Regional Staff

Adriana Rodriguez and Liliana Alarid

Liliana Alarid, Principal, KIPP Promesa Prep; Adriana Rodriguez, Director of Leadership Development, KIPP SoCal

Adriana Rodriguez, Director of Leadership Development, KIPP SoCal; Liliana Alarid, Principal, KIPP Promesa Prep

The purpose of KIPP’s Principal in Residence program (PIR) is to prepare aspiring principals with the skills and tools needed to lead a KIPP school. Adriana Rodriguez and Liliana Alarid Sandoval are two KIPP leaders who wonderfully demonstrate the power PIR has in creating effective leaders for excellent schools.

Adriana founded KIPP Promesa Prep in East Los Angeles in 2015 and today, Liliana serves as principal of Promesa. In partnership, both women have cultivated a school environment that puts kids and community first.

It began with Adriana laying the groundwork for Promesa. Adriana’s path in education was shaped by her experiences growing up. The one that stands out? From a young age, she often played the role of translator and advocate in interactions between her parents and teachers and administrators. As a kid, she could feel the weight of this role. And as an adult, she could recognize how it demonstrated inequalities in the education system. In her early days of dreaming up a school she would eventually found, Adriana was adamant about creating an inclusive environment where language wouldn’t be a barrier, students could focus on their work, and tools were put in place to cultivate effective parent-teacher interactions.

As a Fisher Fellow, there were two things Adriana wanted to be true of her future school. First, that it’d be community-centered, with parents being equal partners in the ins and outs of the school. And second, a school whose foundation was so strong that it would outlast Adriana and future leaders that would come and go. The Fisher Fellowship created a space for Adriana to learn about herself, learn from like-minded peers, and get clear on how her school would serve the community.

Liliana’s professional journey, with Adriana’s guidance, highlights the impact of effective mentorship. From her early days as an apprentice teacher, Liliana progressed through various roles including lead teacher, teacher manager, and dean. Adriana was there along the way, consistently pushing Liliana out of her comfort zone and fostering her professional and personal growth. This mentorship was built on a foundation of mutual trust and high expectations, with Adriana always believing in Liliana’s potential.

Today, Liliana’s leadership at Promesa is marked by her unwavering belief in the potential of her students. Reflecting on what keeps her motivated in her role, Liliana’s answer is simple: joy. The joy of students who take interest in what they’re learning. The joy of bringing parents and the school community together and witnessing genuine connection and love.

Their story is a powerful example of effective leadership within the KIPP network, showcasing how dedicated mentorship and a shared vision for educational equity can create a thriving, community-centered school. Adriana and Liliana’s journey underscores the importance of nurturing talent and fostering an environment where both educators and students reach their full potential.

Leadership development at KIPP