KIPP SoCal Public Schools Names New CEO

KIPP SoCal Public Schools Names New CEO

Angella Martinez (pictured) is appointed new CEO of KIPP SoCal Public Schools, effective 2021.


Los Angeles, CA – December 16, 2020 – The Board of Directors of KIPP SoCal Public Schools announces the appointment of Angella Martinez as Chief Executive Officer of the nonprofit organization that operates 20 tuition-free, open-enrollment, and award-winning charter public schools in Southern California. Martinez, KIPP SoCal’s current Chief Academic Officer, will succeed KIPP SoCal’s founding CEO, Marcia Aaron. Martinez will become CEO in Residence on January 1, 2021 and will take on the role of CEO on July 1, 2021. 

Holding dual masters’ degrees from UCLA and Loyola Marymount University, Martinez steps into this role with nearly 20 years experience as an educator, including several years as a successful classroom teacher, school leader, senior nonprofit leader, and as a proud mother of a middle school KIPPster. While teaching at Dr. Ralph J. Bunche Elementary, she exceedingly helped the school become the first California Distinguished School in the Compton Unified School District. In efforts to broaden her impact in transforming public education, Martinez became a KIPP School Leader in 2008 at KIPP Los Angeles College Preparatory School in Boyle Heights. Within her first year, the school became the seventh highest performing middle school in the Los Angeles Unified School District. Additionally, under her leadership, the school was recognized as a California Distinguished School, and with the foundation that she had set, later recognized as a National Blue Ribbon School. Most recently, Martinez has served as the Chief Academic Officer of KIPP SoCal for the past eight years, supporting 20 school leaders, and leading KIPP SoCal to be one of the highest academically performing networks in Southern California.

“I, along with the KIPP SoCal Board of Directors, enthusiastically announce the appointment of Angella Martinez as our new CEO. We recognize that KIPP SoCal’s Senior Leadership Team members, both collectively and individually, are among the most committed, experienced, and effective leaders in the country and we deeply value the continuity of culture and performance that we often see resulting from an internal successor,” notes Julie Miller, KIPP SoCal Board Chair. 

Martinez will be the first Native American Latina to serve as CEO of KIPP SoCal Public Schools. She is a champion for KIPP SoCal’s culture, values, and commitment to a whole-child approach to learning.

The KIPP SoCal Board of Directors engaged in a rigorous hiring process that included voices from the KIPP SoCal Board of Directors, students, families, and team members. High priorities for the selection committee included: a deep commitment for racial equity and anti-racism, vision setting and execution, relationship building & communication, and living the values of the organization.

“The strengths of our students, families, and team will help us on our journey toward becoming an anti-racist and anti-biased excellent public school system in Southern California. I feel honored to lead KIPP SoCal on this journey,” said Martinez, Southern California native.

Martinez has worked closely with the outgoing founder and CEO Marcia Aaron, who has led KIPP SoCal for the past 13 years. Aaron was instrumental in building an organization that works every day to meet the needs of all students and provide the social, emotional, and academic support for success within systemically under-resourced communities. Under Aaron’s leadership, KIPP LA and KIPP San Diego schools united to provide more resources to Southern California students. KIPP SoCal successfully grew from two original schools to now operating 20 joyful, academically excellent schools, plus earning the highest honors including three National Blue Ribbon awards, six California Distinguished School awards, and 11 2020 Innovate Top Public School awards. 

Reflecting on Martinez’s appointment, Aaron said, “My optimism stems from the naming of Angella Martinez as the incoming CEO for KIPP SoCal Public Schools. Angella was my first hire and we have worked side-by-side for the last 13 years. She has the passion, commitment,  experience, leadership, and love for our students, families, and team to lead in these times. I am also optimistic of having a smooth transition, given the strength of Angella and of our Senior Leadership Team.”

Marcia Aaron departs at a point of collective strength and optimism. The KIPP SoCal community is excited for this new chapter, and is grateful for Marcia Aaron’s leadership and service over the past 15 years.

About KIPP SoCal Public Schools 

KIPP SoCal Public Schools is a nonprofit organization that operates 20 tuition-free, open-enrollment charter public schools, grades TK-8. KIPP SoCal’s award-winning schools educate more than 9,000 students with a whole child approach to learning and support 5,100 alumni to and through college. Learn more at and connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn.


Media Contact: 

KIPP SoCal Media Relations