Meet the LAUSD school board candidates: Marvin A. Rodríguez is running for ‘a new vision for our public schools’
Destiny Torres and Veronica Sierra | March 1, 2022
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This article is part of a collaboration between The 74 and the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.
This profile is part of “Meet the LAUSD school board candidates,” a series focusing on the candidates running for three open seats on the seven-member school board. LAUSD is the largest school district in the country with an elected school board. The primary is June 7. Candidates have until March 9 to qualify for the ballot by submitting signatures. Read all the pieces in the series as they are published here. Profiles have been edited for length and clarity.
Name: Marvin A. Rodríguez
Background/profession: LAUSD Spanish Teacher/Parent and Veteran
Why are you running?
I am running for school board because I believe in public education and the important role it plays in uplifting communities… I am committed to a new vision for our public schools. I believe in the power of community in our schools. I look to build communities of resources, support, and hope for our students… because when our students feel they belong to a community, they are inspired to engage and make positive contributions to it.
How are you different from other candidates?
I have dedicated my adult life to the service of others. I served my country as a US Marine during a time of war and have worked with students since the age of twenty-one. I have worked as an elementary afterschool coach with LAUSD’s Youth Services, volunteer with the marathon training program Students Run Los Angeles, and for the past seventeen years, have followed my passion and love for teaching… What I have learned from teaching… is that if we treat our students with empathy and love, we create a sense of community for them to lean on for support as they look to succeed.
What’s the most important issue in your district?
…the most important issue in LAUSD moving forward is the adequate funding and expansion of early education. I believe the district should focus on ensuring our communities have equitable access to quality early education. The district must expand its early education centers…. in a way that creates communities of resources and support for our young children…, that will inspire them to fall in love with learning… Many of the issues exhibited by our young people in education, especially those from our most vulnerable communities result from a lack of access to these positive learning experiences at a young age.
What should be Superintendent Carvalho’s top priority?
… to build up and empower all our district schools, especially those in our most vulnerable communities. His focus should be to fund our district schools in a way that allows them to become communities of resources and support for our students to succeed, so that our children don’t have to look to schools outside of their communities for better educational opportunities. Schools in every community should provide the best educational option for our children.
What skills or past experiences have prepared you to serve as a board member?
My teaching experience… seeing first-hand the needs of my students and my dedication to finding the best and most effective approach to support their academic, social, and emotional success have prepared me to serve on the school board.
If you win, what do you hope to achieve for the LAUSD?
I am committed to a new vision of public education. I believe in the power of community in our schools. If I win, I look to build communities of resources, support, and hope for our students in all our district’s schools. I look to advocate for and support the expansion of community schools in the district. I look to expand access to quality early education, especially in our most vulnerable communities. I look to provide for our students with special needs the services and support they need to thrive and reach their full potential. I look to push for culturally and racially responsive curriculum that uplifts and empowers the backgrounds and identities of our students.
Destiny Torres is a graduate student at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism pursuing a master of science degree in journalism. She earned her bachelor’s degree at CSU Dominguez Hills. She is passionate about culture and social justice issues.
Veronica Sierra is a sophomore pursuing a journalism degree at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. She was born and raised in Valencia, Venezuela; and moved to California in 2015 where she continued high school, graduating in 2020.