The GPS Team



David Richards

Founder & CEO

Mr. Richards started his work over 20 years ago as a tutor, teacher, special education consultant, curriculum writer, principal, chief of schools, board member and is now the Founding Principal & CEO of Growth Public Schools. Read more


Candice Lamarche

Chief Operating Officer

Candice is ecstatic to be back in her hometown of Sacramento working as the Director of Operations for Growth Public Schools. Candice previously worked as a founding team member at the California Charter Schools Association (CCSA). Read more


Audria Johnson


Audria is thrilled to be a part of the founding team as the Principal of Growth Public Schools. Originally from Atlanta, Georgia, Mrs. Johnson has been in the field of education for 16 years. She has taught Kindergarten, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grades, and has also served in a variety of leadership roles.  Read more


Diego Arambula

GPS Operations Consultant

Mr. Arambula is currently leading education reform efforts in his hometown of Fresno. Prior, he worked at Summit Public Schools for 10 years as a social science teacher in 2005 and taught for six years. He left the classroom to help launch Summit’s two East San Jose schools, becoming the founding Principal of Summit Rainier. He transitioned from the principal role to lead Summit’s growth into new communities. Prior to coming to Summit, Mr. Arambula served as Communications Director for Congressman Cal Dooley, after serving as Deputy Campaign Manager. He holds a BA in Government, with honors from Harvard University and a MA in Education from Stanford University.


Jennifer Wu

GPS Academic Model Consultant

Jen is a Venture Partner at Reach Capital, an impact investing firm focused on education technology. She also consults on school model design. Jen led a team at Summit Public Schools to design a personalized professional development model and was a member of the design team for Alpha Public School’s new high school. Her perspective on ed tech and school models is informed by on-the-ground experience in classrooms, schools, and tech startups as a teacher, instructional/leadership coach, and product manager. Jen earned her BA and MBA from Stanford University.

Rebecca Weissman

GPS Academic Advisor

Rebecca Weissman has been teaching in the California public schools for 10 years. She was born and raised in Oakland, California and is now a Personalized Learning Specialist at Redwood Heights Elementary School in Oakland. She received a B.A. with honors in Psychology (Developmental focus) from New York University and an M.Ed. from the University of California at Los Angeles. She loves to travel and in 2010 she was a recipient of a Fund for Teachers grant which sent her to Madagascar to study the rainforest, community development, and environmental education.

Frances Teso

GPS Academic Advisor

Mrs. Teso is the founder of Voices College-Bound Language Academies, which was just named the 2016 Charter School of the Year by the California Charter Schools Association. She was one of the few from her neighborhood, and the first in her family who went to college. She often wondered why she struggled in college (even though she did well in high school), and why so many of her classmates were not as fortunate. Why didn’t an education make the difference? This provided the motivation to establish a school that built on students’ assets and home culture in order to change life trajectories for historically underserved students. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Child Development and a Masters of Elementary Education from San Jose State University. Her graduate work focused on studying the effects of language, culture and society on schooling. She has worked as a university instructor, principal coach, school administrator, instructional facilitator, and dual immersion language teacher.