PUC Network

About Our Leaders

Claudio Estrada, Principal

Claudio Estrada, Jr. was born and raised in the San Fernando Valley to Mexican descent parents. As a First-Generation American, he was instilled with his parent’s hard work ethic and drive to pursue the American Dream. After graduating from high school, he completed a yearlong studied abroad program in French language and history in Paris, France and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science with a minor in education at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB.) As an undergraduate student, he worked part-time at an elementary school in Montecito, CA as a special education teaching assistant. During this time, he had the chance to explore the different local school systems through the lenses of many of ethnic studies courses and volunteer projects with the neighboring schools. He soon realized the large discrepancy in the education system that largely divided the allocations of resources and opportunities clearly defined by a zip code. His drive for social justice lead to him to apply the highly coveted Teach For America (TFA) program and was admitted after graduation.

After many successful years as a middle school English teacher, Mr. Estrada went on to complete a Master of Arts in Education Policy and Administration at Loyola Marymount University. Today, he brings his narrative as a Mexican- American/First-Generation American, first college graduate in his family, and strong personal ties to the community into his inclusive learning community. As a school leader, he brings an array of elements of high expectations, individualized attention and care to the development of the whole child. He is not reluctant to hold the mirror up to his students so they can truly identify their true potential and fulfill our collective lifelong goal to uplift our communities. He is honored and privileged to collaborate with a team of multitalented educators and families of the thriving community of Lakeview Terrace as the principal of PUC Community Charter Middle School.

Vanessa Perez, Assistant Principal

Mrs. Vanessa Perez was born and raised in the San Fernando Valley. As a first generation Mexican- American, she is proud of her roots. Through her strong work ethic and commitment to higher education, she proudly received a Bachelor’s Degree in English with a minor in Education from the University of California, Irvine. She returned to her alma mater where she earned her Master of Arts in Teaching along with her Single Subject Credential in English.

Mrs. Perez received the amazing opportunity to begin her professional career at PUC Community Charter Middle School (CCMS) as an English teacher. After 5 years in the classroom, she accepted the opportunity to be CCMS’s Teacher on Special Assignment (TOSA) which led her to her administrative career track. Over the past 8 years in education, she has been able to collaborate with a diverse group of dedicated staff and parents to meet the common goal of fostering students’ well-being and increasing student achievement. Her educational philosophy continues to be based on her uncompromising belief that all students deserve access to a quality education. She is honored to serve the Lake View Terrace community as the Assistant Principal of PUC Community Charter Middle School.