About Us

Meet the Team!

We are a team that believes in being nice, working hard and having fun. We are deeply committed to fostering the creative talents of every child, everywhere.

 


Mike McGalliard

President & Executive Director

For the last 22 years I’ve enjoyed starting up a few successful organizations in the education space, including LA’s Promise, which was awarded more than $15 million in grants to help turnaround schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD). I also co-founded Metro Charter, a new public elementary school in the burgeoning core of Downtown LA. I studied literature at Reed College and did some graduate work in Religion and Philosophy. I love to cook, drink good wine and my favorite thing in life is being a Dad.


Favorite book: Murakami’s ‘Wind Up Bird Chronicle’
Favorite album: Tribe Called Quest’s ‘Low End Theory’
What I wanted to be when I grew up: a spy

mike@imagination.org  |  @mcgalliard


 


Catherine Belcher, Ph.D.

Director of Learning & Engagement

My career in the field of education includes experience as a high school and middle school social studies and English teacher in both California and Pennsylvania, a dance teacher in several schools and programs, a curriculum developer, and faculty positions in the School of Education at Loyola Marymount University and Bard College.  I also served as the Head of Secondary School for Larchmont Charter School in Los Angeles from 2013-2016, and previous to that as the Director of Teaching and Learning at West Adams Preparatory High School in Los Angeles from 2010-2013.  My book, co-authored with Becky Herr Stephenson, is titled Teaching Harry Potter, the Power of Imagination in Multicultural Classrooms (2011).  I earned my PhD from the School of Education at the University of Pennsylvania and my Master’s in Teacher Education, as well as a Bachelor’s Degree in History, at Stanford University. I enjoy spending time with my daughter and family, and love to teach and experience dance, see great (and often geeky) movies, and read whenever I can.


Favorite author: Jane Austen
A favorite childhood memory: Watching Kaiju movies with my brother and expertly analyzing each monster and battle afterwards
Food I can’t live without: Real, authentic Tacos de Carne Asada, they are comfort food from home

catherine@imagination.org  |  @teachingharry


 


Smeeta Singh

Director of Operations

I’ve spent the last 9 years working for inspiring causes in education all around Los Angeles. My passion for education became a reality while studying Sociology in college. Soon after, I joined LA’s Promise, a nonprofit that strives to reform public schools in South LA, where I helped with corporate partnerships and fundraising. As a part of team Imagination, I run point on operations and develop meaningful corporate partnerships that allow us to grow our programs. Some of my favorite things to do involve cooking, enjoying long meals, and traveling (near or far) with my husband, any chance I get.


My car radio is currently tuned to:  NPR
What I wanted to be when I grew up:  A firefighter
What I Google in my free time:  New recipes & restaurants

smeeta@imagination.org  |  @smeetaimagines