Solano has been the executive director since October 2016. He was born and raised in Salem, graduating from Sprague High School, and is the elder sibling of one of the Academy’s first participants (who is also a Willamette University graduate). After graduating from Willamette in 2009 with a bachelor's degree in History and American Ethnic Studies, Solano was accepted into the Teach for America Corps and relocated to Los Angeles. He brings with him experience as a former middle school history and language arts teacher, and has served as assistant principal at Camino Nuevo Charter Academy, as dean of students at the ICEF Inglewood Middle Charter Academy, and as a corps member advisor and school director during Teach For America's summer institute.
Solano went on to earn a master's degree in Urban Education: Policy and Administration from Loyola Marymount University and completed coursework through the National Academy of Advanced Teacher Education (NAATE). In 2021, he graduated with a Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership from Lewis & Clark College.