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Meet Tiffany Gilmore

Today we’d like to introduce you to Tiffany Gilmore.

Tiffany, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I am the product of a single mother. We reside in both Compton and Carson, California. I consider myself a Carson girl as I spent majority of my life there. I attended all LAUSD schools. It was at King/Drew Magnet High School where my leadership really evolved. I was such a “rebel” that I organized a student protest and walkout because our passing period wasn’t long enough.

We were able to be heard and our passing period increased from 5 minutes to 7. Our high school was huge, so this was a major victory. Lol. At King/Drew, I was the student body President. I owe it to King/Drew and my mother for turning me into a fearless leader.

I always had hopes of becoming a principal. So I attended CSUDH for my bachelor in English and a minor in Communications. Then, I went back to teach at my middle school, Curtiss Junior High in Carson. I was literally colleagues with my former teachers. It was a great experience and truly full circle. During this time, I attended Pepperdine University for my Masters in Education. Upon graduating, I married my college sweetheart. We’ve been together for 18 years and married 12.

We relocated to the Inland Empire and have built our family here. I worked as a teacher and school administrator. During this time, I received my second Master’s degree and we welcomed three amazing children into our family.

Throughout my years as an educator in the Inland Empire, I have fought to bring Black culture to the forefront. When I arrived, they weren’t even having Black History Assemblies. Black students were constantly the topic due to the dismal achievement & suspension data, but for me this was not enough.

I set out to create a school where we could teach students both the Arts and STEM. It took me about seven years to write our Charter School petition. And then, the true work began.

I have been in the fight of my life to bring a secondary school to the Inland Empire, where all students could see themselves in the staff, teachers, lessons, all to “Be the Solution.”

Now we’re wrapping up year one. So many tell me that this year is truly book worthy!!

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
It definitely has not been a smooth road. Stepping out on faith, deciding to quit my job as a Site Administrator with the district, was definitely one of the scariest but fulfilling decisions I’ve ever made.

You often find out who is just talking the talk and who is down to walk the walk they talk. We faced huge opposition as we petitioned to open our Charter School. The politics, the slander, the lies; but me, I just wanted/want to do what is best for kids. I always say, “We’ve opened a School, to close a Prison.” I’m an educator. If it’s not about the kids, I really can’t function in the adult politics that seem to always infiltrate our educational system.

Please tell us about Garvey/Allen Visual & Performing Arts Academy for Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics.
At Garvey/Allen Academy, we are a public charter school, serving grades 5-8. We provide innovative blended core subject learning while integrating both STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) and the Arts. We transform students into Achievers.

Our Achievers not only learn the necessary Common Core instruction but also coding, culinary arts, music production, set design, and theatre just to name a few.

We are built on 5 Pillars of Excellence: Pride, Perseverance, Cultural Awareness & Tolerance, Courage, and Excellence.

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
My mother told me at a very young age, “you are going to be an amazing woman one day.” I held on to this and used it to persevere through life. She continues to guide and support me in every endeavor. Through her being the epitome of greatness, she taught me how to be strong and courageous. She tells me to this day, “If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.”

My Grammy (grandmother) was an entrepreneur, teacher and all-around hustler. Oh and she got down in the kitchen. Family was always first. She made sure I was on track to being a success but constantly reminded me to slow down enjoy the moment!

Lastly, my husband is probably one of my biggest fans. His support, encouragement, and always ready to be ten toes down in whatever venture I want is insurmountable. We are truly best friends and so he helps me to achieve as a wife, mother and Charter School CEO.

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