Fidencio Joel Gallardo
Fidencio Joel Gallardo is Jackie’s Educational Innovation Deputy. Along with Alejandra Leon, he represents Jackie in the south eastern area of Board District 5. Fidencio is passionate about two things: education and his community.
Fidencio grew up in Southeast Los Angeles and attended LAUSD schools: Middleton Elementary, State Street Elementary, South Gate Middle, and Bell High. Upon graduating from the University of Southern California in 1989, Fidencio started his teaching career at South Gate Middle School and has taught in the city of South Gate for thirty years. He has taken a leave of absence from his teaching career because he is confident that Jackie will achieve great things for students and families.
His experience and knowledge earned him a position on the California State University, Los Angeles Charter College of Education staff, where he has trained new teachers as an Adjunct Professor in the Curriculum and Instruction department since 1999.
He currently resides in the City of Bell, where he has served on the City Council since 2015. His goal is to make Bell the kind of city where youth return.
His hobbies include working out, hiking, playing softball, and ghost hunting.
Alejandra Leon is Jackie’s Community Engagement Coordinator. She grew up in the Southeast Los Angeles (“SELA”), specifically in the city of South Gate, where she currently resides. She is a proud LAUSD and Board District 5 alumna, having attended San Gabriel Elementary School, South Gate Middle School, and South Gate High School. Growing up, Alejandra was deeply affected by the inequities in her neighborhood, which drove her to become a passionate advocate for public education and give back to her community.
Alejandra is a graduate of UC Berkeley, where she received a B.A. in Social Welfare with a Minor in Education.
Her hobbies include hiking, reading, thrift store shopping, playing with her cat, and exploring new restaurants around Los Angeles.
Josh Nuni serves as Jackie’s Legal and Policy Deputy, advising Jackie on legal matters and heading up our office’s policy development on special education, environmental, school climate and safety, and other issues. Josh is also Jackie’s point person for all the Board District 5 schools in East Hollywood, Los Feliz, Silver Lake, Echo Park, and Atwater Village.
Prior to joining Jackie’s staff, Josh worked as a civil rights lawyer, fighting for some of society’s most vulnerable populations as they came into contact with police, jails, and prisons. For Josh, ensuring quality public education for all is a continuation of this civil rights work.
Josh is a graduate of Deep Springs College, Harvard University, and Yale Law School. He has represented low-wage workers pursuing wage theft claims, worked on policing reform projects at the ACLU of Southern California and the U.S Department of Justice Civil Rights Division, and co-authored a national survey of solitary confinement practices in state prisons.
A native Angeleno, Josh also currently serves as a representative on the Los Feliz Neighborhood Council. When he’s not working in one of our offices or out in the field, you might find him practicing magic tricks, playing the tin whistle, or hiking in Griffith Park.
Danny Palma is Jackie’s Director of Operations. He provides administrative assistance to the Board District 5 staff and maintains Jackie’s calendar by arranging appointments, meetings, and personal appearances.
Danny grew up in East Los Angeles. He attended Brooklyn Ave. Elementary School, Griffith Middle School, and Garfield High School. He has worked at LAUSD for 32 years, spending 14 years in Board District 5 schools, before moving to the Early Childhood Education Division, Local Districts F and 4, the Instructional Technology Initiative, and Human Resources. Most recently, he worked as the Administrative Assistant to Board Offices. He serves as a mentor to support staff across the District, and his experience and knowledge of District policies and procedures are indispensable to the success of our Board office’s work.
Danny is an avid Rams and Dodgers fan, and he enjoys going to concerts and traveling.
Dr. Rocio Rivas is a proud LAUSD graduate from Reseda High School and mother to a current LAUSD student in Board District 5. She was the first in her family to complete a college degree, after which she continued to earn a doctorate in education.
Dr. Rivas holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of California, Berkeley in Political Science and Development Studies, with a minor in African-American Studies. Her passion for public education was born as an undergraduate student after taking a course in education and working as a teacher assistant in a bilingual preschool in Berkeley. Thus, began her journey and dedication to public education on a global and local landscape.
Dr. Rivas has a Master of Philosophy degree and earned her Doctorate from Teachers College, Columbia University in Comparative and International Education with a concentration in Political Sociology of Education and geographical focus in the US and Latin America. Her academic training and professional work experience have been in education policy, research and program evaluation. She has conducted field work internationally in the Republic of Georgia with the Soros Foundation and in Bolivia with the Earth Institute/Columbia University. Dr. Rivas also worked for LAUSD as a contracted researcher conducting research and evaluation in District and charter schools.
Dr. Rivas is a strong advocate for authentic parent participation and engagement in public education as she has served as a parent in School Site Council, PTA and worked for LAUSD as a Community/Parent Representative in a school in Highland Park. She is involved in her community of Highland Park and served as secretary and president of the Historic Highland Park Neighborhood Council and as the chair the Family, Youth and Education Committee.
Dr. Rivas is a world traveler, loves to cook and bake and is an avid reader.