Value Schools Foundation Board Member Matthew O’Connor and his Family at Heal the Bay

One outcome of the Value Schools’ Student Leadership Conference in July was confirmation we have greater impact on the world working together than in isolation. Students committed themselves then to reaching beyond the doors of their own campus to gain support from other students at Value Schools and their wider communities.

Students banded together and helped execute the largest “Heal the Bay” event in Value Schools history.

On September 16, over 200 hundred students, parents, faculty and administrators from our four schools, along with members of our Value Schools Board of Directors, participated in the infamous beach clean up in Venice Beach.

Value Schools home office provided busses for each school to fill with eager volunteers of all ages. 


The power of our community is growing, beyond the doors of a single campus, and our students and families are giving back – together.

ls4The primary purpose at this year's Value Schools Leadership Summit in June was the implementation of Leverage Leadership by our academic teams and educators.

Principals, vice-principals and academic coaches from each school presented accountability plans intended to provide excellent, targeted, and supported instruction across each school campus.

In part, leadership teams used the book Leverage Leadership, A Practical Guide to Building Exceptional Schools by Paul Bambrick-Santoyo as a guide and clear starting point for their work.

The opportunity only solidified our commitment to the values and helped us better understand that all students matter!”
-- Robert Poyer, Principal, University Prep Value

Their goal: focus their 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 plans, leaders from each campus borrowed from and built on the ideas heard throughout the day, learning and supporting one another as they went.

Rob Poyer, Principal at University Prep Value High School, reflected on the event by saying, "We were able to work collaboratively to help our students reach their fullest potential by creating detailed coaching plans for our teachers. We had the opportunity to present our plans to leaders at each campus and utilize the best practices emerging from all our schools. The opportunity only solidified our commitment to the values and helped us better understand that all students matter!"

ls3 ls5

Our CEO David Doyle stated one of the most important outcomes Value Schools seeks for its faculty and staff: "We want our teachers to say, 'I want to teach at a Value Schools because its leadership will train and support me, developing my own potential as a teacher for the benefit of all our students.'"


Group Shot

This July over summer break, forty students representing each campus convened for the first-ever Value Schools Student Leadership Conference. 

Jose Ramos

The conference focused on the qualities and characteristics of leadership Value Schools strives to develop in students. Each participant received and read the book, Mandela's Way by Richard Stengel. In it, students discovered that Nelson Mandela's reflections on leadership helped him not only help him encourage others to develop to their fullest potential, but also helped to overcome his own adversity.

With the generosity of School Board member Jody Foldesy, the conference took place on the 51st floor of Boston Consulting Group, with an extraordinary view of Downtown Los Angeles. 

Value Schools CEO David Doyle assembled local leaders from business, non-profit, community-based organizations, local government, and think tanks. These individuals took time away from their schedules, and offered clarity and inspiration to students on the topic of leadership, commitment, and focus.

The conference helped me develop my voice, to speak for myself, and to be a leader for Value Schools. This experience has given me a roadmap to develop my leadership skills."
-- James Penaloza-Martinez, 11th grade student, University Prep Value High School

  • Linda Gunn, President, Gunn-Jerkens Marketing Communications Inc.
  • Gina Doyle, Director of Development, Society of St. Vincent de Paul of Los Angeles
  • Terry McCarthy, President and CEO, Los Angeles World Affairs Council
  • John Barrett, Resident Managing Director, Aon Risk Solutions
  • Luis Gonzalez, Field Deputy for Los Angeles City Councilmember Gilbert Cedillo
  • Ned Colletti, former General Manager, Los Angeles Dodgers
  • Irene De Anda Lewis, Executive Director, Los Angeles Salvation Army Red Shield Family Center


After seeing the passion and commitment of our students throughout the conference, Terry McCarthy, Los Angeles World Affairs Council President and CEO, invited our students to attend the Second Annual "Future of Asia Conference" held in Santa Monica in September.

Several members of the Boards of Directors of Value Schools also reflected on their experience as leaders and change-makers.

  • Jose Ramos, Children's Bureau of Southern California
  • Naya Bloom, formerly of Teach for America
  • Jeffery Garcia, Capitol Group Financial Services
  • Jody Foldesy, Boston Consulting Group
  • Dawn Nakagawa, Berggruen Institute on Governance

When a presentation came to a close, our students presented a leadership pin to each visiting speaker. Some loved their pin so much they kept it on long after the conference. Ned Colletti, formerly the Los Angeles Dodgers General Manager and co-host of Spectrum Sportsnet LA said, "I wear this pin every day on the set because it represents Value Schools students' commitment to developing leadership."

But the greatest impact was on our students. James Penaloza-Martinez, an 11th grade student at University Prep Value High School said, "The conference helped me develop my voice, to speak for myself, and to be a leader for Value Schools. This experience has given me a roadmap to develop my leadership skills."

We thank all those who participated in the Value Schools Student Leadership Conference and for changing students' perceptions about their role as leaders in the world.

10 Years PinCreating a positive experience for our students and families at Value Schools takes time, perseverance and, most of all, commitment.

In September, CEO David Doyle honored and celebrated the commitment demonstrated by faculty and staff who have served Values Schools for ten or more years.

