Kelly Gonez is a member of the LAUSD Board of Education representing Board District 6, which encompasses most of the East San Fernando Valley. As a Board Member, her policy priorities include ensuring all students graduate ready for college and careers, supporting and empowering teachers and school leaders, and increasing community input in school board decisions.
Kelly grew up in an immigrant family in the neighborhood of Mission Hills in the Northeast San Fernando Valley. Kelly was the first in her family to attend college; while earning her undergraduate degree at UC Berkeley, she worked three jobs, over 50 hours a week, to pay her way through college and support her working family. After she graduated college, she returned to be a teacher in LAUSD.
Kelly first served as a geometry teacher at an LAUSD high school. She then served the kids and families of the Northeast Valley as a 6th grade science teacher from 2011-2014 at a middle school in Lake View Terrace. As a teacher, Kelly helped her students to achieve dramatic academic gains. She pioneered an anti-bullying initiative, developed her school’s inaugural science fair, and led Common Core implementation for her school. Despite the progress her students were making, Kelly saw firsthand how much more support was needed to give students and families the best opportunity for success.
While teaching, Kelly served as a community organizer for President Obama’s re-election campaign in East Las Vegas. She also advised the LAUSD Board of Education on education policy issues, including teacher leadership, equity, and school discipline and served as a Commissioner on the LAUSD Human Relations Commission. Kelly earned her Master’s Degree in Urban Education from Loyola Marymount University, writing her thesis on supporting English language learners in STEM.
In 2014, Kelly was appointed by President Obama to serve as an education policy advisor in his Administration. She secured over $50 million in additional education funding while leading the Obama Administration’s advocacy to increase education funding and support for special populations, including English language learners, immigrant students, homeless students, students in foster care, justice-involved youth, and others.
Kelly lives in Sylmar with her husband, Manuel. Prior to taking office, she taught 7th grade science at a STEM-focused charter middle school in LAUSD.