“Mickie” - Dr. Michelle Tubbs (she/her) - Co-Founder - COO - Academic Director

Mickie is an instructional leader committed to promoting the successes of all scholars. With more than 30 years of experience in teaching, kindergarten – university, she is a teacher, instructional coach, program evaluator, and educational consultant.

Mickie has extensive experience in the areas of school reform, staff development, program evaluation, and action research.

Mickie has a Doctoral Degree in Educational Technology from Pepperdine University, with a strong focus on personalized learning and STEM innovation. She brings her training in blended learning and experience building curriculum to Fresh Ed.

Mickie regularly speaks on school reform and disruptive instructional models at national and regional conferences. The pure joy Mickie experiences when seeing the spark of light in a scholar’s eyes is what propels her forward in the fight for educational inclusivity. Her passion is ever-present and the scholars she works with, whether previously disenchanted or diminished, often find a renewed love of learning

Tova Pusl (she/her) - Co-Founder - CEO - Business Development

The mother of two high schoolers who attended charter, home, and public schools in Long Beach, Tova began seeking educational alternatives when her children were entering kindergarten. Tova earned her BA in Speech Communication at CSULB in 1993, is trained in Nonviolent Communication, and is a Certified Parent Educator.

In 2008, she co-founded Functional Families to facilitate parents and caregivers cultivating connection and empathy in the relationship with their children. As Executive Director for Fresh Education, Tova strives to continue her passion of empathy and support for the students and families of Fresh Education, and for her team members and the community at large. 

While her key role is supporting the business needs of the organization, program development, community outreach, and keeping the lights on, you can often see Tova feeding the class frog or documenting the whacky fun that learning is at Fresh Education!

Erica Brannon (she/her) - Teacher TK-K-1st Grade

Erica is the mother of three, a student of Child Development @ LBCC, dancer, artist, and activist. She brings a deep understanding of the current best practices in how to connect with and teach young children.

Erica’s passion for serving children stems from her own childhood experiences that were nurtured with opportunities to explore the many mediums of arts and dance. 

Years ago she decided that her lifelong purpose was to serve all children while working for multiple grassroots, early childhood programs, within her community.

Erica has witnessed, first hand, the beautiful possibilities of helping children heal by providing art inspired opportunities for social /emotional growth. She is a true believer that all children deserve and should have access to, quality education and the arts, no matter their situation. 

Her mission, as a mentor, is to lead by example. She does this by sharing culturally diverse art education. She strives to inspire the youth to preserve sacred history for the next generation.

Team Members

D Abshire (they/D) – Grant Writer/Promotions / Cheerleader

Lena Fuentes (they/them) – Office Manager / Cheerleader

J. Daniel Lewis (he/him) – GUMC Community Partner

Colette Clark (she/her) – CSULB LBCIP Intern