During Formation Day in August, and at morning and Community Time ceremonies at each campus, ten-year veterans received commitment pins symbolizing and acknowledging their efforts in creating the Value Schools' experience for students and their families.10 Years UPVHS pin

For a brief moment I saw the years at Value Schools as a timeline - opportunities I had to change students’ lives."
-- Vanessa Navarro, dedicated educator since 2004

When Vanessa Navarro, a 14-year veteran of Value Schools received her commitment pin, she said, "For a brief moment I saw the years at Value Schools as a timeline - a timeline that showed students with smiles and tears, with highs and lows."

"I have been part of an institution where people go above and beyond for its students," Ms. Navarro continued. "The tears and lows I imagined on that timeline were opportunities I had to change students' lives. That brings happiness and joy to my heart. This pin represents each of those important moments."

10 Years CCVHS pin

10 Years DVS pin

A plaque exhibiting the names of each of our veteran teachers hangs on the walls of our four campuses as a tribute to our most devoted leaders.

10 Years

Thank you to all of those who have dedicated 10 years or more to the students and families of Value Schools!

David, Doyle, 2003 - CCVHS
Catherine, Scheibe, 2003 - UPVHS
Jose, Uicab, 2003 - CCVHS
Ana, Villanueva, 2003 - DVS
Claudia, Cohen, 2004 - DVS
Alvin, Lamarre, 2004 - CCVHS
Vanessa, Navarro, 2004 - UPVHS
Soccorro, Pena, 2004 - DVS
Marycruz, Quintanilla, 2004 - DVS
Raissa, Adolphe, 2005 - CCVHS
Ana, Chavez, 2005 - DVS
Christopher, Medinger, 2005 - EVS
Alain, Nguidjol, 2005 - CCVHS
Karla, Orellana, 2005 - DVS
Robert, Poyer, 2005 - UPVHS
Nancy, Yucute, 2005 - DVS
Liliana, Gomez, 2006 - DVS
Henry, Martinez, 2006 - DVS
Taylor, Wheeldin, 2006 - DVS
Angela, Abnousi, 2007 - CCVHS
Sulma, Caldera, 2007 - DVS
Maritza, Elgarib-Chavez, 2007 - DVS
Maricruz, Fernandez, 2007 - DVS
Estrella, Garcia-Ciscar, 2007 - CCVHS
David, Yucute, 2007 - DVS
Laura, Diosdado, 2008 - CCVHS

Claudia Godlewski, Downtown Value School's New PrincipalWe are happy to announce that Mrs. Claudia Godlewski has accepted the position of principal for Downtown Value School. Mrs. Godlewski grew up near DVS in our Pico-Union neighborhood; she earned a Master's Degree in Education with an emphasis in Curriculum and Instruction from Grand Canyon University. She is currently working on a doctorate in education in curriculum, instruction and assessment at Walden University.  Since 2013 to the present, Mrs. Godlewski served as the principal at St. Joseph Elementary School in Pomona where she successfully led her veteran faculty through the transition to the Common Core State Standards. Before becoming principal in 2013, she served St. Joseph's as vice principal and junior high school teacher.  Started her career in education as a teacher assistant in an ELD program at Washington Irving Middle School.  We are excited to welcome her back into our community!

As principal, she communicated the vision, set high expectations for students and educators, ensured accountability, created and managed the budget and lastly, was present to all members of the school community. 

Mrs. Claudia Godlewski, our new Downtown Value School Principal, will deliver the same type commitment and dedication she demonstrated at her previous school.

As the instructional leader, she supervised the academic program, evaluated lesson plans, observed classes and encouraged the use of a variety of instructional strategies consistent with current research on learning and child development based on the Common Core State Standards. She believes in leading a team under the same principles that we do at Value Schools and believes that every decision made should be at the center of our students' needs.

Based on her experience, her core values, and her recommendations, we believe Mrs. Godlewski will deliver the same type commitment and dedication she demonstrated at her previous school. We look forward to her sharing that passion with the children, families and staff at Downtown Value School!

In the next few weeks, Mrs. Godlewski will be working with key leads and develop a transitional plan which would allow her to meet each of you, hear your ideas, and share her vision for the school. We are grateful to the staff, faculty and parents who served on the principal search committee. Your questions, insights, honest feedback and generous collaboration were invaluable throughout this process.


Gerry Jacoby, Ana Chavez, and David Doyle


Gerry Jacoby and Rob LovelaceThank you so much for attending the Value Schools Celebration on Thursday, May 4, 2017! The event commemorated everything Value Schools has become over the last fifteen years, and highlighted the profound impact Gerry Jacoby and Rob Lovelace have had on students and families throughout Los Angeles.

We had an amazing turnout - nearly 200 caring individuals throughout Los Angeles came to celebrate with us! We were inspired by your presence and your commitment to transforming education. We hope you had a wonderful evening.

In celebration of Gerry and Rob, we invite you to view once again their tribute videos, and hear from them directly about our important work.

Thank you so much for attending and for your year-long engagement and generosity! We can't do this important work without you!

And be sure to watch again our video Value Schools Is, celebrating the passion, accomplishments and vision of everything we do at Value Schools.

If you would like to take a tour of any of our campuses, or if you have questions, please contact Joshua Julian at

We are thrilled you joined 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