Ana Ponce to Lead Great Public Schools Now

Ana Ponce to Lead Great Public Schools Now

Camino Nuevo Charter Academy CEO to join GPSN on Feb. 1st

Nov. 29, 2018 (LOS ANGELES, CA) - The Board of Great Public Schools Now announced today that it has chosen Ana Ponce as the organization’s new Executive Director. Ponce is the Chief Executive Officer of Camino Nuevo Charter Academy, a network of high-performing schools in the MacArthur Park area.

Ponce will join GPSN after almost 18 years at Camino Nuevo, where she led the organization as it grew from one to eight schools. Camino Nuevo currently serves more than 3,600 students from Pre-K to 12th grade and has graduated more than 1,200 alumni. At Camino Nuevo, nearly 80 percent of students enter school as English language learners, more than 97 percent graduate high school, and nine in 10 go on to college. For her efforts, Ana was named one of the top seven most powerful educators in the world by Forbes magazine in 2011.

Ponce grew up in Los Angeles and holds multiple degrees from Middlebury College, Columbia University, UCLA, and Loyola Marymount University. She spent a decade as a classroom teacher and founding team member of the first startup charter school in South L.A. before joining Camino Nuevo in 2001. She is also a national board member of UnidosUS, a national advocacy organization, and a founding member and advisory committee member of EdLoC, an organization dedicated to elevating the leadership, voices, and influence of people of color in education and to improving public education through more inclusion efforts.

“We are excited to be adding an experienced and committed leader like Ana to lead GPSN’s work,” said GPSN Board Chair Bill Siart. “She is the consummate consensus builder who has developed relationships with L.A. Unified leaders, labor, and charter school leaders. And as GPSN continues to pursue its mission of educational equity and quality, Ana’s deep knowledge of Los Angeles and her tireless advocacy for the most vulnerable students in our city will be inspirational and invaluable.”

“It was a difficult decision to leave Camino Nuevo,” Ponce said. “But I believe that this is an opportunity to expand on the work I did with families and students in the greater MacArthur Park communities by giving even more children and families across Los Angeles a shot at a great education.”

Ponce will start at GPSN on Feb. 1 and will succeed Myrna Castrejón, who was recently named president and CEO of the California Charter Schools Association.

"Ana has been an intrepid and visionary leader and an incomparable advocate for our family of schools and has guided us with a steady and loving hand for the past 18 years,” said L. Michael Russell, chairman of the Board of Pueblo Nuevo Education and Development Group, the resource development and capacity building arm of Camino Nuevo Charter Academy. “Ana has been integral to our growth and success, and we will miss her dearly. We take pride and pleasure, though, in knowing that she will continue her work of providing and advocating for better public education opportunities for children in the greater Los Angeles area in her new position of Executive Director of GPSN."

GPSN is a nonprofit grant-making organization that seeks to increase the number of high-quality public schools in Los Angeles. It has funded projects with both L.A. Unified and charter schools, replicated and expanded high-performing schools, strengthened the teacher pipeline, increased parent advocacy and voice, and enhanced community engagement to build a constituency for quality and equity across L.A.’s most impacted neighborhoods.  GPSN’s work has now reached more than 35,000 parents. 

In addition, GPSN has also offered grants to educational organizations to help recruit and retain teachers for hard-to-staff positions, adding hundreds of new teachers and school leaders from L.A. communities to serve its students well.

Jason Song
(213) 452-2804