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California Association of African-American Superintendents and Administrators

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Sheraton Grand Sacramento

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California Association of African-American Superintendents and Administrators

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California Association of African-American Superintendents and Administrators

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State Conference Planning Committee

Ramona Bishop State Conference Chair Associate Superintendent

Michael Watkins Superintendent

Shirley Thornton School Board Member

Dennis Byas Superintendent

Marguerite LaMotte School Board Member

George McKenna Superintendent

Charlie Mae Knight Consultant

Dr. Pamela Short-Powell President, CAAASA

Our theme for this year’s conference, “Sounding the Alarm with One Voice,” represents our call for action. The work of CAAASA and collaborating organizations is to address the inequities of African-American students in public schools throughout California and our Nation. This year’s 2011 conference will address the following: • Parent & Community Engagement in Education Reform • Culturally and Linguistically Responsive Classrooms

Paul Chatman School Board Member

Hank Hendrix School Board Member

Gabriel McCurtis Superintendent

Richard Owen Superintendent

• Training & Supporting Effective Teachers, Administrators and Other Professionals • Strategies, Procedures and Programs that Improve the Use of Data • Innovations and Interventions that Turn Around Persistently Low-Performing Schools

Dwight Bonds Executive Director CAAASA

Sylvia Rousseau Professor University of Southern California

George King Principal Consultant Speaker’s Office for the California State Assembly

Adonai Mack Legislative Advocate, ACSA

2011 Conference Goals

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Become knowledgeable of strategies, programs and services to improve high school graduation rates for African-American students.

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Provide successful best practices and models with proven results in educating African-American males.

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Provide training and support for parents and families of underachieving African-American students.

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Review proposed changes to the Elementary and Secondary Education Acts with California congressional representatives.

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Review proposed state legislative proposals to address the academic needs of low-performing students to Close the Achievement Gap.

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California Association of African-American Superintendents and Administrators

Mission Statement The California Association of African-American Superintendents and Administrators (CAAASA), a group of educational leaders, is committed to identify and to address the critical issues in education through public policy relative to the status and performance of African-American students in California.

About CAAASA CAAASA was organized in 1993. Its membership consists of African-American school superintendents, assistant superintendents, deputy superintendents, directors and other administrators. CAAASA has a history of hosting Institutes, state meetings, state conferences, and many special events since its inception. Serving as an ianformative link to California Department of Education (CDE), CAAASA makes recommendations on topics to include curriculum and instruction, staff development, parent involvement, funding and gender specific issues. CAAASA has submitted testimony to the Speaker of the Assembly, which included six recommendations for the California Legislative Commission, which would improve the status of African-American males relative to their disproportionate representation in the penal system and in the Nation’s colleges and universities. CAAASA has worked in partnership with the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA) by sponsoring events and programs that support increased student achievement and that proved to be successful in addressing the needs of African-American students. Under CAAASA leadership, the organization is working closely with new and proposed initiatives that impact African-American students including a most successful and recently sponsored statewide conference in Sacramento focusing on achievement of African-American students, “Education is a Civil Right.” Additionally, we have met with Executive Search Firms and other stakeholders to address the under representation of African-American Superintendents in California school districts. CAAASA will continue to collaborate with California Department of Education (CDE) and other prominent organizations on projects and programs.

CAAASA Officers President: Pamela Short-Powell, Ed.D. Vice President: Edna E. Davis-Herring Treasurer: Joseph Jones Secretary: Ramona Robinson-Bishop, Ph.D. Consultant: Charlie Mae Knight, Ed.D. Membership Chair: George J. McKenna III, Ed.D. Executive Director: Dwight Bonds

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California Association of African-American Superintendents and Administrators

CONTENTS Welcome Letters

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Conference Planning Committee

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About CAAASA

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Conference Schedule

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Presenter Biographies

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“Lift Every Voice and Sing” by James Weldon Johnson Originally written by Johnson for a presentation in celebration of the birthday of Abraham Lincoln, this was originally performed in Jacksonville, Florida, by children. The popular title for this work is: ‘THE NEGRO NATIONAL ANTHEM’ Lift every voice and sing Till earth and heaven ring, Ring with the harmonies of Liberty; Let our rejoicing rise High as the listening skies, Let it resound loud as the rolling sea. Sing a song full of the faith that the dark past has taught us, Sing a song full of the hope that the present has brought us, Facing the rising sun of our new day begun Let us march on till victory is won. Stony the road we trod, Bitter the chastening rod, Felt in the days when hope unborn had died; Yet with a steady beat, Have not our weary feet Come to the place for which our fathers sighed? We have come over a way that with tears have been watered, We have come, treading our path through the blood of the slaughtered,

Out from the gloomy past, Till now we stand at last Where the white gleam of our bright star is cast. God of our weary years, God of our silent tears, Thou who has brought us thus far on the way; Thou who has by Thy might Led us into the light, Keep us forever in the path, we pray. Lest our feet stray from the places, Our God, where we met Thee; Lest, our hearts drunk with the wine of the world, we forget Thee; Shadowed beneath Thy hand, May we forever stand. True to our GOD, True to our native land

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The Program

Wednesday, February 9, 2011 7:00 A.M. – 8:00 A.M.

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REGISTRATION

7:00 A.M 8:00 A.M.

Registration Location: Beavis Room Continental Breakfast Provided Opening and Welcome ► Dr. Pamela Short-Powell, CAAASA President, ► Dr. Ramona Bishop, CAAASA Conference Chair ► Dr. George King, Principal Consultant to the Speaker’s Office for the California State Assembly ► Dr. Sylvia Rousseau, Professor of Education, University of Southern California Review of agenda items and desired outcomes: CAAASA legislative proposal Resource Materials 1. Educational Civil Right Agenda 2. California African-American Advisory Committee Recommendations to the State Board of Education 3. A Coalition for Improving Opportunities to Learn for African American and Other Students in Similar Circumstances Logistics and instructions ► Dwight Bonds, CAAASA Executive Director

OPTION A Conferees visit California State Capitol 10:00 A.M. ► Conferees will meet with legislators from the California Assembly and Senate.

Lunch at the State Capitol

OPTION B Presentation: Strategies to Close the Achievement Gap for African-American Students 10:00 A.M. ► Dr. Maureen Moore, EdEquity BY INVITATION ONLY

Select conferees will visit AdvancePath Inc. Academy school site. Opening and Welcome Debriefing ► Meeting with members of the California legislature. ► Workshop summary presentations

1:30 P.M.

2:00 P.M.

Legislative workshop

Thursday, February 10, 2011 7:00 A.M. – 8:00 A.M.

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REGISTRATION

Outside of the Camellia Room 8:00 A.M. – 9:30 A.M.

