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Preston Smith is president and CEO of Rocketship Education. Formerly, he served as Rocketship Education's chief achievement officer. Before co-founding Rocketship, he was the principal of L.U.C.H.A. Elementary School, a small school within the Alum Rock Unified School District in San Jose, California. He founded L.U.C.H.A in collaboration with neighborhood families in 2004 to provide parents with an excellent school focused on high academic achievement and parental involvement. In 2007, after three years of operation, L.U.C.H.A. received an API score of 881 and was the highest-ranked elementary school in the district and county of Santa Clara. Before founding L.U.C.H.A, Preston taught first grade for three years at Clyde Arbuckle Elementary School, the first two as a member of Teach for America. In 2003, Preston was named Teacher of the Year at Arbuckle and was also nominated as one of six finalists for TFA's Sue Lehmann award, given to TFA corps members with the highest classroom academic gains in the nation. Preston graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is a fellow of the third class the Pahara-Aspen Education Fellowship and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.