When Pivot Charter School North Valley was planting its roots in Chico, CA, Rachel Gonzalez was graduating from Chico State with a bachelor’s degree in English and had a career interest in education. While searching for her first job out of college, she responded to an ad for a Site Coordinator position at Pivot Charter School North Valley. “I thought going to work for Pivot would be a great way for me to explore charter schools. I’m grateful I applied and got the job because it has taught me so much about what an alternative public education can and should look like,” says Rachel, who now serves Pivot Charter School as the Director of Operations for all sites.
When thinking about what sets Pivot apart from traditional public schools, Rachel notes that “Pivot is extremely student-centered and is such an amazing family to work with. Our teachers, who are known as Educational Coordinators at Pivot, do so much more than teach. They provide one on one help and support for our students in a safe and loving environment. They think outside of the box when it comes to impacting the lives of our students and parents and offer different kinds of support in different ways.”
Starting her Pivot career as a Site Coordinator at the North Valley Resource Center allowed Rachel to build trust with incoming families while helping them through the application process and make connections with students as they started on their Pivot journey. “The greatest thing about being a Site Coordinator is hearing about why a family is choosing Pivot for their child’s education,” says Rachel. “They begin to trust and form a relationship with you that is very special.” While Rachel works in an off-site office, she is close enough to regularly visit the site and watch the students engage in fun activities.
Rachel, who is a native of Chico, feels fortunate to witness the growth and impact Pivot North Valley has had on this Northern California community. “Chico is such a special place; it’s a small town and a tight-knit community. Watching Pivot grow over the last nine years to become a part of this community has been amazing,” says Rachel. “Our students, staff and Educational Coordinators like to take trips throughout the surrounding area, and we love participating in community events, like the Chico Thursday Night Market.”
Heading into its 10th year, Rachel doesn’t see Pivot slowing down any time soon. “I think Pivot is in its refining stage; we get to keep making our programs better for our students. I can’t wait to see what the next ten years has in store for us.”