Parent Robin Rounaghi, who served two terms as volunteer president of Schoolpower, was selected as the non-profit’s first, paid executive director. Rounaghi leaves her job as an attorney to take on the newly created job.
After an extensive hiring search and interview process, SchoolPower found that the candidate possessing both the tangible and intangible qualities needed for the job was one of their own. “No one knows the organization or our community better than Robin,” said President Lynn Gregory, “and no one will work harder to ensure SchoolPower is doing all it can to help Laguna’s schools.”
Rounaghi is recognized as a well-liked and respected leader after tallying more than a decade of community involvement. “Robin is extremely organized, super energetic and just a can-do kind of person,” said Lumberyard restaurant owner Cary Redfearn, who collaborated with Rounaghi to create the school fundraiser Chef’s Challenge. “I think that she can get anything done.”
Steadfast Schoolpower fundraising annually infuses thousands of dollars into teacher projects, classroom enrichment and the district budget. This year, among other things, the organization underwrote a nutrition consultant and a planned upgrade in Internet connectivity districtwide.
Rounaghi, a Berkeley alum, graduated from Hastings Law School in 1993. She relocated to Laguna Beach in 1996 with husband Ali, who owns Laguna Graphic Arts printing company. The couple has three sons: Alex, a sophomore at the high school; Charlie, a Thurston seventh grader, and Willie, a fifth grader at El Morro.
Raised in Sacramento by a mother who taught elementary school and a father who served as chancellor of California Community Colleges, Rounaghi’s upbringing included many dinner conversations centered around public schooling. “My parents definitely embedded the value of making quality education accessible to everyone.” she said.
Her new role will require dexterity at team building, development, strategic planning and communication. Rounaghi takes the reins with the confidence and respect of district leaders already in place, said school board member Ketta Brown. “She knows the organizations inside and out so begins with an advantage that very few would possess,” Brown said.
Given the impact she’s already made on the public schools as a volunteer, Rounaghi feels a sense of gratitude to begin a new career direction with an engaged community as her partner. “I believe everyone can get behind the importance of supporting our local schools. I’m thrilled to be a part of that.”
SchoolPower raises money for all four Laguna Beach public schools. To learn more, visit www.lbschoolpower.org.