“I'm proud to be a Founding Member of KIPP Corazón Academy (KCA) and be a part of building the traditions that families have come to know and love,” said Reco Sanders Jr., School Business Operations Manager. “I am also very proud of our campus and doing whatever I can to make sure it's warm and inviting for our families.”
Mr. Sanders is described as a valuable team member — always willing to support teachers, team members, and students! "He does his job with love, a smile, and laughter day after day," expressed Colleen Kennedy, School Leader at KCA. "Even with this global pandemic, he has managed to keep the school running smoothly with grace and style! He is a huge part of why we are successful and why we continue to shine everyday!"
"He is a leader of culture and a force within our school," shared Kennedy as she presented Mr. Sanders with a 2021 KIPPStar Team Member of the Year award1 for truly embodying the values that ground us as an organization — Lead with Love; Equity. Excellence; Strength in the Collective; Courage and Integrity; Learn and Grow. “Being a KIPPStar winner is an honor, but I don't do any of this work alone, I just try to make a memorable contribution,” he said.
In fact, Mr. Sanders’ humble day-to-day efforts helped KIPP Corazón land the “Top 2020 Los Angeles County Public School” title for surpassing the statewide average in one or more factors including math and reading scores, and serving systemically under-resourced communities. KIPPStar, indeed!
Get a behind-the-scenes look at Mr. Sanders’ “Day in the Life” in managing school operations at KIPP Corazón Academy, an award-winning tuition-free, college-preparatory TK-7* charter public school in South Gate.
7:00 - 7:45AM — HELLO, GOOD MORNING!
I monitor traffic and greet our families as they use our carline drop-off service. I make sure families are driving safely as I greet them warmly each morning.
7:45 - 8:00AM — SUPPORTING FOR A GREAT SCHOOL DAY AHEAD
I support our office staff with writing any necessary tardy slips and answering morning phone calls. We want to make sure our kids are able to get into school safely and quickly, even if they're running a little late. This is also the time to drop off all the water bottles, backpacks, sweaters and lunch boxes that kids may have forgotten to grab on their way in to school.
8:00AM - 12:00PM — SCHOOL LEADERSHIP MEETINGS & SUPERVISION
If I am not in meetings with our school leadership team or catching up on emails, I am organizing my task list for the day and prioritizing what needs to get done. I also arrange coverage to make sure our students have supervision during lunch and recess. If a last-minute need arises, I step in to supervise a few classes myself and get some much needed time with our kids!
12:00 - 12:45PM — POWER LUNCH
I eat my lunch during this window while catching up on any messages and emails that came in during student lunch and recess. At times, I may be on supervision duty or fixing an unexpected problem like a broken copy machine or attending to other unexpected maintenance issues.
1:00 - 2:00PM — ONE-ON-ONE TEAM MEMBER MEETINGS
I use this time to meet one-on-one with members of my operations team to ensure the school is in compliance with all local, district, state and federal laws and regulations, and leading all efforts toward operational excellence — always! I also continue working on projects specific to my role, which can include placing orders, planning for upcoming initiatives, and/or following up on current family communications.
2:00 - 4:00PM — PREPARING FOR DISMISSAL
This is a chance to finish any "must do" tasks before we transition to dismissal around 3:30 p.m. I support dismissal in almost the same way I support arrival, by supervising students as we help ensure they make it safely into their cars for them to have a safe ride home. It's a nice bit of symmetry to see families while they're dropping off in the morning and again at the end of the day.
4:00 - 8:00PM — AFTER THE BELL RINGS
On some days, I accompany our students that are still waiting to get picked up. This is a great chance to ask students about their day and have conversations that don't happen when I'm rushing past them in the hallways. I usually stay on campus until 6 or 7 p.m. catching up on any unfinished work and always striving to get ahead!
Fun Fact: During my high school years, I traveled to South Korea for a 10-day study tour.
But in everything he does, Mr. Sanders puts relationships first. He loves building lasting relationships with students, team members, and families, and creating trust, respect, and accountability for the success of our students and our public school.
"As we safely returned to in-person learning, I want to share that I am so proud of our Assistant School Leader, Michelle, for organizing a weekend volunteer event for our families to come in and help decorate our classroom doors to really kick-off the Halloween celebrations," shared Mr. Sanders. "I'm just the person that makes sure we have the materials we need, but it's a team that brings it to life."
"I'm excited for more opportunities to think creatively about how we can still keep the culture and community of our school while still prioritizing health and safety. I'm excited for the time when we can welcome our families into the building during arrival. It may seem so small, but the energy of having families and students walking the halls together is a special way to kick-off the day. Any time we can gather together as a community is special and I won’t take it for granted in the future," concluded Mr. Sanders.
Interested in joining our Team and Family? We are seeking talented indivduals committed to ensuring education is for liberation.
*A grade level will be added each year until we are fully grown with TK-8th grade.
1. Each year, we celebrate and honor our inspiring KIPP SoCal Team & Family at the Karsh Family KIPPStar Awards, named in honor of champion supporters and education advocates Martha & Bruce Karsh. In alignment with our mission, KIPP SoCal awards Teacher and Team Member of the Year to individuals who embody the values that ground us as an organization: Lead with Love; Equity. Excellence; Strength in the Collective; Courage and Integrity; Learn and Grow.