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California Association of African-American Superintendents and Administrators

CAAASA STATE CONFERENCE 2009 SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA February 5-6, 2009 “Education is a Civil Right� An Agenda for Academic Success

Rationale: Education is a Civil Right The historic and documented educational underachievement of African-American students in public schools throughout the Nation is the most glaring inequity and unfulfilled initiative of the incessant struggle for social justice during the 20th and 21st centuries. Educational justice remains the most significant Civil Right that has not been provided to all African-American students and families. - Dr. George McKenna

Education is a Civil Right  California Association of African-American Superintendents and Administrators

Education is a Civil Right  Sheraton Grand Sacramento

February 5 & 6, 2009

President’s Message Welcome to the 2009 CAAASA conference, “Education is a Civil Right”. The CAAASA organization is committed to the “Education is a Civil Right” agenda and is ecstatic that you have chosen to participate in this initiative. Additionally, we are committed to reaching out to all current, aspiring, and retired administrators, school board members, resource specialists and our political leaders in an effort to be inclusive, supportive and contributors to the development of professionals and programs that promote growth, ideals and foster true partnerships and collegiality.

I am especially pleased that the conference allows us the opportunity to meet and hear from representatives from our legislature, state and local school boards, black lawyers association, educational advocacy groups, and others. I hope that each of you will take advantage of the networking opportunities and the potential for collaboration and sustained partnerships. Yours truly,

Pamela Short Powell, Ed.D. President, CAAASA

Education is a Civil Right

The conference will feature several professional and political panels that will provide participants with information regarding state and federal initiatives and programs; information on the state budget crisis and its impact on education; programs and strategies that better engage students, enhance learning and provide teachers with tools and strategies geared towards fulfilling the Education is a Civil Right agenda; and legislative input on challenges impacting education.

 California Association of African-American Superintendents and Administrators

Dear Conference Presenters and Attendees: It is exciting and encouraging to welcome each of you to the 2008-2009 CAAASA State Conference. Your participation through your presence and engagement in discussion is critical during these most difficult times. While the challenges before us seem enormous and unsolvable, those before us created solutions and so can we! Had it not been for their deep faith, strong sense of hope and belief in their dreams, none of the benefits from the accomplishments that they achieved would we enjoy today.

Education is a Civil Right

More than any other time in the history of our Nation, African-Americans have the personal and professional responsibility to improve the quality of education for ALL children, but especially for ALL African-American children. This conference is a beginning, and I believe that when you “show-up, stand-up, speak up, and pay-up,” things happen! Thank you for recommitting to our youth which it has been so eloquently stated by Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune – I Leave You Finally a Responsibility To Our Young People. The world around us really belongs to youth for youth will take over its future management. Our children must never lose their zeal for building a better world. They must not be discouraged from aspiring toward greatness, for they are to be the leaders of tomorrow. Nor must they forget that the masses of our people are still underprivileged, ill-housed, impoverished and victimized by discrimination. We have a powerful potential in our youth, and we must have the courage to change old ideas and practices so that we may direct their power toward good ends. Respectfully,

Edna E. Davis-Herring Vice President CAAASA

 Sheraton Grand Sacramento

February 5 & 6, 2009

—Education is a Civil Right Committee— Los Angeles, CA

Dear Colleagues, Your presence and participation in the 2009 State Conference of the California Association of African-American Superintendents and Administrators (CAAASA) is indeed gratifying and momentous. As Co-Chair of the Education Civil is a Rights Committee (ECRC), it is my privilege to welcome you to this event and to encourage you to give this initiative your highest priority.

Our CAAASA President, Dr. Pamela Short-Powell, Conference Chair Edna E. Davis-Herring, and CAAASA Executive Director Dwight Bonds have worked diligently to plan this conference specifically for front line practitioners and decision-makers who are expected to collaborate here, and to push the “Agenda.” We believe that your commitment is essential to producing meaningful and systemic change for our children, parents, and teachers beyond this conference.

CAAASA and ECRC welcome you. Your involvement is appreciated.


George McKenna III ECRC Co-Chair

Education is a Civil Right

For your information, the ECRC was formed almost three years ago in the Los Angeles area by a group of extremely concerned educators, elected officials, parents and civic leaders who are determined to initiate the stimulus necessary to enact legislation to ensure the educational civil rights of all African-American students and to provide guidelines for practices, policies, and activities that can be implemented by local schools and districts. Our work has resulted in the publication of the document “A Black Educational Civil Rights Agenda” (BECRA), which is included in your conference packet. You are encouraged to review this document in detail in preparation for interaction and discussion with other participants.

 California Association of African-American Superintendents and Administrators

Education is a Civil Right


Welcome Letters




Conference Planning Committee


Conference Schedule


Presenter Biographies




Certificate of Attendance


2009 Conference Outcomes 1. To increase the awareness and knowledge about “Education is a Civil Right� 2. To strengthen the commitment to improve the academic achievement of African American students and educators 3. To learn strategies that are working effectively for African-American students 4. To initiate and/or encourage networking opportunities Sheraton Grand Sacramento

February 5 & 6, 2009

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 has worked in partnership with the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA) by sponsoring events and programs that support increased student achievement and has proven to be successful in addressing the needs of African-American students. Under the leadership of its new president, Dr. Pamela Short-Powell, the organization will work closely with new and proposed initiatives that impact African-American students. CAAASA will continue to collaborate with the 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. Executive Director: Dwight Bonds

Education is a Civil Right

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 symposiums, state meetings, state conferences, and many special events since its inception. Serving as an informative link to the 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, to improve the status of African-American males relative to their disproportionate representation in the penal system and in the Nation’s colleges and universities.

