Director Biographies

Our people are among the most talented in the industry. It would be our pleasure to put our extensive experience to work for you. We believe in connections that create results for communities to grow and gain from shared resources.

Environment Awareness

Francois Portee is here teaching students the importance of being aware of their environmental surroundings. We applied critical thinking and mathematics to solve community concerns

President and Founder of F.T.L.

Francois Portee

MED-Special Education

Mr. Portee is an educator/coach and entrepreneur. Mr. Portee grew up in the 4th District of Southeast San Diego. He was recently inducted in to the Hall of Champions at his former high school for outstanding athletic performance. As head wrestling coach for Lincoln High for the past 8 years.

Mr. Portee now has 15 years experience teaching students including those with learning disabilities and coaching varsity athletics in the San Diego Unified School District. 

His formal education started at San Diego State University where he earned his Bachelors Degree in the field of International Business in 1997 and earned his teaching credential in Special Education in 2006. Later, he received his Masters Degree in Education/Special Education and a "Specialist Certificate in Character Development" under professor Ed DeRoach from the University of San Diego. Mr. Portee was Department Head at Lincoln High School for Special Education.

Global Experience: Mr. Portee studied in both Mexico and Spain where he studied Spanish and the Latin American Culture. He attended "La Universidad De Salamnca and Colegio De Espana" in Salamanca Spain in the summer of 1993.

Mr. Portee is also member of "Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity" in San Diego Alumni Chapter. He has served as an officer within his chapter to make a difference with students in his community.

Executive Secretary/Chief Compliance Officer (COO)

Christopher White

Christopher White is an educator/practitioner, and educational consultant with over 20 years experience in the field of education. Mr. white is in an International Honor Society for Educators and holds credentials for literacy.

Chief Financial Officer (CFO)

Kendra L Richardson

The name Kendra means “knowing woman”. What I “know” is that education is vital. Follow the Leader is an organization designed to expand educational opportunities for youth in local communities and I am proud to serve as Treasurer.

I attended San Diego State University and earned a degree in International Business with a focus on Latino culture and language. I studied the Spanish language locally and in a summer program at the University of Salamanca in Spain. After graduating, I chose employment with Union Bank of California because of their dedication to investing in their employees and commitment to customer service. For eight years, I contributed to the corporate success through developing service quality programs, improving efficiency ratios, and implementing business development strategies. During my tenure at the bank, I obtained a master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Redlands while managing a household with a blended family.

As a former Branch Manager, I understand the function, power, and availability of money in relation to lending. I also understand how to tap into that availability to improve an individual’s quality of life. Now as a Sr. Loan Officer, I have dedicated myself to finding the right lending product for each individual client and incorporating all of my experience into each interaction.

My commitment to my clients is to provide superior customer service, stay knowledgeable in the market, and operate with the highest level of integrity. I look forward to serving you and remember …

Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal.

- Henry Ford

Assessment and Technology Coordinator

DaDisi Maendeleo Jacobs

Maendeleo “DaDisi” Jacobs has been working in the public school system since graduating from high school in 1990. He received one of San Diego Unified School District’s full academic scholarships, funded by the San Diego Foundation, aimed at growing their own teachers from the ranks of their student population. DaDisi began his teaching career as a Title I teacher assistant. In 1994, he began working as a long-term cluster substitute at O'Farrell Community School under their school’s charter.Two years later, DaDisi became the Director of the Student Teacher Empowerment Program (S.T.E.P.), which was developed to offer an alternative to suspension and lower the schools staggering suspension rates. In the Fall of 1999 DaDisi returned to school to pursue an Education Specialist Credential (Mild/Moderate).

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Upon completing this credential he secured a special education position at Morse Senior High School, in San Diego County. While teaching at Morse he earned his master’s degree from San Diego State University in Special Education with an emphasis in behavioral modification. All the while concurrently running Morse’s High School’s Adult Education Program in the evenings. In 2006, DaDisi began working with the San Diego County Office of Education (SDCOE), specifically the Juvenile Court and Community School program. In 2012 he was named the Juvenile Court and Community School’s Teacher of the Year. Currently he is pursuing a second master’s degree in Educational Leadership at Cal State San Marcos and is working in downtown San Diego at Monarch School, a unique public/partnership between SDCOE and the Monarch School Project, a non-profit. Monarch is a school that supports students and their families impacted by homelessness. DaDisi has aspirations of opening his own school with the theory of action, “If we focus on meeting student’s educational, social and emotional needs, then we will be justified in all our decisions.”