About Us

Fortune and Associates was founded in October 2003 to close the academic achievement gap among minority school kids with research-based books, videos and training for educators and parents.  The company’s founder, Dr. Rex Fortune, has an ongoing interest in producing new educational tools that will help school administrators, parents and teachers to become more effective in helping low achieving children to succeed academically.

Dr. FortuneDr. Rex Fortune
Dr. Fortune received his B.S. and U.S. Army commission from North Carolina A&T State University in 1962, an M.A. from UC Berkeley in 1968, and a Ph.D from Stanford University in 1972. A father, husband, teacher, and businessman with a passion for bridging the Achievement Gap, Fortune has worked more than 50 years as an educator.

He was a high school teacher, school site administrator, associate superintendent of public instruction in the California State Department of Education for 11 years, superintendent of Inglewood Unified School District for five years, and superintendent of Center Unified School District for 15 years before he retired from Center in 2003.

While leading Center Unified, Fortune founded the Fortune School of Education, (formerly called Project Pipeline), in 1989. He served as past president of the Board of Trustees for the Fortune School of Education and the Pacific Charter Institute, which governs charter schools in Sacramento and San Joaquin counties. This second edition of Bridging the Achievement Gap: What Successful Educators and Parents Do is his fifth book on education. He lives in Granite Bay, California.

Rex Fortune III
Mr. Fortune has a bachelor’s degree in human resources, specializing in training and development, from California Polytechnic State University in Pomona. He’s been Vice President of Fortune and Associates for the past decade. Previously, Rex III worked 12 years as a Director of Teacher Recruitment and Marketing; a Teacher Training Program Coordinator for the Contra Costa County program that he initiated; and a Facilities and Events Coordinator for Project Pipeline Teacher Credential Program, now called the Fortune School of Education. Rex III was the recruiter who built the teacher credentialing program to its highest enrollment level, with over 300 teacher interns enrolled, during a teacher shortage. For Fortune and Associates, Rex III did most of the logistics associated with the first edition of our Bridging the Achievement Gap book, including research of API test scores for over 10,000 California public schools, to choose the 20 best schools that met the criteria for the study. He wrote the script for the book’s corresponding DVD, Parenting Practices: How Successful Parents Bridge the Achievement Gap. For our latest book, Bridging the Achievement Gap – Second Edition, Rex III assisted with the book’s publishing process, and with the logistics and write-ups for interviews with educators and parents of schools featured in the book. He lives in Granite Bay, California.


Bridging the Achievement Gap - Second Edition, Book

Dr. Dominic Zarecki, Contributor/Research Analysis
Dr. Zarecki earned a doctorate and M.A. in Political Science from Boston University and a B.A. from Yale University. He’s a senior Data Analyst at Fortune School of Education. Zarecki provides technical and research assistance to the central office, helps teachers navigate data systems and evaluates the effectiveness of interventions. Before working at Fortune School of Education, Zarecki was Director of Research at the California Charter Schools Association, where he helped implement and update a statewide accountability system and wrote reports about the academic and post-secondary performance of charter schools. He is on the Technical Design Group, which advises the California Department of Education about statistical issues related to its accountability work, and a member of Cohort 8 of the Strategic Data Project, a two-year fellowship based in the Center for Education Policy Research at Harvard University. He resides in Riverside, California.

Robert Graswich, Contributor/Editor
A communications professional with four decades of experience in new and traditional media, Graswich is a journalist, editor, author and communication consultant. His career began at the Sacramento Bee, where he was a reporter and columnist. He has worked in television and radio as an anchor and commentator, and served as Special Assistant to Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, where his work on the city’s new arena became the foundation for his book, “Vagrant Kings: David Stern, Kevin Johnson and the NBA’s Orphan Team" (2013). Beyond his writing, editing, broadcast work and consulting, Graswich is an editor for Inside Publications of Sacramento. He lives in Danville, CA.

Online Parenting Practices Academy Video Series


Common Core
Tamara Williams (Principal, Hazel Mahone College Prep)

Educational Technology
Joseph Gambino (Principal, William Lee College Prep)
Kim Howard (Principal, Fortune School)

Financial Aid
Patty Colston (Communications Manager, California Student Aid Commission)

Language Development
Kim Howard (Principal, Fortune School)
Ericka Nielson (Teacher, Fortune School)
Shunta Williams (Teacher, Fortune School)

Math and Science
Ryan Numela (Science Master Teacher, Fortune School of Education)

Parent Involvement
Vanessa Caigoy (Compliance Coordinator, Fortune School of Education)
Kim Howard (Principal, Fortune School)
Ericka Nielson (Teacher, Fortune School)
Odisa Nyong (Principal, Rex and Margaret Fortune High School)
Shunta Williams (Teacher, Fortune School)

School Attendance
Laura Deniz (Program Analyst, Fortune School of Education)

Student Behavior
Adam Frazier (Probation Officer)
Kevin Golding (Behavioral Specialist)
Student Preparation for Colleges and Universities
Pam Blanco (Associate Director/Manager, Transfer Opportunity Program, University of California, Davis)
Dr. Teresa Aldredge (Counselor, Cosumnes River College)
Melissa Muganzo (Academic Advisor, California State University, Sacramento)

Students with Special Needs
Andre Slade (Director of Special Education, Rex and Margaret Fortune High School)

Video Services
Kristin Singhasemanon (CEO, Satin Web Solutions)
Jeff Eberhardt (CEO, Eberhardt Video Services)