Meet Carla

Educator, Community Advocate, Latina

"We all benefit from a diverse learning community"

Carla Hernandez

I am Carla Hernández, a veteran Credentialed Special Education Teacher and

Student Advisor at East Side Union High School District.


I have dedicated my work to addressing Adverse Childhood Experiences,

Absenteeism Intervention, Mental Health Advocacy, and Anti-Racist,

Inclusive teaching. This work is personal to me because I have faced housing

insecurity and other ACES as a child and I continue to see their impact

on our students. 

As a daughter of an immigrant and refugee, I am committed to reaching

families of all languages and identities. My family and I struggled

finding quality public schools that my younger sister and I

were zoned for. After receiving a need-based scholarship to attend

college, I knew that the classroom was where I was meant to be. 

I received my B.A. in Cognitive Neuroscience from the University of

Pennsylvania and my M.Ed in Special Education from Loyola Marymount

University. My master’s thesis focused on how to develop self-advocacy

skills in diverse learners through a race and social justice lens. I fully recognize

that the changes we want to see in our communities are interconnected and

deserve an interdisciplinary approach.

As a teacher, I have taught integrated science, biology, and study skills.

I have advocated for special education students to have inclusive general education experiences and helped families navigate special education law. I also recognize how enriching community experiences can be.  In my first year of teaching, I worked to obtain a Target scholarship for my integrated science classes so they could attend the San Jose Tech Museum. 

In and out of the classroom, at the heart of what I do is relationship and community building. I was the founding sponsor, along with Independence High’s amazing social worker, of the first mental health advocacy club of Independence High. I have advocated for fairer housing initiatives and participated in a fellowship with First 5 California constructing policy briefs on housing prices, child care cost, and adverse childhood experiences. I am trained in mindfulness facilitation and social emotional learning, created an attendance intervention and mentorship program at the high school I serve, and am always looking for opportunities to innovate how we learn and grow as a community. 

I commit to serving Oak Grove with an equity and justice lens, and to lean on my policy, classroom and personal experience.

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Public Policy Fellow with First 5 communicating information on adverse childhood experiences, child care cost & housing to commissions 


Communications Outreach at Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education 


Urban Leaders Fellow working with Oakland Promise and Brilliant Baby Initiative, a program dedicated to funding college bank accounts for babies


Researched how children understand science and use imagination to understand the world


Studied the social behaviors associated with autism spectrum disorder

Understands the research of traumatic brain injuries 


-Entering 6th year of teaching, Student Advisor 

-Multi Tiered Support System Team Member 

-School Site Council member

-Taught inclusive Biology 

-Summer School Principal 

-Social Emotional Learning Champion and Equity Member 

-Taught study skills 

-Taught Integrated Science, adding neuroscience and psychology concepts to curriculum 


Queer woman of color that is resilient

Believer that all children and families are capable of great things

Mental Health Advocate 


Believer of elevating community voice



Black Lives Matter - Refugees - Honduran - LGBTQ - Progressive - health - fair housing - mindfulness - ESUHSD - leadership - books - sanctuary - advocate - First Gen - CTA - equity - education - college - SEL - community - Latina - access