Four female leaders to assume top ACSA offices

ACSA’s 2017-18 year will be historic. For the first time, four women will hold the top seats in association leadership.

Assuming the presidency will be Lisa Marie Gonzales, assistant superintendent for educational services in Dublin Unified School District, who has been on the Board of Directors for six years. She first served as Region 8 representative in 2010-11, then was elected vice president for legislative action in 2011-12, serving for four years before being elected vice president in 2015-16 and as president-elect in 2016-17.

L-R, incoming ACSA officers: Lisa Gonzales, Holly Edds, Terri Rufert and Linda Kaminski. The four women are set to make ACSA history.

Gonzales is deeply focused on support for women in educational leader-ship and has vowed to focus attention in her presidency on women’s issues.

“It behooves our schools to encourage new women into leadership, building new women leaders to create a history of their own to celebrate,” she said in a recent piece in EdCal, celebrating Women’s History Month.

Running unopposed for vice president is Linda Kaminski, current vice president for legislative action and superintendent of Azusa Unified School District. Kaminski has served in leadership positions on the ACSA Board, Curriculum, Instruction and Accountability Council and the Assessment and Accountability Task Force.

Raising student achievement, particularly among the underserved, has been her life’s work. She has been a sought-after speaker and consensus builder on CIA issues throughout the state.

Terri Rufert, superintendent of Sundale Union Elementary School District, is set to become vice president for legislative action following the May 11 Leadership Assembly in Sacramento. She has a lot of experience with legislative action at the local level, having served as Region 11 VPLA for two terms.

She served on the ACSA Board of Directors in 2014-15 and 2015-16 and currently is a member of the Small School Districts Committee.

Moving straight from the ACSA vice presidency to president-elect is Holly Edds, assistant superintendent, educational services in Orcutt Union School District. Edds has been a champion of meaningful engagement among ACSA members and our stakeholders.

Her support of the association’s strategic plan has helped grow membership, refocus efforts on local advocacy and build relationships with like-minded organizations.

Rounding out the 2017-18 ACSA Board officers will be Ralph Gómez Porras, superintendent of Pacific Grove USD, who moves from current president to past president. Porras has worked tirelessly to ensure ACSA’s vitality in the California education landscape.

In 1983-84, when ACSA’s first female president, Emma Hulett, was elected, there may not have been a forecast for four of five officer seats to be filled by women. But as 2017-18 President Gonzales says, “Because they see optimism and opportunity, (women) look for ways to grow and thrive, often bringing along other women in the process.”

While their seats are all but assured, candidate speeches by Kaminski and Rufert will be made on May 11, followed by a vote of the Leadership Assembly for the record. EdCal publishes a statement by each candidate in any election, which can be found on page 2 of the April 17 edition of EdCal.

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