Board of Directors

Craig T. Beling, Board Chair

Craig T. Beling is a father of nine children and resides in Dana Point, California. Three of his children are currently enrolled at Pathway School. Craig currently manages his own law firm and serves as Corporate Counsel and Business Consultant for several domestic and international entities. He graduated with honors from Harvard University and received a JD from Boston College Law School (cum laude).  Craig and his wife, April’s, passion has always been for the hopeless, widows and orphans.  He has had the opportunity to lead mission trips in many countries and is intimately involved in an organization that now has 2,500 self-supporting villages in 11 countries in Africa.  Craig recently returned from a trip to Uganda where he helped get children released from prisons and assisted the judiciary in reforming their laws and procedures.  Craig believes that what leads to success in life are character, perseverance, empathy and faith and these are the traits that Pathway School instills in our children.  He is passionate about providing education about and access to Pathway for the families whose children would benefit from its unique education and perspective. 

Michaela Ellis

Michaela Ellis has been married to her college sweetheart, Lou, for 19 years. Together, they have three wonderful sons. Their middle son is a Pathway graduate. They say that their experience has been very impactful for both their son and family. Michaela became a Pathway School Board so that she could contribute and assist the school with its further development. Michaela worked for the YMCA, a non-profit, Christian organization, for 17 years until she resigned to spend more time focusing on her three sons. While at the YMCA, she worked with parent advisory committees, program development committees and the board of directors. Michaela was responsible for managing budgets totaling over $2 million, interviewing, hiring and training staff for school age child care programs, as well as committee outreach, marketing, and fundraising for my department. In addition to her work at the YMCA, she has a Bachelor of Science degree in Education Psychology and Sports Medicine from Coe College. Currently Michaela is the Fund Development Director at Pathway. 

Lindsay LaBonge

Lindsay is a marketing specialist and thrilled to be on the Board of Directors at Pathway.  After earning her bachelor’s degree from the University of Colorado, Boulder’s Leeds School of Business, she went on to work in the marketing and advertising industry.  Her clients included several Fortune 500 companies as well as smaller start up brands.  She is a mom of two and has a passion for helping more families discover the incredible transformations that happen at Pathway.  In 2017, Lindsay’s son transferred to Pathway when she realized that the public school system was not meeting the needs of his learning differences. Lindsay’s goal is to let others know about the positive impact Pathway School has had for so many families in Orange County, especially for her family and son. 

Marcus Larson

Marcus G. Larson is a partner with Grant, Genovese & Baratta, LLP. Mr. Larson’s areas of practice include all facets of business, real estate, contract, unfair competition, corporate, partnership, employment, business torts, trademark, copyright, and trade secret disputes, as well as various business and technology issues. He further specializes in crafting smart resolutions to complex business problems. After practicing in Philadelphia for a year, Mr. Larson returned to his home state of California and has enjoyed a successful litigation practice with Grant Genovese & Baratta since February 1, 2000. His son Brodie attended Pathway School and graduated in the eighth grade in 2021. He and his wife Megan have two sons. 

Erin Ludwig, Board Treasurer

Erin Ludwig is the Owner of Optimal Consulting, whose mission is to bring big corporate experience to small business owners to meet their financial needs. Drawing from experience in public accounting at PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLC, and private industry, she is able to take an analytical approach to help companies optimize their performance. Erin has an active CPA license in the state of CA.   

Erin joined the Pathway Board to give back to her community, and in doing so, has been touched by the effect the school has on the children and families who have walked through its doors year after year.

Gail Nakamura, Board Secretary

Gail is a Business Analyst with Provident St Joseph Health Heritage Medical Group.  She has a Bachelor degree from UCLA and thirty years of experience in healthcare finance and operations.  Most importantly, she is the mother of an alumni. Her son attended Pathway for six years and she has seen the incredible things this school can achieve in the children. Gail joined the Board to help make a difference in the futures of children.

Troy Wathen, Ed.D.

Troy Wathen, Ed.D., has a long career in education and working with gifted learners. He graduated with a business and economics degree from Westmont College and then went on to earn a teaching credential. He taught kindergarten, 4th and 5th grade and served as an administrator in Downey and Capistrano Unified School Districts. In 2000 he moved to Houston to help open the doors of Providence Classical School and grew it to 300+ students. In 2010 he helped develop a charter school in Denver. Along the way he earned a Doctorate in Education from Biola University in Student Engagement in Learning and Nonprofit Leadership. In 2014, Troy began to develop an approach to independent education that has grown into BurstTutors. He created a program that teaches young people of all abilities to embrace a growth mindset, develop mindful awareness towards learning, and become self-motivated learners. In April 2021, Troy and his wife, Patricia (Pachi), opened BurstTutors and Miss Pachi’s Ateliê in Newport Beach where they teach art, music, reading, math and self-motivated learning. Troy is excited about the future of Pathway School and the ministry of Christian education for students with learning differences. 

2020-2021 School Reopening Plan

Our plan for reopening in the fall is now available. These plans are subject to change based on local, state, and government guidelines and mandates.