All In Blog - Voices from Our Network

Welcome to ‘All In,’ an inside look at the people, issues and ideas that move us. ‘All In’ represents the commitment and dedication of our staff who continue to believe that a high-quality education is achievable for all students – especially low-income students and students of color. It also represents our commitment to transforming education systems. In addition to staff commentaries, we may feature blogs and video logs (vlogs) from other stakeholders, including teachers, parents and partners.


Support for the Development of LGBTQ+ Identities in the Classroom and Beyond

Nell Wickstrom is the Manager of Academic Programs at the Partnership for Los Angeles Schools. She earned her Bachelor of Arts at DePaul University in Chicago and developed a passion for social justice by getting involved in communities through service work. Growing up in suburban Chicago, in a conservative, primarily white, middle-class community, my sexual...

By Nell Wickstrom, Manager of Academic Programs

Best Practices Are a Process, Not a Destination

Becca Velasco is the Senior Manager of Strategy & Growth at the Partnership for LA Schools and also co-leads the ProjectLIT Watts Book Club for students at Edwin Markham Middle School. Becca received her Bachelor’s degree in American Studies from Stanford University and her Master of Public Policy from the USC Price School of Public...

By Becca Velasco, Senior Manager of Strategy & Growth

The Big Disconnect: COVID-19 Exposes How Lack of Home Connectivity Hurts Low-Income Students

Stephanie Hernandez is the Manager of Parent Leadership and Advocacy for the Partnership for Los Angeles Schools. Through her role, she works with parents in support of greater equity in our education system and leadership development. If you asked me in January what one of my most important jobs would be if we went through...

By Stephanie Hernandez, Manager of Parent Leadership and Advocacy

Parents Unify to Fight for Safe Routes to School

Maria R. Frias is a mother of a 7th grade student at Stevenson College and Career Preparatory. She has been a leader with UPEJ since 2018. As a proud mother of two young boys, I’m always looking for what is best for my children. I have a son in high school and another who attends...

By Maria R. Frias, UPEJ member

School Leadership Matters

Jeffrey Garrett is the Senior Director of Leadership Development at the Partnership for Los Angeles Schools. He oversees professional learning for principals, assistant principals and instructional leadership teams in our 18 schools, as well as aspiring leader programs.  He has experience serving as a middle and high school principal, instructional leadership coach, and high school...

By Jeffrey Garrett, Senior Director of Leadership Development

Restorative Justice: Helping Make a New Country Feel More Like Home

Julija (pronounced Yoo-lee-uh) Zubac is the Manager of Restorative Communities at the Partnership for Los Angeles Schools. She was born in Bosnia-Herzegovina and is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and Claremont Graduate University. It was the summer of 1997, and you may remember it as the summer when Dr. Dre dropped the Next...

By Julija Zubac, Manager of Restorative Communities

College Access Advocacy: Partnership Students in the House (and Senate)

Karlo Silbiger is the Coordinator of College-Going Culture at the Partnership for Los Angeles Schools. He works with teachers, counselors, administrators, parents, and community partners at all 18 schools in the Partnership network to support students in preparing for and transitioning to college after graduation. It’s June 2019.  As you walk across the stage to...

By Karlo Silbiger, Coordinator of College-Going Culture

Ensuring Students of Color at High-Need Schools Expect – and Receive – Quality Educators

Geneviève DeBose Akinnagbe is a National Board Certified teacher and a Literacy Coach for School Transformation at one of the Partnership’s schools — Edwin Markham Middle School. She started her teaching career in 1999 as a sixth grade English Language Arts and Social Studies teacher at Samuel Gompers Middle School in LA Unified. She has...

By Geneviève DeBose Akinnagbe, Literacy Coach for School Transformation