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Board of Directors

The founding Board of Directors of the CHIME Institute was comprised of parents of CHIME students and California State University, Northridge (CSUN) faculty and community representatives. With the organization’s growth, the Board has been expanding and evolving to bring in specific expertise and skills, i.e., business management and finance. The Board currently has representation from the fields of education, business management, law, marketing, and community activism.


Michele Haney, Ph.D., Board Chair and President of the CHIME Institute

Michele Haney is co-founder of the CHIME Institute and was the first vice president of the Board as well as the first coordinator of the infant/toddler intervention component of the institute. She is the parent of two children with disabilities. Dr. Haney is a professor of early childhood special education (ECSE) at California State University, Northridge (CSUN) Michael D. Eisner College of Education. She has been a teacher and administrator of both general and special education programs in early childhood. Dr. Haney has coordinated student services for several U.S. Department of Education personnel preparation projects, including the Infant Development Specialist Training Program at California State University, Los Angeles and the Transdisciplinary Approach to Preparation of Infant/Toddler Specialists at CSUN. She has co-authored and co-directed four other U.S. Department of Education personnel preparation grants at CSUN including an ECSE Model Demonstration Project to provide identification, intervention, and program development services within the large Latino community of East San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles and Project CULTURE in ECSE, a program to support students working on their master’s degree in ECSE with an emphasis on understanding families from diverse cultural backgrounds. She has served on the Los Angeles County Regional Council, which is comprised of Special Education Local Plan Area (SELPA) representatives, parents, and other educational agencies in the county. Dr. Haney has co-authored two books: Preschool Inclusion and Promoting Learning through Active Interaction: A guide to early communication with young children who have multiple disabilities. She has co-authored several chapters in a widely used text for working with students with severe disabilities titled Community-Based Curriculum. All books are published by Paul H. Brookes. She has presented at many national and international conferences and written numerous articles in the field of ECSE.

She has a bachelor’s degree in English from Goddard College, a master’s degree in educational administration from Castleton State College, a specialist credential—learning handicapped from Mount St. Mary’s College, and a Ph.D. in special education from the joint doctoral program of California State University, Los Angeles and the University of California, Los Angeles.

Patrick Smith, Vice President

Patrick Smith joined the Board in 2000 and served as chair of the board from 2000 to 2006 and as president of the CHIME Institute from 2004 to 2006. His association with the CHIME Institute began in 1996 with the enrollment of his son Daniel in the CHIME preschool program. He and his wife Delia are founding parents of the CHIME charter schools, and four of their five children are either attending or are graduates of the schools.

Mr. Smith is a partner at Beltran, Beltran, Smith, Oppel & MacKenzie, LLP, and a practicing attorney for over 25 years. His practice areas are varied, but focus on public interest litigation, including civil rights law, education issues, and criminal defense at all levels. His primary focus involves the representation of families with members who have disabilities, involving educational and other service related issues, juvenile law, and adult and juvenile criminal defense. His practice has included and continues to include appellate representation before the United States Supreme Court and the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and all state appellate courts. His trial practice is national and includes work before the California Office of Administrative Hearings and state and federal court, including courts in CA, TN, CO, NE, TX and IL. He is a lecturer and author for attorney Continuing Education programs in California on civil rights and education. Previously, he was an associate at the law firm of Klass, Helman & Ross specializing in civil rights, business litigation and transactions, and criminal defense. He has also served as law clerk to the Honorable Robert M. Takasugi, Judge of the United States District Court for the Central District of California, and as an attorney in the Los Angeles County Public Defender Office and in the United States Department of Justice Honors Program.

His community service includes having served as vice president of the board of directors of the Dubnoff Center, a nonpublic school, and as a member of the board of trustees for the Williams Syndrome Foundation. He teaches religious education at his local church.

Mr. Smith has a bachelor’s degree in English from Northern Arizona University and a Juris Doctor, cum laude, from Southwestern University School of Law.


