Unique School Culture

Students experience a unique school culture that enables them to flourish as artists and scholars in a creative and nurturing environment.

Quality Arts & Academic Programs

CSArts-SGV is modeled after the award-winning arts and academic programs of Orange County School of the Arts (OCSA), one of the premier arts schools in the country.

Unparalleled Value

CSArts-SGV offers an unparalleled value to its talented students through a unique public / private partnership. The school’s rigorous academic program combined with 10+ hours of weekly intensive arts instruction is tuition-free and donation dependent.

California School of the Arts – San Gabriel Valley is a public charter school that provides a creative, challenging, and nurturing environment that offers bright and talented students a rigorous college-preparatory academic program and pre-professional arts conservatory training.

CSArts-SGV is modeled after the award-winning arts and academic programs of Orange County School of the Arts, one of the premier art schools in the country. Students commute via carpool, bus, and train from throughout Southern California to attend CSArts-SGV.

The school’s unique culture and innovative curriculum enables its students to grow and thrive as artist scholars and to develop their confidence and talents. Small student / teacher ratios in academic and arts classes allow for personalized attention to students. Students receive opportunities to participate in master classes, guest artist presentations, field trips, and performances, as well as a variety of campus clubs and activities. This distinctive arts and academic program is made possible through a unique public / private partnership. CSArts-SGV is a tuition-free, donation dependent program.

All students who demonstrate talents and an interest in the arts are invited to apply. The school offers programs for students in grades 7-12, starting with students in grades 7-11 in the 2017-2018 academic year.

Read More

Mission Statement

We provide a creative, challenging, and nurturing environment that offers bright and talented students unparalleled preparation for higher education and a profession in the arts.

Core Values

  • Student growth and education comes first.
  • Commitment to lifelong artistic and scholarly development.
  • Foster a nurturing environment of creativity, respect, and collaboration.
  • Commitment to excellence, innovation, professionalism, and integrity.

Board of Trustees

CSArts-SGV is governed by a five-member Board of Trustees representing parents, the arts community, educators, community business leaders, and DUSD, with skills and experience appropriate to their board responsibilities. The Board of Trustees sets policies and oversees the personnel, students, curriculum, public finances, and operations of the charter school itself. This Board meets on a regular basis and complies with all applicable charter school laws.    

Administrative Team

William Wallace, Ed.D.

William Wallace, Ed.D.

Principal

William Wallace serves as the Principal of California School of the Arts – San Gabriel Valley (CSArts-SGV). Previous to this appointment, Dr. Wallace served at CSArts-SGV’s sister school, Orange County School of the Arts (OCSA), as Dean of Facilities & Supervision, where he oversaw the expansion of the school from 1,800 students to its current size of nearly 2,200. He also assisted in supervising the construction of OCSA’s premier dance, music and science building, which was inaugurated in August of 2015. Dr. Wallace has also served as OCSA’s Assistant Principal of Student Services.

Dr. Wallace began his career as an English teacher at Belmont High School in downtown Los Angeles. While there he, along with five other colleagues, started a performing arts magnet program on Belmont’s campus that is still active today. Dr. Wallace has also served as Assistant Principal of Pupil Services at Buena Park High School, which is his alma mater. While there, he oversaw a six-year increase in the school’s API from 662 to 738. During his tenure, Buena Park High School won two Golden Bell Awards, was recognized as a California “Beating the Odds” school, and was noted four years in a row as a Newsweek top 1,000 school. Additionally, Dr. Wallace oversaw the creation of a specialized program for students with emotional disturbance, which set the standard for similar programs in the area. Dr. Wallace also previously served as an administrator at Troy High School in Fullerton, California.

Dr. Wallace taught Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate English at Fullerton Union High School previous to becoming an administrator, and also served as the director of Fullerton Union High School’s International Baccalaureate Program.

Dr. Wallace holds a doctorate in education and a master’s degree in educational leadership from California State University, Fullerton (CSUF), as well as a degree in English from the University of California, Irvine. He holds administrative credentials from CSUF, and a professional clear teaching credential in English.

Read More
Abbe Levine

Abbe Levine

Dean of Arts

Abbe Levine serves as the Dean of Arts at California School of the Arts – San Gabriel Valley (CSArts-SGV). Previous to this appointment, Ms. Levine served at CSArts-SGV’s sister school, Orange County School of the Arts (OCSA), as Director of Arts Enrichment and Program Expansion.

Ms. Levine began teaching at OCSA in 2004 and eventually became the Co-Director of the Creative Writing Conservatory, during which time she implemented innovative community programming and collaborative arts projects. Ms. Levine was selected as a Gluck Teaching Fellow in 2011, and in 2014, she was featured in Orange County Riviera Magazine’s Arts and Power issue for her professional and educational contributions to the local arts community.

Professionally, she has optioned a screenplay to the Hallmark Channel and her plays have been produced throughout Los Angeles and Orange County. Ms. Levine was a founding member of Fell Swoop Playwrights and an inaugural resident of the Play Lab at the Ruskin Theatre. Ms. Levine’s play, Puppets, was a semi-finalist (top 10) for the prestigious Samuel Goldwyn awards and her screenplay, Rainbow Sand, placed in the top 15% in the Academy Nicholl Fellowships.

