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Catalyzing Community Change: Second Annual Bay Area Parent Leadership Awards

In just ten years, Rocketeer parents across the country have proven that change is possible, that a united band of engaged parents can transform entire communities. By deeply engaging our parents in their child’s education and our school community, our parents become powerful advocates for their students and cities.

Our parents hold leaders accountable, demand political attention, and harness the power of their voice to enable high-quality public school systems to thrive in their own community. In San Jose, the parent-led movement we catalyzed in our first ten years helped open an additional 7,000 middle school and high school seats from high-performing networks like KIPP, Summit Public Schools, and Alpha Public Schools. Together, we’ve transformed San Jose into one of the nation’s highest performing urban charter sectors.

This did not happen by accident, but came from intentional, hard work from our incredible parent leaders. Rocketship had the honor of celebrating these courageous and powerful parent leaders at our Second Annual Bay Area Parent Leadership Awards Ceremony in May. Over 20 awards were presented, and school leaders and parents from our Bay Area schools gathered together to celebrate. Here are some highlights from the award winners:

Parent Leader Eva Heredia and San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo

The Sam Liccardo Civic Leadership Award: Eva Heredia
Named after San Jose Mayor, Sam Liccardo, this award embodies civic leadership and community advocacy. Eva Heredia is a long-term Rocketship parent, whose youngest child attends Rocketship Discovery Prep. Eva is the kind of parent leader who asks and challenges Rocketship as a network on how we will engage parents in civic leadership and advocate for quality education for all children. Eva has built strong relationships with school staff and community officials, and has taken a variety of leadership roles in school events and in various community developments. Last year, Eva advocated for a technology grant and received it. This year, she pushed for the beautification of her community and is currently undergoing the process for this project as a member of the Wooster Neighborhood Association. Eva is a strong parent leader who does not hesitate to help or share her experiences. She is always willing to help other parents during re-authorization and other community events. Her passion towards education, her patience, and strength has exemplified what parent leaders are capable of doing for their community. Eva will be moving on to be a parent at KIPP Public Charter Schools next school year, and we are certain she will continue to mobilize and inspire other parents to do the same.

Regional Leadership Awards
Silvia Barajas, Bay Area Parent Leadership, Rocketship Futuro Academy
Patricia Lopez, Bay Area Parent Leadership, Rocketship Redwood City Prep



District Leadership Awards: Miguel Burciaga, Neltsy Sepulveda, and Anthony Arredondo
These three exceptional parent leaders have gone above and beyond for their schools – Rocketship Alma, Si Se Puede, and Spark. These parents have had tremendous impact. One of these individuals chaired a research meeting with Omar Torres, a Franklin McKinley School District board member. Another planned a black and white ball, and another planned and presented a carnival for her school.

  • Miguel Burciaga, Rocketship Alma Academy, San Jose District 3 Parent Leadership Award
  • Neltsy Sepulveda, Rocketship Sí Se Puede Academy, San Jose District 5 Parent Leadership Award
  • Anthony Arredondo, Rocketship Spark Academy, San Jose District 7 Parent Leadership Award

Parent Leadership: Awarded by the Principal
The commitment, dedication, and collaboration of Rocketship parents is central to the work that we do, and is felt strongly at every Rocketship school. School leaders handpicked these exceptional parent leaders from their school to honor, because without them, Rocketship could not function:

  • Rocketship Alma Academy Parent Leader Miguel Burciaga: Awarded by Sam Turner
  • Rocketship Brilliant Minds Parent Leader Maria Mendez: Awarded by Stephanie Frenel
  • Rocketship Discovery Prep Parent Leader Lily Sanchez: Awarded by Chaka Hajji
  • Rocketship Futuro Academy Parent Leader Vienna Bautista: Awarded by Jason Colon
  • Rocketship Fuerza Community Prep Parent Leader Reyna Paz: Awarded by Juan Mateos
  • Rocketship Los Suenos Academy Parent Leader Delaila Galindo: Awarded by Ms. Raji-Greig
  • Rocketship Mateo Sheedy Parent Leader Sol Uribe: Awarded by Eesir Kaur, Courtney English
  • Rocketship Mosaic Elementary Parent Leader Claudia Herrera Gutierrez:: Awarded by Mr. White
  • Rocketship Redwood City Prep Parent Leader Erika Zamora: Awarded by Esther Lin
  • Rocketship Rising Stars Academy Parent Leader Guadalupe and Raul Garcia: Awarded by Kylie Alsofrom
  • Rocketship Si Se Puede Academy Parent Leader Angelica Flores: Awarded by Shivesh Puri
  • Rocketship Spark Academy Parent Leader Hector Barraza: Awarded by Annie Tran

Rocketship Bay Area Office Managers
Rocketship runs on schools full of exceptional leaders, from the front office to the back room. At every Rocketship school, you are greeted by a smiling, helpful Office Manager who is the backbone of the school. The Office Managers are truly the Swiss Army Knives of Rocketship because they do everything, from leading event planning at the school to fixing a paper cut on one of our little rocketeers. It is important that we honor the work these talented individuals for all that do for our schools, students, and parents.

  • Leticia Bermudez – Rocketship Brilliant Minds
  • Lupita Carreno – Rocketship Rising Stars Academy
  • Catalina Duarte – Rocketship Spark Academy
  • Raquel Duran – Rocketship Redwood City Prep
  • Yajaira Jaimes – Rocketship Fuerza Community Prep
  • Patty Marin – Rocketship Los Sueños Academy
  • Andrea Mayorga – Rocketship Delta Prep
  • Daniela Muna – Rocketship Discovery Prep
  • Aned Sanchez – Rocketship Mateo Sheedy
  • Marisol Urias – Rocketship Alma Academy
  • Beatriz Valdez – Rocketship Sí Se Puede Academy
  • Veronica Verdin – Rocketship Mosaic Elementary
  • Morgan Wordes – Rocketship Futuro Academy


Published on May 25, 2018

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