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.
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.
Rocio Rivas serves as Jackie’s Research and Policy Deputy acquiring and sorting through data to inform policy development on charter schools, early education, dual language and bilingual education, magnets, arts education, to name a few. Rocio is Jackie’s point person for all the Board District 5 schools in El Sereno, City Terrace, Highland Park, Cypress Park, Elysian Valley, Glassell Park and Eagle Rock.
Rocio 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 in and dedication to public education on a global and local landscape.
Rocio has a Master of Philosophy and Doctorate from Teachers College, Columbia University in Comparative and International Education with a concentration in Political Sociology of Education in the US and Latin American. Her academic training and professional work experience have been in education policy, research and program evaluation. She has conducted field work internationally in her native Mexico, Bolivia, Argentina, Chile and Republic of Georgia on issues of globalization and education. Rocio also worked for LAUSD as a contracted researcher conducting research and evaluation in District and charter schools.
Rocio 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 her community of Highland Park. She also serves as an elected member to the County Central Committee for the Democratic Party for Assembly District 51. Rocio loves to cook, bake, Frida Kahlo and spending time with her wonderful son.