Claudia Flores, Founding Mom & School Operations Manager at Alpha: Cindy Avitia
October 23, 2019
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I was born in Mexico but have been living in San Jose pretty much my entire life. I have two children and have always played an active role at their schools.
How did you hear about Alpha and become one of our founding parents?
My daughter was attending a different school at the time and she wasn’t doing great. She was reading below grade level and she was being bullied. Even being a parent leader there, I felt like I couldn’t do enough to support her and I knew it was time to make a change. I saw Alpha in my backyard and I really didn’t know much about charter schools. I decided to do some research and was instantly drawn to the fact that it was a school network started by parents who were going through the same things as me. I met Nelly, the Community Outreach Manager, and she gave me a tour of the school and I knew that this would be the place for my daughter to succeed. I became a founding parent for Alpha: José Hernández in 2014 where my daughter, Maya, started as a 6th grader.
Besides being a founding mom, you are also the School Operations Manager. Can you talk a bit about your journey to working at the school?
I knew I wanted to continue to be the mom that is active in her child’s school life. I volunteered at every event – cafecitos, halloween parties, Dia de los Muertos celebrations, you name it. I worked at the cafeteria. I helped with data entry. I also supported the operations managers at both Alpha: Blanca Alvarado and Alpha: Jose Hernandez. Over time, I was asked to help to support during the summer. When Alpha: Cindy Avitia High School opened in 2015, I became the office manager. I learned so much in that role and am now the Schools Operations Manager.
What do you love most about working at Alpha?
I LOVE working here. I love what I do. I treat these children like my own children. They see me as a parent figure. They come to me for advice. That’s what keeps me going everyday. My daughter is in the 11th grade now and being here makes her happy and makes her feel supported. When I think back to the days when my daughter was getting bullied and wasn’t doing well in school, I’m so happy that I made the decision to move her to Alpha. She is thriving, she is happy, and she has so much more self confidence. I have a great relationship with all of the students here. I love being there for them. I treat them like my own children.
From one parent to another, what would your advice be?
Be involved and always ask questions. Ask teachers how you can be present. Most importantly, find ways to grow and be better together. Alpha has always seen parent engagement as one of the pillars for success and it truly is so important. We as parents have to work together with teachers to make sure our children are supported.
What are you most proud of in all these years you’ve been here?
Many years ago, the school made a promise to us that our children would be going to college. It felt like such a distant dream then but when those students walked across the stage last year to get their diplomas, all I could say was “wow, we did it.” I have never been more proud than that moment. I hope to continue being here for years and years to see all of these students grow up.
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