You may have heard that I have spent the past year serving as president-elect
of the Association of California School Administrators (better known as ACSA).
The next step for president-elect is president; and I will take on that role for
ACSA on May 14.
What does this mean for SCCOE?
First--since the president of ACSA takes a very active and visible role in
education issues across the state, and even nationally—it means I’ll be spending
more time out of the county. In my year as president, I will attend and speak at
numerous ACSA functions; visit the 19 ACSA regions all over California; attend
meetings with the governor and other legislative and education leaders on behalf
of the group; and even travel to Washington, D.C., where I will lead a
delegation of ACSA leaders in September.
I’ll be especially busy this summer. From late June to mid-August, I’ll be
speaking at ACSA regional leadership retreats throughout the state—at a
not-exactly-leisurely pace. For example: One morning I’m scheduled to be in
Merced; later that day, it’s Pismo Beach. I’ll be piling up a lot of miles in my
ACSA-provided car. (By the way—in addition to covering all my travel expenses,
ACSA also contributes $75,000 to SCCOE to help cover costs associated with my
Of course, I will continue in my role as county superintendent. But the COE
and I are lucky that during my absences, Deputy Superintendent Dr. Cary Dritz
will be here to keep things running smoothly. I know he and the COE Cabinet will
do everything possible to assure that this organization and the superintendent’s
office function with maximum efficiency. They have my full confidence and my
Given that I have been here less than a year, some folks will wonder about
the timing of this. Frankly, I had reservations about it myself. When I was
elected to the position of vice president two years ago, I did not anticipate
I’d be changing jobs. So, when the Santa Clara County Board of Education last
year offered me the position of superintendent, I offered to withdraw from the
ACSA role. But the board persuaded me not to; they felt my serving as president
of the organization would bring recognition and status to our county office.
ACSA is a prominent and well-respected group. It is the largest umbrella
organization for school leaders in the nation, serving more than 16,000 school
leader members. Its mission is to support California’s educational leaders; to
ensure that all students have the essential skills and knowledge needed to
excel; and to champion public education. It has a strong advocacy role on issues
such as adequate school funding, curriculum and instruction, assessment and
accountability, and—an endeavor that I especially favor-- supporting efforts to
close the achievement gap.
Obviously, I have my work cut out for me. But the prospect does not look as
daunting as it might, because I know I can count on your support, competence and
dedication. Thanks for that, and as always, thanks for reading.