Kelly 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. She also advised the LAUSD Board of Education on education policy issues, including teacher leadership, equity, and school discipline and served as a Commissioner on the LAUSD Human Relations Commission. Kelly 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.
Kelly lives in Sylmar with her husband, Manuel. She teaches 7th grade science at a STEM-focused charter middle school in LAUSD.