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SESSION 1

Welcome and Introductions Continental Breakfast Provided ► Dr. Pamela Short-Powell, CAAASA President ► Dr. Ramona Bishop, CAAASA Conference Chair ► ACSA Welcome, Maureen Burness ► Governor Jerry Brown Negro National Anthem – Lift Every Voice and Sing by James Weldon Johnson Conference Theme: Sounding the Alarm with One Voice ► Dr. Sylvia Rousseau Framing the Message Member, African-American Advisory Committee to California State Board of Education Professor of Education, University of Southern California

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Moderator: ► Dr. Pamela Short-Powell

President, CAAASA

Education is a Civil Right: Closing the Achievement Gap. Recommendations by: Local District Superintendent, District 7, Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) ► Dr. George McKenna Membership Chair, CAAASA ► Dr. Sylvia Rousseau

Member, African-American Advisory Committee to State Board of Education Professor of Education, University of Southern California

► Dr. L. Steve Winlock ► The Honorable Curren Price

Member, African-American Advisory Committee to State Board of Education 26th Senate District Chair, California African-American Legislative Caucus

► The Honorable John A. Pérez

Speaker of the Assembly California Democratic Caucus

9:30 A.M. – 11:00 A.M.

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SESSION 2

Making all Classrooms Culturally and Linguistically Responsive Moderator: ► Dr. Vincent Matthews Panelists: ► Dr. Shadidi Sia-Maat ► Dr. Carole Cobb ► Dr. Khadir Rajagopal

Superintendent of Schools and Secretary to the Board of Education, San Jose Unified School District (SJUSD) Education Programs Consultant, California Department of Education (CDE) K-12 Instructional Coordinator, Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) Chair, African American Education Alliance California Teacher of the Year, Grant Union High School Twin Rivers Unified School District (TRUSD)

► Elizabeth Norwood

11: 15 A.M. - 12:30 P.M.

Past-President, National Council on Educating Black Children (NCEBC)

- CORPORATE LEADERSHIP IN EDUCATION WORKSHOPS

AdvancePath Inc.

Knowledge Delivery System

McGraw-Hill

Quantum Learning/ PARS

Pearson Virtual Learning

Pearson Digital Learning

Triumph Learning

MIND Research Institute

Location: Bondi Room

Location: Carr Room

Location: McGinnis Room

Location: Camellia Room

Location: Beavis Room

Location: Falor Room

Location: Camellia Room

Location: Bondi Room

12:30 P.M. – 2:00 P.M.

- DR. CHARLIE MAE KNIGHT LUNCHEON

Impact of School Board Policies on Closing the Achievement Gap

California educational leaders partner with the National School Boards Association to close the Achievement Gap in California and across the nation.

Moderator: ► Marguerite Poindexter LaMotte District 1 Board Member, Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) Presenter: ► Earl Rickman

President, National School Boards Association (NSBA)

Panel: ► Xilonin Cruz-Gonzalez ► Henry Hendrix ► Adrienne Konigar-Macklin ► Paul Chatman ► Alice Spearman

President, California Latino School Boards Association President, California Coalition of Black School Board Members (CCBSM) President, Pomona Unified School District (PUSD) Board Member, Ocean View School District (OVSD) Past President, California School Boards Association (CSBA) District 7 Board Member, Oakland Unified School District (OUSD)

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2:00 P.M. – 4:00 P.M. “One Voice” Minority School Board Leaders

- WORKSHOP BREAKOUTS

Parent & Community Partnerships

Aspiring Superintendents

African-American and Latino School Board Members join forces to address policies and leadership in Closing the Achievement Gap.

Advocating for an effective educational system for African-American students. Building stronger family and school partnerships.

Mentoring and support for future superintendents – Formation of CAAASA Superintendents Mentoring Program

Presenters: • Earl Rickman • Hank Hendrix • Xilonin Cruz-Gonzalez • Marguerite Poindexter LaMotte • Dr. Sylvia Rousseau

Presenters: • Derrell Roberts • Tony Hicks • Ruben Reyes • Kindra Montgomery-Block

Presenter: • Michael Watkins

Location: Beavis Room

Location: Falor Room

Panelists: • Edna E. Davis-Herring • Dennis Byas • Gay Havard

Location: Camellia Room

National Organizations NCEBC and NABSE

Legal educational questions open forum - questions you wanted to ask but didn’t. Moderator: Judge Adrienne Konigar-Macklin Attorneys: • Diane Marshall-Freeman • Jabari Willis • Karen Gilyard • Mily C. Huntley

The I CAN Learn® Instructional Improvement System has been independently proven at scale to raise student math performance and close the achievement gap. The education system captures the best instructional pedagogy and delivers this instruction through technology on a one-on-one basis to every student. Presenter: Juliana Mims

Location: Carr Room

Legal Roundtable

Technology In Classrooms

Strategies for Math Excellence

Gus Hawkins Literacy Centers – A Model of Success. California Teacher of the Year, Dr. Khadir Rajagopal, National Council on Educating Black Children demonstrates culturally relevant best practices to help (NCEBC). African-American students excel in Mathematics. Presenter: Diana Daniels

Presenter: Dr. Khadir Rajagopal

Over-representation of African- American students in special education classes. A response led by National Alliance of Black School Educators (NABSE).

Location: Tofanelli Room

Presenter: Dr. Karma Nicolis

Location: McGinnis Room

Location: Clark Room

Snacks Served EVENING ACTIVITIES 5:30 P.M. CAAASA reception hosted by Atkinson, Andelson, Loya, Ruud & Romo (AALRR) Magnolia Room 7:00 P.M. First Annual “Education is a Civil Right” Awards Gala Camellia Room

Friday, February 11, 2011 7:00 A.M. – 7:30 A.M.

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REGISTRATION

Outside of the Camellia Room 7:30 A.M. – 9:00 A.M

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REX FORTUNE BREAKFAST/ SESSION 1

Welcome and Introductions

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Plated Breakfast Provided CAAASA Vice-President, Edna E. Davis-Herring State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tom Torlakson, California Department of Education

National Anthem – Silverio Montoya Larry P Case - A panel of experts will address this landmark case Thirty years later – what has happened? Moderator: ► Dr. Sharon Robinson Special Assistant to the Superintendent, Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) Panelists: ► Diane Marshall-Freeman ► Dr. Charlie Mae Knight ► Dr. Rex Fortune ► Dr. Shirley Thornton ► Dr. Karma Nicolis

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Managing Partner, Sacramento Office, Fagen, Friedman, Fulfrost, LLP. CAAASA Founder CAAASA Founder Board Member, Sausalito Marin City School District Associate Principal, Centinela Valley Union High School District

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9:15 A.M. – 10:45 A.M

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SESSION 2

Strategies for Engaging African-American Males for Academic Success Speaker: ► Dr. Joseph E. Marshall

Executive Director and Co-founder, Omega Boys Club

Moderator: ► Dr. George J. McKenna III

Local District 7 Superintendent, Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD)

Panelists: ► Sid Cosby The Black Male Project, Los Angeles Southwest College ► Michael Dennis Author/CEO, From Tragedy to Triumph: Character Development and Rite of Passage Program ► Joseph Jones Assistant Executive Director, Association of California School Administrators (ACSA) Director, Willie B. Atkins Scholars Program

11:00 A.M. – 12:15 P.M. Saying Why It’s So: A Roundtable on the Need for Cultural Competency Professional Development

- WORKSHOP BREAKOUTS

Educational Civil Rights Committee Black Parent Union in Partnership with LACABSE

Invited educational leaders and audience members will participate in a lively discussion and will be asked to share their thoughts on Cultural Competency within their districts and communities. What is cultural competency? How do we create a climate of inclusion for all students? What strategies are needed to impact Latino and black males? How do you use data to drive and impact intercultural competency in schools?

