Opening Plenary

National Health & Educational Concerns Due to the Impact of COVID-19

This panel consisting of Dr. Nana EfuaB. Afoh-Manin, Dr. Robert Ross and Dr. Theopia Jackson will address depression,anxiety, stress, isolation and the increasing number of black students contemplating and committing suicide due to impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic, among other factors.

In-Person Moderator

Dr. Michele Bowers
Superintendent, Lancaster Union School District

Virtual Moderator

Dr. Cynthia Glover-Woods
Chief Academic Officer, Riverside County Office of Education

Workshop Series I

Twitter, TikTok, Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram…

Can students and staff say anything they want in the virtual world? Bullying, harassment, and targeting of students and staff are real problems for our schools. This interactive presentation will include a discussion hosted by experienced school lawyers about the extent and limitation of free speech in and outside of the school environment. The presenters will discuss how social media posts made on and off campus can impact what occurs in school.


Milton Foster
Partner, Fagen Friedman & Fulfrost, LLP

Anthony Macklin
Associate, Fagen Friedman & Fulfrost, LLP

More Windows, More Mirrors

Join Afrika Afeni Mills—diversity, equity, and inclusion director of BetterLesson—as she reflects on race, culture, and identity in education. She’ll shed light on the significance of integrating students’ schemas to nurture language comprehension in early literacy, discuss the difference between asset- and deficit-based teaching, and highlight the impact “windows and mirrors” have on students’ classroom experiences.


Afrika Afeni Mills
Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, BetterLesson

How to Combine SEL, Cognitive Awareness, and Academics in the Classroom

Join this session to take a deep dive into the research-driven SEL tool, Heartbeat, and how it’s impacting the culture of schools in California. Heartbeat is a classroom tool designed to support teachers and students in understanding how their emotional health, cognitive position, and personal background all impact a students’ academic journey. Attendees will learn about the research foundations of the product, how it is implemented, and the incredible outcomes we’re seeing within the CAAASA network.


Mike Soldan
Shmoop CXO-Chief Experience Officer, Shmoop

Kelsey Olson
Principal Learning Advisor, Shmoop


Jerome Vincent Carter
CEO, Founder and President, Inspiration 52, Inc.

Implementing Anti-bias, Anti-racist Social Studies Instruction with Newsela

Attendees will learn how to empower teachers to feel confident and prepared to facilitate lessons about race, the importance of making lessons relevant to students’ lives and supporting anti-bias and anti-racist education with Social, Emotional, and Ethical Learning (SEE) supports, as well as get a sneak peek into Newsela’s new Black U.S. History Collection.


Luci Cambria
Curricular Solution Architect, Newsela

Nicole Offerdahl
Curricular Solutions Architect, Newsela

Evelyn Quezada
Social Studies Content Manager, Newsela

Double Agents: Making the System Work for Everyone Involved

Participants will understand a holistic approach to materializing the work of equity through the development of equity agentry, equity pedagogy, and curriculum audits. This design emphasizes a systemic approach, inclusive of administrators, teachers, and students. Participants will be provided a framework for implementing and systematizing the work of equity, not as an ancillary practice, but as the ecosystem of providing racial and educational equity.


Dr. Charles Brown Jr.
Director II, Equity & Access, Riverside County Office of Education

Dr. Keyisha Holmes
Director II, Leadership, Innovation, and Outreach (LIO), Riverside County Office of Education

Dr. Talisia Sullivan
Leadership Consulting, “TLC” Services

When Black Students Excel

This session will examine the practices that have influenced the academic success of Black students in five different schools. In particular, the session will explore: What anti-racist practices have contributed to student success? How have leaders influenced the development of those practices? What are the implications for thousands of other schools?


Joseph Johnson
Executive Director, National Center for Urban School Transformation

Stanley Munro, Ed. D.
Superintendent-in-Residence & Executive Coach, San Diego State University – National Center for Urban School Transformation (NCUST)

Racial Equity as Our Driver For Social and Emotional Learning

This presentation highlights an approach to professional development whereby anti-racist practices are woven into social, emotional and academic teaching, pre-K-12 through adult education, for all staff. This reflects a holistic approach and support structure using proactive, culturally relevant practices to grow staff capacity with a goal of maximizing every scholar’s academic, social and emotional success. The planning, goals, and collective action needed to purposefully bring about this systemic change, will also be discussed.


