Board of Directors


GANAS Academy Board of Directors


+ Juliana Mercurio, President

Senior Recruiter & Diversity Strategist, Amazon

Juliana Mercurio is Senior Recruiter and Diversity Strategist for Amazon, where she is the primary interface for talent acquisition and draws extensively from her 13 years of experience developing and leading global recruitment strategies at top tech companies. Ms. Mercurio is also an entrepreneur, recently launching a holistic health and wellness brand. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University at Albany, SUNY, with dual Bachelors in Psychology and Intensive Writing. Ms. Mercurio brings to the Founding Board a demonstrated history of executive leadership and recruitment experience, as well her commitment to philanthropic work, including her support of education and awareness initiatives for underserved communities.

+ Gaetano Scotti, Vice President

Consultant and Teacher, Port of Los Angeles High School

Gaetano Scotti is a consultant and teacher for Port of Los Angeles High School (POLAHS), serving a student population of nearly 1,000; POLAHS is both a California Distinguished and Gold Ribbon School. In his current role, Mr. Scotti ensures high student academic progress and achievement. Mr. Scotti previously served as Executive Director, Founding Teacher, Lead Teacher, Dean and later, Principal, at POLAHS; Special Education Teacher at Magruder Middle School in Torrance; and History Teacher at Locke High School. Prior to entering the teaching profession in 2001, Mr. Scotti began his career as a police officer in 1996 with the Los Angeles School Police Department, where he worked patrol and campus assignments in East and South LA and was the recipient of multiple awards for his outstanding work in combating delinquency in the communities he served. Mr. Scotti holds a Masters in Education from Pepperdine University and a Masters in Sociology from CSUDH. Named Teacher of the Year and Daily Breeze Educator of the Year, Mr. Scotti continues to champion high academic standards and brings his proven educational leadership to the Founding Board.

+ Miguel Casillas, Secretary

Attorney, Private Practice

Miguel Casillas is an attorney in the Los Angeles area, with a private practice providing service to corporations and other law firms on corporate civil litigation, discovery issues and internal and governmental investigations. Prior to starting his Los Angeles-based practice, Mr. Casillas previously worked as a staff attorney in the Santa Maria Office of California Rural Legal Assistance, where he focused on housing, employment, agricultural labor, and education issues. Mr. Casillas earned a BA from UCLA in 2003, his JD from UC Berkeley School of Law in 2007 and is a member of the California Bar Association. Mr. Casillas brings to the Founding Board his commitment and experience in addressing issues of educational access and equity in underserved communities, with a particular emphasis on first-generation and immigrant students, students of color and students with disabilities ,as well as his in-depth knowledge of effective legal practices and procedures.

+ Wallace Wei, Treasurer

Chief Business Officer, Ingenium Schools

Wallace Wei is Chief Business Officer at Ingenium Schools, which he joined in 2013. Mr. Wei ensures the effective and efficient operations of all school business services, including planning, financial management, regulatory compliance, operations and safety, nutrition services, purchasing, risk management, transportation, student enrollment and attendance. Mr. Wei previously served as Financial Manager and Assistant to the Chairman at a Shanghai-based Chinese Conglomerate, had stints in management at China Merchants Bank in Shanghai and Citibank in New York City, and started his career as an auditor at Ernst & Young, LLP. Mr. Wei holds an MBA from the Johnson School at Cornell University, and is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) charter holder. He brings a strong track record of fiscal oversight and regulatory compliance to the founding board.

+ Natalie Mejia, Board Member

Assistant Principal, PUC CALS Early Charter High School

Natalie Mejia is the current Assistant Principal of PUC CALS Early Charter High School in Northeast Los Angeles. Ms. Mejia is also a doctoral candidate in Educational Leadership at the Rossier School at University of Southern California (USC), holds a Principal Licensure from the University of Denver, and has earned a Masters in Urban Education from Johns Hopkins University and a BA from UCLA. She is a former fellow of prestigious education training programs such as America Achieves Educators Voice, Education Pioneers, and Teach For America. As a first generation student, Natalie is an advocate of all marginalized communities and strong proponent of uplifting communities of color. Ms. Mejia brings a strong educational and leadership perspective and insight to the Founding Board, and is looking forward to working in partnership with the students, staff and Wilmington Community to make GANAS Academy a high performing school.

+ Nitin Prakash, Board Member

Financial Analyst, MIG Capital

Nitin Prakash is a Financial Analyst at MIG Capital, a consumer focused equity fund in Newport Beach, CA. In this role, Mr. Prakash conducts thorough research and financial analysis of publicly traded companies, providing the basis for his investment recommendations for short and long-term strategies. Mr. Prakash earned his BA and JD from the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn). While at UPenn, Mr. Prakash served as Associate Editor of the Journal of Business and Employment Law. Mr. Prakash is deeply committed to advancing high-quality education and brings to the Founding Board his considerable financial and strategic experience.