Dr. Ref Rodriguez grew up in Cypress Park and is the first of five children of Mexican immigrants to graduate from college. He co-founded the Partnerships to Uplift Communities, charter public schools that currently serve the communities of Northeast Los Angeles and the Northeast San Fernando Valley. His original inspiration for starting a charter school was to offer high quality learning experiences for youth in the predominantly Latino working class community where he grew up. Dr. Rodriguez is also a lecturer at his alma mater, Loyola Marymount University, and was appointed by Governor Jerry Brown to the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing in 2013. Drawing from his professional and personal experiences, Board Member Rodriguez’s vision includes: -Reimagining the middle grades for students and families -Empowering our teachers in meaningful ways -Ensuring meaningful local control for parents, teachers, and students -Engaging parents as the district’s partners -Providing families with high-quality school options Board Member Rodriguez proudly serves the communities of Atwater Village, City Terrace, Eagle Rock, Echo Park, El Sereno, Glassell Park, Highland Park, Los Feliz, Mt. Washington, and Silver Lake, as well as the cities of Bell, Maywood, Vernon, Walnut Park, South Gate, Cudahy, Huntington Park, and South Los Angeles.