Education group from Puerto Rico visits CLC/LEAP for closer look at charter schools
February 7, 2012
A group of 12 business and education officials from Puerto Rico visited CLC and LEAP Academy on February 7th for an in-depth look at how to start and manage a charter school. The group visited to learn more about CLC’s successful community development framework and LEAP’s inception as New Jersery’s first charter school, which the team is hoping to replicate in their home territory of Puerto Rico.
The visiting members were treated to a tour of the Rutgers Early Learning Research Academy (birth to pre-K), LEAP’s Lower School (K-6) and LEAP’s Upper School (7-12). CLC Director and LEAP founder Dr. Gloria Bonilla-Santiago provided a strategic overview of LEAP’s work, as well as the steps she and the LEAP team took to create and establish the charter in 1996.
Later, CLC and LEAP staff spoke in detail about a range of programs such as college preparation, parenting training, research and data evaluation and family health. Roundtable discussions focused onof the Center’s community development efforts and LEAP’s success as a charter school.
Mr. José E. Fernández: CEO & Chairman, Omega Overseas Investments, Inc.
Dr. Juan Agosto Alicea: Fr. Secretary, Puerto Rico Treasury Dept.
Ms. Maricarmen Aponte: Fr. United States Ambassador to El Salvador
Dr. Rafael Aragunde: Fr. Secretary, Puerto Rico Education Dept.
Mr. Carlos Laboy: Deputy General Manager for Operation, NYC Housing Dept.
Mr. Héctor Méndez: Fr. President, Puerto Rico Government Development Bank
Mr. Carlos Nieves, CPA: Fr. President, Colegio de Contadores Autorizados Públicos de Puerto Rico
Mr. Ramón López Azúa, Esq.: Legal/Education Consultant
Mr. Harry Rodríguez: VP & General Manager of Abbott Labs Puerto Rico Operations
Mr. Angel Rosas, Esq.: Professor of Political Science, Univ. of Puerto Rico (Mayaguez)
Mr. Carlos Souffront, Esq.: Legal Consultant
Mr. José Lozano: Director of Kinesis Foundation
The group was led by Mr. José E. Fernández, the CEO & Chairman of Omega Overseas Investments and a recent honoree at 2011’s Rutgers/LEAP Alfredo Santiago Scholarship Gala. Mr. Fernandez has worked with CLC and LEAP to bring the Kinesis Foundation’s Bright Stars Initiative to LEAP Academy in order to provide Princeton Review SAT prep to 270 students.
A number of the individuals plan to return again in the spring and summer to continue researching LEAP and charter schools.