 California Association of African-American Superintendents and Administrators

State Conference Planning Committee

Dr. Pamela Short-Powell President, CAAASA

Education is a Civil Right

Charlie Mae Knight Retired Superintendent Consultant

Gabriel McCurtis Superintendent

Edna E. Davis-Herring State Conference Chair CAAASA Vice President

Ramona Bishop Assistant Superintendent

William Ellerbee Deputy State Superintendent

Dwight Bonds CAAASA Executive Director

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February 5 & 6, 2009

Joe Jones ACSA Asst. Executive Director

“Education Is A Civil Right”: An Agenda for Academic Success “Education is a Civil Right” is a response to research that clearly reveals the existence and growing inequities between white and African-American students in academic achievement, dropout rates, grade retention, suspensions and Special Education placement. Disparities continue into and throughout adulthood in the criminal justice system, unemployment, wage earnings, and life expectancy. The California Association of African-American Superintendents and Administrators (CAAASA) contend that these inequities can be eliminated through quality education. CAAASA hereby declares “Education is a Civil Right” as its Agenda and urges all citizens to take action.

Day 1 Thursday, February 5th 2009 7:30AM – 5:00PM Conference Registration and Information 7:30 AM – 10:00AM

Coffee and Juice Service

8:45 AM – 9:30 AM

Welcome & Program Overview  Edna E. Davis-Herring

CAAASA State Conference Chair

 Charday Adams, “The Power of One”

Student Essay Winner, Grant High School

9:45 AM – 11:15 AM

Dr. George McKenna, Keynote Speaker, “Education is a Civil Right” PLENARY I


Presentation and Analysis of Data on the Progress of African-American Students in California and Implications of “Education is a Civil Right” Moderator: Dr. George McKenna Education Consultant

Presenters:  Dr. William Ellerbee

Deputy Superintendent, California Department of Education

 The Honorable Mike Davis California Assemblymember

 Michael Dolphin

Division Chief, Los Angeles-Ventura Workforce Services Division

Education is a Civil Right

 Alice Huffman

President, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) State Conference

Audience Response 11:15 AM – 11:45 AM

Dr. Charlie Mae Knight Luncheon Luncheon sponsored by Pearson Education and Achieve 3000  Welcome, Dr. Pamela Short-Powell, CAAASA President  Greetings, Mayor Kevin Johnson, City of Sacramento  Invocation, Attorney Adrienne Konigar-Macklin  Remarks, Joseph Jones, Assistant Executive Director, Association of California School Administrators (ACSA)  Dedication to Dr. Charlie Mae Knight o Isador Hall, California State Assemblymember – Remarks/Resolution o Dr. Pamela Short-Powell, CAAASA President

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February 5 & 6, 2009

 Response, Dr. Charlie Mae Knight, Honoree 11:45 AM – 1:00PM



Legislation and Policies Affecting African-American Students Moderator: Dr. Ramona Robinson-Bishop Presenters:

Associate Superintendent, Twin Rivers Unified School District

 The Honorable Gloria Romero Chair of the Senate Education Committee Chair of the Senate Budget Fiscal Review Subcommittee on Education

 The Honorable Curren Price California State Assemblymember

 Mary Rose Ortega

Board Member, California Teachers Association (CTA)

 Attorney Adrienne Konigar-Macklin

President, California Association of Black Lawyers (CABL)

Audience Response 1:15 PM – 3:00 PM



California School Board Representatives and California Superintendents Discuss Local District Regulations and “Education is a Civil Right” Presenters:  The Honorable Paul Chatman

Board President, Ocean View School District Immediate Past President, California School Boards Association (CSBA)

 Dr. Dennis Byas

Superintendent, San Lorenzo Unified School District

 Michael Watkins

Superintendent, Santa Cruz County Office of Education

 The Honorable Saundra Davis

Board Member, Culver City Unified School District

 The Honorable Alice Spearman

Board Member, Oakland Unified School District

Audience Response 4:00 PM – 6:00 PM CAAASA Reception. Held at the Association of California School Administrators’ (ACSA) Conference Room Reception sponsored by Aleshire and Wynder 1029 J Street, Suite 500, Sacramento California Association of African-American Superintendents and Administrators

Education is a Civil Right

Moderator: Edna E. Davis-Herring, CAAASA State Conference Chair


Education is a Civil Right

Dr. Charlie Mae Knight Dr. Charlie Mae Knight began her education career as an elementary school teacher in Blakely, Georgia as a counselor and teacher in Monterey, California. She continued her studies earning the Master from Monterey Institute of International Studies and the Doctorate from Nova University. She has championed the cause of African-American leadership convening the annual Multicultural Education Conference in Monterey, California, the California Education Summits in Sacramento, California and the Urban Institute in Santa Clara, California. She is a charter member of the California Association of Compensatory Education (CACE), President of Region III 1975 – 1977 and President of CACE in 1978. She also served as President of the National Alliance of Black School Educators from 1996 – 1998. In her years in California, Dr. knight has served as Associate Superintendent, California State Department of Education, Trustee of Compton Community College, Superintendent of Lynwood Unified School District and as Superintendent of Ravenswood City School District. In Ravenswood, Dr. knight transformed the education offered to students by bringing the District from the brink of bankruptcy through her initiation of many innovative programs, generating private and public support for programs, and restoring public confidence in the District’s ability to educate its children. Dr Knight is known for her commitment to students and their families, her tremendous energy and her inspirational leadership. On June 30, 2003, Dr. Knight retired after serving 42 years in public education. On August 8, 2005, she established the Knight Foundation to provide housing for public servants and the poor.

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February 5 & 6, 2009

Day 2 Friday, February 6th 2009 7:15 AM – 8:00 AM rex fortune Breakfast Breakfast sponsored by SchoolNet Welcome: The Honorable Marguerite Poindexter LaMotte

Board Member, Los Angeles Unified School District

Greetings:  Diana Daniels

President, National Council on Educating Black Children (NCEBC)

 Dr. Deborah Hunter-Harvill

President, National Alliance of Black School Educators (NABSE)

 The Honorable Tom Torlakson California State Senator

8:00 AM – 10:00 AM

PLENARY IV Successful Programs Identification of Programs Needed to Address Academic Success for African-American Students Moderator: The Honorable Marguerite Poindexter LaMotte

Board Member, Los Angeles Unified School District


 Dr. Noma LeMoine

Director of the Academic English Mastery Program, Los Angeles Unified School District

 Dr. Darlene Willis

Education is a Civil Right

Director, Empowering Parents

 Eldred Ellis SchoolNet, Inc.

