Ericka Olivarez is guided by a mission to serve as part of a diverse community of learners and leaders striving to ensure that all students have equitable access to educational experiences that will help them succeed. She has dedicated her career in education to growing and empowering others, serving as a teacher, instructional curriculum and assessment specialist, academic dean, district content coordinator and a district leadership specialist. Forever a teacher, she believes that the best way to create a community of leaders is to create a truly equitable environment where all stakeholders are empowered to explore, question, collaborate, and problem-solve in a supportive environment.
A first-generation college graduate, Ericka Olivarez earned a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from the University of Texas at Arlington, as well as a Master’s Degree in Political Science from the University of Notre Dame and a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and English Literature from St. Mary’s University of San Antonio. She leads and serves on various state, city and district committees dedicated to building culturally responsive schools where all students and staff are healthy, safe, supported, engaged and challenged.
Gabriela Aguilar was born in Monterrey, Mexico and has dedicated more than 30 years as a teacher and educational leader for levels from preschool to college. In 2010, she came from Mexico to reside in the United States and proudly has served Northside schools since then. Ms. Aguilar is a passionate educator with a vision to grow achievers for life, as she believes in learning as a feeling, speaking not only to students’ minds but also to their hearts.
Ms. Aguilar holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Applied Linguistics and a Bachelor’s Degree in Education from Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León in Mexico. She holds a Master’s Degree in Education and Family Guidance from Universidad Complutense de Madrid in Spain and a Master’s Degree of Education in Administration from Lamar University. She is a proud mother of three successful young adults who are following her legacy of service in Texas. Ms. Aguilar enjoys playing her piano and illustrating the children’s stories she writes to share her message to young minds. She also keeps herself active as a triathlete and marathon runner.
CAST Schools are partnership schools, co-created by industry, civic leaders, and other external partners, who participate in decisions about curriculum, budget, and school governance. In addition to their critical role in the school design, our partners provide mentorship, real-world work experiences, internships, and job opportunities, shaping the career readiness of students and helping them seamlessly transition into college or the workforce while nurturing a homegrown and committed source of talent.