How to organize a Black Parent Union in your District. This session will include • Developing needs surveys and vision/mission statements • Identifying issues around parent concerns • Recruitment techniques and strategies for greater parent involvement and participation • Building capacity: Encouraging parents in leadership roles

Presenter: Dr. Venita Kelley

Presenter: Tony Hicks

Location: Compagno Room

Location: Falor Room

Culturally Relevant and Responsive Standards Based Curriculum

Aspiring Superintendents

Leadership Associates and Pivot Learning Partners will provide information to administrators on preparing to become a California Superintendent. This session will include: • Different types of available superintendent positions • Qualities and characteristics school boards are seeking Moderator: Michael Watkins Presenter: Jim Brown Location: McGinnis Room

School Boards Roundtable with NSBA Leadership

Presentation that introduces a proven research based model that is aligned to state ELA/ELD standards and increases students’ academic performance while significantly decreasing negative behaviors through a research-based Rites of Passage Program.

Stakeholders prepare a take-home action plan to motivate community members, school boards, parents, teachers, administrators and others to support legislative initiatives which has a positive impact African-American students.

Presenter: Michael Dennis

Presenter: Earl Rickman

Location: Bondi Room

Location: McGinnis Room

12:15 P.M. – 2:00 P.M - LUNCHEON Reauthorization of Elementary and Secondary Education Act The new Title I: What are the changes? Moderator: ► Dennis Byas

Superintendent, San Lorenzo Unified School District

Presenters: ► The Honorable Mike Davis

48th Assembly District Chair, Assembly Committee on Arts, Entertainment, Sports, Tourism & Internet Media

Panelists: ► Dr. LaRuth Gray ► Gerry Shelton ► Brenda Harris

Scholar in Residence, New York University Steindhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development Chief Consultant, California Assembly Committee on Education Education Programs Consultant, California Department of Education (CDE)

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Honoring CAAASA Founders

Dr. Charlie Mae Knight Luncheon February 18, 2010 The Charlie Mae Knight Luncheon, moderated by Marguerite Poindexter LaMotte District 1 Board Member, Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), examines the impact of School Board policy on Closing the Achievement Gap for minority students. California Board Members join National School Boards Association President, Earl Rickman President to discuss recommendations and implementations of best practices in California school districts.

Rex Fortune Breakfast February 10, 2011

The Larry P. v. Riles Case, 1971 – Thirty years later The Larry P. case first appeared at the federal District Court in the Northern District of California in November 1971. Several issues are important to make note of: • The dominance of IQ tests to determine EMR eligibility • Why and how IQ scores result in identifying large number of Black students over Whites • The nature of the self-contained classes for EMR students (inferior curriculum, dead-end nature, etc. 14

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Dr. Ramona E. Bishop

Dr. Ramona E. Bishop serves as Associate Superintendent for Curriculum and Academic Achievement with the Twin Rivers Unified School District. She holds a Doctorate of Education in Educational Leadership from the University of Pacific, Stockton; a Master of Science Degree in Educational Leadership from California State University, Hayward, and a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of California at Berkeley. Dr. Bishop served as Superintendent of the Del Paso Heights School District, Sacramento, Director III Multilingual/Multicultural Equity, Access and Achievements in Sacramento City Unified School District, Principal and in a dual role as Associate Superintendent of Curriculum/Instruction and Principal of Anna Yates Elementary School, Emery Unified School District.

Dr. Dennis Byas

Dr. Dennis Byas has served as Superintendent of the San Lorenzo Unified School District since 2007. Prior to his current assignment, he served for nearly eight years as Superintendent of the Colton Joint Unified School District, which enjoyed seven consecutive years of improved test scores and increased college attendance rates under his leadership. Dr. Byas has taught at various colleges and universities for more than 17 years. He received a B.A. in Economics from California State University at San Bernardino and both Master of Arts and Master of Business Administration Degrees at Claremont Graduate School-Peter F. Drucker Management Center. He is also a 2005 graduate of the Eli Broad Center’s Superintendent Academy and is one of fewer than 100 Broad Fellows in the Nation.

Paul H. Chatman

Paul H. Chatman, a Board Member in the Ocean View School District in Ventura County, is the 2008-09 Immediate Past President of the California School Boards Association. Chatman has served on the Board of Trustees for the Ocean View School District since 1989, with ten years as president. He has been a member of the Ventura County Association of School Boards since 1989 and was chairman in 1996. In 1994, Chatman received the Senate Resolution for Distinguished Community Service. In 1996 he received the Summit Award for Outstanding Statesman and the California Teachers Association State Gold Award, Outstanding Public Official. Chatman is a member of community organizations, including Rotary Club of Oxnard Sunrise, and the Oxnard Police Chief Advisory Committee.

Dr. Carole Cobb

Dr. Carole A. Cobb is the Instructional Coordinator for Foshay Learning Center in LA Unified School District and a collaborative facilitator with the California Department of Education and Equity Alliance on the development and piloting of an online statewide Culturally Responsive Professional Development Module. For the past twenty years, she has been a motivational speaker and an independent consultant, providing training in culturally responsive educational practices, change management, leadership development, strategic planning, coalition building, and Response to Instruction & Intervention (RtI2). Previously, Dr. Cobb served as the PreK-12 District Coordinator for the Academic English Mastery Program for Standard English Learners. Before moving to Los Angeles Dr. Cobb worked in Louisville, KY as an Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in Teacher Education at Bellamine University where she developed its state-adopted Masters of Arts in Secondary Teaching certification program She has held education-related positions in Kentucky and Michigan. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice Education from Kentucky State University, and both her Masters of Education in Administrative Leadership and Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction with a minor in Business Management from Wayne State University. California Association of African-American Superintendents and Administrators

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Sidney Cosby

Sidney Cosby is the Program Coordinator for TRIO-Educational Talent Search, a college preparatory program for middle school, high school and re-entry students, at Los Angeles Southwest College. His early years were full of challenges, including poor school performance, o special education courses, juvenile delinquency and subsequent incarceration. A life-changing experience while incarcerated, resulted in a change of focus, and propelled him to learn to read, write and comprehend proficiently. He also made the decision to use his life experiences to motivate young people. After graduating from L.A. Southwest College, he transferred to CSU Long Beach, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology. Later, he earned a Masters of Arts degree in Education at CSU Dominguez Hills. He is currently enrolled in the Educational Psychology doctorate program at a private college.

Xilonin Cruz-Gonzalez

Xilonin Cruz-Gonzalez serves as President to the Board of Education of the Azusa Unified School District. First elected at age 26 in 2001, she is the youngest person to ever hold that position. In 2009, she was re-elected to serve a third term. She currently serves as the President of the California Latino School Boards Association, a statewide nonprofit, focused on serving the needs of Latino students through school board members. She also serves on the California School Board Association’s School Wellness and Legislative Committees. Her primary focus as a local policymaker is to ensure that the all of the children of Azusa schools receive and successfully complete a rigorous, high-quality and well-rounded education, that prepares them for college.

