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Why Work With Us

The Cosca Group is experienced, proven, and authentic. Having a proven track record for over twenty years, we are confident that we will achieve your district’s goals and meet your community’s expectations. 

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Distinguished Leaders​

TCG partners and associates have served in leadership roles in the Association of California School Administrators (President and Executive Director), California School Boards Association, American Association of School Administrators, California Association of School Business Officials, California Coalition for Adequate School Housing, California Small Schools Association, California Association of Latino Superintendents, California Association of Bilingual Educators, and the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, having chaired visitations in California, Hawaii, Pacific Islands and Asia.

 

A TCG partner founded the National Association of School Superintendents

Dr. Cosca began as a teacher and an elementary assistant principal in Santa Ana Unified School District. He then served as an elementary and later a junior high school principal in Fullerton School District. Dr. Cosca went on to become the Superintendent of the Eastside School District in Lancaster for three years, Central School District in Rancho Cucamonga for six years and finally the Superintendent of Ontario Montclair School District in Ontario for the remaining eleven years of his career.

     Dr. Cosca has led or been part of searches for more than twenty years. However, since retirement in 2000, he has been the President of The Cosca Group (TCG) and involved himself in all searches TCG has conducted.

     Dr. Cosca has served as an advisor to ACSA, CSBA, the State Secretary of Education and the State Superintendent of Schools.

Mr.  Shapiro has served as a professional educator for 42 years. Mr. Shapiro received his B.A. at Rutgers University and M.A. at California State University Northridge. He served as a teacher in the Lancaster School District and the Glendale Unified School District. In Glendale he also held the following positions: middle school assistant principal, elementary principal at two schools, middle school principal, coordinator of professional development, and director of curriculum and instruction. After 28 years in Glendale, he served as assistant superintendent and deputy superintendent in the Burbank Unified School District. He then served as superintendent in the South Pasadena Unified School District for four and one-half years, retiring in 2014.   

     Mr. Shapiro has been involved in leadership positions in regional and statewide organizations to advance teaching and learning. He was chair of the Curriculum, Instruction and Accountability Committee for a region of the Association of California School Administrators, also serving on the state council. He served on the Board of Directors of the California Staff Development Council. He was a member of the Superintendent’s Advisory Group for EdLeader 21, a national network of school districts committed to promoting 21st century learning for all students. He was also a charter member of the Board of Directors of the Burbank Arts Education Foundation. He has received honors from ACSA, chambers of commerce and community organizations, as well as parent organizations.   

     Mr. Shapiro has been an adjunct professor at Occidental College and California State University Northridge. He currently provides training and executive coaching to school districts through Pivot Learning partners. 

Dr. Fred Navarro is a lifelong educator, most recently retiring as Superintendent from the Newport Mesa Unified School District. He has served public schools for nearly forty years and earned a reputation for recruiting and cultivating top talent in all leadership roles. 

He earned his B.A and teaching credential from California State University Dominguez Hills and his Master’s Degree and Doctorate in Education from UCLA.     

 He served Long Beach Unified School District as Activities Director, Assistant Director of Human Resources, Assistant Principal and Middle School Principal. He served as a high school principal in the Alhambra and Newport Mesa Unified School where he also served as Director of Secondary Education. He served as the Assistant Superintendent of the Anaheim School District and as Superintendent of the Lennox School District. His various District and community leadership roles include: 

 

  • California School Boards Association         
  • Superintendents’ Advisory CouncilUniversity of California, Irvine School of Education Dean’s Community Advisory  
  • Board of Directors, Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce     
  • Part-time faculty, UCLA School of Education     
  • Board of Directors, Schools for Sound Finance     
  • California Interscholastic Federation, Southern Section, Commissioner’s Superintendents’ Advisory     
  • John Hopkins Center for Talented Youth, Fellow    
  • LBUSD CABE Chapter President (1993)

    He believes that a high-quality leadership team is vital to student success in the classroom; therefore, a quality superintendent is essential to creating a thriving district where every student is provided an exemplary and rewarding educational experience.

Dr. Jan Britz has served as an educator for over 40 years. Prior to retiring in 2015 as Superintendent of Burbank Unified School District, she served as the Assistant Superintendent of Instruction there. She also served as Director of Human Resources in South Pasadena Unified School District. As a resident of Simi Valley, she worked in Simi Valley Unified School District for 23 years as a teacher, assistant principal and principal of a junior high school, middle school, and high school.

