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 over 400 students in grades 6-12. The charter was renewed by the Los Angeles County Board of Education in 2010, and again by the State Board of Education in 2015.
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. He lives with his wife and son in Highland Park.
Ricardo Gonzalez - High School 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.
Vonn Webb - Middle School Principal
Mr. Webb has been with Avance for over 6 years with a passion for advancing student success with the motto, "your mentality perpetuates your reality!". In his spare time, Mr. Webb loves his family, sports, music, cooking,traveling, comedy, and friends.
Marcelo Olmos - Chief Operating Officer
Marcelo Olmos is a native of Los Angeles and as a first-generation American, is especially committed to making a difference in education. Marcelo is a graduate of CSU Fullerton with Bachelor of Arts degree in communication, and earned his Master’s in Public Administration: Nonprofit Management degree from CSU Northridge. Marcelo has demonstrated his commitment to Avance, having first served as Operations Director beginning April 2007. As COO, Marcelo is excited to propel Avance on to a new level, cultivating awareness and opportunities that will reveal new possibilities. In his spare time, Marcelo enjoys cooking, hiking, and exploring Los Angeles’ diversity through food, music and art.
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 - Director of Instruction
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.
Maria Ramirez - ELD Program Coordinator
Ms. Ramirez has been with Avance for over 5 years and is our new ELD Program Coordinator after teaching Math at the middle school. Ms. Ramirez loves reading, watching T.V., going to the beach, sports games and just being with her family.