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. 

Karen Walker

Karen is a retired public school administrator.  Prior to retirement she served as Assistant Superintendent, Learning Support in the La Mesa-Spring Valley School District for 12 years.  Karen earned her Bachelor of Arts from California State University, Fullerton in Business Administration with a Concentration in Accounting; her Master of Science in Educational Administration from National University, and her Doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of La Verne. Karen joined the Board in October 2016 with a desire to give back to Pathway for changing the life of her granddaughter who attended Pathway and is currently serving as Principal of Pathway.

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. 

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.

Mark Champainge

Retired Head of School 

Mark states that his biography below has been enriched beyond measure by his wife of forty-nine years, Mary Ann, and four children – Mark Jr., Dann, Sarah and Deborah. They continue to provide the love and support that motivate him to be the best he can be. Mark was fortunate in his personal educational experience to have attended an excellent private school in Indianapolis, Park School, followed by Williams College, in Massachusetts; the United States Naval Academy, Annapolis (BS); University of Missouri, Kansas City, (MA in Educational Administration), and finally, University of San Diego, Coursework towards E.D. This path, plus four years in the Marines Corps, led him to seek opportunities to give back to the educational community and the children they serve.  Mark taught math and coached at Pembroke Country Day School, Kansas City, Mo.; became Assistant Headmaster and Principal of the High School at The Bishop’s School, La Jolla, CA; followed by Headmaster, St. Margaret’s Episcopal School, San Juan Capistrano, CA. and then Head of School at Hillcrest Academy, Temecula.  Since retiring from full time school administration Mark has worked with a number of private schools in South Orange County in various capacities. He also served on the Boards of Chadwick School in Palos Verdes, and St. Mary’s School in Aliso Viejo. Susie Wenger, Pathway Founder, asked him to join the Pathway Board when the school was still on the Ladera Ranch campus and it has been a joy and privilege to continue to support her and this school since that time. Having turned his life over to Christ as an adult, he and his wife, Mary Ann, have focused their giving of time, talent and treasure on institutions that further the Gospel. Pathway does this day in and day out, and has had an incredibly powerful impact on scores of children who have had the privilege to attend this school. 

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.