Cristo Rey San Diego High School

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Board of Directors


Kevin Calkins

Kevin is the Principal of Cathedral Catholic High School and adjunct lecturer at the University of San Diego. Kevin has spent his entire professional career in Catholic education, including teaching at Verbum Dei High School in LA. Kevin earned a Ph.D. in educational leadership from The Catholic University of America, a master’s degree in education from Fordham University, and bachelor’s degree from Boston College.  


Diana Day

Diana is Vice President and General Counsel for San Diego Gas &Electric (SDG&E), a subsidiary of Sempra Energy. Diana has held various positions with the Sempra companies since 1997, including Vice President of Enterprise Risk Management and Compliance for SDG&E and Southern California Gas Company, General Counsel of Sempra Energy Global Enterprises and Vice President and Associate General Counsel of Sempra Energy. Prior to joining Sempra Energy, she was with the San Diego office of Latham Watkins, where she served on that firm’s EEO Committee. Diana is currently a Trustee and Treasurer of the Science Fleet Board of Trustees, and previously served service as a director of the San Diego Volunteer Lawyer Program and San Diego Imperial County Girl Scouts.


Dean Dwyer, Board Chair

Dean currently serves as a Director and is the President/CEO of the David C. Copley Foundation.  In addition, he is a member of the Board of Trustees for the Catholic Community Foundation of San Diego. He was formerly a Director and the President of The Copley Press, Inc., where he served in various finance and other capacities since 1985. Prior to his time at Copley, he worked as a CPA in public accounting with what is now Ernst & Young. Dean previously served as a member of the Finance Council for the Diocese of San Diego. Dean is active in the local Cursillo movement and served on the Board of Directors for All for God. He is a former Board Chair for the Copley-Price Family YMCA.


Damian Esparza

Damian has a diverse background with extensive experience in finance, real estate, technology, and non-profit organizations. He is the Founder of SmartProperty, a capital reserve planning software startup. Over the past 16 years he has worked in the real estate industry, and served as CEO of Barrera & Co., a capital reserve planning firm. Damian was previously the Director for Stewardship and Development for the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego, where helped establish the Catholic Community Foundation of San Diego, the Bishop Flores Scholars Tuition Assistance Program, and numerous community partnerships. He currently serves on the board of the Boy Scouts of America Imperial and San Diego Counties, A Faith That Does Justice, and the Latino Leadership & Policy Forum.  He graduated from Boston College with a degree in Philosophy. 


Conor Heaton

Conor is the Director of School Growth at the Cristo Rey Network. Prior to Cristo Rey, Conor practiced as a trial attorney in Chicago, where he was active in the Chicago Bar Association, Illinois State Bar Association, and Illinois Trial Lawyers Association, and was recognized as a ”40 Under Forty” by the Law Bulletin Publishing Company as one of Illinois’s up-and-coming attorneys in 2015, and received the St. Robert Bellarmine Award in 2016 from Loyola University Chicago School of Law. A trial lawyer and longtime Chicagoland resident, Conor has been involved with Cristo Rey in myriad ways, including consulting work at Cristo Rey St. Martin College Prep.


Jessica Hooper

Jessica serves as the Assistant Head of School at Academy of Our Lady of Peace. A committed, Catholic educator, Jessica seeks to empower students to discover all of which they are capable of achieving. Jessica has served in Catholic education in the Diocese of San Diego, educating students in grades five through twelve, for more than 15 years. She holds a Bachelor's degree from the University of San Diego and a Master degree in Educational Administration.


Bob Nascenzi, President of CRSD

Bob is a San Diego business leader, an education advocate, and a devoted Catholic. He holds a BA from Boston College and an MBA from The Wharton School. Bob has led companies both large and small, including Claritas, National Decision Systems, Extrabux, nliven systems, and SupraMed. Bob is co-founder of Tech SD, and has an extensive network of business connections. Bob served on the San Dieguito Union School District Prop AA Oversight Committee for two terms and was a member of the Canyon Crest Academy Foundation for four years, serving as President for two. Bob also co-founded the DoGoodClub Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to raising money to help the homeless.


Father Bill Rowland, CJM

Father Bill has spent his career in Catholic education. He served as teacher and principal at Cardinal Dougherty High School in Buffalo, and taught at Mater Dei High School in San Diego. He has been pastor of Blessed Sacrament Parish in San Diego, where he also served the Newman Club at SDSU. He was appointed pastor at St. Patrick in 2004, Regional Councilor for the CJM in 2011, and Regional Bursar in 2012. He was appointed US Region Superior in 2017.


Martha Wyrsch

Martha has recently retired from Sempra, where she was Executive Vice President & General Counsel. Previously, she served as president of Vestas American Wind Systems in Portland. Martha served nearly ten years at Duke Energy and its spin-off, Spectra Energy Corp., where she was president and CEO of Spectra Energy Transmission. Prior to joining Duke Energy, Ms. Wyrsch worked at KN Energy, Inc. in a variety of senior roles; served as an attorney with Davis, Graham & Stubbs in Denver; and was a legislative assistant to former U.S. Sen. Alan Simpson. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Wyoming, a law degree from George Washington University, and has completed Harvard Business School’s Advanced Management Program. Martha also serves on the Board of Directors for the Cristo Rey Network.


John Yacovelle

John is an equity partner and a member of the Business Trial Practice Group of Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton. He helped to establish Sheppard Mullin’s Del Mar office in 2001, which has grown to 85 lawyers today. During the course of his career, John has tried and/or arbitrated dozens of cases. In addition, he held multiple management positions with the firm, including Co-Practice Group Leader for the Business Trial Practice Group worldwide from 2011 to 2017. He also served for 12 years on the  Firm's Compensation Committee, serving the last four as chairman. John previously served as a director of the Downtown San Diego YMCA, and was instrumental in securing Sheppard Mullin’s participation in both the Verbum Dei (Cristo Rey LA) and Cristo Rey San Diego Corporate Work Study Programs.


Mark Zangrando

Mark is the Senior Director of Mission at Scripps Mercy Hospital and has served in that role at hospitals in the Providence Health System.  Prior to moving to health care, Mark served at Loyola Marymount University in several roles, including Dean of Students. He is a former Catholic high school teacher and campus minister, and has a passion for the mission of Cristo Rey schools. He also serves on the Advisory Board of the Whole Person Care Initiative, a statewide ministry sponsored by the California Catholic Conference. Mark holds a Master of Divinity from the Jesuit School of Theology at Santa Clara University. 


Father Edmundo Zarate

Father Edmundo serves as the pastor of St Jude Shrine of the West and St Anthony of Padua. He is also the Vicar Forane of the Cathedral Deanery. Prior, he served at Our Lady of Sacred Heart, Our Lady of Guadalupe in Calexico, and The Church of the Resurrection. Father Edmundo studied Accounting and Finance Administration and worked as a clerk, payroll manager and accountant before entering the seminary. He earned his Baccalaureate in Divinity at the Pontifical University of Ireland at St Patrick’s College, Maynooth.