Our Team

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The Admission Office

Learn more about the Admission Team below.

Not sure who to contact? Email us at admission@cate.org and we’ll be happy to help.

 

Assistant Head of School for External Affairs

Acting Admission Director

Charlotte_Brownlee@cate.org / (805) 684-4127 x 216

Cate School 1985
BA, Harvard University
MBA, University of California, Los Angeles

A Cate alumna, Charlotte Brownlee was the Director of Admission and Enrollment at Cate from 2007 – 2017 and has recently reprised the role. She returned to her alma mater in 2004 to lead the School’s annual giving and alumni relations programs. She made the transition to boarding school after serving as the Executive Director for Alumni Relations and Annual Giving at the UCLA Anderson School of Management. Her previous experience includes serving as a manager with Deloitte Consulting, where she focused on change management and reengineering projects for high-tech and consumer-products companies. Charlotte holds an AB from Harvard College and an MBA from the UCLA Anderson School of Management.

Charlotte particularly enjoys heading up the Cate Student Historical Society. She serves on the boards of the National Partnership for Educational Access (NPEA) and of the Gateway to Prep Schools. She lives on the Mesa with her husband, Alex, and their two sons.


Director of Outreach & Recruitment

kyle_mason@cate.org / 805-684-4127 x331

Track & Field
BA, Boston College
Appointed: 2008

Kyle comes to Cate with a host of global experiences and passions for music, travel and working with young adults. After graduating from an east coast boarding school, Kyle continued onto Boston College where he majored in Communications and Education Policy. His passions, purpose and commitment to service through education has led him to teach and serve in a variety of settings from Newark, NJ to Africa and Thailand. His experiences, positive attitude and boundless energy lend a global perspective that is shared and celebrated at Cate.

In addition to serving on Cate’s Admission team, Kyle’s presence is felt throughout campus as an Advisor, and Head Track & Field Coach.


Director of Financial Assistance and Admission Officer

Vanessa_CruzSantana@cate.org / (805) 684-4127 x 261

Cate School 2006
Hamilton College B.S.
University of Pennsylvania MS. Ed.

Vanessa first arrived to Cate as freshman boarder from Santa Ana, California through the A Better Chance Program. She graduated from Cate in 2006 and ventured to Hamilton College in Clinton, New York. After graduating, Vanessa returned to Cate for two years to start her career in admission. In 2012 Vanessa moved to the New York City area to grow professionally and to pursue a graduate degree in education at the University of Pennsylvania. Though not new to Cate, Vanessa has recently come back to be Cate’s Director of Financial Assistance. What keeps her coming back? The community, the campus’ beauty, and Cate’s commitment to offering young people a quality education that includes so much more than academics without sacrificing academic rigor. In addition to her work in Admission, Vanessa is a dorm parent and serves as a student advisor.


Associate Director of Admission

david_soto@cate.org / 805-684-4127 x247

Cate School 2008
BA, Gonzaga University
MA, Gonzaga Unversity
Appointed: 2012

Dave is a Carpinteria native, growing up in the city known for the California Avocado Festival and the “World’s Safest Beach”. After graduating from Cate in 2008, Dave found his way to the inland northwest, completing four years at Gonzaga University in Spokane, WA where he graduated with a degree in broadcast studies and journalism. During his time at Gonzaga, Dave worked with several media outlets as well as working in digital journalism. He also served as the vice president of the Kennel Club, Gonzaga’s student athletic fan club…Go Zags!

Dave returned to the Mesa after graduation to take a role in Cate’s communications office. Now in the admission office, Dave looks forward to looking for and working with the next group of Rams. When he’s not in the office, Dave can be found coaching football and baseball at Cate or walking his dog, Sammy, around campus. Dave lives in High House, where he serves as a dorm head, with his wife, Maureen.


 

Assistant Director of Admission

carter_ford@cate.org / 805-684-4127

BFA, Savannah College of Art and Design
Appointed: 2022

Carter comes to Cate with extensive knowledge and passion for the prep school world. Having graduated from Blair Academy, a boarding school in New Jersey, she then went on to Savannah College of Art and Design and earned a BFA in Advertising & Marketing Design, focusing on social media strategy, photography, and communications.

Prior to moving west, Carter served in several admissions offices and marketing roles at boarding schools across New England. Carter has also served as an advisor, dorm dean, community life leader, and social media manager.

Carter grew up on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, so she’s no stranger to Chesapeake Bay Blue Crabs and Old Bay seasoning. In her free time, you’ll find Carter exploring the local eateries and coffee shops, taking long backroad drives in her Jeep, swimming laps, or staying in with a latte and a good puzzle. Carter resides on campus with her cats, Juniper and Waffles.


 

Assistant Director of Admission

joseph_cordero@cate.org / 805-684-4127

BA, MA, San Diego State University
Appointed: 2022

Joseph was born and raised in Santa Barbara, where he attended K-12, played basketball, and enjoyed the beach.  A first-generation high school graduate from Dos Pueblos in 2004, he then attended 3 different community colleges trying to find his passion. He ultimately graduated from San Diego State University with a Bachelors in Sociology and  Masters in Postsecondary Education Leadership, and Specialization in Student Affairs. Eager to give back to his community and encourage future generations of high school students to experience the treasure of education, Joseph moved back to his hometown to work for Santa Barbara City College’s Enrollment and Retention Services department. At the same time, he started his journey at Cate, becoming an Assistant Coach for Boys Varsity Basketball (go Rams!).

In 2017, he moved to Ventura and started working for Ventura College as an Outreach Specialist, again giving back to the community that gave so much to him. He and his wife Laura continue to live in Ventura and are parents to Mila and Luca, both of whom attend the Cate Early Learning Center.


Director

Enrollment Management Operations

lynn_dinning@cate.org / 805-684-4127 x217

Appointed: 2001

Lynn manages daily operations as well as maintaining the admission database. Oftentimes, Lynn is the first person from Cate to speak with prospective students and their families as she sets up campus visits or clarifies the application process. In addition, she is responsible for the work behind the scenes in managing Enrollment and Re-enrollment. She also enjoys her work with the Director of Financial Assistance and more recently Student Services.

Lynn lives in Carpinteria with her husband Jim and their two sons Ryder ’17 and Gage.


 

Assistant Office Associate

hayley_navarro@cate.org / 805-684-4127 ext. 292

BA, Antioch University
Appointed: 2022

Hayley is a Carpinteria local. She recently graduated from Antioch University with a Bachelors in Liberal Arts. During her time there, she enjoyed interning and publishing poetry for the school’s online publication. Hayley has joined the admission office team and is eager to be of help for the school year.

Hayley lives in Ventura with her fiancé Joe and their two daughters, Sienna and Naomi. They can be found on the weekends enjoying the waves at Rincon Beach.