Ms. Levine holds her BFA in writing for screen and television from the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts and her MFA in creative writing and writing for the performing arts from University of California, Riverside.

Read More

CSArts Foundation

Board of Directors

The California School of the Arts Foundation Board of Directors is a volunteer organization comprised of prominent individuals who are passionate about arts education, have a strong commitment to the growth and development of charter arts schools, and are dedicated to the goals of California School of the Arts. Members serve as ambassadors and advocates to the larger community to promote the mission of the California School of the Arts Foundation and also provide expertise in various fields.

Ralph S. Opacic, Ed.D.

Ralph S. Opacic, Ed.D.

Executive Director

CSArts Chief Executive Officer, OCSA Founder and Executive Director

Kevin M. Tiber

Kevin M. Tiber

Chairman

Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Farmers & Merchants Bank

Sally W. Andreatta

Sally W. Andreatta

Secretary

Director of Energy & Environmental Services, Community Action Partnership of Orange County

Douglas F. Garn

Douglas F. Garn

Treasurer

Business Executive; Former CEO and President, Quest Software

Maria Newkirk Fong, J.D.

Maria Newkirk Fong, J.D.

Board of Trustee Representative

President, Newkirk Enterprises

Executive Management Team

Ralph Opacic, Ed.D.

Ralph Opacic, Ed.D.

Chief Executive Officer

Dr. Ralph Opacic founded the award-winning Orange County High School of the Arts in 1987 and currently serves as executive director and president.  Opacic is credited for assembling the finest artist-teachers and academic instructors in Southern California and creating an opportunity for young performing and visual artists to develop their talents to their greatest potential.

Widely awarded for his achievements in arts education, Opacic was named the 2009 Outstanding Founder by the Association of Fundraising Professionals National Philanthropy Day Orange County.  He has also been named a recipient of the 2007 Orange County Business Journal Excellence in Entrepreneurship Award; the 2007 Cultural Legacy Award: Artistic Visionary by Arts Orange County; Orange County Arts Educator of the Year for Administration by Arts Orange County and the Orange County Music & Arts Administrators; and a 2006 Outstanding Contribution to Education Award recipient by the Orange County Department of Education.  Additionally, he was featured in OC Metro’s “Hot 25” list as someone “defining Orange County with passion, creativity and an endless drive to make their mark” in 2000. In 2012, Opacic received The Jeffrey Lawrence Award from Arts Schools Network for exemplifying an uncompromising commitment to excellence in arts education and arts training.

While under the leadership of Opacic, the Orange County School of the Arts has received top honors and recognition for excellence in both arts and academic education.  The U.S. Department of Education and the National Endowment for the Arts have identified the school as a model arts education program.  The school has been ranked in the top ten percent of high schools in the State of California, and is one of the top four highest ranking high school academic programs in Orange County.

Additionally, the Orange County School of the Arts has been named a 2006 No Child Left Behind - Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education, recipient of the International NETWORK of Schools for the Advancement of Arts Education’s 2006 Exemplary School Award, a 2009 and 2005 California Distinguished School by the California Department of Education, and a 2004-2005 Creative Ticket National School of Distinction by the Kennedy Center Alliance for Arts Education Network and the California Alliance for Arts Education.

Actively involved in the local arts community, Opacic also served as president of the West Coast School of the Arts and president of the Pacific Coast Dance Fest, two programs that provide musical theatre and dance lessons for children of all ages.  He has also served as the producer of Evolution Dance Company, the resident dance company at The OC Pavilion.  Opacic currently serves on the Board of Arts Schools Network (a nonprofit that serves 1,486 arts-focused schools, arts organizations and arts education leaders nationwide) and as President for two years. He served on the Executive Board of Pathways to Independence, a charity that serves adolescents in need. He is the past president of the Society of Delta Epsilon at the University of Southern California and has served in board and member capacities for the Los Alamitos Television Corporation, the Los Alamitos Youth Center, and the Rotary Club of Los Alamitos.

Opacic earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in music from California State University, Long Beach in 1981, a Master of Science degree in educational administration from National University in 1990, and a Doctoral degree in education from University of Southern California in 1994.

Read More
Steve Wagner

Steve Wagner

Chief Operations Officer

Steve Wagner joined the Orange County School of the Arts in 2001 and currently serves as chief operations officer and vice president of business. Bringing more than 20 years of experience in education to the Orange County School of the Arts, Wagner is responsible for the management and supervision of the school’s award-winning academic and arts instructional programs.

Additionally, he oversees the school’s non-instructional support services including facility, food, technology, finance, and budget. Wagner has been awarded the prestigious Non-Profit CFO of the Year award by the Orange County Business Journal for his work in support of arts education. He has also served as a teacher and administrator for schools throughout Orange County. Prior to joining the Orange County School of the Arts, Wagner served as principal at Serrano Intermediate School in Saddleback Unified School District.