 Chenai Okammor

Pearson Foundation, Vice President

 Steve Niederman

Achieve 3000, Vice President

Audience Response

10:15 AM – 11:45 AM

PLENARY V State AND DISTRICT Action PlanS CAAASA Leadership and State Action Plans – Strategies for Inclusion Moderator: Vicki Rice

Education Consultant

Presenters:  James Shelby

CEO, Sacramento Urban League

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February 5 & 6, 2009

 Gabriel McCurtis

Superintendent, McFarland Unified School District

 Joseph Jones

Assistant Executive Director, Association of California School Administrators (ACSA)

 Dr. George King

Principal Consultant - Speaker’s Office, California State Assembly

Audience Response

12:00 PM – 2:30 PM

PLENARY V FEDERAL AND STATE LEADERSHIP Luncheon sponsored by Science Weekly and PARS

Greetings:  James Shelby CEO Sacramento Urban League

Guest Appearance:  Dr. Glen Thomas

Secretary of Education, State of California

Discussion: “Education is a Civil Right” Initiative in California Concept to Reality Moderator: Dr. Randy Ross

Director of Educational Policy, Los Angeles Board of Education

 Dr. Charlie Mae Knight Retired Superintendent

 Dr. Deborah Hunter-Harvill

President, National Alliance of Black School Educators (NABSE)

 Dr. Pamela Short-Powell President, CAAASA

 Dr. George McKenna Education Consultant

2:30 PM – 3:00PM

Audience Response Wrap-up

Education is a Civil Right


15 California Association of African-American Superintendents and Administrators

Education is a Civil Right

California African-American Education Leaders 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28. 29. 30. 31. 32. 33. 34. 35. 36. 37. 38. 39. 40. 41. 42. 43. 44. 45. 46. 47. 48. 49. 50. 51. 52. 53. 54. 55. 56. 57. 58. 59. 60. 61. 62.

Ardella Dailey, Retired Superintendent, Alameda City USD Pamela Short-Powell, President, CAAASA, Former Superintendent, Inglewood Unified School District Gabriel McCurtis, Interim Superintendent, McFarland USD Edna E. Davis-Herring, Former Superintendent, Rialto USD Jerry Scott, Superintendent, Lost Hills USD Edmond Heatley, Superintendent, Chino Valley USD Gary McHenry, Superintendent, Mt. Diablo USD Randolph Ward, Superintendent, San Diego COE Lisbeth Johnson, Superintendent, Santee School District Linda Washington, Superintendent, W.E.B. DuBois Public Charter School Michael Watkins, Superintendent, Santa Cruz COE Julian Weaver, Former Superintendent, Victor Valley UHSD Dr. Marcella K. Smith, Earlimart SD Dr. Ramona Robinson-Bishop, Associate Superintendent, Twin Rivers USD Deborah Sims, Superintendent, Antitoch USD Lois J. Nash, Superintendent, Ukiah USD Dennis D. Byas, Superintendent, San Lorenzo USD Vincent Matthews, State Appointed Administrator, Oakland USD Carol Truscott, Area Superintendent, Los Angeles USD Michelle King, Area Superintendent, Los Angeles USD Joseph Jones, Assistant Executive Director, ACSA William Ellerbee, Deputy State Superintendent, California Department of Education Barbara Johnson, Assistant Superintendent, Lynwood USD Emmett Terrell, Deputy Superintendent, Pomona USD Bob Nero, Retired Superintendent, Brain X Charlie Mae Knight, Retired Superintendent, Ravenswood USD George McKenna, Retired Superintendent Emily A Dixon, Assistant Principal, LAUSD Cynthia Glover Woods, Director, Elementary Education, Alvord USD Samuel Earl Harris, Principal, Twin Rivers USD Amar Saheli, Director, Student Support Services, San Lorenzo USD Debra Gholson Tate, Principal, Inglewood High, Inglewood USD Cheryl A. Le Bouf, Principal/Director Alternative Programs, San Mateo USD Gerald W. Braxton, Assistant Principal, Sylvan Union School District Dr. Mary Ruth Bell, Director III Student Programs, Sacramento County Office of Education Vernon Lemoyne Walton, Jr., Vice Principal, Berkeley USD Pattrice Harris Sewell, Sr., Director, HRED, Compton USD Felton Owens, Director of Student Services, Berkeley USD Leola Oliver, Assistant Principal, Global Education Academy – LAUSD Charter Chenai Okammor, Vice President, Pearson Education Andrew Kennedy, Coordinator In Charge, LACOE Elsa Brizzi, Retired Educator, LACOE Phyllis Caskey, President & CEO, Hollywood Entertainment Museum Saundra Davis, President, Culver City School Board Patricia Black, Western Region Council on Advocating Black Children Kaye Burnside, Superintendent, Compton Unified School District Candi T. Clark, Chief Business Official, McFarland USD Sandy Carpenter-Stevenson, Regional Coordinator/California GEAR-UP Denise Gail Saddler, Area Superintendent/Network Executive Officer, Oakland Public Schools Mary Williams Smith, Director, Special Education, McFarland Unified School District Sharon Williams-Casannares, Area Superintendent/Network Executive Officer, Oakland Unified School District Geraldine Cynthia Forte, Director, Career Services & Magnet Programs, East Side Union H.S.D. Tanya Amerson Fisher, Director, Dept. of Equality & Targeted Student Achievement, San Bernardino City Unified School District Katie C Peters, Principal, Manteca USD Sonia W. Miller, Principal/Samuel Gompers Middle School, LAUSD/Partnership for LA Schools Terry Tanise Whittington, Elementary School Principal, Pomona Unified School District Donald Evans, Compton USD Frances L. Evans, Santa Maria Joint Union High School Senator Gloria Romero, Chair of the Senate Education Committee Assemblymember Tom Torlakson, Chair and Founder of the California Task Force on Youth and Workplace Wellness Marguerite Poindexter LaMotte, Board Member, Los Angeles Unified School District Hasan Abdul Malik, Vice Principal, Elk Grove USD

