About Us » NCS Co-Founders

NCS Co-Founders

Co-Founders, Charlie Leo and Ting Sun, started Natomas Charter School (NCS) in 1993.  They were two teachers who leveraged the California Charter Law of 1992 to start a school that would utilize the professional skills, judgment and talents of teachers to design educational programs that would best serve the needs of students.  Since 1993, NCS has grown from 80 eighth-grade students to over 1,800 TK-12 students in five unique academies.


Charlie Leo

 Charlie Leo is the Co-Founder of Natomas Charter School (NCS) and served as Executive Director from 1993 - 2013.  He is a veteran educator of over 30 years, most which have been in education administration, but also includes teaching secondary math and science in private and public schools in New Orleans and Sacramento earlier in his career.

Charlie embodies the phrase “edupreneur,” an innovative educator who sees new opportunities and creative solutions to improving public education for students and their families.  His philosophy that “schools should truly be the centerpiece of communities that serve the families who live in them” has been the foundation for the development and growth of the Natomas Charter.  In his role at NCS, Charlie developed a solid and broad base of community support for the school. Charlie also facilitated the design and construction of well over $100 million in facilities projects for the three NCS campuses. 

Charlie holds a Bachelor of Science degree in education and a Masters of Arts in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of New Orleans.


Ting L. Sun, Ph.D.

 Ting Lan Sun is Co-Founder of Natomas Charter School and served as Executive Director from 2013-2019. She has more than 30 years of experience in the field of education as a teacher, administrator, and educational reformer. Prior to her tenure as Executive Director of NCS, Ting served as Educational Programs Director, leading curriculum, instruction, staff development, and professional growth.  From 1997–2000, she was an Educational Programs Consultant in the California Department of Education’s Charter Schools Unit where she participated in the development of charter school administrative policies and regulations, and the administration of the federal public charter schools grant program. She has also served as a senior consultant for Cambridge Education, an international school quality review and educational consulting firm.

Ting was Vice President of Leadership and Quality for the California Charter Schools Association from 2003-2006 where she developed and implemented the Association’s quality assurance strategy and initiatives, including standards articulation, quality site visits and program reviews.

In 2015, Ting was appointed to the California State Board of Education (SBE) by Governor Jerry Brown.  She also previously served on California’s Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) from 2007-2011 and was Chair of the CTC from 2009-2011.

In the local community, Ting serves on the board of the Golden 1 Credit Union and on the Justice Anthony M. Kennedy Judicial Library Learning Center Foundation.  She was named a Woman Who Means Business by the Sacramento Business Journal in 2017.

Ting received her bachelor’s degree in Latin and English from Austin College, a master’s degree in education from Stanford University, and a doctorate of education from the University of California at Davis.