Mr. T. with colleagues at Downtown ValueValue Schools is committed to weaving science into all classrooms while at the same time developing teacher's skills to better understand how young people learn best.

Taylor Wheeldin, or "Mr. T the Science Guy" as he's known on the K-8 campuses, has been working with Value Schools teachers to integrate science, technology, engineering and math into teacher's everyday, core curriculum.

Mr. T. began the lesson as if he were teaching the class, and teachers sat in for middle school students. With two photographs of an airplane and a sailboat, Mr. T. simply asked, "What do planes and sail boats have in common?"

Little did the teachers know the lesson would cover Bernoulli's principle, the theory within the study of fluid dynamics where an increase in the speed of a fluid occurs simultaneously with a decrease in pressure or a decrease in the fluid's potential energy.

Ms. Mares and Ms. Martinez working to understand Bernoulli's principleThrough examples, group work and experimentation, teachers came to understand one of the most influential principles in science. And by the end of the lesson, it was clear how sailboats navigate the seas, and how airplanes soar above our heads.

We at Value Schools are committed to focusing our efforts and experience to help all our educators get the guidance and skills they need to ensure all students reach their highest academic potential. By sharing lesson plans and expertise, teachers at each campus borrow and build on ideas, learning and supporting one another as they go.

jane1Science is everywhere, in and out of the classroom. When students like Arvin and Franciella have a chance to leave the University Prep Value High School campus and hear from experts, they get a deeper understanding of how the natural, mathematical and social sciences overlap. 

This month, high school students from University Prep Value and Central City Value were given the opportunity to see Jane, a documentary about the life and work of legendary scientist Jane Goodall.  Hosted by the Los Angeles World Affairs Council, Value Schools' scholars joined over 250 high school students to learn about Dr. Goodall's life and work with chimpanzees and environmental activism.

Chimps are similar to humans... It makes us all think more about how we relate to each other, here at school and around the world."
-- Franciella, University Prep Value High School student

University Prep Value High School students attending JaneValue Schools' students know that expanding educational horizons help them see more clearly how the world works, and how they themselves can further their own education to give back.

"It was part of our psychology class," said Arvin. "We went to learn about her work and how her studies changed how we think about ourselves."

"The documentary showed how they are just like us," Franciella explained. "Chimps are similar to humans. They mourn, they love, they get mad, they have time to play, they use tools, they can be violent and they even have civil wars. It makes us all think more about how we relate to each other, here at school and around the world."

10We are shaped by our communities and instructed by our values.

Since 2006, hundreds of students, staff and alumni from Central City Value High School have volunteered at Angelica Lutheran Church to serve thousands of Thanksgiving Day dinners to families in the Pico Union community.

Our tradition with Angelica Lutheran Church began in 2003 when Rev. Carlos Paiva generously provided classroom space to Central City Value in its first year of operation.

As our school community has grown, giving back has become a Value Schools-wide tradition. University Prep Value High School and Everest Value School have joined their peers from Central City Value to give back to their Pico Union families and neighbors.

Value Schools CEO David Doyle reflected on the commitment he made to Rev. Carlos and his community in 2006.
“We are grateful for their support,” said Doyle, “and we serve each year because we want students to remember the kindness given to them and then to ‘pay it forward.’ Without the support of Rev. Carlos over the years, Central City Value High School would not exist today.”

It feels nice to be able to provide service to those who are less fortunate and might not be able to afford a meal with their families.  It gives me time to reflect on what we have and for what we are thankful."
-- Brenda S., University Prep Value High School student

Alumni return each season to do just that. Jennifer G., an alumnus from Downtown Value in 2007, Central City Value in 2011, and graduate from California State University, Northridge in 2015 said, “I volunteer because it gives me an opportunity to give back to my community and because I enjoy helping others. It’s very rewarding seeing how happy the families get when we serve them a thanksgiving dinner.“

But even students too young to remember the first days of Central City Value understand the importance of their service.

“Serving on Thanksgiving has become a tradition of giving back,” said Brenda S., an 11th grade student at University Prep Value High School. “It feels nice to be able to provide service to those who are less fortunate and might not be able to afford a meal with their families.  It gives me time to reflect on what we have and for what we are thankful.”


Rev. Carlos was so moved by the commitment Value Schools has shown to the Pico Union community, he testified before the LA City Council to secure a Conditional Use Permit for University Prep Value. His testimony, along with those from Value Schools’ parents, students and faculty, allowed for the construction of our second high school completed just in time for the 2017 school year.

Sadly, Rev. Carlos passed away in November of 2016, but the commitment of Value Schools continues to thrive.

orientationStarting any new enterprise, adventure or career comes with excitement, trepidation and even some anxiety.

