Discovery Charter Schools Announces New Executive Director


 The Discovery Charter Schools Board of Directors is pleased to announce the appointment of Leticia (Lety) Villa-Gascon as the new Executive Director effective July 1, 2022. The board is confident Ms. Villa-Gascon will lead Discovery into the future, building upon Discovery’s philosophy and excellent educational programs. Ms. Villa-Gascon’s professional qualifications and experiences match the leadership qualities identified by the board and the school community in their search process. The board retained the services of Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates, a national school executive search firm, to assist in the search. Ms. Villa-Gascon was selected from an outstanding field of candidates. 

Ms. Villa-Gascon is currently the principal of Alum Rock Middle School, one of the Downtown College Prep schools, a position she has held for the last seven years. With over fifteen years of administrative experience, she has served as principal and assistant principal at the elementary and middle school level in Milpitas Unified School District, principal in Moreland School District, and resource specialist in Alum Rock School District. She holds a master’s degree in Educational Leadership from National University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from National Hispanic University. Born and raised in San Jose, Ms. Villa-Gascon attended Cedar Grove Elementary, Quimby Oak Middle School, and Oak Grove High School. She and her husband, Richard Villa-Gascon, live in San Jose with their two children. 

Ms. Villa-Gascon currently serves on the board for the California League of Middle Schools. She has received numerous awards and recognition for educational excellence for the schools she has led. These include National School to Watch (2008, 2010, 2017, 2020), California School to Watch (2005-10, 2017, 2020), California Distinguished School (2005, 2012), and California Gold Ribbon in 2015, as well as being awarded Region 8 Principal of the Year by the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA) in 2009. 

Board president, Ilan Spieler, welcomes Ms. Villa-Gascon to the Discovery community. "We had a very strong pool of candidates and narrowed it down to the top applicants, each of whom we interviewed twice. The applicants were also interviewed by a community panel, which provided the board with excellent input. Lety’s experience and approach to education make her an outstanding choice for Discovery. I know the Discovery community will welcome her!” 

“I am honored to have been chosen for the position of executive director. From the moment I learned about Discovery and its model, I knew it was a perfect fit. I am pleased to enthusiastically support Discovery’s focus on the whole child with the goals of meeting individual student needs and encouraging student-led learning. The use of Project-Based Learning to engage students supported by exceptional parent engagement and participation is an ideal combination for student success. I am excited to join the Discovery team,” said Ms. Villa-Gascon.