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Felipe Perez recognized during Hispanic Heritage Month

RELEASE DATE: September 25, 2023

Felipe PerezFelipe was an English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) student when his family moved from Puerto Rico to Lake Placid, FL. Perez was in tenth grade and experienced first-hand the challenges and triumphs of learning to speak English and discovering a new culture in the United States.

Today, Perez is a Technology Manager in Charleston County School District’s (CCSD) Department of Student Solutions. He channels his own experiences as he successfully navigates his day-to-day job with the district.

Perez initially studied electrical engineering. He returned to Puerto Rico, found employment in his field, and started a family. Across the world, the economy was starting to dip and Perez moved his family back to Lake Placid.

Unable to find a job in his field of work, Perez found an opportunity at a local Burger King where he served as a manager. After a short amount of time, a better opportunity presented itself at the local school district where he worked in the kitchen. After about six months a technical position opened at the district level and Perez was hired. While working, Perez pursued his master’s degree in Information Systems and worked at that school district until his wife was promoted to a job in South Carolina.

The Perez family settled into Charleston and it did not take long to find a technical position with CCSD. Perez completed the required certifications and held that position for four years before being promoted to Technology Manager for CCSD’s PowerSchool.

For the last five years, Perez has worked behind the scenes creating teacher and staff accounts, creating reports, querying student data for various stakeholders, and more which is an essential role in supporting the functioning of the school district.

“We do a lot of projects such as student login efficiency,” said Perez. “I help with questions and work with anyone that needs assistance. I help create student schedules, train teachers on how to use PowerSchool, and add software to our programs to improve the systems.”

An important piece of his work is helping Hispanic and Latino families with registration and enrollment. 

“I can help interpret and translate,” said Perez. “I love doing that. I like helping people in need and I do it because I know that our students are the future of the next generation. I believe I am doing something to make them successful. Helping students for the future will create a better world.” 

Perez’s wife is also an employee of CCSD and is a Head Start Program Coordinator.

“We are proud Hispanics and we know it is very important to celebrate any heritage not just ours,” said Perez. “I love my culture. It is amazing to experience other cultures too. You can do that, just as CCSD does, through food, the arts, and more.”

Perez said that his experience as an ESOL student allowed him to understand the importance of bringing other cultures into his work environment and in the classroom.

“I want our students to see people that look like them in positions of leadership,” said Perez. “They can be leaders, too. There are endless possibilities in CCSD and South Carolina.”

Perez comes from a long line of educators so working within a school district was a natural fit.

“My family of educators all have a collective belief that it is very important to help support Hispanic and Latino students - whether it be directly or indirectly,” said Perez. “I am fortunate to do that in my position by making things easier for students, families, and staff. I love solving problems so things are easier.”