Value Schools launched the VS Orientation Team in the summer of 2017 to inform new recruits about what it means to be a part of the Value Schools community. 

Mr. Doyle fashioned a team of students, parents and veteran teachers that could distill and convey their Value Schools experience to new board members, teachers and staff.

The focus was to understand the words of the values, and how those words can be turned into action. Some actions are small, some large, but when practiced daily, the values can be used to accomplish big goals.

Ligia Salazar, Office Manager at Everest Value School, managed the Team and helped decide how the core values would be best explained to the newest members of the Value Schools’ family.  Over dinner at headquarters, seasoned leaders met with new recruits, heard testimonials and watched videos illustrating the values. Team members discussed the impact Value Schools has had on their education, their careers, and their families.

For example, Edgar Ballesteros – a graduate of Downtown Value, Central City Value, and UC Santa Barbara – conveyed how the values compelled him throughout his own educational career. And after receiving so much from Value Schools, Mr. Ballesteros said he returned to Central City Value to give back to his community, now as a teacher!

Other members of the team shared stories and experiences as well, and newcomers left the orientation with a clearer sense of how the values can move from words to action.


Follow-up meetings are planned for the second semester to further develop our new practitioners understanding of the values.

leadership2As Value Schools continues to strengthen, this school year has given teachers and administrators the chance to take on wider responsibilities. We value the individual growth of every student at each of our four campuses; and we value the adult leaders at the core of each school community.

For the 2017-2018 school year, several veteran teachers and staffs have been promoted from within, filling seven of eight leadership positions.

Two new Principals

  • Claudia Godlewski (the only leader hired outside the Value Schools network) joins us from her previous position of Principal at St. Joseph School
  • Robert Poyer at University Prep proceeds from his previous position as Vice Principal

Three new Vice Principals

  • Karla Orellana at Downtown Value moves from her previous position as 8th Grade math teacher
  • Laura Diosdado at Central City Value advances from her position as College Counselor
  • Carla Vazquez, at University Prep Value progresses from her position as Director of Special Education

Two new Deans of Students

  • Feager Pertilla at Downtown Value grows from consultant and substitute teacher
  • Vanessa Navarro at University Prep Value moves from her position as Freshman Seminar teacher

Lastly, David Doyle moved from his position as founding Principal at University Prep Value to his new position as CEO of Value Schools where he replaced Gerry Jacoby. Also promoted from within, Ms. Jacoby served as CEO for three years after being the founding principal of Downtown Value School.

Value Schools knows the best teachers of today develop the leaders of tomorrow. We encourage professional growth from within, and actively support those willing to take advantage of leadership opportunities. Our staffs know that by exploring their passions in the classroom, they can simultaneously develop pathways developed to encourage lifelong careers.

building 03Building a school is not easy. Public hearings, environmental examinations, design and construction all take time.

University Prep Value freshman, sophomores and juniors entered their new and permanent home at 1929 W. Pico Blvd. on the first day of school this year.

Their two-year stint at a temporary location in downtown Los Angeles served as a reminder of one of Value Schools foundational principals, said CEO David Doyle.

“It’s important for us all to remember that a school is not a building,” said Doyle. “A school is the people inside the building, the people who care about one another, who have each other’s back, and who help one another become better students, scholars and citizens.”

The importance of strong schools, strong communities, have never been greater. We owe it to our communities to ensure positive educational opportunities for all our children."
-- Mónica García, LAUSD District Two Board Member

Gilbert Cedillo, Los Angeles City District One Councilman, and Mónica García, LAUSD District Two Board Member, joined students, teachers and families for a ribbon cutting on September 9, 2017.

“The importance of strong schools, strong communities, have never been greater,” said Ms. García. “We owe it to our communities to ensure positive educational opportunities for all our children.”

Students have also reflected on the importance of their strong community. Brenda S., who was struggling academically in her local school, was brought reluctantly to University Prep Value.


“My mother brought me here and I didn’t want to come,” Brenda explained. “But now I am truly thankful because University Prep pushed me to do better. I have become inspired here and motivated by the support I get, and now I know I will reach my goal. I have completely changed my life, and my academics are now my main priority, all thanks to UP.”

Value Schools will continue to build safe, nurturing spaces for young people to thrive as there are students and families who need us.

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Downtown Value School Downtown Value School 
950 West Washington Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90015
Phone: (213) 748-8868
Fax: (213) 742-6684
Everest Value School Everest Value School
668 South Catalina St.
Los Angeles, CA 90005
Phone: (213) 487-7736
Fax: (213) 487-7745
Central City Value High School Central City Value High School
221 North Westmoreland Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90004
Phone: (213) 471-4686
Fax: (213) 385-5127
University Prep Value High School University Prep Value High School
1929 West Pico Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90006
Phone: (213) 382-1223