Diana Daniels

Diana Daniels is a teacher, central office administrator, consultant, college professor, entrepreneur, historian and community activist, who has worked in public education for more than 39 years.. She holds a B.S. in Social Sciences and Psychology from Ball State University, an M.S. in Elementary Education from Butler University, and is working toward a Doctorate in Reading, Special Education and School Administration. After her retirement from the Indianapolis Public Schools in 2001, she served three years as Midwest Regional Director for Ventures Education Systems Corporation. In 2004 she began a partnership with Quality Leadership Resources, Inc. as Vice President of Sales/Staff Development, with a focus on restructuring schools through leadership and the alignment of structure, function and processes of a school and school district. She has delivered and participated in the staff development training of school boards, district leadership teams, and school teams. Mrs. Daniels is a highly regarded educator and her passion, expertise, and knowledge for educating African-American children is nationally recognized.

Assemblyman Mike Davis

Assemblyman Mike Davis was elected to serve the 48th District of the California Assembly in November of 2006. Assemblyman Davis has authored legislation on topics such as: public utilities procurement for minority owned businesses, career technical education, elder and dependent adult abuse, notaries public, gasoline dispensing: weight and measures, vandalism penalties: community service, Political Reform Act of 1974: electronic filing, and military service job protection among others. Prior to being elected, Mr. Davis served as Senior Deputy Director for Los Angeles County Supervisor Yvonne Brathwaite Burke. He also served as District Director for Maxine Waters during her tenure in the California State Assembly and later, when she was elected to Congress. Davis earned a B.A. from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte; an M.A. in Public Administration from California State University at Northridge; and an M.A. in Behavioral Science with a concentration in Negotiations and Conflict Management from California State University at Dominguez Hills. Additionally, he completed the Innovations in Governance Program at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

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Michael Dennis

Michael Dennis is the author/CEO, From Tragedy to Triumph: Character Development and Rite of Passage Program. He has been a public school educator in Los Angeles, for more than twenty years, both as a teacher and high school principal. As an educator, he has always placed great emphasis on respecting other cultures and points of view. He has written several books for teens and pre-teens emphasizing self-respect, self –determination, and personal responsibility. He has developed a research-based, culturally relevant and responsive curriculum that enhances student academic ability in English and Mathematics, develops their character, and connects them positively to their community through a rite of passage process. He has presented at state, local, and national conferences on promoting positive advancement for African-American students.

Dr. William J. Ellerbee, Jr.

Dr. William J. Ellerbee, Jr. is Deputy Superintendent of the School and District Operations Branch with the California Department of Education (CDE). In this capacity, he is responsible for general oversight activities and policies within the following divisions: Nutrition Services, State Special Schools and Services, Charter Schools, and School Facilities and Planning. Prior to joining CDE, he served as the Associate Superintendent for Elementary Education with the Sacramento City Unified School District. He has more than 24 years of experience in education administration, in addition to experience as an elementary teacher and paraprofessional. He has served as an adjunct instructor with National University, the University of California, Berkeley Extension, and the University of the Pacific, Stockton. Dr. Ellerbee also has 10 years of experience as a legislative aide with the California State Assembly. He received B.A. and M.A. degrees from California State University, Sacramento, and an Ed.D. from the University of the Pacific, Stockton, CA.

Dr. Rex Fortune

Dr. Rex Fortune is the Founder of Fortune School of Education (formerly Project Pipeline), a Teacher Alternative Certification and Hiring (TEACH) Program. He leads the Research and Evaluation Department at his school, which provides teacher certification training in Alameda, Contra Costa and Sacramento Counties. A lifelong educator, he served as Associate Superintendent of Public Instruction for the California State Department of Education for 11 years, Superintendent of the Inglewood Unified School District for five years and Superintendent of the Center Unified School District for 15 years before retiring in 2003. .He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree from A & T State University in Greensboro, North Carolina, a Master of Arts Degree from the University of California, Berkeley, and a Doctorate in Education from Stanford University. He co-authored a book based on research conducted in four California school districts titled, Leadership on Purpose: Promising Practices for African-American and Hispanic Students. Dr. Fortune resides in Granite Bay California.

Dr. LaRuth Gray

Dr. LaRuth Gray began her career in education as a teacher in the New Rochelle City School District where she later became Chairman of the Language Arts Department, Principal, Director of Instruction and finally, Assistant Superintendent. After leaving New Rochelle School District in 1982 she joined the Abbott Union Free District in Irvington, New York as a Superintendent where she retired in 1989. Dr. Gray has been recognized by the Dean of the School of Education at New York University with a Faculty Award for Outstanding Service, the Executive Educator of the National School Boards Association as one of the “100 Outstanding Educators in Small School Districts in North America”; and the Congressional Black Caucus Education Braintrust for her Excellence and Equity in Education. Now retired, Dr. Gray serves as Scholar in Residence at Metro Center. Professionally and currently, she serves as a representative for New York University’s Metro Center to the Organization of Institute Affiliates of the American Educational Research Association, Governmental Relations Liaison to the National Alliance of Black School Educators Board of Directors, and many other organizations. California Association of African-American Superintendents and Administrators

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Katrina Hamilton

Katrina Hamilton is an Educational Consultant for Triumph Learning. She currently works with schools to develop partnerships, and provides services and professional development in the areas of curriculum and instruction, including Buckle Down, Options Publishing, Coach, and iCore products. Her experience includes serving as a consultant in multicultural studies and research methodology. Ms. Hamilton has designed culturally relevant pedagogical curriculum lessons, which arm new teachers with tools to transfer theory into practice. She is the author of The Golden Keys (an adaptation chronicling President Barack Obama’s journey to the White House) and a contributor to Black Greek Letter Organizations in the 21st Century: Our Fight has Just Begun, edited by Dr. Gregory Sparks. She holds a B.A. in Psychology from California State University, Dominguez Hills and an M.A. in Education from Pepperdine University.

Bob Harris

Bob Harris has been an educator for the past thirty eight years. After a successful teaching career, he transitioned into the educational publishing industry to provide support in curriculum and instruction to teachers and students. During his publishing career, Bob has served in a variety of roles. For the past ten years, he has worked for Pearson as a Vice President in sales and as an Executive Manager for large urban accounts. He has helped to develop successful programs in reading, math, science and social studies that have been innovative in their design, easy for teachers to use, while they support student achievement for English learners, in part by a high degree of relevancy for students. He currently oversees a unique, philanthropic program for schools for Pearson called the Pearson Model Schools program, which provides at no cost customized support for K-12 schools in California in low income areas with high English learner and African American students. Bob also serves as chairperson for the California chapter for the California American Association of Publishers

Brenda Harris

Brenda A. Harris is an Education Programs Consultant with the California Department of Education (CDE). During her 18 year career with CDE, she has held a number of positions and credits her mentors, including Dr. Charlie M. Knight and Dr. Shirley Thornton, with helping to mold her career. Her current assignment involves developing a conceptual framework for the HUD, science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) initiative to ensure that children and youth who reside in subsidized housing have access to a course of study that will make them competitive for college or the world of work. She is active in conducting landscape research in innovative strategies to close academic/opportunity gaps and replicating the Fitz Urban Youth Sports Program for marginalized children, youth, families, and communities.

