Meet the Board
The board of Parents for Quality Education (PQE), is comprised of a civic-minded group of parents and community leaders with extensive experience in public education. Open a member’s profile below to learn more about their experience and background.
Dr. Camille Harris
Board Member at Large
Mitz Lee has been a community leader, coalition builder and neighborhood advocate for nearly three decades. Mitz’ early public service started the same way many others have served. She was a military spouse, a Youth Soccer and Little League Team Mom, a Den Mother, a school classroom volunteer, and a School Parent Volunteer Coordinator.
Later, Mitz was elected to the San Diego Unified School District’s Board of Education. Mitz has also served on San Diego City Human Relations Commission. She cofounded several nonprofit organizations and has served on their Board of Directors. In addition, she is now spearheading two new innovative neighborhood-focused projects as Chairperson of San Diego 6th Council District’s Neighborhoods First Coalition and D6 Night Market. She continues to serve as President and CEO of Alliance for Quality Education. She recently accepted the position of Chair of the Board of Directors of Parents for Quality Education and Asian Pacific American Coalition.
Mitz has received numerous awards for her efforts including the Governor and First Lady’s Service Award, Special Recognition from the U.S. House of Representatives, the California State Legislature, and from local elected officials, and was named one of the Top 50 People to Watch in San Diego by San Diego Magazine. She also received the 2016 Woman of the Year for the Assembly 77th District, State of California
Mitz received a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Economics from the University of the City of Manila and a master’s degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Financial Management from National University in San Diego. Mitz has made San Diego her home for 33 years with her husband, a U.S. Navy veteran, and their 2 sons.
- Past Treasurer (2013-2018) –Multiple District 4-L6 Lions Clubs International
- Past President, San Diego Executive Lions Club
- San Diego Lions Scholarship Foundation – Board Member
- Lions Sight & Hearing Foundation – Board Member
- Neighborhoods First Coalition – San Diego District 6 – Advisor
- Alliance for Quality Education – Board Treasurer
- Parents for Quality Education – Board Treasurer
- Community Voices for Education – Board Member
- Ricardo Basila Sr. Family Foundation – CEO/President
Diversified and progressive accounting experience in the restaurant, retail, financial and banking industries. Dedicated to professionalism, reliability and accountability. Helen is a Corporate Accountant in a restaurant company in San Diego, a former Chargeback Supervisor and Cash Management Supervisor in charge of reconciliation of bank accounts, cash analysis and forecasts, approval and release of cash transfers. Before this she worked as an accountant in the banking industry.
Since 2006, Helen has been an active member of Lions Clubs International, the largest and one of the most effective service club organizations in the world. She has served in leadership positions in her Lions Club and at the district level receiving numerous awards and honors including International Presidents Award, Lion of the Year 2017-2018 &2008-2009 from her club. She was recognized in the December 2014 issue of Lions Magazine, “Why It’s Great to be a Lion – in Our Own Words”. Also featured as one of the spoke persons for MD4-L6 Eyes Across California, “Be a Visionary Hero” -KUSI TV in March 2017. She is a Progressive Melvin Jones Fellow and Dwight E Stanford Fellow.
Helen is also a neighborhood leader in San Diego. Born and raised in the Philippines, Helen earned a BA in Finance from the University of Baguio. Helen and her husband, Medes, resides in San Diego, California. They have two children and 1 grandson Ed Jr. First born, May is a graduate from San Diego State University and had master’s degree at National University and Arielle, a graduate from California State University Long Beach.
Board Member at Large
Born and raised in the Midwest Bret Caslavka is a Kinesiologist with over 30 years of experience working with youth and adults of all ages. After obtaining a master’s degree in Exercise Science at the University of Nebraska at Kearney in 1987, Bret became an administrator of exercise programs at the world-renowned Pritikin Longevity Center where he worked alongside a variety of healthcare practitioners.
In 1989, Bret opened a Wellness studio in Los Angeles providing corporate wellness programs for a variety of companies, as well as personalized instruction within his facility. This was the first type of facility of its kind handling individuals of various fitness levels and brining Independent Contractors into the work force that were not employees.
