Governance » Leadership Team

Leadership Team

Ricardo Mireles - Executive Director

Mr. Mireles is the founder of Academia Avance, a college preparatory charter public school located in the Northeast Los Angeles neighborhood of Highland Park. Development started in 2004, with authorization granted in May of 2005 by the Los Angeles Unified School District. Operations commenced that summer with 100 students in grades 6-7. Avance now serves grades 6-12 and has over 800 alumni. The Avance charter has been renewed three times, most recently by the California State Board of Education in 2020.

Development of Avance followed Ricardo's stint at the California Charter Schools Association in 2003. CCSA was his crash course on all things charter, after spending four years at the LAUSD, having joined in 2000 the team that launched the planning and eventual construction of 120 new schools. It was at LAUSD the he came to realize that even more than just needing new school facilities, Los Angeles needed a new way of schooling kids.
Mr. Mireles brings to Avance Schools a broad range of experiences in public policy and technology. Mr. Mireles has taught at the UCLA School of Public Policy and Social Research, and at the Don Bosco Technical Institute. He completed a fellowship in public affairs with the Coro Foundation - New York City in 1990. He is a graduate of the Don Bosco Technical Institute, has a B.A. in Anthropology from Columbia College, and has completed graduate work in urban planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Ricardo is a founding board member of the Freedom Coalition for Charter Schools. He lives with his wife and son in Highland Park.

Ricardo Gonzalez - Principal 

Mr. Gonzalez is a UCLA graduate with a BA in Political Science and has been with Avance for over 10 years serving as a tutor, teacher, coach, athletic director, and instructional coach. Mr. Gonzalez is committed to teaching the whole child by narrowing the achievement, opportunity and technology gaps, and building character within a restorative justice paradigm. Culture and engagement are his key points as we work to build a school community that is inclusive and prioritizes student success and development above all else

Angela Vizcaya - Director of Student Support Services

Ms. Vizcaya has been with Avance for over 11 years and has a Master’s & Ed.S degree from Azusa Pacific University. Outside of Avance, Ms. Vizcaya loves spending time with her family, music, urban art and exploring new experiences with her daughter Valentina. 

Josh Frankfort - Assistant Principal

Mr. Frankfort has returned to Avance after 5 years and received his undergraduate from Northeastern University with a BS in Music Industry and a graduate degree from Loyola Marymount - MAT in Secondary Education. Mr. Frankfort has previously taught at Carver Middle, Avance, KIPP, and Equitas Schools. In his free time, Mr. Frankfort loves music, cooking, hiking and his family.