7450 East Stella Road, Tucson, AZ 85730 | Ph: (520) 751-2401 | Fax: (520) 751-2451 | Email: ssa-east@sonoranschools.org

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Sonoran Schools
1489 W. Elliot Road, Suite # D103
Gilbert, AZ 85233

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