Since 2011, the Educational Enrichment Foundation for the Arts has been supporting visual and performing arts education, including technology and the attainment of industry specific equipment to benefit students in the community.
To provide pathways that help artists reach their goals and live their dreams.
Debi Windle has been active in the Southern California performing arts community since 2004 and has been working with EEFA since 2012, serving as President and general board member. In addition, she served on the Board of Orange County Children’s Theatre with productions throughout Orange County. Debi is a proud parent of an alumni of Huntington Beach’s Academy for the Performing Arts who was involved with musical theatre, dance, Dramatic Production, and MMET, and who is now working professionally in the industry. Debi also served as president of the Academy’s Musical Theater Guild. Professionally, Debi is an advanced practice nurse and has enjoyed a 31 year career in nursing, including over 15 years as a nursing educator at CSULB. While her children were in primary school, Debi was actively engaged as a volunteer with PTA, serving as president, school district PTA representative and a board member with the PTA district level in Huntington Beach. Debi spends her free time traveling (or planning trips) and enjoys volunteering and giving back to her community in a number of ways.
Gale Bull has been active in the Southern California arts community since 1995 and has been working with EEFA since its inception, serving as Vice President and Recording Secretary. In addition, she serves on The Spirit of the MACY Awards board of directors and acts as a judge for high school musicals throughout Orange County. A parent of two alumnae of Huntington Beach’s Academy for the Performing Arts, she served as the first president of the Academy’s Musical Theater Guild, and held various positions on the board from 2003 to 2009. Gale also was the box office manager for APA Theater for 12 years. She served on the board of directors for Musical Youth Artist Repertory Theater for 20 years. A retired employee of American President Lines in the Port of Los Angeles, Gale spends her free time traveling with her husband and performing in local community theater productions.
Chief Financial Officer
Danielle Chatt has been deeply involved in a variety of volunteer work for more than 20 years, focusing on organizations that help local youth. Her experience includes serving the Girl Scouts of Orange County for 18 years consecutively as Service Unit Manager, Treasurer (current), Trainer and Level Consultant. Danielle has spent the last ten years in a variety of positions within The Academy for the Performing Arts at HBHS and is currently the APA Volunteer Coordinator working with all APA parents and their Guilds. She is also an APA Alumni parent. In addition, Danielle has volunteered as a member at large with EEFA for five years, and as the EEFA Chief Financial Officer for the last two years. Danielle and her husband have owned and operated Vintage Productions in Huntington Beach for the last 23 years, specializing in rare, authentic vintage militaria collectibles, military show promotions and high-end vintage clothing and work daily with clothing designers, historians, museums, movie costumers, as well as avid collectors.
Rhonda Mesa is an Alumni parent of APA (Academy for the Performing Arts), as well as an acting lead usher for many of the APA shows. Rhonda has a great appreciation for the arts and is a huge supporter of promoting and expanding the arts to young people and their families, especially the area middle schools. Rhonda currently works as an executive in the health insurance industry, as well as an e-commerce entrepreneur. She currently co-owns an accessory ecommerce business, and is a former owner of a long-standing consignment shop in Huntington Beach.
Jean Schulte enthusiastically joined the EEFA Board in 2020. She comes to us as an APA Alumni parent & former Musical Theatre Guild President (2017-18) and prior to that Parliamentarian Musical Theatre Board Member (2016-2017). Her 30-year Hotel & Resort Management Background collaborating with teams, lends itself well to supporting EEFA as a new board member. Blending her passion for the Arts while assisting EEFA expand its philanthropy towards creating equity and access to the arts is something that means a great deal to her. She looks forward to working with the Board & supporting EEFA in its pursuit of connecting more students to the Arts.
Jamie Knight is a retired classroom teacher from the Huntington Beach Union High School District having served as a School Library Media Specialist and then Director of the MMET program, which is part of the HB Academy for the Performing Arts. Jamie is an Apple Distinguished Educator, Class of 2007, and on the Board of Directors for The Association for Popular Music Education and also the EEFA Foundation. In 2013, Knight was a Grammy Teacher of the Year Quarter Finalist. His former music program has won the prestigious California Golden Bell Award, was an Apple Distinguished Program and is currently an AME, Model CTE Program.