Gay Havard

Gay Havard is the Superintendent of Local District 3 of the Los Angeles Unified School District. Her district covers the Baldwin Hills, Brentwood, Mar Vista, Mid City, Pacific Palisades, Palms, Playa Del Rey, Venice, Westchester, West L.A., Westwood and Windsor Hills neighborhoods. Prior to her current appointment, she served as Director of Elementary Schools for the same area. The long-time educator also served as principal of Wilshire Crest and Arlington Heights Elementary Schools and as assistant principal and cluster advisor in the Fairfax/Hollywood/L.A. Cluster. Prior positions including serving as a Title 1 coordinator, special day class teacher and resource teacher at Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary School. Prior to joining LAUSD, she served as a teacher and later the Director of Special Services in Brookhaven, Mississippi.

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Henry A. Hendrix

Henry Hendrix wears many hats. A resident of Fresno, he is a community activist and advocate for civil and human rights. Additionally, he has served as a Master Teacher in Social Science and an acting assistant high school principal. Hendrix’s experience is varied. He has served as Deputy City Manager, Community Development Director, Deputy Sheriff, Consultant in Urban Planning, Program Evaluation and Planning Director, U.S. Post Office and U.S. Army Surveyor. He holds a Bachelor of Arts from California State University, Fresno and a Master of Arts from Fresno Pacific University.

Edna E. Davis-Herring

Edna E. Davis-Herring of EDucational Network and Associates, provides educational consulting, and motivational speaking on topics relative to student achievement, leadership, women, youth and African-Americans. She served seven and one-half years as the Superintendent of the Rialto Unified School District (RUSD). Her career in education spans more than thirty-eight years. Following twelve years as a Spanish and English teacher at the community college and secondary school levels, she ventured into administration. Her administrative experiences include Program Manager for the Teacher Evaluation Program for the Louisiana Department of Education, Baton Rouge. In May 2008, she was featured on ABC World News Tonight with Charles Gibson on the District’s use of technology to protect and support students with food allergies.

Tony Hicks

Tony Hicks is an educational consultant, specializing in parent and community involvement and provides services to schools, agencies, and organizations. Tony has worked in the public school system for more than twenty-five years, serving as a district level parent coordinator and community liaison with Compton Unified School District. Tony currently teaches parent education classes at schools throughout Los Angeles County for The Parent Institute, and serves as Chairperson for The Black Parent Union, a county-wide parent advocacy group. Tony is the father of three children, and a graduate of California State University Long Beach. His experience includes; working in the classroom, serving on councils/committees, coordinating the activities of parent liaisons, conducting workshops, mentoring students, training staff, hosting a cable TV show, and leading instructional audits.

Alice A. Huffman

Alice A. Huffman is Founder and President/CEO of A.C. Public Affairs, Inc., a public affairs firm that specializes in public policy and grass roots advocacy. Additionally, she was elected President of the California State Conference of the NAACP in October 1999 and was re-elected for the fifth time last October. She is the first woman to hold the post. Active in political affairs, she served as the State President of the Black American Political Association of California. She also served as the Associate Executive Director for Politics for the California Teachers Association. She is a graduate of the University of California Berkeley in Social/Cultural Anthropology, with advance studies at University of Pennsylvania, University of California Davis, and University of Southern California. The Los Angeles Times listed her as one of the most powerful people in California and The California Journal listed her as one of the top 50 individuals who had the greatest impact on California over the last 25 years.

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Clarence B. Jones

Clarence B. Jones served as speechwriter and counsel to Martin Luther King, Jr. and is currently a scholarin-residence and visiting professor at Stanford University’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Institute. Selected by Time magazine in 1972 as one of “The 100 Future Leaders of America,” and twice recognized in Fortune magazine as “A Businessman of the Month,” Jones has received numerous state and national awards recognizing his significant contributions to American society. He lives in Palo Alto, CA.

Joseph Jones

Joseph Jones serves as Assistant Executive Director of Member Services and Professional Standards with the Association of California School Administrators (ASCA), with whom he has worked for the past 16 years. In this role, he assists California superintendents and administrators with due process, contract development, legal problems, conflict resolution, interest-based bargaining, site-based decision making, and sexual harassment workshops. He also serves as ACSA’s liaison to numerous state and national associations and boards. His educational experience includes thirty-five years in public schools, pre-college and the university levels as classroom teacher, middle school counselor, middle and high school assistant principal, and high school principal. Jones has also served as a part-time instructor of graduate students in teacher education and school administration, and as a nationally distinguished lecturer.

Dr. George King

Dr. George King is the principal consultant to the Speaker’s Office for the California State Assembly. With extensive experience in management and consulting, he has also served as President and CEO of KAM Management and Consulting Services; “Connections Project” Consultant for the California Department of Education; Special Assistant to the Speaker for the California State Legislature; Senior Program Associate in the Curriculum Resources Group for the Institute for Services to Education in Washington, D.C.; and several positions as professor and assistant professor at prestigious universities across the country. A published author, Dr. King has served as director for in-service training institutes to support education agencies and community groups. He has also served as a guest speaker for the National Education Association (NEA), and numerous school districts, colleges, universities, and professional associations throughout the United States.

Dr. Venita Kelley

The Director for Cultural Competency with Knowledge Delivery Systems, Venita Kelley is formerly the Special Representative to the Governor for Closing the Achievement Gap (CTAG). Dr. Kelley’s expertise is interdisciplinary and includes intercultural communication, media, organizational design/diagnosis and leadership development. She served as urban scholar for the cultural competency professional development training segment of the Governor’s Initiative. Her experience in higher education includes: Associate Deanship of leadership and student development; Noted professor in Teaching and Learning; curriculum and program development; and others. Kelley holds a Bachelor of Arts in Social Science from the University of California at Berkeley; a Master of Arts in Mass Communication and Public Policy from Howard University; a doctorate in Intercultural and Public Communication from the University of Kansas and has completed post doctoral fellowships at Cornell University and Harvard University.

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Adrienne Konigar-Macklin

Adrienne Konigar-Macklin began her legal career as an attorney specializing in the representation of public school districts and other educational and public entities. She has served as special counsel in several districts, general counsel for both the Pomona Unified School District and the Inglewood Unified School District, and legal division chief for the Los Angeles Unified School District. Mrs. Konigar-Macklin has provided legal and administrative advice on an array of education related issues facing school districts and public agencies, including conflicts of interest, Special Education, inter-agency agreements, territory transfers, employee evaluation and discipline, charter schools, internal policies, agency organization, legislation, and merit system operation and has represented her clients before various legal bodies. She was the lead attorney on the largest special education lawsuit in the State of California and negotiated a landmark $118 million dollar settlement for the abatement of airport pollution in schools. Mrs. Konigar-Macklin was recently appointed as an Judge in the Administrative Courts of the State of California.

Marguerite Poindexter LaMotte

Marguerite Poindexter LaMotte has served the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) as the elected Board Member for Board District 1 since 2003. A tireless advocate for children, she is vocal on a number of education-related issues, including “equal access for all children” and “education as a civil right.” An experienced educator, she served as a teacher, counselor, principal and administrator with LAUSD for more than 25 years, prior to her election. LaMotte earned a B.A. from Southern University and an M.Ed. in from Louisiana State University, where she was also the first African American woman to serve as visiting professor in the undergraduate school of education. LaMotte has served as President of the Los Angeles Council of Black Administrators (COBA); Los Angeles Chapter; President of the Assault on Illiteracy Program and as a volunteer and member of numerous community and civic organizations.

