Board of Trustees, Trustee Area 6 —Los Angeles Unified School DistrictMarch 7, 2017 —Local Elections
Los Angeles Unified School DistrictBoard of Trustees, Trustee Area 6
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About this office
- Ensuring that all low-income students, minority students, and English language learners in LAUSD schools can walk across the graduation stage ready for college and careers
- Supporting teachers and school leaders to provide high-quality schools for all children.
- Making sure District decisions are made with community input and that those decisions reflect the unique needs of that community.
Kelly Fitzpatrick Gonez is running to represent Board District 6 on the LAUSD Board of Education because she knows there is so much more we need to do to ensure all children get the great education they deserve. She has the experience, as a teacher, policymaker, and lifelong advocate for families, to make the dream of an excellent public education a reality for all kids.
Kelly grew up in an immigrant family in the neighborhood of Mission Hills in the Northeast San Fernando Valley. Her father works at a small manufacturing business in Van Nuys and her mother is an immigrant from Perú who received her postsecondary education at an LAUSD adult school in Pacoima and has worked at a hospital in Mission Hills for many years. After graduating from high school in the Northeast Valley, Kelly attended UC Berkeley, where she worked three jobs, over 50 hours a week, to pay her way through college. After she graduated college, she returned to be a teacher in LAUSD.
Kelly first served as a geometry teacher at an LAUSD high school. She then served the kids and families of the Northeast Valley as a 6th grade science teacher from 2011-2014 at a middle school in Lakeview Terrace. As a teacher, Kelly helped her students to achieve dramatic academic gains. She pioneered an anti-bullying initiative, developed her school’s inaugural science fair, and led Common Core implementation for her school. Despite the progress her students were making, Kelly saw firsthand how much more support the teachers and schools needed to give students and families the best opportunity for success.
While teaching, Kelly also served as a community organizer for President Obama’s re-election campaign in East Las Vegas and advised board members of the LAUSD Board of Education on education policy issues, including teacher leadership, equity, and school discipline. She was also appointed as Commissioner of the LAUSD Human Relations Commission and served from 2012-1013. She earned her Master’s Degree in Urban Education from Loyola Marymount University, writing her thesis on supporting English language learners in STEM.
In 2014, Kelly was appointed by President Obama to serve as an education policy advisor in his Administration. She secured over $50 million in additional education funding while leading the Obama Administration’s advocacy to increase education funding and support for special populations, including English language learners, immigrant students, homeless students, students in foster care, justice-involved youth, and others.
- FAIR FUNDING FOR OUR SCHOOLS: Imelda will fight to ensure that our schools receive the fair funding they need in order to deliver a quality education. Every child deserves a great school with the right resources and well-trained teachers.
- IMPROVED ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE: Too many students are allowed to fall behind their peers, and they never catch up. Imelda will help make sure kids get the extra support they need. And, she’ll create new incentives to help experienced skilled teachers
- INCREASED PARENTAL AND COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT. We need to make sure parents are encouraged to participate in their children’s education. Imelda will help empower parents and taxpayers, and ensure that their participation and input are welcome.
Imelda Padilla was born an advocate.
As a young girl, Imelda had rickets, and was frequently called names.
Imelda bravely underwent surgery at the age of 12, and spent six months in a cast. The experience taught her how to take on challenges without fear, and to advocate for what she believed in.
Ever since then, she’s taken on one tough fight after another, never backing down. And all the while, she’s seen the difference that education can make in a young person’s life.
In middle school, she helped take care of her younger brother while her parents each worked 12 hour days, and one of her brothers became caught up in the gangs that are still too common in many communities. In high school, she encouraged her friends to volunteer for local political campaigns and fight the expansion of landfills in the area.
In college, she worked to help victims of wage theft challenge unscrupulous employers, and she interred for the Justice for Janitors campaign in Houston Texas for SEIU.
After graduating, she became a community organizer for Pacoima Beautiful, advocating for environmental justice for local families. She then went to work with the Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy, to help fight for an increase in the minimum wage and create economic opportunity for every family.
She even started her own non-profit called Together We Do More, which aims to help middle and high school students start to think about higher education and professional development at a young age. Their main event is called Adelante Hombre were over 100 community volunteers help put together a leadership conference for students from all over the North East San Fernando Valley.
Now Imelda is a commissioner for the Los Angeles County Commission on Woman and Girls, and a candidate for the Los Angeles School Board, where she hopes to continue her work advocating for local families, especially young people. She truly is a born advocate.
Imelda grew up in Sun Valley and attended Roscoe Elementary, Byrd Middle School and Polytechnic High School and attended UC Berkeley, where she received a bachelor’s degree in Political Science with a double minor in Chicano Studies and Philosophy.
She is currently in grad school at the California State University of Northridge where, she is receiving her Master’s in public administration with an emphasis on leadership and nonprofit management.
- United Teachers of Los Angeles (UTLA)