Michele Romine is an Alumni parent of APA and former APA Dance Guild president. Two of her daughters graduated from the APA Dance Program and she spent the bulk of 8 years volunteering with APA, serving in multiple positions on the APA Dance Guild Board. Michele has a great appreciation for the arts and is a strong believer in the importance of an arts education being available to all students. EEFA’s focus on reaching out to students at various levels throughout their education to encourage and nurture involvement in the arts is the main reason why Michele stays involved. Michele currently works as an administrator for a family office based in Newport Beach. She is a long-time resident of Fountain Valley, married for 23+ years, a mother of 3 daughters and is a USC graduate (Go Trojans!).
Diane Makas (Ex-officio Board Member) holds a Bachelor of Science in Dance, Biology, and Chemistry and a Masters in Educational Leadership and Management from Western Michigan University as well as an Administrative Service Credential from California State University Long Beach. She is now in her 25th year as the Artistic Director of Huntington Beach Union High School District's Academy for the Performing Arts (APA) at Huntington Beach High School. Diane also serves on the following boards, Executive Board of the Arts Schools Network, Advisory Board for Orange Coast College, and Friends of the Rose Center Theater Foundation.
Susan West (Ex-officio Board Member) has been an active member of the EEFA foundation since 2011. Susan serves as Supervisor of APA. Her favorite roll is Advisor to the APA Student Council which keeps her busy with activities like community outreach such as working alongside Council members at food banks, organizing APA’s float in the yearly Seal Beach Christmas parade and the gigantic end-of-year Academy Awards event. In the last 16 years, Susan has made a positive and lasting impact with students and parents alike. No stranger to the ways of the performing arts, she studied theatre, music and vocals (ok, and accounting too) at both GWC and OCC, worked as National Alternative Marketing Manager for Capitol Records, and earned a certificate in Comedy and Improv at UCLA. She says she uses the comedy/improv skills EVERY DAY in the APA office. Susan is one of the lead singers and plays guitar for the Power Pop Band sparkle*jets u.k. along with APA people Jamie Knight and Mike Simmons.
Dr. Bonnie Castrey (Ex-officio Board Member)
Vice President HBUSHD
Bonnie Castrey is an internationally recognized dispute resolver. She holds a Juris Doctorate degree from Western State University and B.S. and P.H.N in nursing from California State University, Long Beach.
Ms. Castrey maintains a private dispute resolution practice. She has mediated, arbitrated and chaired fact-finding matters in over 2,000 cases since 1975 in the public, federal and private sectors. As a Presidential Appointee from 1995 to 2000, she was a member of the Federal Service Impasses Panel and when reappointed, she chaired the Panel from 2000 to 2002. She has received numerous honors and recognition awards, including a Life Time Service Award from the Labor Employment Relations Association for service to both her community and professions. She also received the coveted Marian Bergeson Award for education leadership.
As a strong advocate for Public Education, Ms. Castrey believes it is one of the essential pillars of our democracy. Ms. Castrey advocates for co-curricular programs to help students build confidence, leadership skills and interest in life long education. She serves on many statewide committees and coalitions to support our schools, including the visual and performing arts.
Among leadership roles, Ms. Castrey served as the international president of the Society of Professionals in Dispute Resolution, president of the Orange County School Boards Association, founding president of the Orange County Industrial Relations Research Association, president of the national Labor and Employment Relations Association and chair of the Federal Service Impasses Panel. As a member of the Delegate Assembly to the California School Boards Association since 1986, she has served on many committees including chair of conference planning, legislation and was chair of the 2013 Nominating Committee
EEFA values diversity and acknowledges that educational excellence requires a commitment to equity in the opportunities we extend to future artists. We are committed to creating just and equitable opportunities by providing resources that will help eliminate barriers ensuring an environment of inclusion.