Dr. Derbigny, Executive Director

The Leadership of Invictus is committed to providing our Imagineers with the kind of education that prepares them for life and the challenges of our increasingly automated world. Our innovative model will foster deep-thinking and equip your children with foundational skills for college success. 

Our Executive Director and Lead Founder is a fourth-generation resident of our targeted community and has more than 20 years of experience improving student outcomes in urban Californian communities. Dr. “D” is a former chemist turned educator that has served families as an Assistant Superintendent of Instruction, Director of School and Student Accountability, Site Administrator, and Math Teacher. She is extensively experienced in raising student achievement in classrooms, schools, and districts; increasing one school 50 points (API) in a single year. She is a master teacher, has successfully led teams, and launched many successful educational innovations (including English Learner reforms, district-wide discipline reforms, Restorative Justice, and TK-8 STEAM project-based learning.)

Why are we launching Invictus Leadership Academy?

Our vision is to provide Invictus Imagineers with clear access to college and livable wage jobs that ensure the financial stability of themselves and their families. At this critical time when an estimated 5 million jobs will be eliminated within the next five years through artificial intelligence and automation (Jobs Report, 2017), only those equipped with a skill set to solve novel problems and utilize technology will be able to successfully compete in our increasingly global job market. Therefore, Invictus Leadership Academy will provide an exceptional option to one of the most historically under-served communities in

 

rthrash@invictusla.com

adragon@invictusla.com

ederbigny@invictusla.com

rberumen@invictusla.com

Mr. Thrash, our board president, is an innovative and forward-thinking educator with nearly 20 years of experience working in urban schools in the Los Angeles area. He has taught in traditional public schools and has experience in educational leadership in multiple charter schools and providing academic counseling at urban charter schools. He is also a focused professional experienced in the start-up, expansion, governance, and operation of charter schools. Mr. Thrash has earned a Bachelor of Arts in Human Development (emphasis in English) from Azusa Pacific University, and a master’s degree in Education from Azusa Pacific University. Additionally, Mr. Thrash is currently completing a Doctorate in Educational Leadership at the University of Southern California

Mr. Dragon, our board vice-president,is a former Chief Deputy to a Los Angeles School Board President. Mr. Dragon is a current board member of Strive, an inner-city after-school academy serving the Watts community for the last 15 years, and a Fortune 100 corporate recruiter (20 years) directly or indirectly related to student academic and job-readiness skills of youth, operation and fiscal policy experience. Mr. Dragon also ran for LA School Board in 1999, worked for the then President of LA School Board, Genethia Hayes. Mr. Dragon is a native of New York, though Los Angeles has been his home for over twenty years. He is also a military veteran and went to college at the Sorbonne in Paris, France. 

Ms. Sison-Derbigny, our Board Secretary has more than 17 years of experience in healthcare management, operations, billing, staff development, and budget management. Eleanor is a Clinic Administrator for multiple health care sites and oversees and manages clinic operations and staffing to ensure quality patient care. She manages departmental budgets by monitoring productivity, revenue, and expenses. She is an innovative leader that collaboratively knows how to build teams that improve financial returns and customer satisfaction simultaneously. She also has a Lean Six Sigma certification, an educational background in Information Technology and Business Administration, a Master’s in Business Administration, and is pursuing a Doctoral Degree in Data Analytics. 

Ms. Berumen is a professional with seven years of experience working in fundraising/development field, three of those years were focused on the management of federally funded programs and grants for a healthcare organization. As a grant manager, she is responsible for managing post-award activities for various departments/programs’ grants, cooperative agreements, and contracts from external funding sources (e.g., federal agencies, state agencies, private companies, and foundations). Ms. Berumen has earned a bachelor’s degree in English from San Diego State University, and a master’s degree in Fine Arts from San Diego State University.

jruiz@invictusla.com

rharris@invictusla.com

Ms. Ruiz is a human resource administrator and has experience implementing company policies, programs, human resource practices, managing payroll, and administrating/ bcoordinating employee benefits.  She also assists with accounting duties; ISO  audits and conducts periodic I-9 audits to ensure compliance. Ms. Ruiz has a bachelor’s degree from National University in Business Administration, and a Master’s in Business Administration from National University. She is a self-starter, team-player, bilingual (Spanish/English), and mother of a high school student that successfully competed in an international STEM competition recently. 

Mrs.  Harris began her educational career in 1976 in the Lynwood School District. In 1989 she worked in private Education for 13 years. She served as principal for ten of those years and received a lifetime credential. 

Additionally, she served on WASC Accreditation teams for ten years.  In 2005 Mrs. Harris was sought by View Park Prep Accelerated Charter School. During her tenure at View Park, she led them to their highest API Score of 896 and was recognized by the Dept. of Education for academic excellence.  Her final principal position was in Las Vegas, Nevada in 2011-2017. Ms. Harris earned a bachelor’s degree in Health Education from San Diego State University and a master’s degree in Educational Administration from National University. 

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