Congresswoman Barbara Lee

Congresswoman Barbara Lee represents California’s 9th District, covering Albany, Ashland, Berkeley, Castro Valley, Cherryland, Emeryville, Fairview, Oakland and Piedmont. First elected in 1998, she represents a forceful and progressive voice in Congress, dedicated to social and economic justice, international peace, and civil and human rights. A social worker by profession, being an advocate for people in dealing with the federal bureaucracy has been a priority. She has aggressively represented the needs of the underserved and vulnerable people in her district and throughout the U.S., vigorously advocating for a wide range of social and economic concerns and bread and butter issues that affect their daily lives. . The congresswoman has been a strong proponent of safe communities, affordable housing, the homeless, low income energy assistance, job training, making health care affordable and universal, just immigration policies, the establishment of a living wage, and protection of the right of women to make decisions about their reproductive health. She has served as Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus and former Co-Chair of the Progressive Caucus.

Adonai Mack

Adonai Mack is a legislative advocate for the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA). Mack advocates on behalf of members of ACSA in areas including the State budget, Special Education, transportation, pupil services and pre-school. Prior to joining ACSA, Mack served as legislative advocate at the California School Boards Association, where he focused on charter schools, facilities, retirement and professional development. He has also worked as an advocate for State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell and in the Office of the Secretary for Education for former Governor Gray Davis. A native of Davis, California and the son of former longtime Sacramento-area Superintendent Carl Mack, he is a graduate of Morehouse College in Atlanta. California Association of African-American Superintendents and Administrators

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Diane Marshall-Freeman

Diane Marshall-Freeman is a managing partner with Fagen Friedman & Fulfrost, LLP, Sacramento office. A highly skilled practitioner with an extensive background in all areas of General and Special Education Law, she serves as general counsel to the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF). An experienced litigator, Ms. Marshall-Freeman has successfully argued cases at the federal and state levels. As general counsel to CIF, she has appeared in state courts on matters involving student athletic eligibility, qualifications for Section and State championships, and CIF jurisdiction. She holds B.A. and J.D. Degrees from the University of California at Los Angeles.

Dr. Joseph Marshall

Dr. Joseph E. Marshall, Jr. is the Executive Director and Co-founder of the nationally acclaimed Omega Boys Club, a violence prevention organization emphasizing academic achievement and non-involvement with drugs. Through this organization, Marshall has helped send and financially support more than 140 young men and women in college. To date, 63 have graduated. The recipient of numerous awards for his work in fighting crime and drugs, he currently serves on the Advisory Board for the Community Violence Prevention Program at the Harvard School for Public Health. In addition to his work with Omega Boys Club, Marshall hosts the youth-oriented, syndicated, violence- prevention, call-in radio talk show, “Street Soldiers”. “Marshall is the author of the best-selling book Street Soldier, One Man’s Struggle to Save a Generation, One Life at a Time, (Delacorte Press, May 1996). Marshall received a bachelor’s degrees in both Political Science and Sociology from the University of San Francisco, a MA in Education from San Francisco State University and a Ph.D. in Psychology from the Wright Institute in Berkeley. He is currently on leave from the San Francisco Unified School District where he was employed as a teacher and administrator for twenty-five years.

Dr. Vincent Matthews

Dr. Vincent C. Matthews is the Superintendent of the San Jose Unified School District. Prior to his current position, he served as State Trustee for the Oakland Unified School District (OUSD), Chief of Staff with OUSD and Area Superintendent with the San Diego Unified School District. He received a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies, a Masters in Educational Leadership and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership, all from San Francisco State University. He is a 2006 graduate of the Broad Superintendent’s Academy.

Gabriel E. McCurtis

Gabriel E. McCurtis is the Superintendent of Schools for the McFarland Unified School District. He earned both the bachelor and master degree at the University of California, Riverside. He is currently working on a doctorate in the field of Christian Education through the Calvary Chapel Teachers College in San Diego. He has served as a teacher, principal and school administrator in various districts, including Rialto Unified School District, Pittsburgh Unified School District, Berkeley Unified School District, Santa Paula Union High School District. He has also served as an adjunct professor for Azusa Pacific University. In addition to his educational interests, he is also an ordained minister and the pastor of the Unity Christian Fellowship Church of God in Christ, a ministry he founded in 1991.

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Dr. George McKenna

Dr. George McKenna currently serves as Superintendent, Local District 7, with the Los Angeles Unified School District. A lifelong educator, McKenna held several positions within the district before joining Washington Preparatory High School in Los Angeles as its Principal. While at Washington Prep, he developed and implemented the Preparatory School Model, stressing academic excellence at all levels. In four years, he successfully changed an inner-city high school that had been torn by violence, low achievement and lack of community confidence into a school with an attendance waiting list, and nearly 80% of the graduates enrolled in college. Because of his success, Dr. McKenna’s programs have been widely modeled throughout the country. Additionally, a motion picture about his success was released in 1986. In addition to serving as a teacher and principal, he served as General, Deputy, Local District, and Assistant Superintendents in Inglewood, Compton, Los Angeles, and Pasadena School Unified Districts before coming out of retirement to work with LAUSD again.

Kindra Montgomery-Block

Kindra Mongtomery-Block is the Director of Training and Community Relations for the UC Davis School of Education-Center for Community School Partnerships. For more than a decade she has worked with communitybased organizations to strengthen their capacity to support young leaders, engage boards of directors, develop and implement strategic plans, design and implement effective leadership, and provide training in fundraising, staff development, program evaluation and planning. As a trainer and organizer, she has worked with communities and schools across the country. She has a widespread background in social justice youth development, school reform, environmental prevention, social media marketing, and civic engagement. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and a Masters degree in Public Administration.

Dr. Karma Nicolis

Dr. Karma Nicolis serves as Associate Principal for Special Education and Testing with the Centinela Valley Union High School District. Her administrative experience includes more than 11 years of working with teachers, parents and students in the areas of Administrator over Curriculum and Instruction, Special Education, and Academic Testing. She holds a Doctorate of Education in Organizational Leadership from the University of La Verne; a Masters of Science Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy as well as a Bachelor of Arts Degree from California State University, Dominguez Hills. Dr. Nicolis has served as Adjunct Professor with the University of Southern California in the Education Department..

Elizabeth Norwood

Elizabeth S. Norwood is a founding member and past president of the National Council on Educating Black Children. Approved by the California State Department of Education as Lead Consultant, School/District Assistance and Intervention School Team, she has led and participated in programs that have resulted in significant academic gains for students in elementary and secondary schools in California. When recognized as a “Hometown Hero” by the Los Angeles Department of Parks and Recreation for her volunteer work with teenagers, she emphasized her deep appreciation for children who strive mightily to succeed. As an educator with the Compton Unified School District, she has served as a teacher, elementary and high school principal, and Assistant Superintendent, Curriculum and Instruction.

