Director of Finance and Investments, Lady M Confections, Inc., and Chairman, Board of Trustees, South Bronx Community Charter High School
Alvarez Symonette joined the North Star Fund Board of Directors in early 2013. He brings over 15 years of experience working in a diverse cross-section of industries including the financial, nonprofit and education sectors and a range of skills from management to fundraising. Alvarez is currently the director of finance at Lady M® Confections, and he holds a B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania and an M.Ed. from Harvard University.
He began his professional career as a public school teacher and went on to serve in senior leadership roles at educational nonprofits Teaching Matters and Teach For America. During his tenure with those organizations, he observed firsthand the disparities that exist in children’s education across the country and worked “in the trenches” to improve schools, enhance teacher instruction, and combat issues negatively impacting student learning.
Through his work with school and school district leaders in Atlanta, Baton Rouge, Boston, Greenwich (CT), Memphis, New Orleans, New York City, Newark, Philadelphia, and the Mississippi Delta, Alvarez has also witnessed the sharp divergence of educational standards in this country. This wide array of urban, suburban, and rural experiences not only revealed the many facets of inequality that persist in our country, but highlighted the historical, structural, and cultural factors that continue to impede student achievement today.
“North Star Fund’s purposeful approach to overcoming issues of educational injustice excites me. Despite the inspiring and tireless work of dedicated teachers and principals in our schools, students and parents continue to see their needs go unmet and often feel left out of the conversation about what’s best for fixing schools and improving student learning. North Star Fund focuses on meaningful school reform and closing the achievement gap to ensure that those who are marginalized by socio-economic status, race, ethnicity, gender, and/or language can ultimately be successful.”