Our Story Begins Here

The Partnership launched in 2007 as a collaboration between LA Unified, our founding donors Richard and Melanie Lundquist, the City of Los Angeles, and other public and private partners. Today, our story continues as we strive to accelerate achievement for the students in our schools and across LA Unified and beyond.

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August, 2007

Partnership launches

LA Unified administrators, donors and community partners collaborate to create a new 501(c)3 non-profit supporting LA schools.

September, 2007

Lundquist gift announced

Melanie and Richard Lundquist announce a 10-year, $50 million founding gift to ensure the Partnership’s sustainability.

July, 2008

Partnership begins managing schools

The Partnership launches with ten initial schools in the network.

July, 2009

Mendez joins the Partnership

Mendez High School, a newly-built campus in Boyle Heights, joins the Partnership for the 2009-10 school year.

July, 2010

Three additional schools join

Dolores Huerta Elementary and Carver Middle School in South LA, and Florence Griffith Joyner Elementary in Watts, join the Partnership.

July, 2011

Jordan joins the Partnership

Jordan High School in Watts joins the Partnership.

October, 2012

Partnership MOU renewed

The Partnership’s initial Memorandum of Understanding with LA Unified is renewed, affirming the progress at Partnership schools.

June, 2013

Joan Sullivan named CEO

Joan Sullivan, former LA Deputy Mayor of Education and founding principal of the Bronx Academy of Letters, succeeds Marshall Tuck as Partnership CEO.

April, 2014

Reed settlement reached

Reed v. California is settled, providing additional supports to 36 high-need LA Unified schools, including six Partnership schools.

July, 2015

Parent College grows

Parent College expands to new school networks in LA and beyond, serving additional communities for the 2015-16 school year.

August, 2015

The Partnership welcomes 107th Street

107th Street Elementary in Watts joins the Partnership.

October, 2015

Cruz settlement reached

The Calif. Board of Education settles Cruz v. California, providing thousands of students at high-need schools with many extra hours of instruction.

August, 2016

Partnership network expands again

20th Street and Grape Street elementary schools in South LA and Watts join the Partnership.

October, 2017

Partnership’s 10th Anniversary

The Partnership hosts “Believe With Me” – a gala celebrating the Partnership’s 10th year.

April, 2018

SENI 2.0 Approved

LA Unified’s Board approved a resolution to more accurately identify and fund the district’s highest need schools.

Our Mission and Goals

Our mission is to transform schools and revolutionize school systems to empower all students with a high-quality education. We have accelerated student achievement while scaling successes across our network and beyond. Looking forward, we have set the following ambitious goals to guide us towards 2020:

Student Achievement

Double proficiency rates in Math and English Language Arts.

Ensuring Success

Exceed the LA Unified graduation rate and have half of our seniors accepted to a 4-year college.

Build a Movement

Build a movement to transform schools with support from more than two-thirds of our school and classroom leaders.

Systems Change

Champion more equitable district policies and practices that cut the achievement gap for the highest-need schools in LA Unified.

Sustainability

Ensure that our organization is sustainable.

Our Team

The Partnership staff comes from a variety of backgrounds, and our team members are driven by our mission and work as advocates for equity. The home-office Partnership team includes educators, lawyers, policy experts, non-profit professionals and more. Our school-based principals also are key members of our team. Our combined expertise allows us to draw upon best practices from across the education sector and beyond in service of our students and families.

  • Our Staff
  • Our Principals

Executive Leadership Team

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Adam Fletcher

Chief of Staff, General Counsel

Prior to joining the Partnership, I was a Senior Associate at Irell & Manella, LLP, where I was responsible for leading large trial teams and took part in pro bono work, including participating on the board of an aspiring charter school, representing victims of mortgage fraud, and working to ensure that veterans receive appropriate health care and benefits. After practicing law for several years, I came to the Partnership because I wanted to spend my time working on the most important issue facing our society today – ensuring that all children have a great education. I come from a family of public school teachers, so coming to the Partnership was a chance to return to my roots. I received a master's degree in Economics from UC Santa Barbara and a J.D. from Harvard Law School.

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Ian Guidera

Chief Academic Officer

Over the past 20 years, I’ve taught every grade and subject K-8, served as a middle school principal, and directed a school and district turnaround center — all of which have led me to being Chief Academic Officer of the Partnership’s Academics Team. I began my career teaching in Montgomery County Public Schools, and in 2003 joined KIPP Academy of Opportunity (KAO) as a founding teacher, where I earned KIPP's teacher of the year award. I later become the principal after attending the KIPP Leadership Program at UC-Berkeley in partnership with National-Louis University, earning a Master’s in Administration and Supervision. During my tenure at KIPP, I also received a Doctorate in Education Leadership at UCLA. Deeply, I believe our democracy requires striving for a true meritocracy, which can only be achieved once we have justice and equity in all our schools. The work of the Partnership is at the core of who I am, yet if I was forced to do something not in education, would be happy competing in expeditionary races, playing in the NBA, or being a full time dad.

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Joseph Chang

Chief People and Operating Officer

My parents immigrated to this country with few resources but great hopes. They worked their way up from minimum wage jobs as I attended public schools in the Bay Area. Earning my bachelor’s degree from UCLA was a culminating moment not only in my story but also theirs. Together, we had changed the trajectory of our family’s place in the world. America is not just a country but an ever-evolving aspiration to create a world where all people have the opportunity to earn, shape, and create their destinies. At the center of that idea is access to a high-quality public education for all children. I have dedicated my career to working in and with public schools as my way of forwarding the American Dream that others made possible for me. Prior to joining the Partnership, I served the children of LA Unified as a teacher, researcher, consultant, and nonprofit executive. Along the way, I earned an MBA at UCLA where I focused on organizational behavior, strategy, and nonprofit management.

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Joan Sullivan

Chief Executive Officer

I am grateful to serve as the CEO of the Partnership for Los Angeles Schools. I previously served as Los Angeles’ Deputy Mayor of Education, where I worked closely with the superintendent and school board to support the nation’s second largest school district. I arrived in Los Angeles after spending more than a decade in the South Bronx as the founding principal of a high-poverty, high-performing public secondary school - the Bronx Academy of Letters - and as a high school social studies teacher. Before entering the classroom I worked on Bill Bradley’s 2000 presidential campaign, documenting my experiences in a memoir entitled An American Voter, published in 2002. I began my career working for the Civilian Complaint Review Board, a New York City agency charged with investigating police misconduct. I hold a M.S. in School Leadership and graduated with a B.A. in American Studies from Yale College, where I earned All-American honors in lacrosse.

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Academic Team

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Alfonso Romero

Math Coach for School Transformation

I was born in Mexico and emigrated to this country when I was six years old. I was raised in South Los Angeles and I’m a product of LAUSD. Prior to joining the Partnership, I served the community of Watts (Locke High School) and Lawndale (Leuzinger High School) as a math teacher. I was drawn to the Partnership because I’m passionate about transforming education in our marginalized communities by ensuring ALL students are receiving a high-quality education. In my spare time, I enjoy spending time with my wife and two sons. We are LAFC supporters! Black and Gold!

