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Collaborative Continuous Improvement Equity Fellows
The Collaborative Continuous Improvement Equity Fellowship is a cohort of systems leaders in school districts and education organizations across California. United by an unwavering belief in the potential of students, families, and educators in California’s public school systems, the participants of the fellowship program will develop as a community of leaders who embody values of participation and collaboration, engage in cycles of improvement, and learn with thought partners.
During the program, fellows will envision and explore what a thriving system that prepares all students for college, career, and community looks like, while simultaneously developing their own leadership for catalyzing and sustaining this type of system. They’ll leverage this experience by contributing to the field of collaborative continuous improvement in theory and practice-so that, ultimately, all systems continue to get better for all children.
Assistant Superintendent, Educational Services
Azusa Unified School District
Arturo Ortega has served as an educator for over 22 years as an instructional aide, teacher, Assistant Principal, Assistant Superintendent at Baldwin Park Unified School District and is currently the Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services in Azusa where he loves working with all of the great students, parents, teachers, and staff. Mr. Ortega received his Bachelor of Arts and Teaching Credentials from Cal Poly Pomona and his Masters of Arts and Administrative Credential from Cal State Los Angeles.
Red Bluff Union Elementary School District
Claudia Salvestrin is the Assistant Superintendent for Red Bluff Union Elementary School District serving as the district lead for curriculum & instruction, testing & assessment, categorical programs, professional development, instructional coaching, special programs, and district committees including writing and facilitating meetings for the LCAP. After 24 years in education in both urban and rural settings, Claudia firmly believes improvement in teaching and learning, the latter as the ultimate indicator of success, hinge on capacity building; collaborative groups; comprehensive systems; and an explicit action plan. Claudia’s own background and school experiences as an English Learner shaped her beliefs about the importance of quality relationships, unbiased beliefs, and high expectations for all. Claudia holds a Master’s Degree in Reading and Writing for Linguistically Diverse Populations from the University of Colorado at Denver.
Oceanside Unified School District
A native of Oceanside, Calif., Superintendent Dr. Duane Coleman is a “home grown product” of the school system he now oversees. A proud graduate of the Oceanside High School class of 1979, he attended OUSD schools from kindergarten through 12th grade. Now in his 30th year as an educator, Dr. Coleman, is also in his first year overseeing the district that put him on the path to a career in the field of public education. Prior to his appointment as OUSD Superintendent in June 2014, Dr. Coleman served six years as the district’s Associate Superintendent of Educational Services, and one year as Director of Curriculum and Instruction for secondary schools. Dr. Coleman’s academic accomplishments include earning his Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Alliant University (2008), a Master’s in Business Education from National University (1993), and an Education Specialist Degree at Point Loma University. He completed his Bachelor’s degree in Education from the University of Hawaii in 1983. While attending school on the island of Oahu, Dr. Coleman was recognized as one of only two Rainbow Warrior football players to earn his athletic letter for four years and to graduate on time.
Chief Academic Officer
Sacramento City Unified School District
Iris Taylor has worked in the field of education for 27 years and is currently the Chief Academic Officer for the Sacramento City Unified School District where she provides oversight and direction to the district’s academic programs and services. Iris joined the district in 2010 to serve as the Coordinator, Equity, Access, and Excellence and shortly transitioned into the position of Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction to lead the district’s Common Core implementation. Prior to joining the SCUSD team, Iris was the Chief Instructional Officer for a small network of charter schools within the Chicago Public School System. Iris’ began her educational career as a middle school English teacher within the Los Angeles Unified School District where she taught for 11 years. She has a diverse range of experiences within the field of education and has served as a School Change Coach with The National Equity Project (formerly known as the Bay Area Coalition for Equitable Schools and as a Program Associate in the Center for Literacy at Learning Point Associates which is now the American Institute for Research. Iris also has a background in educational research and worked as a Research Assistant with the National Center for Restructuring Education, Schools, and Teaching at Teachers College, Columbia University. Iris holds a BA in English from the University of California, Los Angeles, a MA in Curriculum and Instruction from California State University, Dominguez Hills, and an Ed.D in Curriculum and Instruction from Teachers College, Columbia University.
Chief Academic Officer
Fresno Unified School District
Kim Mecum is the Chief Academic Officer (CAO) for the Fresno Unified School District (FUSD) where she has worked for more than 20 years. After working in a few other districts as well as community college settings in the Midwest, Kim moved back to her college town to take a teaching job in Fresno. Over the balance of the last 20 years, Kim worked in various levels of leadership at school sites and district-wide levels. In January of 2015, she promoted from the Associate Superintendent of Human Resources/Labor Relations to her current role as CAO. Kim served on the California State of Education task force that produced the Greatness by Design framework for transforming education in California and also serves as the ACSA regional representative for the state ACSA HR council. Under her leadership in Human Resources/Labor Relations, her team made tremendous strides to change the landscape for labor agreements while creating a pipeline to recruit and select high quality teachers.
Director, CA Initiatives
Center for the Future of Teaching and Learning at WestEd
Robert Sheffield is the CA Director for the Center for the Future of Teaching and Learning at WestEd. Robert leads a multi-year initiative that seeks improve teacher and school leader access to high-quality professional learning resources that support CA Standards implementation. He also serves as a consultant and thought partner to emergent professional learning organizations seeking to scale work within school districts. Prior to working at WestEd, Robert led the District Coaching and Implementation Services for the College Board’s SpringBoard program. In that role, he was part of the leadership team that added 1.1 million students to the program within 4 years. Robert’s responsibilities included administrator PD and coaching product development, sales team product training, and overall go-to-market strategy development for the program. Robert started his career as a high school history teacher, and also served as district curriculum specialist. In addition to his K-12 teaching experience, Robert teaches and supervises pre-service History/Social Science teachers at California State University, Long Beach.
Robla Elementary School District
Ruben Reyes was born in Sacramento and has lived in the area his entire life. He is the product the region’s public school system. He received his bachelor’s degree in Psychology at the University of California at Davis, where he also received his Spanish bilingual multiple subject teaching credential. He completed his post graduate work at Sacramento State University in Administration of Education. He has been an educator for over thirty years. He began his career as a bilingual classroom teacher in West Sacramento, and decided early that he would dedicate his career to working in high need communities where issues such as poverty and limited English skills present challenges for families. Ruben has served the Robla School District for over twenty years. He has served as a reading specialist, the Coordinator of English Learner services for the district and was the principal of Main Avenue School for ten years. Ruben has served as the Superintendent of Robla for the past seven years.
Senior Managing Director, Education
Ms. Tran helps oversee Children Now’s education policy agenda, including managing the organization’s comprehensive policy, advocacy and communications campaigns on school finance and accountability. She is also a strategic advisor on Children Now’s foster youth, early learning and health policy work. Prior to joining Children Now, Ms. Tran was a senior research and policy consultant at the California School Boards Association (CSBA) where she tracked and provided guidance on state and federal policy issues. She represented CSBA in meetings with the State Board of Education, Department of Education, California First 5 Commission and other state bodies. Ms. Tran completed her BA in Communications at the University of San Francisco and her MA in Education Policy at Stanford University.