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Aspire Public Schools Welcomes New Trustees

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:                              
July 7, 2021


Two esteemed education advocates join
Aspire Board of Directors

Oakland, Calif. – Today,  Aspire Public Schools announced that Christina Laster and Dr. Lorea Martínez will join the Aspire Board of Directors immediately and serve a 4-year term.

“We are thrilled to welcome two bold female education advocates to the Aspire Board of Directors,” said Aspire’s Chief Executive Officer Mala Batra. “Christina and Dr. Martínez demonstrate deep commitments to equity and anti-racism – qualities they reflect personally and professionally – and that are core to our mission. Their talents, experiences and perspectives will help guide Aspire as we deepen our diversity, equity, and inclusion work that prepares every student to earn a college degree.”

This year, Aspire underwent a reimagining of our Board recruitment and nomination process. In doing so, we are now better able to diversify our pool of Board candidates across multiple metrics (geography, race, gender, experience and expertise) working in partnership with our Aspire teammates and current Board members. The process resulted in Aspire’s ability to bring on two exceptional new Board members.

A current charter parent and grandparent and the Director of Policy and Legislation with the National Parents Union (NPU), Christina is dedicated to equipping parents, families, and communities of color to meaningfully advocate for lasting change in our schools. Christina shares, “I am an African American grandmother and an advocate for school choice because it’s what I needed for my own kids and grandbabies in order for them to access a high-quality education. I believe in the power and promise of the school communities Aspire is nurturing. I’m excited to join this Board and support Aspire’s efforts to improve learning outcomes for Black and brown students.” 

Dr. Martínez started her career as a special education teacher and administrator, becoming the first Program Specialist for Aspire’s Bay Area schools. She is now the founder of HEART in Mind, a company dedicated to helping schools and organizations integrate Social Emotional Learning (SEL) in their practices to remove barriers to learning. “Now more than ever, we must support schools to develop an anti-racist and equity lens in their SEL efforts to support the whole child. Aspire is already committed to meaningfully increasing equitable practices that cultivate a sense of belonging and safety in their school communities, and I’m eager for this opportunity to support their efforts.”

About Aspire Public Schools
Aspire Public Schools operates 36 community-based public charter schools educating over 15,500 students in underserved communities across California. Founded in 1998, Aspire is one of the nation’s largest open-enrollment public charter school systems serving predominantly students of color from low-income communities. Delivering a rigorous education to students in grades TK-12, College for Certain is the focus for every age group. Teachers and families partner closely to ensure scholars are prepared to succeed in college, career and life. Currently in its 21st academic year, Aspire is one of the nation’s first charter school systems. Visit Aspire Public Schools at www.aspirepublicschools.org.