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Rachel Bonkovsky

Senior Director of School Transformation (High)

I come to the Partnership by way of Boston Public Schools and Los Angeles Unified. I have over 16 years of experience in education, which began as a secondary science teacher and later principal in Boston, before moving to Los Angeles in 2007 and joining LAUSD as Director of the Pilot School Initiative. At LAUSD I also worked in the Superintendent’s Office as Program and Policy Development Advisory and as the Executive Director of the Division of Intensive Support and Intervention. I hold a BA in Biology and English from Amherst College, a Masters in education from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, and a certificate of advanced graduate studies in educational administration from the University of Massachusetts in Boston. Outside of work I'm all about being a great mom and partner with some hiking thrown in on the side.

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Willa Clifton-Posey

Coordinator of School Transformation

Prior to joining the Partnership I served in districts that mirror the communities I am now fortunate enough to serve in a larger capacity. I have over 17 years in education, beginning with the Inglewood Unified School District, followed by serving in several roles at the district level which included coaching teachers, administrators, and providing professional development around K-12 English Language Arts Instruction, curriculum, and support for English language learners. Two years ago, I returned to the classroom as a Partnership teacher, Common Core Lead, and Blended Learning Model teacher at Joyner Elementary School. I obtained a BA in Sociology from California State University Dominguez Hills, an MEd from National University, and an MS in Educational Administration from Pepperdine University. Outside of work I am a proud wife, mother, and Mimi to Sir Alex; reader, walker, tea enthusiast and avid slam poetry audience member.

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D’Anza Smith-Rodriguez

Literacy Coach for School Transformation

For the past 17 years, I have immersed myself in the world of middle school education. I began my teaching career in Compton Unified School District in 2001, where I taught 7th grade English for seven years. In 2008, I transitioned to KIPP LA Schools and remained there for almost ten years serving as a 6th and 7th grade English teacher, middle school Assistant School Leader and founding School Leader. During my tenure, I received a Master's Degree in Education through UCLA’s Principal Leadership Institute. In my current role as the Literacy Coach for School Transformation, I have the pleasure of working with our team to positively impact student achievement results in literacy at Carver Middle School, a school that is just two miles from where I began my educational journey as a five year old. As a counternarrative, I am deeply passionate about working to transform our school sites into places where all students receive a high quality, equitable educational experience. As a mom and wife, I approach our work as if my two kids attended our schools; as James Baldwin stated, “For these are all our children, we will all profit or pay for what they become.”

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Beth Davis-Dillard

Senior Director of School Transformation (Elementary)

My career in education has given me the opportunity to serve varied and diverse communities in New York City and Los Angeles as both a teacher and school leader. Prior to moving to Los Angeles, I had the honor of serving as the founding principal of Success Academy Bed-Stuy 2, an elementary school in Brooklyn. I am passionate about supporting public schools to provide the best possible education to all students, regardless of the zip code in which they live. My belief that every single child deserves access to a phenomenal public education, and is capable of learning at the highest of levels, has always guided my work in education.

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Tanya Franklin

Director of School Culture & Restorative Communities

Supporting school culture and restorative practices is an incredibly meaningful and relevant way for me to promote educational and racial equity for all young people. As a social justice educator/lawyer serving in the school district I attended as a student and taught in as a middle school teacher, I’m privileged to work alongside change-makers in classrooms, on school teams, and across the city. I first worked at the Partnership as an Education Pioneer in the summer of 2011 and then part-time during my final two years in law school, where I also served as the inaugural UCLA School of Law Education Law Public Service Fellow at Mental Health Advocacy, Services, Inc. In addition to my J.D. from UCLA School of Law, I hold an M.A. from Loyola Marymount University and B.A. from Columbia University. I serve in leadership roles on Teach For America’s Alumni of Color Collective, the Education Pioneers Los Angeles Alumni Board, and the Del Rey Neighborhood Council. In my free time, I like to distance train: half marathons, 15+ mile hikes, road trips, and long novels.

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Jeffrey Garrett

Senior Director of Leadership Development

Prior to the Partnership, I spent my career in urban education working primarily in New York City as the Principal of the Urban Assembly Bronx Academy of Letters, which consistently produced some of New York City’s highest college readiness metrics. Prior to that, I worked as an instructional leadership coach, and a high school social studies teacher in East Harlem and the South Bronx. I began my career as a college admissions officer at my alma mater Dartmouth College (Go Green!). A native of Saint Paul, Minnesota I firmly believe in the importance of a quality, public education in a democratic society.

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Geneviève DeBose Akinnagbe

Literacy Coach for School Transformation

I am an educator, artist and activist who started her teaching career in 1999 as a 6th grade ELA and Social Studies teacher at Samuel Gompers Middle School in LA Unified. Since then I have spent 14 years teaching middle school students in Oakland and the south Bronx. I am a proud National Board Certified teacher who strongly believes that education is a tool for social justice and empowerment and that learning experiences for children should be culturally relevant, student-centered and interactive. I currently serve as a Teaching Channel Laureate and a board member of the Black Teacher Project. Previously I have served as a Teaching Ambassador Fellow at the U.S. Department of Education where I used my experience to inform federal education policy. As a product of LA Unified schools I am excited to join the Partnership to support the soaring eagles of Edwin Markham Middle School. I earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Ethnic Studies and an Master's Degree in Education from University of California, Berkeley and a teaching credential from Mills College. In my spare time you may find me in a capoeira roda, freestyling over an instrumental beat, silkscreening t-shirts, or traveling the globe.

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Marcus Hughes

Coordinator of Teacher Leadership

A native of South LA and father of three, I am passionate about ensuring an excellent education for all kids in our city. I was drawn to the Partnership’s mission to transform schools and revolutionize school-systems.I join the team with over a decade of educational experience, most recently coaching and developing teachers for Teach For America. Entering my final year of LMU’s Educational Leadership for Social Justice doctoral program, I hope to find time to enjoy my other passion of coaching youth sports.

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Jacqueline Muñoz Geoghegan

Associate of Academic Programs

After serving for a year as an AmeriCorps Member with City Year Los Angeles, I was pleased to find work at the Partnership, which shares the mission of transforming our public schools here in LA, my home, to provide our most underserved students the supports and quality in their education that they deserve. While I miss being in the classroom with my seventh graders, I am excited to strive towards the goal of equitable education in a new capacity. Pre City Year I attended Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York where I received a B.A. in Latin American and Latina/o Studies and served for four years as a listener with The Listening Center (TLC), our campus peer crisis hotline. My passions for social justice and mental health issues are largely inspired by my mom. She worked as a bilingual elementary school teacher in San Diego before getting her LCSW and switching to Psychotherapy over thirty years ago, and who throughout my childhood always reminded my sisters and me, “You’re Chicana! Be proud!” Outside of work I love going on walks with her in our neighborhood, as well as hiking in Griffith Park, frequenting cute coffee shops, and spending quality time with my wonderful friends.

