Jacqueline Elliot, Ed.D, Co-Founder

Dr. Jacqueline Elliot has been dedicated to public school reform since 1986 when she first became a teacher in Pacoima, California. She holds a B.A. in Anthropology, a Multiple Subjects Teaching Credential, and a Master’s degree in Educational Administration earned at CA State University, Northridge. She also holds a Doctorate in Educational Leadership and Change earned at Fielding Graduate University. As a former LAUSD teacher, Jacqueline Elliot was driven by an intense desire to improve the state of public education. She first became acquainted with the charter school movement in 1994 while serving as a teacher leader at Montague Elementary when she co-authored the school’s petition that converted Montague to charter status. Dedicated to creating high quality charter schools for the students in Pacoima, she founded Community Charter Middle School (CCMS) in 1999. The school was the first charter middle school to serve students in Los Angeles and was so successful and well received by the community, that Dr. Elliot subsequently founded several more schools to serve the same geographic area. Dr. Elliot began collaborating with Dr. Ref Rodriguez in 1998. Together they have collaborated and supported each other’s efforts while co-founding Partnerships to Uplift Communities (PUC Schools), which resulted in the creation of 17 highly successful public charter schools located in NE Los Angeles and the NE San Fernando Valley. She is a fellow of the Pahara-Aspen Institute’s Entrepreneurial Leaders for Public Education and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network. She also serves on the 501c4 board of the California Charter Schools Association and on the Los Angeles Advocacy Council for Charter Schools. Dr. Elliot is also an adjunct professor in graduate studies for the Institute of School Leadership and Administration at Loyola Marymount University. Dr. Elliot has been a recipient of the Hart Vision Award from the California Charter Schools Association, as Leader of the Year. In 2013, she co-founded PUC National with Dr. Ref Rodriguez, at which she currently serves as President & CEO.

ref-rodriguez-foundersRef Rodriguez, Ed.D, Co-Founder

Dr. Ref Rodriguez is co-founder of Partnerships to Uplift Communities (PUC Schools), a network of charter schools serving students in Northeast Los Angeles and the Northeast San Fernando Valley. Dr. Rodriguez’s 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. His outrage for being considered “fortunate” for having graduated from college because of his socio-economic background is what drives him to create and support schools where college graduation is an expectation for all. Before joining the charter schools movement, Dr. Rodriguez worked in the business sector and as a teacher and administrator in Catholic parochial schools. He is the first of five children of Mexican immigrants to graduate from college. Dr. Rodriguez is an adjunct professor in the School of Education at his alma mater, Loyola Marymount University, where he developed a master’s and administrative credential program for aspiring leaders in charter schools. He was appointed to the California Commission for Teacher Credentialing by Governor Jerry Brown in 2013. He is a Fellow of the inaugural class of the Pahara-Aspen Education Fellowship and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network. In July 2015, Dr. Rodriguez was elected to serve on the Los Angeles Unified School District Board. In this role, he is proudly representing the diverse communities of Board District 5.