NSBA's Council of Urban Boards of Education participates in White House event honoring Latino educators

Dr. Gonzalo La Cava of Fulton County Schools addresses the White House event.

Dr. Gonzalo La Cava of Fulton County Schools addresses the White House event

The White House will honor ten Latino educators as part of its "Champions of Change" program for those whose extraordinary work is advancing the education of our next generation of Americans. Today at the White House at 10:15 a.m. EDT. Van Henri White, Chair of the National School Boards Association’s (NSBA) Council of Urban Boards of Education (CUBE) and President of the Rochester City School Board (N.Y.), will participate in this event.

“Representing urban school boards, I am honored that the White House is celebrating Latino educators who bring excellence to America’s public schools,” said White. “I am extremely proud that Anibal Soler, Jr., Principal of East High School in Rochester, an amazing principal in my own school district, is an honoree, as he reflects successful urban school leadership.”

This White House event is a part of Hispanic Heritage Month, and will showcase these leaders and the exceptional contributions they have made to Latino communities and this country. The “Champions of Change” program was created as an opportunity for the White House to feature individuals doing extraordinary things to empower and inspire members of their communities. The event will be live-streamed on the White House website at To learn more about the White House Champions of Change program, visit

Three of the educators being honored today are advancing urban education in CUBE member school districts of Georgia’s Fulton County School, New York’s Rochester City School District, and Virginia’s Alexandria City Public Schools.

These honorees are:

Dr. Gonzalo La Cava, Atlanta, Ga.
Dr. Gonzalo La Cava is the Area Superintendent for Fulton County Schools’ Central Learning Community, a grouping of schools surrounding the city of Atlanta. More than 18,000 students attend 23 schools in this learning community. La Cava works with each school’s leadership to achieve unprecedented academic results for all students and to guide its leaders in day-to-day operations and management. Prior to this role, La Cava served Fulton County Schools as its Assistant Superintendent of Student Support Services and its Executive Director of Services for Exceptional Children.

Anibal Soler, Jr., Rochester, N.Y.
Anibal Soler, Jr. is Principal of East High School, the largest urban high school in Rochester, New York, serving a population of 1,700 students. In 2000, Anibal began his career in urban education as an art teacher. Less than a decade later, he became Principal of East High School, a school that was then-labeled as persistently dangerous by the New York State Education Department. At East High School, Anibal has instilled a focus on increasing academic outcomes for students. He continues to lead the school’s transformational efforts by developing a partnership with the University of Rochester’s Warner School of Education.
Amelia Castañeda, Alexandria, Va.
Amelia Castañeda is the Alexandria Center Director for Higher Achievement, an organization dedicated to closing the opportunity gap for middle school youth. In this role, Amelia works closely with middle school students and their families, helping them navigate the educational system and providing much-needed support. In the Higher Achievement program, students participate in a rigorous year-round afterschool and summer academy program, which creates for them opportunities to succeed and raises their own expectations of themselves. It is Amelia’s mission that these students graduate the program college-bound and equipped with the necessary tools for success.


Go to top