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Karlo Silbiger

Coordinator of College-Going Culture

As the Coordinator of College-Going Culture, I work with teachers, counselors, administrators, parents, and community partners at all 18 schools (K-12) to support our students in preparing for and transitioning to college after graduation. Previously, I was a classroom teacher for 16 years in Los Angeles and Boston, teaching Music and Social Studies classes, including Advanced Placement (AP) courses. I also ran the College Readiness program, working with all Juniors and Seniors to prepare for and complete their college application process. I received my Bachelor’s Degrees in Music Education and Social Studies Education from Boston University. My Master’s Degree is in Education Policy and Management from Harvard University. Most recently, I received my Doctorate of Education Leadership from UCLA, focusing on union and management collaboration in reforming teacher evaluation. I am also very active in my Culver City community, where I served for four years as an elected member of the School Board, and where I currently serve on their Homelessness Committee.

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Katy Reiter

Coordinator of School Transformation

Prior to joining the Partnership, I was a proud teacher, instructional coach and administrator within the Los Angeles Unified School District. I taught for 12 years in various grade levels, in Local District East. After my years in the classroom, I became an Instructional Coach in Local District South. Most recently, I was a Common Core Expert and then an Assistant Principal in Local District Central. I was drawn to the Partnership because my passion lies in ensuring a high quality education for all students, especially those in high-needs areas. I attended California State University, Northridge, where I obtained a BA in Liberal Studies and a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential. After teaching for a few years, I graduated with a Master’s degree in Education Administration and an Administrative Services Credential from National University. In my free time, I love to read, binge watch Netflix, and beach camp with my husband and 3 daughters.

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Erick Marquez

Manager of Blended Learning

The Partnership allows me the amazing opportunity to give back to the inner-city community that I grew up in. I previously worked for CSU-Dominguez Hills as the Program Coordinator for a hybrid teacher credential program focused on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). Prior to this experience, I worked in business development for small businesses and in engineering at Northrop Grumman. I joined the Partnership as a Broad Resident, and hold a Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University and an MBA from UT-Austin.

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Michelle Perkins

Coordinator of School Transformation

I recently moved to Los Angeles from Oakland, CA where I worked as a secondary Language Specialist in the English Language Learner (ELL) Office of Oakland Unified. Prior to supporting ELL students and teachers in Oakland, I worked for San Diego Unified School District as a site based ELL Teacher on Special Assignment and Secondary Reading Specialist. I hold a Bachelor of Arts in History, Master’s Degree in Reading, Literacy, and Language, and plan to pursue an administrative credential in the near future. As a Partnership Literacy Coordinator, I collaborate with five LA Unified high schools to improve literacy outcomes to ensure that all students are college and career ready.

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Joy Min

Coordinator of School Transformation

After ten years of teaching and growing as a math educator at Roosevelt High School, I joined the Partnership in 2015 to continue my professional growth and expand my reach for the students of Los Angeles. I strongly believe in the power of caring and effective teachers who can empower our students to become agents of change for themselves and their communities. At Roosevelt I served as the math department chair and taught all levels of math from Math Tutorial Lab to AP Calculus BC. I received my B.S. in Mathematics and Masters of Education at UCLA and am currently in the process of becoming a triple Bruin through the Partnership Leadership Fellows at UCLA's Principal Leadership Institute. When I am not buried in amazing social justice readings, I love to eat healthy (with dessert…) and work out!

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Myeisha Phillips

Senior Coordinator of School Transformation

Prior to joining the Partnership, I worked for UCLA Center X as a Math Coach, Teacher Leader, Professional Development Provider, and Institute Director. As an educator for the past 14 years, I bring a wealth of knowledge and support to the Partnership. I began my career as a teacher at Camino Nuevo Charter Academy and did both my undergraduate and graduate study at UCLA, receiving a Bachelors degree in Sociology with a Minor in Education, and a Masters in Education with a focus on Urban Schools. I have a strong passion for math and I believe that all students can achieve at high levels.

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Nell Wickstrom

Associate of Academic Programs

While studying for my B.A. at DePaul University in Chicago, I developed a passion for social justice through getting involved in communities through service work and an internship with a local non-profit. Though I spent two years after college working in digital media and communications, I could never shake a deep feeling of commitment to social justice; this feeling motivated me to intentionally shift my professional focus, leading me to spend ten months serving in an East Los Angeles middle school as a City Year Americorps member. Serving in Americorps provided clarity on the shift I needed to make in my career trajectory in order to pursue my passion for equitable opportunities for young people, and social justice in general. At the Partnership, I am able to utilize my skills and grow within an organization committed to equity in education. When I’m not working, I love to eat my way through LA, enjoy the occasional hike, and play with my very high energy cat, Fran!

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Karin Rinderknecht

Director of School Transformation

I recently relocated back to Los Angeles from Washington, D.C. after serving three years as a Director of School Support for the Achievement Network, an innovative national reform organization that provides direct coaching and services to school leaders and instructional teams. Prior to that, I taught high school English for seven years at three different schools - Green Dot Ralph Bunche Charter, Orthopaedic Hospital Magnet (both in L.A.), and Brandeis HS (in New York City). I am a bookworm at heart, so my drive to support literacy practices and outcomes for the students at Partnership schools comes in part from my own love of reading. I attended Yale for my undergraduate degree and City College for my Masters in education. Outside of my job, I love to travel, eat good food and spend time with my family.

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Randy Romero

Senior Director of School Transformation (Middle)

Randy Romero has been in education for nearly 15 years, serving as Secondary Information Systems Clerk, Math and Science Classroom Teacher, Mathematics Coach, Professional Development Coordinator, and Intervention Coordinator. Randy served as Principal at both Math, Science, and Technology Magnet Academy at Roosevelt High School and Hollenbeck Middle School. He collaborated with teachers to develop a democratic shared governance structure, and bolstered the STEM courses at both sites. Mr. Romero is a product of the Los Angeles Unified School District where he attended school in his hometown of El Sereno, CA. He graduated from Woodrow Wilson High School.

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Rubi Fregoso

Manager of Arts Education

As the Partnership's Manager of Arts Education, I am focused on the development and implementation of an arts education pilot in our network of schools. My passion stems from early work as a community activist, where I learned the power of the arts and media to forge a space for community identity and action. Over the past 17 years I’ve worked in formal and informal educational settings facilitating opportunities for youth to find their voice and empowering educators to use art & media to enrich their classrooms. My goal in all my endeavors is to harness the power of creativity and innovation and use it as a catalyst to empower students of all ages to see themselves as community leaders. Previously, I was the Manager for 21st Century Learning with Woodcraft Rangers, building partnerships with local colleges and universities and managing the curriculum team’s work to integrate the visual and performing arts with STEM. Prior to that I served as Director of Education for the KCET public television digital series Departures Youth Voices, working closely with students, teachers, and community members to tell their stories and address the needs of communities throughout Los Angeles. In addition I have worked as an associate producer for education and national outreach on several children’s television programs. I started on my path in education as a film teacher with LAUSD at Van Nuys High School Performing Arts Magnet, and I received my education at CSU Long Beach and UCLA.

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Courtney Sawyer

Senior Director of School Transformation (Elementary)

Bio coming soon.

