Robin Avelar La Salle, pioneering leader of an education organization that helps historically underperforming schools improve student success, has been nominated for Stanford University Graduate School of Education’s (GSE) Alumni Excellence Award.

The nomination recognizes Avelar La Salle’s stellar work with Principal’s Exchange, a consulting firm that for 19 years has analyzed systemic issues that impede student success and empowered educators to use data to refine achievement plans.

“This is a tremendous honor,” Avelar La Salle said. “I’m passionate about the work we do at Principal’s Exchange on behalf of our California students. I’m proud to have an institution with the academic integrity of Stanford University recognize the results of our partnership with schools and districts as we work to ensure that every student receives the premium education that currently only some receive.”

Avelar La Salle, who earned her Ph.D. from the Stanford University Graduate School of Education, has worked as a teacher, administrator and university professor. She is co-author of a book entitled “Data Strategies to Uncover and Eliminate Hidden Inequities: The Wallpaper Effect.”

“This award, now in its second year, aims to highlight the transformative work of GSE alumni locally, nationally and internationally – alumni like Dr. Avelar La Salle,” said Thea Gentile Smith of the GSE Communications Office. “The GSE is proud to call her one of our own.”

The award recognizes alumni who have demonstrated excellence in one or more of the following areas:

  • Advancement of knowledge through research, teaching, publications, or technology as it relates to the interdisciplinary field of education;
  • Commitment to dynamic, high-quality educational practice at the classroom, school site, or district level as a teacher, principal, or district leader;
  • Dedication to under-served and low-resourced student populations;
  • Innovation in addressing a timely issue or challenge in education; and
  • Leadership in educational policy at the local, state, federal, or international level.

As part of the nomination, Avelar La Salle will be profiled in the October edition of the graduate school’s Educator newsletter.

Dubbed an “equity warrior,” Avelar La Salle’s research interests revolve around issues of educational equity, including the academic achievement of historically underperforming students, the use of data to close the achievement gap, and the relationship between language, literacy and culture.

Principal’s Exchange serves more than 30,000 students in public school districts across California. Its approach to professional development is highlighted in a groundbreaking new book by the late Robert C. Calfee, a professor emeritus of education at the Stanford Graduate School of Education, and Kathleen M. Wilson, an associate professor emerita at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Principal’s Exchange is cited as a bright spot in California’s transition to the Common Core State Standards for applying research-based strategies that target systemic issues and empowering educators to use data to accelerate achievement.