Resolute Academy Charter School

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Featuring Resolute Academy's Principal: Mr. Robert Gallegos

Mr. Gallegos is the founding 5th and 6th grade science teacher at Resolute Academy. He was born in Southern California and has always had a passion for working with students who share a similar background to his. He earned a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Philosophy from Portland State University. While in college, he found his passion for education and focused his attention on a career in teaching. During his time as a Teach for America Corps member in Cleveland, Ohio, Mr. Gallegos learned there was, and still is, a dire need for quality educators in urban education. He decided to bring his talents back home to California.
 
Mr. Gallegos, Resolute Academy’s principal since 2018, is excited to push students at Resolute toward scientific literacy, comprehension, and personal growth - both inside and outside of the classroom. We asked Mr. Gallegos to tell us about his path to Resolute, in his own words:
 
When did you know you wanted to be an educator?
I used to volunteer at an elementary school while I was in college. Each week I would meet with the same few students one at a time and we would go to the library to work on phonetics. Over the course of a few months, I was able to see the joy firsthand of students actively learning. As I spent more time with the teachers and students I started to think about what being an educator would mean to me. The more I thought about how much joy I had from working with the students, I decided to make being a teacher a reality.
 
Principal Gallegos in costume with middle schooler dressed as Spiderman
 
What are your favorite aspects of your role at Resolute?
I have had several different roles at Resolute and each role has brought different types of satisfaction. As a teacher, I enjoyed being able to see each student have that “eureka” moment. It was such a pleasure to see students make connections with the content, it gives you so much gratification. As the Dean of Students, I loved being able to put structures in place to give our staff and students the opportunity to build a positive learning environment founded on the importance of strong relationships.
 
Lastly, in my current role as the principal, I truly enjoy watching my staff win. There is so much satisfaction in working with our educators so they can master their craft, which in turn grows our scholars. Another aspect of my current role I truly appreciate are the challenges that come with being a principal! There is a lot to take care of on the day to day and we have high expectations for what we want for our students. Although each role has been different, each one has given me a unique perspective on where to pull satisfaction from.
 
How does Resolute Academy’s mission align with your own personal core values with regard to education and personal growth?
Education can change lives. When I was younger, I thought getting an education just meant reading a ton of really long books and taking a ton of tests. Although I did have to read a lot and have taken hundreds of tests, I also look back with appreciation and satisfaction.
 
Making it through high school was important for my family as many never graduated. I wanted to be the first to go to college and wanted to continue growing as a person but also make my family proud. I learned hard and soft skills as I kept pushing for more. Going through college is going to put most people outside of their comfort zone. It’s in this uneasy space of vulnerability where growth truly happens. Whether it be you are challenged by the content you are learning or needing to tell your friends you have to study and cannot hang out, it's the experiences of further education that allow you to grow. Education and personal growth are one in the same.
 
The Resolute Mission has been mine, and I know how impactful it is. We have built a school to give our students an opportunity to venture on their own mission forward.
 
Principal Gallegos with a group of middle school boys
 
What teacher or educator impacted you most as a student and why or how?
I was lucky enough to have several educators that made a lasting impact on me. From my 7th grade ELA teacher Mr. O’Halloren who taught me to be responsible for my actions, to my 10th grade Algebra teacher Ms. Hintz who taught me to always believe in myself, there was always someone who went above and beyond their role as a teacher. I was fortunate to be surrounded by impactful educators such as my 9th grade Foods teacher Ms. Lieneweber who pushed me to do my best no matter how big or small the task.
 
Yet, when reflecting, the biggest impact came from my 11th grade social studies teacher and track coach Mr. Henderson. He was the father figure I never had who instilled in me that life is all about what you put into it. He taught me that I am the leader of my life and that if I want to be successful, that means I would have to make sacrifices to get there. Out of all the conversations we had that ranged from how to improve my grade in his class to how to best attack the first hurdle, I will always remember that he was the first person to tell me that I would make a wonderful teacher one day.
 
Principal Gallegos with a group of middle school boys and girls

What else would you like to tell us about YOU?
Los Angeles needs better schools. I know that we are building one that will make a difference for our students and this community.
 
About Resolute Academy
Resolute Academy equips students in grades five through eight with the academic foundation and strength of character necessary to excel in school and in life. As a free, college preparatory, public charter middle school located in the Watts community of South Los Angeles, we are proud to be part of the fabric of the Watts community and we harness the hope and forward-thinking that abounds here. Enrolling grades 5-8 tuition-free today!