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Julie Stefan Lindsay

Coordinator of School Transformation

With my background in secondary teaching and coaching, I joined the Partnership to be part of a mission-driven organization that supports underserved students and school communities in a sustainable way. I taught ELA and Humanities before becoming a coach and coordinator, and I specialize in educational leadership, professional development, disciplinary literacy, and evidence-based instructional practices. I am currently an Ed.D. candidate in the Educational Leadership Program at UCLA and enjoy reading, baking, fitness activities, and spending time with my husband and daughter.

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Ada Stevens

School Transformation Consultant

As a 30+ year veteran LAUSD teacher and administrator, my passion for public education and lifting students out of poverty brought me to the Partnership. I am passionate about challenging the status quo and serving our students, families and communities. When not working, I enjoy spending time with my family, hiking and gardening.

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Nychelle Toussaint

Coordinator of School Transformation

I have 15 years of experience as an elementary educator, including time as a classroom teacher, mentor teacher, grade level chair and coach. I most recently served as a lead teacher for 3rd grade English Language Arts at KIPP Empower Academy in Inglewood, and have a deep knowledge of literacy instruction and curriculum, blended learning, and culturally relevant and responsive pedagogy. Education is lifelong curiosity that builds growth and development. Curiosity pushes my passion for literacy to be provided to all scholars in an innovated model, because they deserve it. I am excited to be a part of the Partnership for Los Angeles Schools to join in the effort of transforming and revolutionizing schools. This is the only way that our children will be college ready and leaders for the future. When I am not working I am busy loving my three beautiful sons, trying new recipes, making time to laugh, and having fun.

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Francisco Villegas

Director of School Transformation

I became an educator to provide disenfranchised children with an excellent education that will empower them to make positive change in their lives and the lives of others. Prior to joining the Partnership I worked with the Colton School District, Bloomington High School, for twelve years as a master math teacher (teaching everything from pre-algebra to AP calculus BC), department chair, and Saturday school coordinator. My passion is working with young people, living in generational poverty, to support their development as confident individuals who see investing in themselves and their communities as a worthwhile and necessary effort. My work with teachers and school leaders is to support them in doing this work.

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Julija Zubac

Manager of Restorative Communities

I am a social justice educator who integrates my passion for teaching, education policy, and restorative justice to advocate for equity. Prior to joining the Partnership, I was an Education Pioneers Fellow with LAUSD, where I served as a strategic planner in the Office of Government Relations, helping design a year-round LCAP community engagement strategy. My career in education began ten years ago in the classroom, teaching social studies at Rosemead High School in the San Gabriel Valley and Locke High School in Watts. I hold a BA in Political Science from the University of Pennsylvania (go Quakers!) and an MA in Education from Claremont Graduate University. A native of Bosnia-Herzegovina, I am passionate about contributing to a more peaceful and just world. Outside of work, I am a devoted auntie, an avid traveler, and an arts enthusiast.

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External Relations Team

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Lydia Abell

Executive Associate

I am a recent Angeleno, having moved out to California after receiving my master’s degree from Texas A&M University. During my time at A&M I worked as both a teaching and research assistant, and also served as a representative on various recruiting and hiring committees. My background is in writing and research, particularly in the arts, and I graduated from University of Southern Indiana in 2013 with Bachelors in both Theatre Arts and English Literature. When I’m not busy working, I love exploring Los Angeles, cooking, reading (Harry Potter… always), and snuggling with my dog, Gus.

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L.J. Carusone

Director of Development

I have always had a passion for social justice and believe education is a key to promoting critical thinking and reducing inequality. Before joining the Partnership, I lived in central Mexico, where I raised funds to establish an Internet company that serves rural communities. I have also worked independently as a consultant for many years fundraising for political campaigns and social justice organizations, including coalition building and grassroots organizing throughout California to push for gender parity and LGBT equality. I am a native of upstate New York and hold a BA in English from the University of Vermont. When I’m not busy securing investments to move our work forward, I enjoy traveling, hiking, kayaking, spending time with my dog, and reading about the latest science discoveries in astronomy, archaeology and space exploration.

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Chris Temblador

Parent Organizer

I believe that school transformation is about engagement and action. Before arriving to the Partnership, I graduated from San Jose State University with a degree in Behavioral Science with an emphasis in community change. During this time, I supported college going cultures in K-12 schools and universities. Before moving back to South LA, I engaged San Jose State student leaders and started a mentoring program that bridged the gap between the university and local elementary students. I am excited to be working with parent leaders in South LA, Boyle Heights, and Watts to advocate for educational equity. When I am not working with parents, I am working with minority owned businesses to further a thriving community in South Los Angeles. I love to travel and paint, and I enjoy being at the basketball courts at Hoover Park.

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Claudia Sandoval

Senior Associate of Communications

I am a highly-motivated, young professional with a passion for social justice and lifelong learning. I was first introduced to the concept of lifelong learning when I worked at Centro Latino for Literacy – an organization that taught adult literacy in Spanish as a springboard to learning English as a second language. In my past roles, I‘ve managed media relationships and fundraising campaigns, coordinated events, provided training to partner organizations, developed and implemented creative and comprehensive strategies to market programs and services to key target audiences, and managed printing and distribution of promotional materials. Through consistent positioning and messaging, my aim is to help the Partnership for Los Angeles Schools continue to drive our mission forward and effectively communicate it through media and partner relationships, as well as social media channels. I am excited to be a part of the Partnership and help with our online identity and presence, and brand awareness.

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Diana Ruiz

Associate of Family and Community Engagement

I graduated from UC Berkeley with a major in History and minors in both, Education and Public Policy. As a product of LA Unified schools, my commitment to educational equity stems from my experience as a first-generation Latina who entered college without any proper direction or preparation for what was to come. The obstacles I encountered throughout my first years of college inspired me to do my part to lessen the effects of educational disparities and underrepresentation by taking on various roles with education nonprofits. My previous experience includes being a mentor for at-risk elementary students, a Jumpstart Corps Member, Family Engagement Content Specialist for Jumpstart, and a Program Counselor for first-generation ninth grader students. I'm very passionate about this field of work and I'm excited about working with the Family and Community Engagement team to further empower families and strengthen the communities we serve. In my spare time, I enjoy reading, painting, exploring new brunch spots, and spending time with family and friends.

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Hannah Caruso

Manager of Organizing & Advocacy

Coming soon.

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Cathy Kralik

Director of Communications

I am proud to serve as the Partnership's Director of Communications, and am joining the Partnership with nearly 20 years of communications experience, including on the agency side as well as in the corporate and non-profit sectors. Most recently, I served as Director of Internal and Change Communications at World Vision International, a non-profit focused on global relief, development, and advocacy dedicated to improving the lives of children, their families and communities in 98 countries.

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Virginia Lee

Director of Family and Community Engagement

I am honored to serve as the Partnership's Director of Family and Community Engagement. My life’s work is to support families and communities to be healthy and thrive, and I have worked with non-profits, government, health organizations, and foundations on public health and social justice issues including violence, food access, active living, HIV/AIDS, and tobacco use. Prior to joining the Partnership, I was the Senior Manager for Urban Peace Institute and Advancement Project. I also convened the Watts Regional School Safety Collaborative with the goal of promoting safe passage for students and implemented the Watts Latino Leadership Institute which focused on increasing civic engagement among immigrant residents. Quality education is an issue close to my heart, and I am excited to serve and support school communities in reaching their fullest potential.