Joshua Mark, Interim CFO

Joshua Mark joined the Board in 2007. He and his family have been active members of the CHIME community since his daughters entered kindergarten. Heidi, his wife, is a weekly volunteer in the girls’ classrooms, serves on the Parent Association Board (membership coordinator), and is CHIME’s volunteer librarian. Mr. Mark is also on the Parent Association Board focusing on increasing the school’s revenue through various fundraising programs. For example, under his coordination, participation in the eScrip/Grocery Loyalty Program increased from 75 to over 400 participants with funds to the school from this program growing from $400 a year to $10,000. Other Mark Family members who are active in the CHIME community are his mother, a former preschool teacher, who volunteers weekly in the art teacher’s room and his father, former LAUSD assistant superintendent for special education, who has volunteered services in a variety of capacities for both the school and the institute.

Mr. Mark is the executive director, Special Event Production, Creative Services, and the director of sustainability for FOX Broadcasting Company. His responsibilities include handling the technical production and logistics for FOX’s corporate meetings, sports hospitality programs, premier parties and special events. Prior to working at FOX, he worked for several other television production companies as an associate producer, production coordinator, and other positions on such television shows as Saved By the Bell, City Guys, California Dreams, and Grace Under Fire.

He received a B.F.A. degree in design, production, and stage management from North Carolina School of the Arts and an M.F.A. in producing from the American Film Institute.

Marc Polansky, Secretary

Marc Polansky joined the Board in 2012. Since 2007 he has been general counsel and senior vice president of Business Development for Veros Real Estate Solutions, LLC, a predictive technology and software development firm. Prior to that, he was a senior partner and trial attorney in the top 100 law firm of Cozen O’Connor.

Mr. Polansky has a bachelor’s degree in economics and political science from the University of Maryland and a J.D. from Chicago-Kent College of Law, Illinois Institute of Technology.

David Kretschmer, Ph.D., Director

David Kretschmer joined the Board in 2001. Dr. Kretschmer is a professor and former chair of the Department of Elementary Education at California State University, Northridge (CSUN). He joined the faculty at CSUN in 1987 as a lecturer after teaching science for several years at the high school and middle school levels and serving as a math and science specialist at the elementary level. Dr. Kretschmer coordinates the Accelerated Collaborative Teacher (ACT) Preparation Program for multiple subject candidates at CSUN. His research interests include teacher’s science pedagogical content knowledge, student’s alternative conceptions and conceptual change in the sciences, and teacher education.

He has a bachelor’s degree in biology/science education from Oregon State University, a M.Ed. in curriculum and the study of schooling from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), and a Ph.D. in education, also from UCLA.

Todd Hacker, Director

Todd Hacker joined the Board in 2013. Todd currently serves as the director of development for the Rescue Mission Alliance. He is a graduate of the Kings Seminary and has 24 years of communications and nonprofit executive leadership experience as an international radio broadcaster, conference speaker, church planter, and finance and development officer. He has created successful fundraising and marketing campaigns for multimillion dollar organizations with multiple outreach programs.

Todd and his wife Lanette currently reside in Canoga Park and have a 7 year old son and a 4 year old daughter. They were first introduced to CHIME through the infant/toddler program and the preschool/kindergarten program where their son attended.

Tony Battaglia, Director


Traci Myman, Director

Traci Myman joined the Board in 2012. Ms. Myman is currently vice president of business affairs at the ABC Entertainment Group. In this capacity, she is responsible for structuring and negotiating the deals to develop and license prime-time programming on the ABC Broadcast Network. Prior to working at ABC Entertainment, Ms. Myman was an associate at the law firms of Youngerman & McNutt, LLP and Gabriel & Herman, LLP where she was primarily engaged in business litigation matters.

Before practicing law, Ms. Myman applied her passion and advocacy skills towards helping others. At the 2000 Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles, Ms. Myman served as a community relations & outreach associate for LA Convention 2000. Prior to this she also worked as a community outreach coordinator for Big Sisters of Los Angeles. Working in these capacities taught Ms. Myman the importance of working cooperatively and building positive relationships in the community.

Ms. Myman received a B.A. in English and a B.F.A. in television and broadcast journalism from Chapman University and a J.D. from Loyola Law School.




Board of Directors Meeting Agenda/Minutes
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Imagine a world where all children are equally valued, a world where all children are seen as a gift.
CHIME Early Childhood
Infant/Toddler Program
Tel: 818-677-2922
CHIME Preschool
Inclusion Program
Tel: 818-677-2922
CHIME Institute's Schwarzenegger
Community School
Tel: 818-346-5100