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Chenai Okammor

Chenai Okammor is the Vice President of National Accounts with the Pearson Curriculum Group. As V.P. ,she leads a team of consultants who are responsible for creating and executing practical educational partnerships in large school districts across the Nation.. She has the responsibility of supporting product offerings, for grades K through 12, with the end result of positively affecting student performance in all types of environments. Chenai has been with Pearson for 11 years and has served in various capacities. As a former teacher, central office administrator, Professional Development Facilitator and Mathematics Director in New York City District Twelve, Chenai continuously employs the practical lessons learned from the urban educators who work to overcome varying challenges by partnering with external organizations.

Assemblyman John A. Pérez

Assemblyman John A. Pérez serves as Speaker of the Assembly. He represents California’s 46th District, comprising Maywood, Vernon, Huntington Park, as well as the communities of Boyle Heights, downtown Los Angeles, unincorporated East Los Angeles and parts of South Los Angeles. After attending the University of California at Berkeley, he became active in the labor movement on the grassroots level and later served as political director for the United Food & Commercial Workers Local 324, and a similar position with the California Labor Federation. His commitment to the labor movement was matched by an equal commitment to civic involvement. He has served on the board of directors of the Los Angeles Community Redevelopment Agency, where he led the effort to mandate a local hire agreement, requiring 30% of all major construction jobs to be dedicated to local residents. As the first openly gay person of color to be elected to state office in California, John has been a longtime advocate on behalf of the Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgender community. John’s lifetime of fighting for better wages, healthcare and benefits for working families reflects the values with which he was raised, giving him a deep understanding of the daily struggles that so many working families endure.

Gerry Shelton

Gerry Shelton has been the Chief Consultant to the California State Assembly Committee on Education since 2006. The primary jurisdiction of the Committee on Education is K-12 education, including issues such as accountability, curriculum, facilities, career technical education, special education, teacher preparation and school finance. Shelton completed his undergraduate and graduate education in the University of California system, served as an instructor at U.C. Davis for four years, and was a professor at C.S.U. Sacramento for fourteen years – all in economics with a specialization in state and local government finance and public policy. He also worked in the Department of Education from the early 1990’s until 2006 in both program and fiscal capacities, including serving as the Department’s chief financial officer, where he and his staff represented the Department during the development of the state budget and in a number of areas related to fiscal policy and education finance.

Dr. Pamela Short Powell

Dr. Pamela Short Powell has spent the last thirty-five years serving as an educator in the public school system. She served as the Superintendent of the Inglewood Unified School District, the Interim Superintendent as well as Chief Academic Officer for the Oklahoma City Public Schools, and the Assistant Superintendent for Schools, Director of Elementary Instruction, Principal, Curriculum Resource Specialist and teacher for the Pasadena Unified School District. Dr. Powell actively and successfully pursued various community outreach ventures for the benefit of children, such as implementing the Adopt-A-School Program; establishing a partnership with the Association of Inglewood Ministerial Alliance and initiated a district-wide fatherhood outreach effort. She has been a visiting professor for the University of San Diego and Azusa Pacific University..

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Senator Curren Price

Senator Curren Price began his career with the California Legislature as an Assemblyman, elected in 2006. He was re-elected to represent the 51st District by an overwhelming margin in 2008. After serving one full term in the California State Assembly, he was elected in May 2009 to represent the 26th District in the State Senate. Senator Price is a strong advocate for investing in our public schools, empowering parents and challenging all students to meet higher academic standards and seeks to give all Californians, regardless of income or socioeconomic status, the chance to go to college and develop the skills needed to succeed in today’s highly competitive workplace. As a champion for working families, Senator Price has fought to protect the rights of California workers. He has led efforts to support homecare workers, hotel workers, security guards and other workers that are vital to California’s economy, in order to organize for better wages and benefits. Senator Price serves on a range of important committees including the Legislative Joint Committee on the Arts, which he chairs, as well as the several Senate Select Committees. Additionally, he serves on Appropriations, Banking Finance and Insurance, Education, Governmental Organization and Local Government committees. Prior to serving in the California Legislature, Senator Price was a 2-term member of the Inglewood City Council. He has also been a business owner and consultant. Senator Price holds a B.A from Stanford University and Juris Doctor from Santa Clara University.. Senator Price is also Chair of the Business, Professions and Economic Development Committee.

Dr. Khadir Rajagopal

Dr. Kadhir Rajagopal is a teacher and instructional coach at Grant Union High School in the Twin Rivers Unified School District. Using a pedagogy called CREATE, he has helped his students consistently close the achievement gap in mathematics in terms of race and income. An educator for seven years, he has written a book, Create Success! Unlocking the Potential of Urban Students, published by Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development, and scheduled for release this month. Since finding success in the classroom, Dr. Rajagopal and his students have spoken at conferences throughout the state and nation on closing the achievement gap. In 2010, he was named Sacramento County’s Teacher of the Year. Recently, he was named as 2011 California Teacher of The Year.

Ruben

Reyes

Ruben Reyes is the Superintendent of the Robla School District in the Sacramento area. A product of the public school system in Sacramento, he decided to become a teacher when he was in the 6th grade. After high school, he attended and graduated from UC Davis and later CSU Sacramento. Following his years as a teacher, he worked as a reading specialist, coordinator for English Learner Services and as an elementary school principal in two school districts. Ruben has spent much of his career training teachers. His areas of expertise are language arts and effective teaching strategies for English Learners.

Earl

Rickman

Earl C. Rickman III is President of the National School Boards Association and Executive Director for the City of Mt. Clemens (Michigan) Housing Commission. Active in civic, social, political, and fraternal organizations, he also serves as President of the Mt. Clemens Board of Education. In 1985, he became the youngest person ever elected, and has served for more than 25 years. Rickman has also served as Secretary as well as Vice President of the National Caucus of Black School Board Members. He was elected as the Caucus President in 1998, and began his term as an ex officio voting member of the National School Boards Association’s Board of Directors. He also served on the NSBA Board as a director from the Central Region 2003-2006; 2006-2008. A native of Mt. Clemens, Rickman graduated from Florida A&M University (FAMU), with a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science, and a Master’s degree studies in Public Administration. While at Florida A&M, he served as a special assistant to then Governor Bob Graham. California Association of African-American Superintendents and Administrators

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Derrell Roberts

Derrell Roberts is Co-Founder and CEO of Roberts Family Development Center in North Sacramento. The center serves more than 200 children in grades kindergarten through eight, providing after school programs and extracurricular services for them and their families. The Center began a “Parent Empowerment” initiative with the Robla Elementary School District in the fall of 2008. With the help of Sierra Health Regional Foundation, the Center has expanded to provide culturally responsiveness training to Robla’s administrative team and school site leadership personnel. Roberts received his undergraduate degree from Chapman University and attended graduate school at USC’s School of Governmental Relations.

Dr. Sharon Valear Robinson

Dr. Sharon Valear Robinson serves as Special Assistant to the Superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD). A lifelong educator, she has been a classroom teacher, School Psychologist, Principal and Local District Superintendent for the district. She earned a Doctorate in Educational Technology and is a leader in Instructional Technology. She is committed to closing the digital divide as well the achievement gap in urban settings. Dr. Robinson has served as a consultant to publishing companies in the areas of digital learning and product development and has also served as Vice-Chair of the Curriculum Development and Supplemental Materials Commission for the State of California.