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Marguerite Poindexter LaMotte

Since 1973 when Marguerite Poindexter LaMotte arrived in Los Angeles to continue her career in education, her life has been defined by a passionate love of education and public service. In addition to her accomplishments in improving student performance, she has been featured on NBC Nightly News and other national and local news television programs which focused on the extraordinary scholastic performance and student behavior under her leadership at various secondary schools in Los Angeles. In 1988 LaMotte was appointed Director of Secondary Instruction for LAUSD’s Administrative Region “C”. She was promoted to Region Administrator of Operations, however, she requested to return to the front line where she could directly impact students. LaMotte was challenged with the principalship of Washington Preparatory High in 1991. Under her direction, Washington Prep received an Outstanding Accreditation Review by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges for a maximum 6-year period. Since her retirement from Washington Prep, she has been serving on the school advisory board at a local school and has been volunteering at “A Place Called Home.” A graduate of Xavier Preparatory High School and the YMCA Business College in New Orleans, at age 18 she was appointed Director of Spaulding Business College in Baton Rouge. She attended Southern University at the same time, earned a BA Degree in Education, and graduated Summa Cum Laude in 1961. She earned the M.Ed. in 1965 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); President of the L.A. Chapter of Southern University Alumni, Los Angeles Chapter; President of the Assault on Illiteracy Program and as a volunteer and member of numerous community and civic organizations. She is an active member of her church and has two children and four grandchildren.

Dr. Dennis Byas

Education is a Civil Right

In 2007, Dr. Dennis Byas joined the San Lorenzo Unified School District as Superintendent following a successful career at the Colton Joint Unified School District (25,000 students) where he served almost 8 years as its Superintendent. Under his leadership, the District enjoyed 7 consecutive years of improved test scores and the closing of student achievement gaps to some of the smallest gaps of their surrounding districts in San Bernardino County. He led the District in increasing its college going rates, by increasing access and equity to wider ranges of students. To achieve much of its success, the District worked hard in increasing staff professional development and classroom instruction in Direct Instruction, Process Writing, and Reciprocal Teaching. In addition, the District added additional Counselors, Advanced Placement classes, and significant AVID offerings from the high schools to the fourth grade. Dr. Byas was one of the most recognized citizens in San Bernardino County and has been awarded a host of awards on behalf of the Colton Joint Unified School District. Dr. Byas has taught at various colleges and universities throughout the past seventeen years and still gives lectures today. He has served as an Adjunct Professor for Azusa Pacific University in the Tier II, Master and Doctoral Degree Programs. He attended San Bernardino Community College to earn an Associated Arts Degree, followed by attending California State University at San Bernardino to complete a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Economics. He then went on to earn both Master of Arts and Master of Business Administration Degrees at Claremont Graduate School - Peter F. Drucker Management Center. He is also a 2005 Alumni of the Eli Broad Center’s Superintendent Academy and is one of fewer than 100 Broad Fellows in the Nation.

Dr. George McKenna

Dr. George McKenna was born and reared in New Orleans, Louisiana, where he distinguished himself as a scholar and athlete and where the seeds of his civil and human rights activism were nurtured. As the Principal of George Washington Preparatory High School, he developed and implemented the Preparatory School Model, a program 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 Nation. He later served as General, Deputy, Local District, and Assistant Superintendents in Inglewood, Compton, Los Angeles, and Pasadena School Unified Districts, respectively. He is currently an educational consultant and provides support to individual schools and districts.

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Mary Rose Ortega

CTA Board Member Mary Rose Ortega has 30 years of teaching experience and represents educators in LAUSD on the Board. For eight years, she was on the United Teachers of Los Angeles Board of Directors and was chair of the UTLA Political Action Committee. She is the CTA Board liaison to the Union’s State Council of Education Curriculum and Instruction Committee and is involved on planning committees for the CTA annual Urban Issues and Good Teaching Conferences. Fluent in Spanish, Ortega chairs the CTA Cesar Chavez/Martin Luther King, Jr. Fundraising Committee, which raises donations for student and teacher scholarships. She is also a former California Director on the National Education Association Board. She earned a teaching credential and the Bachelor Degree in Sociology from UCLA, as well as the Master Degree in Elementary Education from CSU- Los Angeles.

Michael Dolphin

Michael Dolphin is the Division Chief of the Los Angeles-Ventura County Workforce Services Division of the Employment Development Department (EDD). His experiences in workforce development span a career of more than thirty years. He is an executive member of EDD’s senior management team and recommends policy and procedure that affect job services on a state level. Mr. Dolphin has been involved in many projects involving the evolution of Workforce Development in the areas of One Stop Career Systems and School to Career and Welfare to Work initiatives. He serves as a committee and Board Member to the City of Los Angeles and the County of Los Angeles Workforce Investment Boards. He has served on the Advisory and Management Boards of LA Youth At Work, UNITE-LA, the Los Angeles County At-Risk Youth Project, LAUSD’s First Break Program, the Advanced Transportation Industry Consortium, the Los Angeles County Youth Development Partnership (a community college school to career project) and has been the Chair of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s Job Development and Training Task Force.

