Meet San Francisco’s own version of the American dream–beginning in the classroom

Who: Richard Carranza, Superintendent of the San Francisco Unified School District.

Years in SF: Four.

Neighborhood: Ingleside Terrace.

Current Gig: After serving as San Francisco’s Deputy Superintendent of Instruction, Innovation and Social Justice, Carranza assumed the role as the district’s head honcho this past July, the Huffington Post reports. Since he began working on behalf of San Francisco schools, Carranza has made closing the city’s “achievement gap” — providing all the district’s students with equal access to quality education — his top priority.

And it’s working. San Francisco public schools saw a rise in standardized test scores across almost every subject this year, and the city’s most underperforming institutions have all shown signs of improvement. Carranza, who grew up in Arizona, entered his own school system speaking no English and spent more than a decade in front of the classroom as a high school teacher before crossing over to the administrative side, recently caught up with The Huffington Post to discuss his goals for the new year, why money really does matter and where he finds inspiration during his down time…

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