Phyllis Cygan, Executive Director
As a daughter of the school’s original owners, Mrs. Cygan was well trained to ultimately take the position as Executive Director of Heritage Oak Private School. Mrs. Cygan began a teaching career that included physical education as well as teaching pre-kindergarten and kindergarten. After several years of managing the school office and operations, Mrs. Cygan and her husband, Greg Cygan, purchased the school from her father in 1992 and moved it from the original Fullerton campus to Yorba Linda. The school has blossomed from 123 students at that time to well nearly 700 students in preschool through middle school. The Cygans now have seven children, many of whom have graduated or are currently attending Heritage Oak.
Latrese Jackson, Middle School Director
Mrs. Latrese Jackson joined the Heritage Oak administration in 2007 after spending 17 years working as a Teacher, School Psychologist, Student Intervention Counselor, and Middle School Assistant Principal in the Los Angeles Unified School District. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree and a Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology as well a Clear Multiple Subject Teaching Credential, a Pupil Personnel Services Credential in School Psychology and an Administrative Services Credential. Additionally, Mrs. Jackson has extensive training in program development, classroom management, multicultural awareness, and character building. Mrs. Jackson and her husband have been a part of the Heritage Oak family for many years as parents to three former Heritage Oak students.
Jeremiah Nelson, Elementary Director
Jeremiah (Jeremy) Nelson joined the Heritage Oak Administration as the Upper Elementary School Director in 2015. Mr. Nelson holds a Master of Science in Education from Concordia Nebraska and spent ten years teaching mathematics at Orange Lutheran High School. Along with his teaching duties, Mr. Nelson was also Orange Lutheran’s Summer School Principal for five years and was a mentor teacher for the Ignite Program. He graduated from the School Leadership Development program (SLED) in 2010. Mr. Nelson also spends time as an Adjunct Math Professor at Concordia University, Irvine where he wrote the pilot online course for the math department and has taught various mathematics courses. Also passionate about athletics, he has coached football, softball, soccer, and golf at various high schools throughout Southern California and was named the 2001 Arrowhead League Softball Coach of the Year and the 2002 & 2003 Victory League Soccer Coach of the Year. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his wife Laura, coaching his sons’ various sport teams, reading, traveling, and rooting for his beloved USC football, Angels, Lions, Clippers and USA Soccer teams.
Cindy Twomey, Preschool and Pre-Kindergarten Director
Mrs. Cindy Twomey earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Child Development from San Diego State University and has been with Heritage Oak since 2007, when she started the inaugural Early Learners class. She has provided her expertise as a teacher in Heritage Oak’s preschool and pre-kindergarten programs before stepping into the role of Director in 2016. Prior to Heritage Oak, Mrs. Twomey spent time as a director for a national childcare center. Mrs. Twomey has two children, Kyle and Taylor and enjoys spending time with her husband, Mike.
Heather Kyte, Enrichment Director
Mrs. Heather Kyte has been a member of the Heritage Oak faculty for over 19 years. Prior to taking on the role of Enrichment Director in 2016, she taught Pre-kindergarten and First Grade. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Human Development from Hope International University and earned her Certificate in Early Childhood Administration, Management, and Leadership from Saddleback Valley College. Mrs. Kyte’s four children have flourished at Heritage Oak—in fact both of her daughters are now Heritage Oak employees and her youngest son is currently in middle school.
Courtney McKenna, Student Services Director
Ms. McKenna has been a part of the Heritage Oak family for 10 years. Her oldest daughter Chloe began attending Heritage Oak in 2004 and Ms. McKenna took on the role of Director of Student Services in 2007, after her youngest daughter, Mallory started in the Early Learners Program. She received her Bachelor’s degree in English with an emphasis in Creative Writing as well as a French Minor from San Diego State University. Ms. McKenna maintains personal connections with students and parents to ensure that children are comfortable and enjoying their time at Heritage Oak, emphasizing positive social conduct among our students. She works closely with the Support Staff Supervisor in overseeing the Support Staff team.