WHO I AM
Dr. Rocío Rivas immigrated to the United States from Mexico at the age of two. She is a proud American citizen richly aware of her Mexican American cultural heritage. She was raised with strong working-class values that her parents exemplified throughout her life. She attended LAUSD schools and graduated from Reseda High School. She is also mother of a current LAUSD student.
Dr. Rivas was the first in her family to complete a college degree and continue to earn a doctorate in education. She holds a BA from the University of California, Berkeley in Political Science and Development Studies, with a minor in African-American Studies, earned in 1996. She went on to earn a PhD from Columbia University in 2008 in Comparative and International Education with a Political Sociology emphasis and geographical focus in the U.S. and Latin America.
Dr. Rivas’ passion for public education was born as an undergraduate student after taking a course in education and working as a teacher assistant in a bilingual preschool in Berkeley.
Thus began her journey and dedication to public schools on both a global and local landscape. Her academic training and professional work experience have been in education policy, research, and program evaluation. She has conducted field work internationally in the Republic of Georgia with the Soros Foundation and in Bolivia with the Earth Institute/Columbia University. Dr. Rivas also worked for LAUSD as a contracted researcher conducting research and evaluation in the district’s traditional public schools and charter schools.
Dr. Rivas is a strong advocate for authentic parent participation and engagement in public education. She has served as a parent in School Site Council and PTA. She also worked for LAUSD as a Community/Parent Representative in a school in Highland Park.
Since 2019, Dr. Rivas has worked on the LAUSD School Board for elected member Jackie Goldberg. Dr. Rivas serves as Policy Deputy, acquiring and sorting through data to inform policy development on charter schools, early education, dual language and bilingual education, magnets, and arts education, to name a few critical areas. Dr. Rivas is the Board Member’s point person for all the public schools in Elysian Valley, Glassell Park, and Eagle Rock as well as in El Sereno, City Terrace, Highland Park, and Cypress Park. This latter set of communities is now situated in District 2.
Dr. Rivas is deeply involved in her community and served as secretary and president of the Historic Highland Park Neighborhood Council and as the chair of the Family, Youth, and Education Committee. She also won election on the March 2020 primary ballot in Assembly District 51 as the highest vote-getter among nearly 20 candidates to serve as a member of the L.A. County Central Committee of the Democratic Party. She earned designation by that delegation as “Democrat of the Year” in 2020.
Dr. Rivas is an avid reader, collects art and iconography featuring Frida Kahlo, and loves to cook, bake, and spend time with her wonderful son.