Wagner’s experience with the Orange County School of the Arts began more than 20 years ago when he taught alongside Ralph Opacic, Ed.D. at Los Alamitos High School from 1987 - 1990. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Marine Biology from California State University, Long Beach and a master’s degree in Educational Administration from California State University, Fullerton.

Read More
Cambria Cline

Cambria Cline

Vice President of Marketing

Cambria Cline joined the Orange County School of the Arts in 2003 and currently serves as Vice President of Marketing.  She brings more than 11 years of extensive marketing and public relations experience to the school.

Prior to joining the Orange County School of the Arts, Cline managed accounts at local Orange County PR agencies, including RiechesBaird and Benjamin Group | A Weber Shandwick Company.

Prior to her agency work, Cline served as director of public relations and special events at a women’s and children’s shelter in Arizona.  She has been awarded a coveted Silver Anvil Award by the Orange County Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America for her work in the high-tech sector.

Read More
Cathy Michaels

Cathy Michaels

Vice President of Development

With over thirty-seven years of experience as a nonprofit arts administrator and development professional, Cathy has raised over $50 million to fund arts and education programs in Orange County. Currently she serves as the Vice President of Development for the Orange County School of the Arts, overseeing board development and strategic planning, major and planned gifts, and the capital campaign.

Prior to joining OCSA, Cathy served in leadership positions for Pacific Symphony, Arts Orange County, Saint Joseph Ballet, and the La Habra Children’s Museum. She has also provided consulting services for other nonprofits in Orange and Los Angeles Counties.

An active member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals Orange County for 13 years, Cathy has held numerous leadership positions on the Board, as Co-Chair of the National Philanthropy Day luncheon for two years and an NPD committee member for 8 years. In addition, she has volunteered with Knots of Love, the PBS SoCal/KOCE Foundation Gala Committee, the City of Newport Beach Arts Commission, the Newport Beach Film Festival and the Newport Beach Arts Foundation.

Read More
Martin Howard

Martin Howard

Vice President of Property and Facilities

A life-long cyclist who competed in the 1988 Olympic Trials, Martin Howard projects the type of self-assurance that is common in those who have proven themselves time and time again.

Yet there is an underlying intensity to his personality as well, born out of a demanding and self-imposed work ethic. In 1972, Martin’s father, Michael Howard, started a small construction business out of his garage after teaching himself the trade and obtaining his contractor’s license. Martin grew up working “in the trades”—surrounded by the business he learned by being hands-on while working side by side with his father on the weekends and after school.

Following his graduation from Whittier College, Martin competed in the United States and Europe as a member of the US National Cycling Team. In 1988, he returned to his roots, continuing with the family business and working in the field seven days a week.

Now, with close to 30 years’ experience in the industry, Martin has grown the small, family business his father began into a successful, multi-million-dollar company with over 30 employees. Over the years, he has been involved in many successfully completed commercial, industrial, hospitality, medical, and mixed-use developments. The company’s more prominent achievements in construction include the Laemmle Theatres, Centurion Plaza at Fashion Island, and Le Cordon Bleu. In the realm of development management, notable projects consist of The Pike at Rainbow Harbor, City Place in Long Beach, and The District in Tustin.

A Southern California native, Martin is still very much involved in cycling and in the Long Beach community where he, his wife Cynthia, and their three children make their home. He is a founder and active member of BIKEable Communities, a non-profit organization whose mission is to champion bicycling as a viable, safe form of transportation in order to create better places to live, work, and ride. He has also played a major role in the revitalization of a mile-long commercial corridor along Long Beach Boulevard in Bixby Knolls.

Martin still rides six to seven days a week, clocking in 8,000 – 10,000 miles a year on his bike. In addition to cycling, he enjoys golfing, skiing, spending time with Cynthia, and keeping up with their three children.

Read More

Board of Governors

The California School of the Arts Foundation Board of Governors is a volunteer organization comprised of prominent individuals who are passionate about arts education, have a strong commitment to the growth and development of charter arts schools, and are dedicated to furthering the mission and goals of California School of the Arts. Members serve as advisors to the Chief Executive Officer and the California School of the Arts Foundation Board of Directors, and as ambassadors and advocates to the larger community.

Matthew Morrison

Matthew Morrison

Chairman

Alumni, Orange County School of the Arts

Actor, Singer, Dancer, and Arts Education Advocate

Matt Conover

Matt Conover

Member

Vice President, Creative Entertainment and Show Production, Walt Disney Parks & Resorts

Member, Educational Theatre Association

Member, OCSA Foundation Board of Directors

Rob Cutietta, Ed.D.

Rob Cutietta, Ed.D.

Member

Dean, USC Thornton School of Music

Dean, USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance

Member, OCSA Strategic Partners Advisory Board

Brett Egan

Brett Egan

Member

Alumni, Orange County School of the Arts

President, The DeVos Institute of Arts Management

Find out more about the California School of the Arts - San Gabriel Valley Campus

REQUEST MORE INFORMATION