Frazier-Myers, Ed.D.
Director of Student Services, Pittsburg Unified School District

Tracy Catalde, Ed.D.
Coordinator of Social-Emotional Supports, Pittsburg Unified School District

Social Justice from the Inside Out – Strategic Professional Development
and Programs to Advance Educational Equity

This session will engage and motivate participants in taking next action steps to build capacity to accelerate educational growth for African American and other students of color. This interactive session will include our vision for engaging all stakeholders and how we built capacity to employ strategies that build student voice and activism. We will feature our key strategies as well as sample programs and resources that specifically address BMOC and GWOC.


Dr. Candace Cofield
Equity and Antiracism District Coordinator, Hayward Unified School District

Dr. Lisa Davies
Ass’t Superintendent, Hayward Unified School District

Monique Walton
Principal, Hayward Unified School District

Sonya Brooks
Ass’t Counselo, Hayward Unified School District

Introduction of Supporting the African American Learner: A Guide to Transforming Beliefs, Systems, and Practices for Black Students: A New Publication

Black students are one of the least supported and most vulnerable student groups in California. Come and learn about this exciting new document published by the Los Angeles County Office of Education in collaboration with Riverside COE, UCLA Center for the Transformation of Schools and the Center for Powerful Public Schools.


Kathryn Edwards
Director, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, Los Angeles County Office of Education

Leslie Zoroya
Coordinator III, Reading/Language Arts, Los Angeles County Office of Education

Showing up as Equity Warriors for Systemic Racial Equity Transformation

San Lorenzo Unified School District leaders share their District’s racial equity journey and how they engage and challenge their staffs, students, and communities in anti-racist movement, through courageous conversations about race. Engage with these racial equity warriors in ushering courageous conversations in your learning communities, consider race in examining student achievement data, determine the existence of institutionalized racism in your organizations, and actively become equity warriors, committed to systemic racial equity transformation for student success.


Belen Magers Belen Magers (retired)
Assistant Superintendent, Human Resources, San Lorenzo Unified School District

Kimberly Noble Kimberly Noble, Ed. L.D
Director of Elementary Education, San Lorenzo Unified School District

Tracie Noriega
Tracie Noriega
Assistant Superintendent, Educational Services, San Lorenzo Unified School District

Renee Lama Renee Lama
Director of Secondary Education, San Lorenzo Unified School District

Special Session

“School Yard Rap”


Brandon Brown

Luncheon Plenary

Black Girls Institute: Challenges & Crises Faced by Black Girls in Public Schools & Society

An all-female panel comprised Cara McCllean, Esq.; Dr. Angela Clark Loque and Dr. Kyla Johnson-Trammell will address issues related to how girls of color are bearing the brunt of policies and practices that diminish their opportunities and harm their potential


Dr. Kyla Johnson-Trammell
Superintendent, Oakland Unified School District

Cara McClellan, ESQ
Assistant Counsel, NAACP Legal Defense Fund

Dr. Angela Clark Louque
Professor, California State University San Bernardino


In-Person Moderator

Dr. Sonjhia Lowery
Superintendent, Old Adobe Union School District

Virtual Moderator

Leslie Lockhart
Superintendent, Culver City Unified School District

Workshop Series II

The Power of Student Discourse as an Equity Tool

Many talented teachers and educational leaders have realized that the goal of equity requires honest insight into the current content knowledge of students, increased bias awareness, and a sincere shift in instructional design. Participants will explore the power of student discourse as an equity tool within the classroom. This session will be practical, transformative, inspirational, and fun!


Tyrone HolmesTyrone Holmes
Chief Inclusion Officer, Curriculum Associates

Closing the Information Gap to Close the Information Gap: Making Education Data Accessible, Understandable, and Actionable for ALL Parents

Technology provider, Pearson, recently acquired Spotlight, to develop a frameshifting approach to engaging families of all backgrounds: applying data interoperability to “flatten” data, converting it into plain-language, video- and infographic-based student profiles. These profiles give parents a rich view of children’s learning needs and opportunities, extending beyond a siloed score report. By providing parents with clear information, we are closing the information gap and the achievement gap, and as parent engagement is a proven factor in student achievement.


Taisha Steele
Senior Equity Advisor, Pearson

Black Male(d) Steps Towards Restoration In K-12 Schools

Racism and implicit bias disrupts Black males’ desire to learn during high growth stages. Empathy is more likely garnered from those of similar ethnic backgrounds, Black Males. However, we-teacher-educators and administrators, do not put Black male teachers before all Black male students. So, in addition to recruiting Black male teachers, we must challenge ourselves to differentiate the teacher hiring and preparation process provided in K-12th education because as it stands today, the majority of teachers are White females.