Adrienne Konigar-Macklin is a Partner and specializes 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 leader for the Los Angeles Unified School District where she was responsible for supervising the provision of legal services to more than 1100 schools and various offices within the organization. Konigar-Macklin provides 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. She has represented school districts before the Office of Civil Rights, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Public Employment Relations Board, in both state and federal courts, and in other dispute resolution forums. She also serves as a mediator and is regularly called upon to serve as a hearing officer for school districts in Southern California. Konigar-Macklin is counsel to the California Association of African-American Superintendents and Administrators (CAAASA) and the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA). She is a School Board Member in the Pomona Unified School District. Mrs. Konigar-Macklin is a graduate of the University of California, Irvine and Hastings College of the Law.

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 the largest urban school districts across the Nation with a focus on school improvement – using strategies built on digital and print solutions as tools. She has the responsibility of supporting product offerings, spanning pre-K through grade 12, with the end result of positively affecting student performance in all types of environments. Chenai has been with Pearson for 11 years, beginning as Manager for National Urban Accounts at the then Scott Foresman–Addison Wesley, K-12 publishing company, and recently as the Senior Vice President of Key Accounts, Pearson Curriculum Group. 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 worked to overcome varying challenges by partnering with external organizations.

Education is a Civil Right

Adrienne Konigar-Macklin

19 California Association of African-American Superintendents and Administrators

Dr. Noma LeMoine

Noma LeMoine is a nationally recognized expert on issues of language variation and learning in African-American and other students for whom Standard English is not native. She has written and spoken extensively on the topic and is a highly sought-after consultant to colleges, universities, and school districts nationwide. Dr. LeMoine serves as Director of the Los Angeles Unified School District OFFICE OF ACADEMIC ENGLISH MASTERY AND PROFICIENCY PLUS. In this role, she oversees implementation of the District-wide Closing the Achievement Gap Initiatives intended to eliminate disparities in educational outcomes for under-achieving students. She directs the District’s Academic English Mastery Program, which supports teachers and paraeducators in effectively incorporating culturally and linguistically responsive pedagogy into instructional practice. Under Dr. LeMoine’s visionary leadership, the Academic English Mastery Program (AEMP) has become a national model for addressing the language, literacy, and learning needs of Standard English Learners. Noma LeMoine holds a Ph.D. in Education from the University of Southern California with a specialization in Language, Literacy, and Learning. Additionally, she holds the Master Degree in Language and Speech Pathology and Audiology from California State University at Los Angeles, and a second Degree in Education from California Lutheran University. Dr. LeMoine has served more than ten years as an adjunct professor at California universities and colleges teaching courses in Language Acquisition in Children, Speech and Language Development and Disorders, and Language and Speech Development in Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Populations.

California State Senator Gloria Romero

Education is a Civil Right

California State Senator Gloria Romero was elected to the 24th Senate District in 2001, representing East Los Angeles and the greater San Gabriel Valley. As the first woman Majority Leader, Romero has broken through California’s glass ceiling and has served as a role model for generations of young men and women committed to public service. In December 2008, Romero was named Chair of the Senate Education Committee, making her one of the highest ranking and most influential voices on education policy in California. Upon her election to the State Senate in 2001, Romero became one of the Legislature’s most authoritative leaders in education policy. Romero serves as Chair of the Senate Select Committee on Urban School Governance and the Chair of the Senate Public Safety Committee. Romero also serves on the Senate Education Committee, the Senate Human Services Committee, the Senate Select Committee on High School Graduation and the Senate Select Committee on Asian Pacific Islander Affairs. Romero has taught at every level of higher education in California, including California’s community colleges, the California State University System, the University of California as well as private colleges. Currently, she is a full professor of Psychology at CSU, Los Angeles. After her first two years as a professor, Romero received the “Outstanding Faculty of the Year” Award from the CSU Los Angeles Student Association for her commitment to learning and student success. Romero served as Vice President of the Los Angeles County College Board of Trustees from 1995 to 1998. Hispanic Business Magazine named Senator Romero one of four “Outstanding Women to Watch in 2008.” Born and reared in Barstow, California, Senator Romero earned the B.A. in Psychology at California State University, Long Beach and holds an M.A. and a Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of California, Riverside.

Dr. Ramona E. Bishop

Dr. Ramona E. Bishop is a graduate of the University of Pacific, Stockton, where she earned the Doctorate of Education in Educational Leadership. She holds 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 has 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, Bret Harte Elementary School, Sacramento City Unified School District and in a dual role as Associate Superintendent of Curriculum/Instruction and Principal of Anna Yates Elementary School, Emery Unified School District. She has received the following awards: 2008 ACSA Region 3 Superintendent of the Year, 2007 Distinguished Educator, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., 2005 Silver Star Award, Association of California School Administrators, 2004 Above and Beyond Award from SCUSD Special Education Department, and Teacher Education Student of the Year, University of San Francisco. Dr. Bishop is the Associate Superintendent for the Curriculum and Academic Achievement Division in the new Twin Rivers Unified School District. The Curriculum and Academic Achievement Division provides support to all school sites within the District to accelerate performance for ALL students while eliminating the achievement gap.

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Steven Niederman

Steven Niederman is Vice President of Business Development for Achieve3000, a leader in differenentiated reading and writing instruction. Niederman has been involved in the educational technology field for more than twenty-eight years and has focused special attention on programs for disengaged students as well as drop-out recovery and prevention programs. At Achieve3000, Niederman is responsible for the development of strategic initiatives that includes working on policy and advocacy issues with federal, state and local government agencies and educational associations, such as NABSE, ALAS, CALSA, National Council for Educating Black Children and many more. He has proudly worked on the Education is a Civil Rights Committee and has extensive experience in the international education and technology fields. Niederman has worked closely with such organizations as NABSE and ALAS in leading efforts for International Education Leadership Symposiums, which are highly recognized professional development programs designed to broaden the business, political, cultural and educational perspectives of high-ranking Latino and AfricanAmerican education leaders. He designed and led symposiums in South Africa, Scotland, Mexico, Costa Rica, Israel, Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. He met with key government and education officials during these symposiums.