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Claudia Martinez

Senior Manager of Family and Community Engagement

I joined the Partnership in September 2013, and have dedicated my professional work in building college ready students by advising youth, implementing academic and enrichment programs, and supporting families and schools. I previously worked as Regional Supervisor for Youth Services at the Youth Policy Institute (YPI), and have also worked at Families in Schools and as a college advisor. I am an Education Pioneer Graduate Fellow, and received my Master’s in Public Administration with a focus in nonprofit management and BA in Sociology with a minor in Chicano/a Studies from California State University, Northridge. Outside of work, I love to hike the mountains that surround LA and for the last 6 years I’ve chaired a memorial youth scholarship program that has brought thousands of dollars to deserving teens.

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Nancy Peponis

Manager of Development

Born in Chicago — Go Cubs! — I love Los Angeles because of its palm trees, open outlook and brilliant light. I am proud to have contributed to our city as the the National Immigration Law Center's first director of development and executive director of Learning Rights Law Center, and now as Manager of Development at the Partnership. I am a board member of the SPACE Arts Center in South Pasadena, and received an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business and a Bachelor of Music in Composition from the Bienen School of Music at Northwestern University. I enjoy music (indie rock, college radio), silent films (Weimar Republic), reading (punk rock, history) and Mexican mochas (extra chocolate).

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Sima Alimadadian

Associate of Development

I’ve always believed that a good education is the keystone of the American Dream and as a product of "Blue Ribbon" public schools, I’ve seen firsthand what our educational systems should look like for all children. My passion for equitable educational opportunities led me to my volunteer positions as a mentor with Kid City Hope Place, a college-access organization in downtown Los Angeles, and as part of the fundraising committee for its parent organization, the Los Angeles United Methodist Urban Foundation. I come to the Partnership and the non-profit world from a career in the entertainment industry, where I represented writers for film and television and exercised my advocacy muscles in a completely different way. I’m a proud alum of the University of Southern California and outside of the office, you’ll find me obsessing over Trojan football and Dodger baseball.

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Chase Stafford

Director of Policy & Planning

I’ve worked in several different fields, including research, industrial supplies and international development, but what brought me to the Partnership is a deep commitment to social justice. I love our work because of the dual impact we have – on the schools we directly work with and on the broader system we work within. I previously worked in Ghana as Deputy Country Director of Innovations for Poverty Action, and I received a Masters in International Affairs from UC San Diego and a BA in History from Stanford University. Outside of work I love to run on mountain trails, enjoy the amazing diversity of food in Los Angeles, and play with my sons.

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Stephanie Hernandez

Parent Organizer

Bio coming soon.

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Diana Wiley

Manager of Family Engagement Programs

My passion is to create dynamic learning experiences that empower parents and engage communities. Prior to joining the Partnership, I was a Program Manager at Families In Schools, and my role overseeing Parent College at the Partnership allows me to combine this passion with my project management superpowers to transform education for all students. I hold a BA in Political Science from California State University, Northridge and a Masters in Public Administration from the University of Southern California, and am an alumna of the Coro Fellowship in Public Affairs and the Education Pioneers Graduate School Fellowship. I am a lover of good food, books, yoga, and thrift stores.

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Operations Team

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Brittney Lu

Operations Associate

While studying public health and urban studies and planning at the University of California San Diego, I developed a deep care for issues surrounding equity, access, and justice. I realize the immense privilege I have as a college graduate, and hope for the same for every student. I’m excited to work with a team that supports the empowerment of all students and to be a part of the Partnership as the Operations Associate. I look forward to continue learning from the team and the communities we partner with. When not at work, I’ll be exploring my way through this incredible city!

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Claire Brown

Director of Talent Management

My personal mission is to ensure that Partnership students get access to the most skilled, curious, and inspiring teachers and school leaders out there. Our team seeks to understand the barriers and obstacles to hiring and keeping the best, in order to develop creative solutions for the short and long-term. I started my career as a third grade teacher in Phoenix, Arizona, and hold a Masters of Public Policy from the University of Southern California and a Bachelors in Sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In my free time, I love exploring Southern California, listening to podcasts and audiobooks, and going on adventures with my husband.

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Alice Gualpa

Senior Manager of Data and Impact

I am passionate about public education and have spent my career focused on using data to improve the educational opportunities for students, working as Senior Analyst with the California Charter Schools Association and an analyst with the Los Angeles Unified School District. I received my B.S. degree in Statistics from San Francisco State University and M.A. in Education from Cal State LA. Outside of work I enjoy reading, hiking, spending time with my husband and two daughters… and I am a proud roller derby parent and fan. Go Angel City!

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Icela Santiago

Manager of Operations & Strategy

I grew up on the Mexican-American border learning to navigate both languages and cultures. As a first generation college graduate from UCLA, I have a passion for empowering all people to access and enjoy learning and education. This passion lead me to serve two years with City Year at Edwin Markham Middle School, where I reinforced my desire to be a part of this cause greater than myself. Joining the Partnership has allowed me to continue and expand my contributions to improve the quality of education for all students.

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Kathryn Short

Director of Organizational Culture and Learning

I am a California girl at heart, and I am honored to be working alongside so many amazing educators and advocates to transform schools and systems on behalf of all students. As the child of two lifelong California public school educators, education has been my life’s work from day one. I taught middle school English in Newark, NJ, worked on education policy on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, taught teachers advocacy and policy skills here in Los Angeles, and most recently pursued my own education to get my Doctorate of Education Leadership (EdLD) at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. I also hold a BA in English and Psychology from Abilene Christian University, and a Masters in Public Policy from Georgetown. When I’m not at work, you will find me exploring hiking trails, experimenting with new recipes, or, most likely, binge-watching something on Netflix.

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Arturo Nagar

Senior Director of Finance and Business Affairs

My background building and growing start ups, small business enterprises, and consulting firms, with everyone from home owners to public agencies as clients, helped prepare me for the challenges I face at the Partnership. I previously served as Office Manager at The Solis Group, overseeing the administration and accounting departments of three businesses and one private foundation while also working as a key advisor to the Chairman of the Board of Directors, guiding the companies to their most profitable years in business during his tenure. What doesn’t translate from the private sector, and what drew me into the Partnership, is the sense of fulfillment I enjoy from tackling the challenges day-to-day. I hold two Bachelor of Arts degrees, one in Communications and one in Philosophy, from Fordham University in New York.