Denise Peoples
Chief Educational Officer, STEMulate Learning

Dr. Taquan Stewart
Former Administrator, Math and Science Consultant, STEMulate Learning

Dr. Sheka Houston
Principal, Business Owner, Client and Consultant, STEMulate Learning

The Deconstruction of Traditional Grading Systems

Grading is an area where frequent inequities manifest themselves. Grading inequities rob students of color of opportunities, access to programs and services, and promotes a lower self image. How do you fix an inequitable grading system? What are the steps to creating and implementing successful grading resolutions and policies? This interactive workshop will allow participants to explore grading issues, identify areas of inequity, and develop a path forward to implementing an equitable grading system.


Shawna Dinkins, Ed.D
Assistant Superintendent, Lynwood USD

Patricia Brent – Sanco, Ed.D
Director of Equity, Access, & Instructional Services, Lynwood USD

Dismantling the Imposter Syndrome

Leaders of color often feel like they don’t deserve to be in a leadership position; we don’t deserve to be in the room frequently dominated by white males.

In this workshop, participants begin to grapple with some of the barriers preventing them from tapping into their power and achieving at high levels, due to the Imposter Syndrome. Participants will then develop a plan for systematically removing those barriers from their life – both personally and professionally.


Alicia Montgomery
Executive Director, The Center for Powerful Public

CAAASA Aspiring and Sitting Superintendent Academy

Intended audience New Superintendents and Superintendent/Principals; Assistant Superintendents and Cabinet Members aspiring to the superintendency. The CAAASA Superintendents Academy offers an excellent forum for new or aspiring superintendents to develop the fundamental skills needed to effectively lead a California school district. Presentations and discussion sessions are conducted by experienced superintendents (current and retired).


Michael Watkins
Past President, CAAASA

Cultural Sensitivity in the Workplace

Understanding people of different backgrounds and cultures is increasingly important in today’s multicultural work environment. Cultural sensitivity training can help educational institutions increase cultural competency and prevent conflicts that can lead to incidents of discrimination, harassment and retaliation. Administrators will learn what it means to have cultural sensitivity and how to implement culturally sensitive behavior. You do not want to miss this interactive session.


Ashlee Reece
Associate, AALRR

Jacqueline Hang
Senior Associate, AALRR

Black Girls, Exclusionary Discipline Practices, and Equity Partnerships

This presentation will focus on the experiences of Black girls’ with exclusionary disciplinary actions taken against them by school administrators. In addition, presenters will cover information and data on the school-to-prison pipeline, recent trends in exclusionary discipline for Black girls, and patterns of violence against Black girls in school. Participants will gain practical procedures for modeling Culturally Proficient and Restorative Practice Frameworks that demonstrate fair and equitable decisions available to administrators.


Angela Clark Louque
Professor, California State University San Bernardino

Talisa Sullivan
Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Transformational Leadership Consulting “TLC” Services

At Risk of Their Promise: Creating Positive, Equitable, and Inclusive Learning Environments for Vulnerable Students

This workshop will focus on conditions for positive student engagement and attendance for students from traumatic or minoritized backgrounds, such as race, homelessness, foster, or SPED. Promoting positive conditions of learning: physical; emotional safety; sense of belonging; and affirming environment. Recommendations for how education leaders can support students and ensure an equitable and inclusive learning environment will be addressed. Focused student learning environments laden with care, connection and support are most optimal to engage all learners.


Cherina Betters
Chief of Equity and Access, San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools

Brenda Dowdy
Homeless Education Project Manager, San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools

Research Based Solutions that Work for Young Black Males

This presentation chronicles the course of a six-year project at Leuzinger HS that utilized the AVID College and Career Readiness Framework and Blueprint for Success, to significantly impact graduation rates and CSU/UC readiness by double digits among the school’s African American male sub-group. This presentation provides a structure and best practices for establishing equity and access to educational resources and experiences, promoting college and career readiness for African American males.


Damion Nunley
Equity Coordinator, Centinela Valley Union High School District

Dr. Dennis Johnston
Chief Research Officer, AVID

Dr. Theresa Price
CEO/President, National College Resource Foundation

Daryl Camp

Be an Active Part of CAAASA

Join Our Special Committees!

If you are a California School Administrator or Educator and want to be involved in making a difference for African American and other students of color in California, then consider joining one of the following committees.

Special Committees

  • Committee: Professional Development
  • Committee: Professional Development – Educational Leadership
  • Committee: Legislative Advocacy
  • Committee: Membership
  • Committee: Parent and Community Engagement
  • Committee: National Coalition on Education Equity (NCOEE)

Each of these committees will meet via Zoom or conference call at least three times per year. This is a great way to engage with administrators from around the state around a common area of focus. Sign up now and be a part of the movement to improve the educational conditions for our students.