(CBM) – The California Association of African American Superintendents and Administrators (CAAASA) unanimously elected Dr. Ramona Bishop, Superintendent of Vallejo Unified School District, its new president on Friday, March 4. She will serve in the role through early 2017.

CAAASA, first founded in 1993, held its four-day annual conference last week in Sacramento. The group created to address statewide education policy as it relates to Black Students, hosted parents and student engagement sessions as well as top education experts from around the state and country to share best educational practices. Former NFL players who attended also recounted personal stories about their experiences mentoring young people. The week concluded with civil rights and Black Minds Matter panels that spotlighted growing concerns about education and recommended solutions to support African-American and other underserved students.

“It is time to get very serious about the work that we do. I expect that after my tenure we will be able to point back to California as a national model for how to educate all children but particularly African-American children,” said Bishop. “ We are going to partner with our California Black Media in the state to tell our stories, we will focus on the health of our families and building a collaborative movement so families don’t feel like they have to do this all alone.”

Bishop gave remarks at a reception where she shared her thoughts on the education system and promised that she will be working to make sure no African-American student, parent, teacher or administrator feels isolated. She also pledged to work with aspiring individuals that would like to get into the pipeline to become superintendent.

Bishop is a graduate of the University of Berkley and the University of San Francisco. She was awarded her doctorate in education administration from the University of the Pacific. Bishop’s career spans from teaching and serving as a principal to reaching senior level administrative positions. In a nationwide search in 2011, she was chosen to lead the Vallejo Unified School District out of state receivership and boost student achievement.

There are currently 28 Black superintendents out of the 1,100 school districts across the state. At the conference, CAAASA held a job fair and continues work to increase the ranks of African-American personnel at all levels in order to combat the challenges that face diverse school districts.

Bishop succeeds Dr. Judy White who is the superintendent of the Moreno Valley Unified School District.

Bishop’s Platform:

  • Continued targeted focus on improved educational outcomes for African-American students and other historically underserved students statewide. This will be accomplished, in part, through regional conferences where the most highly rated speakers from our conferences will be brought in to different parts of the state, allowing more districts to participate.
  • Support and mentorship for aspiring superintendents who are currently principals, vice principals, teachers and cabinet level administrators.
  • Enhanced media focus on best practices being implemented in our districts in partnership with Black media outlets.
  • Strengthening connections with our parent partners statewide.
  • Activating retired superintendents and administrators to assist with coaching and advocacy.

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