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Sam Temblador

AmeriCorps VISTA

Before joining the Partnership as an AmeriCorps VISTA member, I worked for Jovenes Inc. in Boyle Heights as an employment counselor to generate employment partnerships for homeless youth with employers all over the city. As a VISTA Parent Recruitment Liaison, I hope to help our Partnership elementary schools in Watts establish effective recruitment strategies and tactics to maintain stable enrollment numbers for subsequent school years. The Partnership embodies many of the moral and social values that are important to me, especially equitable community engagement and systems change. Outside of work, I am an avid supporter of the grassroots arts communities and collectives of Los Angeles. Poetry, film, and powerful storytelling are my muses; martial arts and meditation are my center. As a former LA Unified student and graduate of UCLA, I hope to bring my passion for artful and intentional communication in the service of socially responsible values and ideals to my work with the Partnership and its culture.

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Vanessa Serrano

Impact Associate

As recent college grad, I am excited to have found my first position with the Partnership as an Impact Associate. I have a passion for social justice issues especially regarding equity in education. I will be working closely with high schools to meet their data needs and I’m particularly interested in supporting projects to create pathways to college. I received my BA in Economics from UC Berkeley. In my free time I like to bake desserts that I’ve never eaten before.

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Margery Weller

Senior Manager of Talent

My desire to ensure that all students are college and career ready brought me to this work. I joined the Partnership having served in several capacities within the Los Angeles Unified School District, from Teacher’s Assistant, Teacher, Coordinator, to my most recent role of Assistant Principal, Elementary Instructional Specialist (APEIS). During my twenty plus years of school site experience I've worked in the Van Nuys, West Los Angeles, South Los Angeles and Watts communities. I have a Bachelors degree in History from California State University Dominguez Hills and a Masters of Science in Educational Administration from National University. I believe it takes a high quality teacher with limitless love to inspire students to achieve, and it excites me that I get the opportunity to identify and assess teacher talent on a daily basis.

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Marc Wilson

Sr. Manager of Operations & Strategy, Legal Counsel

A native of Los Angeles, I previously served as an attorney at Latham & Watkins LLP and Paramount Pictures. I joined the Partnership as a Broad Resident and am thrilled to be a part of the Partnership team as we generate real change and help ensure all students have access to a high-quality education. I received a Bachelors Degree in Economics from Northwestern University, and a J.D. from the Northwestern University School of Law, where I graduated with honors. Outside of work I love spending my time outdoors exploring all of the amazing things that Los Angeles has to offer with my wife and three children.

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Parent College Outreach Team

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Longette Daniels

Parent College Outreach Member

Longette is a parent and currently a staff member at Florence Griffith Joyner Elementary School with an immense experience working in school settings and after school programs. She has a long history of working within the Watts community. Longette is the PC Outreach Team member, who primarily focuses her efforts on outreach and engagement of African American families.

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Maria Reyes

Parent College Outreach Member

I started working at the Partnership in 2009. My role at that time was knocking on doors to recruit parents from local schools to participate in a community program that eventually became Parent College. Before joining Partnership, I worked as a crossing guard at different schools. I also with UCLA for 2 years on Latino community outreach projects. In Mexico City, I worked as a receptionist and secretary at various companies where I also learned a lot. I enjoy interacting with many people. What I love most about the Parent College program is connecting with parents who are interested in supporting their students. It is wonderful to see how much they learn and grow by participating in our program. In my spare time, I like to be with my family and grandchildren enjoying every moment. I also like to travel, go for walks, dance, shop, and cook.

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Mariela Morales

Parent College Outreach Member

I joined the Partnership in September 2017 as part of the Parent College Outreach team. In my role I support parents who participate and encourage them to graduate from our program. I previously worked at Debbie’s Bridal, where I learned how to work on a team, connect with people, and provide excellent customer service. I enjoy using all of these skills to support the Parent College program. I am currently a student studying accounting and I plan to go to college in the future. I like to hike and run with my kids. I love my family and like to spend most of my free time with them.

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Rosa Andrade

Parent College Outreach Member

I joined the Partnership in February 2011. I have dedicated a total of 17 years working for Hollenbeck Middle School, 7 as a parent volunteer and 10 as a Community Representative. That has helped me deepen my knowledge of working with parents at Partnership schools. In my role on the Parent College team I connect with parents, empower the community, and support our students. I love my job. In my free time I enjoy spending time with my family, listening to music, dancing, and traveling to Mexico.

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Stefany Lopez

Parent College Outreach Member

I joined the Partnership as a part-time, interim Operations Associate for the summer of 2018. As a current student at the California State University, Los Angeles, my intention is to major in nursing, although I have a deep appreciation for education. Coming into the Partnership’s office and seeing the hard work and dedication that this team invests in the education of LA Unified students motivates me to do my best. I’m excited to now be working with the Parent College outreach team. Working with parents will help me learn about different experiences and help with my communications skills. Being part of the Partnership team has been a blessing.

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Alex Kim

Edwin Markham Middle School

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Luis Barraza

Sunrise Elementary School

Luis Barraza is the Principal of Sunrise Elementary School. He hopes to make use of his experience as an Elementary School Teacher, Literacy Coach, Categorical Program Advisor, and Assistant Principal to lead the Sunrise community as they prepare their students to be college-bound and career-ready. Mr. Barraza believes that the children of this community deserve to have the best that the Los Angeles Unified School District and the Partnership for Los Angeles Schools has to offer. He is proud to be a part of the collaborative effort to ensure that the students of Sunrise receive first class instruction that leads to a lifetime of success.

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Mauro Bautista

Mendez High School

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LaTasha Buck

George Washington Carver Middle School

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Daniel Carrillo

Figueroa Street Elementary School

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Dai Shalon Jordan

Florence Griffith Joyner Elementary School

Bio coming soon.

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Jose Espinoza

MSTMA at Roosevelt High School

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Estela Lopez

Dolores Huerta Elementary School

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Mario Garcielita

20th Street Elementary School

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Ben Gertner

Roosevelt High School

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Marissa Borden

99th Street Elementary School

Bio coming soon.

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Carlos Montes

Jordan High School

Carlos A. Montes is the Principal of Jordan High School. He was born in Lynwood, CA and grew up in Tijuana, Mexico and Compton, CA. While attending college, Mr. Montes coached baseball at South Gate High School, where he graduated from in 1992. After earning his Bachelor's Degree in Audio Engineering, he was offered a teaching and baseball-coaching position at Roosevelt High School. A few years later, Mr. Montes became a Department Chair and served as a Special Ed. Counselor. He then went on to serve as a Special Ed. Advisor, Testing Coordinator, and Dean. In 2011, Mr. Montes became an Instructional Specialist at Jordan High School, leading professional development for faculty, before officially becoming the Principal of the school in 2012.

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Keith Nakano

Grape Street Elementary School

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Katherine Nelson

107th Street Elementary School

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Michelle Rappino

Ritter Elementary School

Dr. Michelle Rappino is the proud Principal of Ritter Elementary School. She was born in Rome, Italy and spent her primary years in Rome and Los Angeles. She is multilingual, speaking English, Italian and Spanish. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from UCLA in 1997, her Master’s Degree in Cross Cultural Education and Educational Administration from National University in 2000 and 2005, respectively, and her Doctorate in Educational Leadership from USC in 2008. During her teaching tenure, Dr. Rappino has worked in both LAUSD and charter schools as a K-6 classroom teacher, a Programs Adviser focusing on compliance and organizational management and as a Teacher Adviser in both Math and Language/Cultural Competency. At Ritter, she currently oversees both instruction and operations while fostering a culture of success and a passion for learning within our students. When she is not educating and empowering our youth, Dr. Rappino focuses her attention on various investments. She also loves jazz, attends poetry readings, walks the beach, travels, and attends events with her sorority sisters.

