Skip To Content

CCSESA Newsletter2021

January Volume 19 / Issue 1

Meet the 2021 CCSESA President

L. K. Monroe Alameda County Superintendent of Schools

  • What led you to run for President of CCSESA?

    I am so honored to have represented the diverse and dynamic educational communities of Alameda County for the past six years. I am all the more honored now, as your President of CCSESA, to bring my leadership experience and practice in support of the 58 county Superintendents of California. When I became the Alameda County Superintendent of Schools in 2015, I had already come to realize the deep and critical difference the role could have in the lives of students most in need of advocacy and support.

    The promise of the daily impact that we can have on school communities, children and families continues to motivate me as I take on this work at a state level.

    At ACOE our mission is to provide, promote and support leadership and service to ensure the success of every child in every school every day. That mission is the same whether it applies to leading the students of Alameda County or the students of this remarkable state of California. I believe in problem-solving and innovation and our responsibility to address the pervasive issues obstructing the well-being of students. I believe that our work serves as a model of social justice in action and the opportunity to lead for that work at a statewide level with educational leaders who share that vision.

    What objectives do you hope to achieve in your year as president?

    During this extraordinary time of a global pandemic, a transition in our national government and a clarion call to focus on issues of social justice and race, our educators and educational leaders find themselves at the intersection where all three converge. It is my goal to lead by giving voice to statewide conversations that can have a direct impact on the six million children in California public schools.

    There has not been a more critical time in public education in our lifetimes. The impactful and monumental decisions we are making daily as educational leaders have the potential to impact our students for years to come. This is a moment that must be met by thoughtful, intentional practitioners and leaders. We must address the significant learning loss so many students have suffered as a condition of this crisis and determine the most important actions to take, and take them quickly.

    Rather than merely press a reset button when classrooms open again, or restart from the place we were before, we have a chance to innovate and propel our students forward. We have an opportunity to both see and support so many students, African American students, Latino students, immigrant students, students with special needs and those living with poverty and uncertainty, students who have traditionally had the least success in our public schools. We cannot do what we have always done.

    We can innovate and progress. We can change and adapt. We can meet new challenges in ways we wouldn’t have imagined a year ago. Those are my goals as a leader for CCSESA.

  • What is a bright spot / exemplary program in your county that would be of interest to educators?

    I have been so proud of our work establishing Alignment Bay Area (ABA), a collective impact initiative that has brought together leaders of industry, colleges, labor, community organizations and school districts to integrate and transform systems that improve opportunities for our students to Live, Learn, Earn and Thrive.

    Our vision has been to create aligned networks that provide equity, opportunity and inclusion for students to prepare them for college and beyond.










    ABA started with the powerful work of the East Bay Career Pathways Consortium to build Career Pathways for students. It was expanded with the second round of Career Pathways

    Trust funding to include our most vulnerable students. We have focused on the opportunity to greatly expand participation of young men and women of color in STEM careers, as we know that only two percent of the STEM workforce are people of color. California, meanwhile, has more STEAM jobs than any other state.

    Our main strategy is creating quality regional work-based learning and industry engagement that provide opportunities for students to take steps toward a fruitful life and career, including a family-sustaining income by the time they are 25 years old.

    We continue to build a backbone organization that sustainably coordinates college and career readiness, aligns those efforts with the workforce needs in our region and brings leaders together from across sectors to hold a common vision for that alignment.

    What is something about yourself that other CCSESA members may not know about you? In the early 1980’s I had the honor of working as a legislative intern for Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm. It was one of the most memorable experiences of my life to work for a teacher-turned-political leader and icon.


    Follow ACOE on twitter @AlamedaCOE

Leadership Link

Meet the 2021 BASC Chair Dean West, Associate Superintendent of Business Services, Orange County Department of Education

What does your day to day look like as the chair of the Business and Administration Steering Committee (BASC) and an Associate Superintendent of Business Services for OCDE?

The selection of the chair role is a symbol of the respect and admiration of peers and their confidence in a person to lead, facilitate, collaborate and communicate.  More than this, the increased responsibility is a strengthening of the statewide system.  This role adds to the responsibility of the county office duties.

As the business lead on external focused responsibilities, I have standing commitments to many organizations or boards.  I work in the following capacities: I am the designee of the County Superintendent for the Orange County Treasurer’s Oversight Committee, I am the board member for the Orange Countywide Oversight Board (for the Successor Agencies to Redevelopment Agencies) and serve as the board member for the Alliance of Schools for  Cooperative Insurance Programs (ASCIP). As a primary responsibility, I conduct monthly meetings for Chief Business Officials in our county, and for 2021 the BASC role of facilitating monthly meetings for county Chief Business Officials.  I have 70+ employees in my division that provide a wide ranges of services that extend throughout the county in support of the county superintendent role.

What are some of your goals or objectives you would like to achieve within BASC this year?

Our primary responsibility will be to focus on recovery from the pandemic by supporting the reopening of schools and moving them toward their full operations.  In addition, we hope to work with STRS on developing guidance for Local Education Agencies (LEAs).

What is a bright spot / exemplary program in your Steering Committee that would be of interest to educators?

Undoubtedly, the Common Message is the primary product of BASC and is an effort in collaboration and alignment of the AB 1200 fiscal oversight function for county superintendents.  Recently, the County Office of Education Emergency Recovery guide was developed as response to fires that devastated communities.  Cal OES uses county government effectively, but there is a role for the COE as we support schools through this community recovery process.


CCSESA and ETW Release Resource for Recruiting & Retaining Educators of Color

To support greater educator diversity, CCSESA and the Education Trust West recently released Recruiting & Retaining Educators of Color: Hiring Practices to Diversify Your Candidate Pool & Strategies to Support and Retain Educators. Building on research by SLOCOE Superintendent Jim Brescia, the Learning Policy Institute, and Getting Down to Facts II, the report and additional resources offer a menu of options school leaders and hiring managers can use to expand hiring pools and better support educators of color. Additional resources on recruitment and retention can be found at






Santa Clara County Office Releases ‘Ways 2 Equity Playbook’ 

The Santa Clara County Office of Education (SCCOE) recently launched the Ways 2 Equity Playbook, a navigational tool for schools and districts to self-reflect around equity as a precursor to action-oriented steps at the local level to ameliorate systemic racism.  The Playbook’s design is grounded in the assumption that those who are most affected by a problem should be most involved in decision making around finding solutions.  The resource focuses on children and youth who are African-American, students with disabilities, and English learners, though the processes and resources that they contemplate are universal. The Playbook was developed by the Santa Clara County Office of Education in their role as one of the statewide equity leads through the Statewide System of Support and was developed through a liberatory design process in collaboration with the National Equity Project (NEP)  Find out more about SCCOE’s Inclusion Collaborative here and click here for a taped overview of the resource.



Thank You To Our Business Sponsors

Our Partners