Dr. Sylvia Rousseau

Dr. Sylvia Rousseau is a Professor of Education with the University of Southern California and a member of the African American Advisory Committee to the California State Board of Education. Her research interests include reforming systems and structures to organize urban schools for learning; the relationship between culture and cognition in promoting learning for all students; deepening understandings of literacy acquisition in urban schools; secondary literacy; and exploring and developing university and K-12 partnerships. She is often called upon to speak at educational conferences on creating change in urban schools. She is former Interim Executive Director of the Greater Crenshaw Educational Partnership - a partnership between the Los Angeles Urban League, Tom and Ethel Bradley Foundation and USC Rossier School of Education to provide oversight of Crenshaw High School. Her career includes teaching positions at a number of schools in Maryland, Ohio, Indiana, Santa Monica and Los Angeles. Within the LAUSD, she served as Superintendent of Local District 7 and Assistant Superintendent of Instructional School Services. She has also held positions at Loyola Marymount and UCLA She is the past recipient of the USC Rossier School of Education’s R.O.S.E. Award.

Dr. Shadidi Sia-Maat

Dr. Shadidi Sia-Maat is an Education Programs Consultant (EPC) with the California Department of Education (CDE) and brings 18 years of commitment to providing academic support services to young, disadvantaged students and adults in traditional and nontraditional education environments. He is currently spearheading the development and piloting of an online, statewide, Culturally Responsive Professional Development Module, with collaborative and technical assistance from the Equity Alliance. The majority of his work focuses on identifying policy and/or programmatic solutions to improve the academic performance of the state’s underperforming and underserved students. His previous positions include serving with the office of the State Superintendent of Instruction; Assistant to the President of the California Alliance of African American Educators (CAAAE); and with the University of Southern California (USC) as Assistant Director of the Educational Talent Search and Upward Bound Math/Science programs. He holds a Ph.D. in Policy, Planning and Administration, a Master of Public Administration, and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from USC. He has studied abroad at Waseda University in Tokyo, Japan; and is the author of The Impact of Ethnicity on Volunteerism in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Look at African-American and Euro-American Returned Peace Corps Volunteers.

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Alice Spearman

Alice Spearman represents District 7 as a member of the School Board with the Oakland Unified School District. She is an advocate for education for children and adults. Her priority is to assist parents in helping their children learn how to navigate within the educational institutions in order to ensure that they receive the best education. Ms. Spearman has volunteered at many schools, and formerly served as Chair of the District Advisory Council; the National Coalition of Title I Parents, Region 9; and Board Member of the Family Action Network, California State Department of Education; and past Board Member of the Community Action Agency.

Dr. Shirley Thornton

Shirley Thornton, Ed.D., is a scholar, educator, administrator, author, and member of the Sausalito Marin City School Board.. She also serves as Adjunct Professor in the Educational Administration and Policy Studies Department with the California State University, Sacramento’s School Of Education. Dr. Thornton specializes in assisting school districts and individual schools in providing quality education for all students who are most atrisk of academic failure. Dr. Thornton’s textbook, “Transforming Schools, Finding Success For Students At Risk Through Systemic Change,” is a practical guide that gives a clear process for improving troubled schools. She holds a B.A. in Biological Sciences from San Francisco State University an M.A. in Counseling and credentials in teaching, counseling, and administration. She holds a Doctorate of Education from the University of San Francisco in Curriculum and Instruction. She also graduated from the Command and General Staff College, US Army Reserves, and retired a full Colonel.

State Superintendent Tom Torlakson

Superintendent Tom Torlakson is a native of San Francisco. He is a former Assemblymember and served as a Merchant Marine during the Vietnam War. He earned the Bachelor of Arts in History in 1971, a Life Secondary Teaching Credential, and the Master in Education from UC-Berkeley. Former Assemblymember Torlakson represented California’s 11th Assembly District. He was elected on November 4, 2008 to a final term as a member of the California State Assembly. His career in public service began as a science teacher in 1972. He was elected to the Antioch City Council in 1978, and then served on the Contra Costa Board of Supervisors for 16 years. Previously, he served in the California State Senate from 2000-2008 and the State Assembly from 1996-2000. While a member of the State Senate, he ended his term as the Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee. Also, he chaired the Senate Majority Caucus, Senate Transportation and Housing Committee, and Senate Local Government Committee. Additionally, he served as a member of the Education Committee and chaired the Senate Select Committee on Schools and Community. He is the Chair and Founder of the California Task Force on Youth and Workplace Wellness, a group seeking to raise the profile of health and fitness in the public schools and in the workplace. Superintendent Torlakson has two adult daughters, Tiffany Margulici and Tamara Torlakson.

Michael C. Walker

Michael C. Walker is Business Development Manager for AdvancePath Academics. In this role, he works handin-hand with school districts to implement cutting edge in-house academies designed to stop the flow of dropouts and keep kids in school. Walker utilizes his experience as a former high school teacher and coach to his task of assisting school districts across the country in their efforts to educate all children. Having represented several major publishing companies, most recently as National Sales Manager for SRA/McGraw-Hill, his knowledge of basal as well as supplementary pedagogy added to his educational experience inform his knowledge base in assisting educators in designing and implementing researched-based curriculum. Walker’s passion for educating children extends into his public service life, where he continues to serve as an active member of the Board of Directors for the Piney Woods School, a private boarding school in Piney Woods Mississippi that has a 99% graduation rate with 98% of students continuing on to institutions of higher learning. California Association of African-American Superintendents and Administrators

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Michael Watkins

Michael Watkins was elected Santa Cruz County Superintendent of Schools in November 2006. Watkins had served in the Santa Cruz County Office of Education since 1980 as Director Special Education, then Director, Alternative Education. Additionally, he served as Past State President of the Juvenile Court, Community and Alternative School Administrators of California. A native of Oakland, California, he received a B.A. in Psychology, teaching credentials in both History and Special Education and a Masters degree in School Administration from Cal State University Hayward. His teaching experience includes one year as a teacher in Oakland, followed by seven years with the Alameda County Office of Education.

Jabari Willis

Jabari Willis is a senior associate in the Cerritos office of Atkinson, Andelson, Loya, Ruud & Romo. Mr. Willis represents public entities in all aspects labor and employment law, including employment litigation defense. Mr. Willis also represents school districts in all aspects of education law, including special education and student discipline. He has represented employers in matters before the Public Employment Relations Board, Department of Fair Employment and Housing, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and Office of Administrative Hearings. In addition, Mr. Willis has assisted public employers with litigation matters in state and federal courts including successfully obtaining temporary restraining orders and permanent injunctions. He also conducts investigations into allegations of harassment and discrimination.

Dr. L. Steve Winlock

Dr. L. Steven Winlock serves as the Director of the Sacramento County Office of Education Leadership Institute. His focus is assisting with the development of leadership for the 13 school districts in the Sacramento Region. He has served as a teacher, vice principal, principal and associate superintendent at the elementary and secondary level for more than thirty years. He is the chair of the African American Advisory Committee on academic performance to the State Board of Education. Dr. Winlock has contributed his expertise to a variety of educational programs on the state and national levels.

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CAAASA 2011 Souvenir Book  
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