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 for the Oklahoma City Public Schools, the Chief Academic Officer for 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 Ministry Alliance, and she initiated a district-wide fatherhood outreach effort. Test scores increased significantly in both school districts where she served as Superintendent and Interim as a result of concentrating on student and professional needs and enhancing and increasing the number of comprehensive professional development programs for teachers and administrators. Dr. Powell received the NAACP Distinguished Educator’s and Community Service Award; Education Excellence Award, Soroptimist Education Excellence Award; Nova University Herbert A. Drew National Ed.D. Program Award for Educational Leaders; Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Ebony Excellence Women of Vision Award and the National Association of University Women Award; She has been a visiting professor for the University of San Diego and Azusa Pacific University. She has appeared on several television programs, radio talk shows, and has been featured in numerous articles and publications regarding her advocacy for children and her work as an educator.

Saundra Davis is the first African-American ever elected to office in Culver City. She is a member of the Culver City Board of Education (re-elected in 2005). She has served in the realm of public and community service for the past 20 years. Her expertise is community advocacy, governmental relations, and most recently, employment and economic empowerment in the non-profit, public and private sectors. She is currently the CEO/Executive Director of Community Centers, Inc. (CCI), one of the 18 Work Source Centers in the City of Los Angeles. Saundra Davis is the wife of Rev. Bilson Davis and the mother of eight children. She is an educator, a community advocate - activist, a teacher adviser, family counselor and lecturer as well as the CEO of CCI. She wears several hats, but prides herself on successfully rearing her eight children. Her accomplishments are a testimony for adults and youth who have a desire to do more. Saundra Davis has served on the Strategic Planning Commission for the City of Culver City and for the Culver City Unified School District. She is one of the founding members of the “Education Is A Civil Right” Committee, an organization that was implemented to address the issues of failing students in the African-American community. Mrs. Davis has earned a Master Degree in Behavioral Science and Negotiation Conflict Management, the Bachelor Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies, as well as a Degree in Early Childhood Education. Mrs. Davis holds a California Teaching Credential and is a parent educator for the Los Angeles Unified School District. Saundra Davis was awarded an Honorary Doctoral Degree from American University for her extensive work and commitment to children and education. She has addressed community issues when community members complained of police profiling. Saundra Davis has provided students with scholarships, created youth programs to help alleviate gang violence and unsafe activities, and initiated literacy programs for youth and adults. Saundra Davis has dealt with foster care issues for the benefit of youth as well as helped establish a diabetes and obesity program to resolve many of the health issues faced by youth and adults today. Because of these accomplishments, she received the “Emerging Leader” Award from the NAACP.

Education is a Civil Right

The Honorable Saundra Wakefield Davis

21 California Association of African-American Superintendents and Administrators

Alice A. Huffman

Alice A. Huffman was named by the Los Angeles Times as one of the most powerful people in California. The California Journal listed her as one of the top 50 individuals who had the greatest impact on California over the last 25 years, Her local African American Newspaper, The Sacramento Observer, annually includes her in its 100 most influential citizens. She has been listed in Who’s Who International, Who’s Who Professional, and Who’s Who of Politics for the past 30 years. Alice A. Huffman was elected president of the California State Conference of the NAACP in October 1999 and reelected for the fifth time last October. She is the first woman to hold this post. In 2002 she was elected and continues to serve on the NAACP National Board of Directors, representing Region I. In 2007 she was named by the National NAACP as the Number One NAACP President in the Nation. 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. She was 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. Alice was inducted into the Los Angeles African-American Women Political Action Committee (LAAAWPAC) Political Hall of Fame in April 2002 for her outstanding achievements as a social activist in the minority community. Huffman, a graduate of the University of California Berkeley with honors in Social/Cultural Anthropology, with advance studies at University of Pennsylvania, University of California Davis, and University of Southern California. Ms. Huffman is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and Gamma Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.


Education is a Civil Right

Gabriel E. McCurtis is the Superintendent of Schools for the McFarland Unified School District. He earned the Bachelor Degree and Master Degree at the University of California, Riverside. He is currently working on the Doctoral Degree in the field of Christian Education through the Calvary Chapel Teachers College located in San Diego. Mr. McCurtis began his career in the field of education as an elementary school teacher with the Rialto Unified School District in 1981, located in Rialto, CA. In 1985, McCurtis relocated to Ventura where be began working for the Ventura Unified School District. After a brief absence as a public school administrator, he worked as an adjunct professor for Azusa Pacific University. In 2000, Mr. McCurtis returned to work as a public school administrator where he worked in the Bay Area for the Pittsburg Unified School District and the Berkeley Unified School District as high school executive vice principal, elementary school principal and alternative high school principal. In 2004, Mr. McCurtis returned to Southern California and began working for the Santa Paula Union High School District as a high school vice principal and in 2005 relocated to the McFarland Unified School District where he served as high school principal, Director of Human Resources and his current position of Superintendent of Schools. Mr. McCurtis is married to his wife Debra of thirty-two years. He has three adult children and four grandchildren. 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.

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). 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 coming to CDE, Dr. Ellerbee 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 has 10 years of experience as a legislative aide with the California State Assembly. He received the B.A. and M.A. Degrees from California State University, Sacramento, and the Ed.D. from the University of the Pacific, Stockton, CA. Dr. Ellerbee’s professional strengths include expertise in organizational development, team building, school reform, strategic planning and educational equity. He serves on several local, state, and national boards and committees. He is also the recipient of numerous awards and recognitions for his leadership, dedication and commitment to education and the community.