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Rocio Ortiz

Stevenson College and Career Preparatory

Bio coming soon.

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Susana Ansley-Gutierrez

Santee Education Complex

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Our Board

The Partnership has historically maintained—and is committed to continuing—a policy of diversity among our Board of Directors. Because we serve diverse communities, the success of our programs and initiatives requires cultural competence and genuine engagement with various stakeholders from these communities. Our board includes professionals, philanthropists and parent and teacher stakeholders who are at our school sites and actively involved in our key initiatives. We believe being able to draw upon the expertise of diverse board members is the only way to execute our work effectively.

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Aileen Adams

Aileen Adams was the Deputy Mayor for the Office of Strategic Partnerships for the City of Los Angeles during the administration of Mayor Villaraigosa. In this capacity, she promoted collaboration among philanthropies, nonprofits and the City. Her previous roles include service as a State Cabinet official, presidential appointee in the United States Justice Department as Director of the Office for Victims of Crime, and was the University of Southern California’s Vice Provost for Strategic Alliances. Ms. Adams served for more than a decade as a Los Angeles City Fire Commissioner and as a reserve police officer. In addition, she has served as legal counsel at the Rape Treatment Center, where she co‐founded and served as director of Stuart House, a center for sexually abused children. She has chaired the Board of the California Women’s Foundation and served on the boards of CalArts, Bet Tzedek Legal Services and the Los Angeles Conservation Corps.

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Blanca Pelayo

Blanca Pelayo is a teacher at Sunrise Elementary School in Boyle Heights. She is also a Peer Coach and a member of the school’s Instructional Leadership Team. Blanca began teaching in 1999 at Middleton Street Elementary School in Huntington Park. She was a General Education Teacher there until 2003 when she accepted a role as an Arts and English Language Development Teacher. Blanca transitioned back to general education in 2007, planning and developing standards-based instruction, assessments, and differentiated instruction for grades 3 through 6, before accepting her current role at Sunrise in 2013. Blanca has a Bachelor’s in Liberal Studies from California State University, Los Angeles, with an emphasis in curriculum and education, and a Master’s in Education from the University of Southern California.

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Brad Brutocao

Brad Brutocao is a Partner with Freeman Spogli & Co., a leading middle market private equity investment firm with approximately $3 billion in assets under management. Based in Los Angeles and with offices in New York, Freeman Spogli has invested in 56 companies with aggregate value of over $20 billion since its founding in 1983. The firm focuses exclusively on investments in the consumer and distribution sectors. Mr. Brutocao joined the firm in 1997 and currently serves on the boards of directors of Arhaus, Boot Barn, City Barbeque, Floor & Decor, Plantation Products and Regent Holding Company. Prior to joining Freeman Spogli, Mr. Brutocao worked at Morgan Stanley & Co. Incorporated in the Mergers and Acquisitions and Corporate Finance departments.

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Kent Caldwell-Meeks

Kent Caldwell-Meeks is the Senior Director of Investment and Fiduciary Services for the California/Nevada Region of Wells Fargo’s Private Bank. His responsibilities include leading the regions’ investment strategists and fiduciary advisory professionals in the delivery of wealth management solutions for high net worth clients. Since joining Wells Fargo in 2008 as a Senior Wealth Management Director, Mr. Caldwell-Meeks’ experience has included serving as the Senior Director of Investments and the Senior Director of Planning. He has extensive experience as a portfolio manager, mutual fund manager, and securities trader. He has been in the financial services industry for more than 25 years. Mr. Caldwell-Meeks lives in Los Angeles, is the father of three adult children, and also serves on the California Science Center Foundation Board. He formerly served on the Board of Junior Achievement Southern California and Arizona for over 10 years.

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Cyrus Hadidi

Cyrus Hadidi is the co‐portfolio manager of JMB Capital, a hedge fund based in Los Angeles. Along with his partner, he has grown this firm since its founding in 2002 from $32 million in assets to $1.5 billion. Cyrus is a native of Wisconsin and graduated from the University of California at Berkeley with dual degrees in History and Rhetoric. After working as an investment banker with Salomon Brothers, he attended Harvard Business School and graduated with an MBA in 2002 being awarded the distinctions of both Baker Scholar and John Loeb Fellow in Finance. In addition to his professional responsibilities at JMB Capital, Cyrus is active in the philanthropic community in Los Angeles. He also serves a member of the Board of Directors for A Place Called Home, which is a community center for at‐risk youth in South Central Los Angeles.

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Lindsey Kozberg

Ms. Lindsey Kozberg is a strategic communications professional who has served at all levels of government, and in the private and nonprofit sectors. She recently joined California Strategies, a public affairs consulting firm, after more than six years as vice president for external affairs at the RAND Corporation, where she led a team of 130 people charged with raising engagement with RAND’s work and expertise. Ms. Kozberg is also an instructor at the USC Annenberg School for Communications and a fellow at the Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics, and serves on the boards of three other Los Angeles-area nonprofits that serve at risk populations: ExED, New Visions Foundation, and Planned Parenthood Los Angeles. Ms. Kozberg practiced law for several years with Latham & Watkins in their Los Angeles-based land use and government affairs group. She has also worked in the public sector at the federal and state levels, most recently as director of public affairs for the U.S. Department of Education and as a special assistant to the president at the White House. Ms. Kozberg has also directed acquisition and site planning and secured government approvals for Rothbart Development Corporation, a retail center developer, where she was a vice president. Ms. Kozberg received her J.D. from Stanford University, and her undergraduate degree from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University.

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Dan Lefler

Daniel Lefler is a partner emeritus at Irell & Manella in the Los Angeles office. Mr. Lefler's primary areas of practice have been in securities litigation (including cases involving complex derivative securities, defense of shareholder litigation against publicly held companies and hostile takeover litigation) and complex commercial cases. Mr. Lefler is also a recognized expert on loss causation. Mr. Lefler has been selected for inclusion in Los Angeles Magazine's Southern California "Super Lawyers" in securities litigation every year since 2009. He has also been selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America every year since 2010.

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Melanie Lundquist

Board Vice-Chair

Melanie Lundquist is one of the leading philanthropists in Southern California, where she gives her support to various education and health care initiatives. Most notable among her philanthropic activities is her generous support of the Partnership for Los Angeles Schools. The Lundquists’ $50 million gift to the Partnership is the largest private donation ever made to Los Angeles schools. Melanie is a founding member of the Board of the Partnership for Los Angeles Schools, past chair of the Advisory Board for Teach for America, and is co‐chair of a $165 million capital campaign for the California Science Center. In addition, she is a significant donor to the Alliance for College‐Ready Schools, a Los Angeles charter organization. She also lends her support to the Fulfillment Fund's endowment fund for college scholarships, and has taken active roles in Inner City Arts, United Friends of the Children, and Alliance for Children's Rights, among others. She established the Cardiovascular Institute at the Torrance Memorial Medical Center where she emphasizes women’s heart health.