     Dr. Britz received a B.A. degree from Eastern Michigan University, a M.S. and M.A. degree from California State University, Northridge, and a Doctoral of Education from USC.

     Dr. Britz also served as an adjunct professor at California Lutheran University, Moorpark Community College and California State University, Northridge. In addition, she has taught Leadership workshops and classes at professional conferences and colleges. Jan has been recognized with awards for her work as an administrator from ACSA and others from Ventura County, as well as community groups and parent organizations. 

Ms. Pat Puleo has had a comprehensive career in education. She served as Director of Education Programs, University Extended Education, at California State University, Fullerton, for six years. As part of that responsibility, she led outreach efforts, on behalf of the university, in several districts throughout Southern California in the areas of district program development, evaluation, curriculum and instruction, grant evaluation, support to underperforming schools, and administrator mentoring, 

     Prior to her tenure at CSUF, Ms. Puleo was the Director of Education Services in the Fullerton School District, principal, and coordinator of special programs. She has distinguished herself throughout her career as evidenced by her being recognized as Administer of the Year in Orange County during her tenure as principal and received the Outstanding Service the University Award from the College of Human Development and Community Service, CSUF, in 2000. 

     She has been working as a private consultant for ten years in district strategic planning, instruction, curriculum, evaluation, and mentoring throughout California.

Mr. Ahad is the president and chief executive officer of Total School Solutions (TSS). He founded the firm in 1999 and has been instrumental in maintaining the highest quality of services offered by TSS and earning the confidence of clients TSS serves. Besides his executive responsibilities at the firm, Mr. Ahad continues to be involved in providing direct services to TSS clients; primarily in the areas of efficiency studies, performance audits and evaluations, systems improvement, and developing and implementing best educational management practices.

     Mr. Ahad has had a distinguished career in public education, serving as chief business official in five school districts. Besides his successes as a chief business official,

     Mr. Ahad is recognized for his knowledge of educational programs and expertise in employee-employer relationships. Mr. Ahad has developed excellent working relationships with employee associations and their leadership.

     Mr. Ahad holds a Masters Degree in business administration from Arizona State University and is a Certified Public Accountant in California.

Dr. George H. Bloch has over forty years of experience in K-12 education. He has served as teacher, coach, high school principal, assistant superintendent, and finally as a superintendent. Dr. Bloch has served as a superintendent in districts in the central valley and southern California with student enrollments from 17,000 to 35,000. 

     In 2001 Dr. Bloch was awarded “California Superintendent of the Year”. While a superintendent, he was on the Executive Committee of American Association of School Administrators, the Board of the Urban Superintendents’ Association of America and he served for six years on the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Accrediting Commission. 

     Dr. Bloch’s association with national organizations gives him a strong recruiting network across America.

Dr. George H. Bloch has over forty years of experience in K-12 education. He has served as teacher, coach, high school principal, assistant superintendent, and finally as a superintendent. Dr. Bloch has served as a superintendent in districts in the central valley and southern California with student enrollments from 17,000 to 35,000. 

     In 2001 Dr. Bloch was awarded “California Superintendent of the Year”. While a superintendent, he was on the Executive Committee of American Association of School Administrators, the Board of the Urban Superintendents’ Association of America and he served for six years on the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Accrediting Commission. 

     Dr. Bloch’s association with national organizations gives him a strong recruiting network across America.

Dr. Conti has served in the field of education for more than 32 years, 24 as a Superintendent of Schools.  Previously he served as a teacher, principal and assistant superintendent.  In retirement, he taught Educational Law at Concordia University and worked for a Superintendent Search Firm in the Midwest.

   He holds a BA in Modern American Society (sociology and psychology) from the University of Wisconsin, a MA in Educational Leadership from University of Wisconsin, an EDS degree in Educational Administration and Supervision from Western Illinois University and a PhD in Educational Leadership from the University of Iowa.

