Teacher - Organizer - Innovator

Mentor - Advocate

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Jorge was born and raised in San Jose to two working-class parents who cleaned homes, cared for our elders and built cars to support their family. His mother escaped the Salvadoran Civil War and his Maya-Korean father left his whole family and ancestral village in Mexico to give Jorge and his four sisters a chance for a better life.

Despite his parents’ sacrifices, Jorge struggled in school and barely made it out of the K-12 system. De Anza Community College was his second chance. Thanks to his family and mentors, he took every honors course he could, was elected to student government both years as Senator and then as a Vice President, and transferred to UC Berkeley. He was elected as Senator to UC Berkeley’s student government, studied abroad in England, Korea and Spain and then graduated with a degree in Anthropology and Legal Studies as his family’s first college graduate. After, he continued his studies and earned a master's degree in Urban Education specializing in Educational Policy and Administration.

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Education unlocked Jorge’s potential, and with that, he returned to San Jose and entered the classroom to help kids who struggled in school just like him unlock their potential as well. That is why he started San Jose’s first Ethnic Studies middle school program, where his students explored their own histories, worked on projects every day, and engaged in rigorous academic activities centered on the perspectives of peoples whose stories are often unheard.

He taught 2nd grade for three school years as a bilingual Ethnic Studies teacher and he is now entering his third year teaching 7th and 8th grade Ethnic Studies and Spanish. His last 2nd grade class even achieved the highest math and reading scores in the whole school network! As for his middle schoolers, 96% of his students were reading at grade level by the end of the year!

Jorge saw the impact Ethnic Studies and his other innovative practices had on his 2nd, 7th, and 8th graders. His struggling students were struggling no longer and they now viewed themselves as community scholars. They loved reading, themselves, their histories, their families and their communities, and that is what Jorge wants for EVERY student in the district that he was born, raised and taught in.

With a district that is 50% Latinx but has yet to elect a Latinx school board member, our community deserves a seat at the table and an experienced advocate that can represent teacher, parent and student interests alike.

I hope to be that person, and with your support—as my students say every single day—¡Sí se puede!
— Jorge Pacheco Jr.