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Eldred C. Ellis

Eldred C Ellis is a native of New Jersey, presently living in Chicago. He has been in the educational publishing industry for 39 years and has worked with publishers such as Laidlaw Brothers, Macmillan and McGraw- Hill. He was Regional Sales Director at Sylvan Education Solutions, as well as the MId-West Manager at Curriculum Advantage. Eldred is presently National Sales Director of SchoolNet Inc., which is a data driven technology company, the leader on school performance management. He is a graduate of Howard University in Washington, D.C., and is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha (ΑΦΑ) Fraternity Inc, as well as a life member of NASBE.

No Photo

Joseph Jones

Joseph Jones has thirty-five years of experience in public schools, pre-college and the university levels including 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. For the past sixteen years he has held a position with the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA) first as a Professional Services Executive, Director of Member Services and more recently as the Assistant Executive Director of Member Services and Professional Standards. 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. He has a long history of public service and is a recipient of many awards.

Assemblymember Curren Price was elected to serve the 51st Assembly District in November 2006. The District includes Westchester, Playa Vista, Inglewood, Lennox, Hawthorne, Lawndale, Gardena, West Compton and West Athens. Assemblyman Price chairs the influential Assembly Government Organizational Committee. During the 2008 legislative session, he was the only state legislator to chair two standing committees simultaneously. He was appointed by the Speaker of the Assembly to chair the Assembly Elections and Redistricting Committee. In addition, he chairs the Assembly Select Committee on Procurement and co-chairs the Assembly Ethics Committee. Assemblyman Price has spent a lifetime fighting to empower working families and small businesses. During his tenure on the Council, Mr. Price led the City’s efforts to revitalize the downtown commercial district, reduce crime, provide affordable housing, secure programs for children and seniors, and work with school officials to improve neighborhood schools. Assemblyman Price has compiled an impressive list of achievements over more than three decades in public service. His legislative accomplishments include being the first freshman member of the California Assembly to have at least 20 bills signed into law by the Governor. During the 2008 legislation, he authored bills to increase the number of small businesses competing for state contracts, and to provide technical assistance to small businesses in securing surety bonds. He also authored legislation that would permit 16 year-olds and 17 year-olds to pre-register to vote. Assemblyman Price grew up in Inglewood, California and was the first African-American to be elected Student Body President at Morningside High School. He received his undergraduate degree in Political Science from Stanford University and his Juris Doctorate Degree from the University of Santa Clara.

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, such as Rotary Club of Oxnard Sunrise, and the Oxnard Police Chief Advisory Committee. He lives in Oxnard and has two adult children, Dennis and Keli, and a granddaughter, Keliah.

Education is a Civil Right

Assemblymember Curren Price

23 California Association of African-American Superintendents and Administrators

Dr. Randy Ross

In June 2005, Dr. Ross (a graduate of the Pardee RAND Graduate School) became the Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education’s first Director of Educational Policy. He has worked in school reform for more than 25 years. In the early 1980s, he served as the Associate Director of Planning and Evaluation for the National Urban League in New York City and in the mid-1980s, he served as Associate Director of the LAUSD Board’s Independent Analysis Unit. He returned to RAND in the early 1990s to work on the New American Schools (NASDC) Project. Subsequently, he served as Vice President of the Los Angeles Annenberg Metropolitan Project (LAAMP). Prior to his return to Los Angeles, he served as Vice President for Planning at Neighborhood House Association in San Diego. Dr. Ross is the author of the book, Government and the Private Sector: Who Should Do What? (New York: Crane Russak, 1988). His education essays and articles have been published in the Los Angeles Times, Education Week, the School Administrator, and the American School Board Journal.

Assemblymember Mike Davis

Assemblymember Mike Davis was elected to serve the 48th District in November of 2006. Located in Los Angeles County, the District is home to diverse communities including Arlington Park, Athens, Chesterfield Square, King Estates, Koreatown, Lafayette Park, Magnolia Square, North University Park, University Park, Vermont Knolls, West Adams, West Park Terrace and Wilshire Center. As a freshman Assemblymember, Mr. Davis is committed to education, health care reform, economic development and transportation. A member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., Mr. Davis served as the Western Regional Social Action Committee Chairman and on the Fraternity’s National Social Action Commission. He also founded “The Images of Blacks in America Symposium” at UCLA, a conference for high school students and professionals. 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 when she was elected to Congress. He received the Bachelor of Arts Degree in History from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte; a Degree in Public Administration from California State University at Northridge; and the Master of Arts Degree in Behavioral Science with a concentration in Negotiations and Conflict Management from California State University at Dominguez Hills. Recently, he completed the Innovations in Governance Program at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Alice Spearman

Education is a Civil Right

Alice Spearman is the newly elected Board of Education member serving District 7. Ms. Spearman 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, beginning with Thurgood Marshall Elementary School and proceeding to Castlemont Senior High School and Frick Middle School. She is a Parent Liaison for Project SOAR serving Oakland High School; past Chair of the District Advisory Council, Oakland Unified School District; past Chair of the National Coalition of Title I Parents, Region 9; a Board Member of the Family Action Network, California State Department of Education; past Board Member of the Community Action Agency, City of Oakland, appointed by Councilmember Henry Chang, representing the entire city. Ms. Spearman has given presentations to many local, statewide and national organizations. She served as a television talk show host on SOUL BEAT International Television Network featuring topics on education. Ms. Spearman is a member of several organizations including Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., The National Alliance of Black School Educators, the African American Advisory Committee on Crime, the Task Force on the Education of African American Children for Oakland Unified School District and the Oakland Chapter of the NAACP. She is a wife, mother of two adult daughters and grandmother of two young girls. She is also is a member of Imani Community Church, where Dr. George C. L. Cummings is pastor.