In 1997 Caslavka moved to North San Diego county and in 2002 he opened San Diego’s first Pilates Studio, Pilates Plus San Diego, LLC. that catered to individuals in a group class setting with various physical limitations. That is when his passion for education started. Realizing that schools were being asked to cut Physical Education, Health Education, Music and art he began to lay the groundwork to bring that back to public elementary schools.
In 2008 he founded the non-profit Youth to the Core, Inc., a California 501(c)(3) organization to bring Standardized Physical and Health Education to grades K-8. Youth to the Core now works with over 250 students in two public schools and is growing to others. His 30 years’ experience working with youth and his past 10 years teaching a standardized PE curriculum provides experience on many levels. As an outside independent educator, Bret understands the growing concerns parents, educators and school administrators have for school safety and quality education for their children.
Being President of Parents for Quality Education brings a voice to the public platform that is focused solely to enhance education for all students of all economic levels in every school in San Diego Unified School District.
Dr. Camille Harris
Dr. Harris is second generation-native of San Diego and has an adult son who also lives in San Diego. Camille is a product and graduated from K-12 public schools in San Diego County. However, she has noticed that there is has been a shift in the purpose and focus of public education. Camille is passionate about education and student learning.
As an educator and parent, I believe all students deserve strong and knowledgeable leadership who will have their best interests in mind. She has over 12 years’ working experience as an educational counselor in K-12 public and charter schools in the areas of special education. Camille also has experience working in higher education at the community college, and graduate levels as an academic/career counselor. Prior to entering the education field, she worked in the business sector for a savings and loan and Intel Corporation for over 12 years.
Camille has a bachelor’s in business management, master’s in educational counseling and doctorate in educational leadership. She currently works as an adjunct for Point Loma Nazarene University as a counselor educator/university supervisor and career counselor for San Diego Miramar College and most recently for Liberty University’s Online education as an instructor for their counseling program.
As an educator she sees a need to initiate career readiness, apprenticeships, broadening career technical education at high schools, improve school safety, leadership, and accountability to the students and their families. Camille recently made an effort to run for SDUSD school board in 2020 hoping to implement some needed changes within the district.
Although Camille grew up in a two-parent family, with her experience as a school counselor/educational counselor she stated, “Students often need support out of the classroom, however, sometimes parents due to lack of education or work situations are not able to provide what the students need to be successful.
The classroom teacher often does not have the time to help students who may need individualized attention or need a little more support.” “Students are graduating from high school not adequately prepared for college or have the skills to enter the workforce. This is a problem…” She also stated, “We are supporting students who are digital natives and learn much differently than when I was in K-12. Education needs to upgrade so students are ready to compete in today’s world.
I hope to make an impact on education as a board member of PQE guiding students and their families within our community to achieve their personal success!
Mark Powell has 25 years of hands-on education experience as a classroom teacher, vice principal and dean of students with the San Diego Unified School District and the Santee School District. Powell was elected to the San Diego County Board of Education in June 2016 and served until 2020.
Powell is currently an Adjunct University Professor teaching graduate-level courses in teacher education for National University and has been teaching at the university for 21 years. He is also the owner of Discovery Property Group, Inc., a Real Estate Company in San Diego. Mark is vice president for the Greater San Diego Association of Realtors. With more than 20,000 members the Greater San Diego Association of Realtors is the largest trade association in San Diego County.
Powell has 25 years of experience managing large budgets, both as a business owner and as a school administrator. As a former reserve police officer with the San Diego Police Department, Powell is committed to keeping our children’s schools safe and free from bullying. Mark Powell is a lifelong San Diegan who attended San Diego Unified schools from kindergarten through 12th grade, graduating from Madison High School in 1979. Powell is married and the proud father of two daughters who attended San Diego Unified schools.
Mark Powell holds the following credentials:
- Master of Science, Educational Counseling
- Master of Arts, Educational Administration
- Bachelor of Science, Criminal Justice Administration
- Multiple Subject Teaching Credential (Valid through 2019)
- Educational Administration Credential (Valid through 2019)
- School Counseling Credential, PPS (Valid through 2019)
- GATE Certification