BIOGRAPHY

My innate passion and desire to serve historically marginalized communities is driven by my own personal experiences within the education system. It wasn’t until I walked around the UCSD campus my first year of college that I realized people who looked like me were far and few. While taking Ethnic Studies courses and being part of Thurgood Marshall College, I began to understand the systemic racism that permeates our country to this day. While taking my mandated writing classes, I realized being top 10% of my high school graduating class meant nothing; I had never truly been prepared for rigorous UC coursework. Refusing to give up and let the system win, with hard work and determination, I graduated from UC San Diego with a major in International Studies - Sociology and a minor in Law and Society. Through my graduate coursework and experience at UCLA, I began to connect my learning of systemic racism to the inequities so deeply entrenched in our educational system. It was here that I understood why my high school was, and continues to be, one of the worst performing high schools in East County San Diego. After receiving my teaching credential from UCLA’s Teacher Education Program, I continued towards completing my M.Ed. and my Master Thesis on How a Culturally Relevant Math Curriculum Can Support Student Engagement and Activism. Shortly after I began my career in the heart of Los Angeles’ Pico Union where I served as a founding member of a middle school teaching math and science. 

 

These experiences, in addition to my K-12 experience, is what ultimately led me to EJE Academies Charter School. I became part of the EJE Academies team in 2010 after having served the Pico Union community in LAUSD for four years. EJEA’s mission is very much in line with my personal beliefs and I could not have found a more perfect fit. After two years of teaching in the middle school, I was encouraged to lead EJE Middle Academy as principal while receiving my administrative credential from SDSU. I’ve had the great privilege and honor of knowing and working with each student who has ever been a part of EJEMA. It is the alumni who return to visit and share their stories that continuously fuels my motivation to continue to serve the EJEA community. 

 

Currently, I am part of UCLA’s first cohort of Women’s School Leadership Academy in which I am working with and learning from impactful women leaders from the PreK-16 education field. This program has given me the tools and knowledge to build my capacity in being a more impactful leader at EJEA. It has allowed me to effectively work with my colleagues to positively and equitably impact the educational experience of our students so they may set their own trajectory in life, not one predetermined by race, income, gender or zip code. I hope to continue my personal education trajectory at UCLA; I aspire to receive my Ed.D. through UCLA’s Educational Leadership Program and continue to support historically marginalized communities while staying committed to my internal social justice compass. As I enter my 9th year as the proud principal of the middle school I can say I am extremely proud of all we have accomplished. I look forward to the many more wonderful things that are yet to come as we continue to support our students in having access to choice in life and becoming leaders in creating a just, global society.