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A Culturally Proficient Society Begins in School: Leadership for Equity

This is going to sound like a promo, but this book, A Culturally Proficient Society Begins in School: Leadership for Equity, looks interesting. It's from three local leaders, all women, all Latina, who have been administrators in Whittier and Montebello schools. I hope to find some insight into the behind the scenes operations at local schools.

View: Amazon.com page for the book.

About the Authors

Carmella S. Franco is a State Trustee appointed by the California State Board of Education to oversee the academically failing Alisal Union Elementary School District in Monterey County. After retiring from twelve years as Superintendent of the Whittier City School District in 2008, Carmella then served for nearly one year as an Interim Superintendent of the Woodland Joint Unified School District. Her thirty-eight years in public education include having served as Director of Personnel, Elementary and Middle School Principal, ESL Specialist and Title VII Director in diverse school district settings, all with high English Language Learner student populations. Carmella’s passion is in ensuring that students of color are provided with every opportunity to succeed, in particular, with access to higher education. She also has co-presented often on the topic of women in educational leadership roles, and currently directs the Association of California School Administrator’s Superintendents Academy in Whittier, California.

Maria Gutierrez Ott, Ph.D., continues as the Superintendent of the award-winning Rowland (CA) Unified School District where she has led educational transformation efforts for six years. Prior to being recruited to Rowland Unified, she served five years as the Senior Deputy Superintendent to Roy Romer in the Los Angeles Unified School District, supervising major reform efforts. She was recruited by Roy Romer, a non-traditional superintendent and the former three-term Governor of Colorado, to serve as his educational deputy following seven successful years as Superintendent of the Little Lake City School District where she raised student achievement and received national recognition for her leadership. Prior to becoming Superintendent of Little Lake City Schools in 1993, Maria Gutierrez Ott was a teacher, site administrator, and central office administrator in the Los Angeles Unified School District, recognized for her instructional leadership and her work to improve the performance of English learners. Maria Gutierrez Ott earned her Ph.D. from the University of Southern California.

Darline P. Robles, Ph.D., is currently a Professor of Clinical Education at the Rossier School of Education at the University of Southern California. Her primary responsibility is the development of new Masters degree program for school leadership. She recently retired from the Los Angeles County Office of Education where she served as County Superintendent of Schools for eight years. As the top education leader of the nation's most populous and diverse county, she ensured the financial and academic stability of 80 school districts that serve more than two million preschool and school age children. She was the first woman and Latina to be named Superintendent of the Los Angeles County Office of Education in 2002. Prior to being named superintendent of LACOE, Dr. Robles was the chief of the Salt Lake City School District for close to eight years, where she was recognized for raising student achievement, significantly reducing the drop-out rate and securing vital resources for needy schools. Earlier, as Superintendent of the Montebello Unified School District, she saved the district from a state take-over by returning it to financial stability within two years. A native Californian, she began her 30 year plus education career as an intern at Los Padrinos Juvinile Hall at LACOE, as a teacher in Montebello, coordinator of bilingual and bicultural education and as an elementary and intermediate school principal and assistant superintendent.

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