Dr. Teri DelaneTeri Lynch Delane, Ph.D.

Dr. Delane has been the Executive Director of the Life Learning Academy since its inception in 1998. As Principal and Executive Director of Life Learning Academy for the last 20 years, she has provided a community for hundreds of young people – primarily youth of color from low-income families, living in neighborhoods where violence and instability are commonplace – propelling them into a productive adulthood. Dr. Delane credits the Delancey Street Foundation with saving her life in the early 1970s, and teaching her how to create a healthy community. Dr. Delane has over 30 years of experience working with substance abusers and ex-convicts in jails, prisons, and community programs. In 1997 she started a highly successful in-custody substance abuse program, Choices, which is still in operation in the men and women’s jails in San Mateo, California. Dr. Delane has a Masters Degree in Public Administration from Golden Gate University, is a licensed psychologist, and holds a PhD. in Clinical Psychology from the Wright Institute in Berkeley, California.

Craig Miller, Chief Operating Officer, M.A.Ed.

Mr. Miller has been at LLA since the school opened in 1998. He served as the U.S. History teacher for seven years; 11 years as Vice Principal, and has been the Chief Operating Officer for the most recent two years. He was a member of the planning team that designed LLA. Prior to opening the school, Craig worked with Delancey Street for six years, during which he developed and evaluated juvenile and adult criminal justice system reforms. Craig served as the basketball coach, tutor and mentor at Balboa High School in San Francisco and site coordinator at the Bayview Safe Haven. He has a Teaching Credential in Social Studies and a Masters in Education from San Francisco State University with an emphasis on teaching disengaged adolescents, as well as an Administrative Services Credential.

Cassandra Blazer, Director of Policy and Evaluation, Dr.PH.

Dr. Blazer has 14 years of experience in program development, implementation, and evaluation in the education and health sectors. She has designed, implemented, and assessed multimillion-dollar programs in the United States and abroad, from South America to sub-Saharan Africa. Cassie taught health for LLA in 2008-2009, and has been part of the development team since August 2013. She earned a Doctorate of Public Health (DrPH) from UC Berkeley, a Masters of Public Health (MPH) from Boston University School of Public Health, and a BA Sociology & BA Critical Gender Studies from UC San Diego.

Jamal FieldsM. Jamal Fields, Ed.L.D., Chief Academic Officer

Dr. Fields has been an educator for over 20 years. He began his education career as a classroom teacher at Malcolm X Academy and later taught at Golden Gate Elementary School, both in SFUSD. He has held several administrative positions starting as an assistant principal at 21st Century K-8 Academy and Franklin Elementary Schools as well as serving as the principal for five different schools over the course of 12 years. He went on to become an Associate Superintendent, supporting site leadership teams at several charter schools in Oakland. He has also held roles outside of the school system helping to develop innovative new school models while working for NewSchools Venture Fund where he developed a strategy for investing $20 million focused on solving the Human Capital crisis in Oakland. His latest role shifted to serving at risk youth during the out of school time as the VP of Clubhouses and High School Programs at the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Peninsula.  Jamal holds a Multiple Subjects Teaching Credential, an Administrative Services Credential, a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from UC Santa Cruz, a Masters degree in Education from UC Berkeley and a Doctoral degree in Education Leadership from Harvard. He is thrilled to be a part of the LLA Family and is loving his role in teaching a journalism class, supporting the teaching team and otherwise working to help LLA provide the best possible education for our students.

Kelly Baker, Executive Assistant

Kelly Baker has been at Life Learning Academy since 2017. In her job as Executive Assistant she supports both the School and Development Program. Kelly attended the University of Oregon where she was a sociology major. Kelly is new to the Bay Area having moved recently from Arizona, where she worked for a practice of orthopedic surgeons.  She enjoys working in the school environment, especially LLA, where the unique education model supports the individual challenges their student population has.