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Matt Miller

Matt Miller is an executive at Capital Group, a world leader in investment firms, where he serves as senior vice president at Capital Strategy Research. His duties include analyzing policy trends that affect investment decisions and supporting Capital’s communication and engagement efforts with an array of external audiences. Mr. Miller joined Capital Group after a diverse career as an author, columnist, radio host and consultant whose work has focused on solving some of our country’s toughest challenges. He has a wealth of public and private sector experience that he brings to his work and believes firmly that all students can learn at exceptional levels. Mr. Miller has held numerous senior-level public sector posts, including his service in the Clinton administration at the Office of Management and Budget, and was appointed by education secretary Arne Duncan to the Equity and Excellence Commission, which examined inequities in school finance. Earlier in his career he was a White House Fellow and consulted regularly to corporations, foundations and government organizations. A former Washington Post columnist, Miller is the author of “The Two Percent Solution: Fixing America’s Problems In Ways Liberals and Conservatives Can Love,” and “The Tyranny Of Dead Ideas.” He also hosted the public radio show “Left, Right & Center.” Mr. Miller was born in New York City and received his B.A. in economics from Brown University and his law degree from Columbia Law School.

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Raul Ruiz

Mr. Ruiz first heard about the Partnership through its Parent College program, which he encountered when his children were at Soto Street Elementary School, a non-Partnership school in Boyle Heights. He attended Parent College workshops in Boyle Heights and later brought other Soto Street parents to the workshops. He is now a two-time Parent College graduate and has also served on LAUSD’s Parent Advocacy committee. He and his wife have three children, including a senior at Roosevelt and a student in Hollenbeck’s magnet program. Their oldest child attends UC-Riverside, where he started a branch of Students for Education Reform (SFER), advocating for education equity in California.

Mr. Ruiz is a graduate of Roosevelt High School and California State University – Los Angeles, where he earned his Bachelor’s degree in Social Welfare. Now retired, Mr. Ruiz worked for the County of Los Angeles’ Department of Housing Administration for 33 years.

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Peter Sanders

Peter Sanders is the Public Information Director at the Los Angeles Fire Department. He is the first civilian to be appointed to the position and is responsible for the internal and external communications efforts of the LAFD. Prior to joining the LAFD, he served as the Deputy Mayor for Communications and Spokesman for Los Angeles Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa. He joined the Villaraigosa administration in August 2011 after a seven-year tenure as a Staff Reporter in the Los Angeles bureau of The Wall Street Journal. Before journalism, he worked for six years as a paramedic in Los Angeles, the Bay Area and Austin and held paramedic certifications in California, Texas, and the national registry of Emergency Medical Technicians. Peter is also a longtime FAA-licensed private pilot. Peter graduated in 1998 from Bates College in Lewiston, Maine, with a B.A. in Political Science. He serves as a Public Affairs Officer in the United States Navy Reserve and holds the rank of Lieutenant (junior grade). He is a graduate of the Defense Information School’s Advanced Public Affairs Leadership Course at Fort Meade, Md., and the Direct Commissioned Officer Indoctrination Course at Newport R.I. Peter was born and raised in Los Angeles.

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Tajuana Johnson

Tajuana Johnson is a teacher at Ritter Elementary School in Watts. Until very recently, she was a teacher at Dolores Huerta Elementary School, serving as the school’s Restorative Communities Lead and Student Leadership Advisor. She began teaching in 2005 in the Long Beach Unified School District, serving there for four years before accepting a position as a teacher and Curriculum Specialist within Celerity Educational Group (CDCS), a network of charter schools serving students across Los Angeles County, including the San Fernando Valley as well as Eagle Rock and Highland Park. In 2013, Tajuana began working as a 7th-grade humanities teacher at Doris Topsy-Elvord Academy (DTEA) in Long Beach. In addition to her teaching at the Academy, Tajuana also implemented an after-school mentoring program for 8th-graders designed to help them transition from middle to high school. She joined the Partnership network later that year, taking on her former teaching role at Huerta. Tajuana has a Bachelor’s in Liberal Studies and a multiple subject teaching credential from California State University, Long Beach, as well as a Master’s in Education with a specialization in curriculum and instruction.

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Diana Torres

Diana Torres is a commercial litigation and intellectual property partner at the international law firm, Kirkland & Ellis LLP. Ms. Torres focuses her practice on intellectual property, trade secrets and unfair competition matters, and has a diverse portfolio of clients, including entertainment and media companies, internet service providers, electronics and consumer products manufacturers, and financial institutions. Prior to joining Kirkland, Ms. Torres was a partner at O’Melveny & Myers LLP. She has been consistently recognized in The Legal 500 U.S. for excellence in both copyright and trademark litigation, listed in The Best Lawyers in America from 2010-2015, in the area of Intellectual Property Law, and selected as a “California Super Lawyer” by Super Lawyers magazine every year since 2009. Ms. Torres is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Mexican American Bar Foundation, Commissioner and former Vice President of the City of Los Angeles Convention Center Mayor’s Advisory Commission, and a member of the Board of Trustees of the Mexican American Bar Foundation. She was Chair and member on the Board of Directors of Crystal Stairs, Inc., and a member of the Mexican American Legal Defense & Education Fund (MALDEF) Scholarship Committee. Ms. Torres completed her undergraduate degree at Princeton University and received her J.D. from Yale Law School.

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Marshall Tuck

Marshall Tuck is currently an Educator in Residence at the New Teacher Center (NTC), a national non-profit dedicated to improving student learning by accelerating the effectiveness of new teachers, veteran teachers and school leaders. Prior to his work at NTC, Tuck was a candidate for California State Superintendent of Public Instruction. Before running for State Superintendent, Tuck served as founding CEO of the Partnership for Los Angeles Schools. Under Tuck’s leadership, Partnership schools increased four-year graduation rates by over 60%, improved school safety and student attendance, and launched the innovative Parent College, now a national model for getting parents more involved in their kids’ education. Prior to launching the Partnership, Tuck served as President of Green Dot Public Schools, a leading charter school operator based in Los Angeles. Before devoting his career to helping students, Tuck was an executive at Model N, a successful enterprise software company based in the Bay Area. The son of a teacher, Tuck was born in Burlingame, CA and attended parochial elementary school and public middle and high schools. He graduated from UCLA and Harvard Business School. Tuck lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Mae, and their son Mason.

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Carolyn Webb de Macias

Board Chair

Carolyn Webb de Macías recently completed 16 months as Chief of Staff in the office of Elementary and Secondary Education in the US Department of Education. She served in this capacity as a presidential appointee of President Barack Obama. As such, Carolyn was the primary advisor to the Assistant Secretary of Education and oversaw office management. Carolyn has a long history in education and politics. Her background includes being appointed to the University of Southern California as Vice President for External Relations, serving as Senior Advisor to Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa providing counsel in a variety of areas, including education policy, gubernatorial appointee to the California African American Museum and Chief of Staff for Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley‐Thomas.

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