Members

Arizona Virtual Academy is governed by a board comprised of community leaders.

Meet our Board

Matthew Sandoval, Governing Body President
Matt Sandoval is the Vice President of Community Initiatives for the Valley of the Sun YMCA. In this role he is responsible for youth development and social responsibility programming throughout the association’s service areas. Mr. Sandoval began his career with the YMCA in the i-Learn High School Dropout Recovery Program in 2003 as a part-time program tutor. This role led to opportunities for him to direct the Chris Town and Chandler YMCA i-Learn program. In 2005, Mr. Sandoval led the effort to expand the i-Learn program from its original two pilot locations to its current presence in seventeen communities. In 2007, Mr. Sandoval began his role as Branch Director with Community Initiatives. Since this appointment, Community Initiatives has developed several new programs in the youth development areas of alternative education, leadership development, mentoring, work/college readiness, and delinquency prevention and intervention. In 2011, Sandoval became the Sr. Executive Director of the Maryvale Family YMCA in addition to Community Initiatives. This opportunity continues to expand the association’s youth development programming with a special focus on greater Phoenix and the west valley. In November 2012, Mr. Sandoval was promoted to his current position of Vice President. Sandoval holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Southwestern College and a Master in Education, with an emphasis in Educational Leadership, from Northern Arizona University. He makes his home in Goodyear, with his wife Jama, and their two Children Meadow and Eric.

Linda Lopez
Ms. Lopez served as State Representative in the Arizona Legislature in Phoenix. Her priorities at the Legislature included children's issues, healthcare, education at all levels, and women's rights issues, to name a few. She graduated from The University of Arizona in 1990 with a bachelor's degree in women's studies and psychology, with honors, including: Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Beta Phi, National Golden Key Honor Society, and Dean's List. Ms. Lopez also attended the University of California, Berkeley. She has a great passion for children and education.

Dr. Celestino Fernandez
Dr. Fernandez is a respected sociology professor at The University of Arizona. As a long-standing member of the PPEP & Affiliates corporate board, Dr. Fernandez advises AZVA on higher education issues and on issues related to PPEP & Affiliates.

Dr. Mark Duplissis
Dr. Duplissis is the executive director of high school relations for The Arizona State University. He advises AZVA on school policy and post-secondary education issues. A former high school administrator, Dr. Duplissis brings with him years of experience in managing public schools.

Gabrielle Helmandollar
Gabrielle Helmandollar avidly supports School Choice. With this passion, Mrs. Helmandollar enrolled her three children at Arizona Virtual Academy in 2007 after relocating to Arizona. Gabrielle serves our schools as a Governing Body member to be a voice for all families. She supports AZVA's mission and believes in our schools. During the last five years, Gabrielle has experienced several changes within our virtual walls, which have resulted in noticeable improvements regarding our school structure and academic programs. In this role, Gabrielle can contribute to the future successes of both AZVA and ISAZ. Her experience with our Elementary, Middle School, and High School will benefit our families, teachers, Board, and most importantly, our students.