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Dr. Darlene V. Willis

Dr. Darlene V. Willis is the co-founder of Empowering Parents and College Bound San Diego. She has served as an administrator at nationally recognized public and private institutions for more than twenty years. This first generation college graduate and former PTA President has a successful record of accomplishments traveling around the Country offering educational workshops, seminars and keynote addresses to empower countless parents/families, students, educators, employees, employers and community leaders. Dr. Willis holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of California at Irvine; a Master of Arts and a Ph.D in Organizational Psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology. She is an alumna of Harvard University’s Institute for Management and Leadership in Education Program. She is an active member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated and the Co-Chair of the San Diego Region for the California Alliance of African-American Educators. Dr. Willis is the Co-Author of the book, Empowering Parents: A Guide to Taking Control of Your Child’s Educational Journey and author of an interactive curriculum which is utilized to empower parents and employers in the workplace, schools, school districts, prisons, churches and non-profit organizations. Dr. Willis resides in San Diego, CA with her husband of 21 years. They have two sons attending college.

Diana Daniels

Dr. Deborah Hunter-Harvill

Dr. Deborah Hunter-Harvill is a professional service-oriented educator who advocates excellence for children, teachers, support staff and parents. For thirty years, she has served as a teacher for general education, Special Education and Language Arts, grades K-12. Dr. Harvill’s administration experience includes serving as Title I Coordinator, Professional Development Administrator, School Reform Director, Special Education Director, and Principal of an elementary, a middle and K-8 schools. She has worked at the Friends School in Detroit (a private Quaker institution), the Hazel Park School District, the Oak Park School District and the Detroit Public Schools. Currently, she serves as Superintendent of the Westwood Heights School District in Flint, Michigan. In 2004, Dr. Harvill was nominated and elected to serve as President-Elect of the National Alliance of Black School Educators for the 2005-2007 years. She ascended to President in 2007 and will serve until November 2009. Her agenda is fitting for such a time as we live in today. She firmly believes “Education Is a Civil Right” and that educators must employ 21st century thinking and futuristic practices to create excitement among youth that will excite them about learning, leading and planning for the future. Dr. Harvill received the Doctorate from Wayne State University (Detroit, Michigan) in 1994 with an emphasis in Administration and Supervision. She received the Master Degree in Special Education and Leadership and the Bachelor Degree in Elementary Education from Marygrove College. She is a member of the American Association of School Administrators (AASA), Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD), the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP), the National Middle School Association (NMS), the National Alliance of Black School Educators (NABSE), Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated (Detroit Alumni Chapter) and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).

Education is a Civil Right

Diana Daniels is a teacher, central office administrator, consultant, college professor, entrepreneur, historian and community activist. She has worked more than 39 years in public education. She holds a B.S. Degree in Social Sciences and Psychology from Ball State University, M.S. Degree in Elementary Education from Butler University, and is working toward a Doctorate in Reading, Special Education and School Administration. After Mrs. Daniels’ 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. The focus was 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. Her compassion for educating children of color and her community involvement are reflected in her membership in many organizations, including the National Alliance of Black School Educators, NAACP, and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority. She has a passion for educating black boys and wants urgent change on the conditions under which the majority of them are currently being educated.

25 California Association of African-American Superintendents and Administrators

Dr. George King

Dr. King is the principal consultant of the Speaker’s Office for the California State Assembly. Former positions include 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, Washington, D.C.; and several positions as professor and assistant professor at prestigious universities across the Nation. Dr. King is a published author, has served as director for in-service training institutes to support education agencies as well as community groups, and he has served as a guest speaker for the National Education Association (NEA), school districts, colleges and universities, and professional associations throughout the United States.

Assemblymember Tom Torlakson

Assemblymember Tom Torlakson is a native of San Francisco. He 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. Assemblymember Torlakson represents 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. Assemblymember Torlakson has two adult daughters, Tiffany Margulici and Tamara Torlakson.

Michael Watkins

Education is a Civil Right

Michael Watkins was born and reared in Oakland, California and attended Cal State Hayward where he was awarded a B.A. in Psychology and teaching credentials in both History and Special Education. He received the Master Degree in School Administration from Cal State Hayward and began his teaching career in 1971 when he participated in the federally funded Teacher Corps Program. He taught for two years as an intern with Teacher Corps and one year as a teacher in Oakland, followed by seven years as a teacher for the Alameda County Office of Education. He has been with the Santa Cruz County Office of Education since 1980 as Director, Special Education, then Director, Alternative Education. He is also Past State President of the Juvenile Court, Community and Alternative School Administrators of California. Watkins was elected as Santa Cruz County Superintendent of Schools in November, 2006.

Dr. Glen Thomas

Dr. Glen Thomas is the newly appointed Secretary of Education. He has more than 30 years of experience as a teacher and leader at the local, County and State levels. He has served as a consultant to several philanthropic foundations and educational organizations including the California State Parent Teachers Association (PTA) and the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA). From 1998 to 2006, Thomas served as the Executive Director for the California County Superintendents Education Services Association, the statewide network of California’s 58 county superintendents of schools. He served as Director for Preschool for All Planning Support in 2006 and Assistant Superintendent and Director of the Elementary Teaching and Learning Division for the California Department of Education from 1995 to 1996. Furthering his commitment to education, he has worked at the University of Southern California, Sacramento Center where he has served as an adjunct professor since 2005 and previously served as a clinical professor from 1999 to 2003. Thomas was appointed by Governor Pete Wilson to the Academic Standards Commission and served on the California High School Exit Examination Committee (CAHSEE).

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We Thank You!

Pearson Education

Brain X

Science Weekly

Total School Solution


Aleshire and Wynder




Houghton Mifflin Harcourt “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:

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

Education is a Civil Right


29 California Association of African-American Superintendents and Administrators

Congratulates Education is a Civil Right

Dr. Charlie Mae Knight for her dedication, for her commitment, and for her excellent contributions to education!

Dr. Pamela Short-Powell, CAAASA President

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Certificate of Attendance Presented to

For participating in the CAAASA 2009 State Conference February 5-6, 2009 Sacramento, California

“Education is a Civil Right”: An Agenda for Academic Success


CAAASA Souvenir Book 2009