   Among his accomplishments, Dr. Conti instituted strategic planning as a system approach for short and long-term district goals and objectives involving district stakeholders and initiated Board and leadership team development.  In addition, he developed and instituted a parent, staff, administration, school board survey instrument to gather perception of performance, quality and direction of the school district.  He organized and assisted the passage of three bond referendums to build new schools (one for $36 million), due to a rapidly growing student population.  An additional 140 certified and 90 non-certified staff were hired.  With his team, he oversaw the construction of three schools, one being approximately 319,000 square feet.  An extensive teacher training and mentorship program was implemented, curriculum was aligned; and, as a result, test scores increased.  A preschool program for children of staff members and for the community was also developed and instituted.

   Over the years, Dr. Conti made numerous presentations at the annual State Superintendents’ Association Conference in Chicago.  He served as President of the Suburban Superintendent Association of Northern Illinois, President of Lake County Illinois Superintendents’ Association and Board Member of Northwestern University Phi Delta Kappa, among other community and educational affiliations.

Dr. Theresa Daem is a former California school superintendent, serving six years as Superintendent of the San Bruno Park School District and nine years as Superintendent of the Laguna Beach Unified School District. 

     In 2009, she founded the National Association of School Superintendents (NASS), an organization focused on the unique challenges and district needs of America’s top educational leaders; she was executive director until July 30, 2016, and continues to actively support the organization. According to Daem, “Quality teachers are the essence of quality education, but they truly flourish in great districts, and these are the result of great leadership.”

     Daem began her career as a high school English teacher and served in numerous school district administrative positions before assuming the top district leadership role. She has written more than 100 articles on successful school district leadership and presented at numerous professional gatherings and meetings. She has also been an adjunct professor at Santa Clara University, a School Support Team Leader for the Nevada Department of Education and a member of numerous boards and advisory groups. She earned her B.S. Degree and her M.S. Degree from Eastern Montana University and her doctorate from the University of Southern California.

Dr. Hasmik Danielian is an accomplished educator with over three decades of experience. She served as Superintendent

at Norwalk La Mirada Unified School District from 2015-2020 and at Brawley Union High School District from 2011-2015. Prior to that, she served as Associate Superintendent in charge of Secondary Schools Reform and Student/Family Support Services at Hacienda La Puente Unified School District. At Glendale Unified School District, she served as teacher, assistant principal, dean of students, and principal at Eleanor J. Toll Middle School, and Hoover High School. As a culturally savvy agent of change, her focus has always been on social justice, equity, and access for all  students. Through systems reform, innovation, collaboration and community partnerships, student achievement has accelerated and schools and districts have received state and national accolades.

The breath of Dr. Danielian’s leadership reaches to all levels of education, including guest speaker at doctoral programs; keynote speaker at different events; adjunct faculty at several universities and community colleges; Commissioner on Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC); and a member of College Board’s Western Region Education Council. She has also served on local foundation and non-profit boards.

Dr. Danielian holds a Bachelor’s Degree from National University of Iran, Tehran, two Master’s Degrees in Education from University of La Verne and Point Loma Nazarene University, and a Doctor of Education ( Ed.D.) from University of Southern California. She has received numerous prestigious awards for her leadership and service to the community including several Woman of the Year and Educator of the Year awards.

Dr. Jeanne C. Davis has over 40 years of experience a general education teacher, special education teacher, special education director, SELPA director, professor of special education and a consultant to districts in improving their programs.

     Dr. Davis is the CA CASE (Council of Exceptional Children’s Administrators of Special Education) president and has served as Chair of the SELPA Directors Organization. She has experience assisting districts, Counties, and SELPAs select exemplary administrators of special education.

Dr. Tom Garnella (Dr. “G”) has enjoyed a broad, practical educational background. He is acutely aware of all aspects schools as well as the many specialties that are within the realm of school business services. His 38 years as an educator included both the classified and certificated arenas, having served as a noon aide, elementary and middle school teacher, middle school assistant principal, assistant superintendent, and superintendent.

     During his teaching years, Dr. “G” taught in the then Yorba Linda as well as Beverly Hills Unified school districts. As a site administrator, he served in Charter Oak Unified. He has also been the Assistant Superintendent, Business Services in the San Marino Unified, Savanna Elementary, and Central School districts and jointly served as Superintendent in the Coast Joint Union High School and Cambria Elementary School district. Since his retirement from the Ontario-Montclair School District, where he served as its Assistant Superintendent, Business Services, he has served as the Interim Assistant Superintendent, Business Services in both the Perris Union High School District and Ontario-Montclair.

     Dr. Garnella has a BA in Elementary Education and a MA in Educational Administration from Cal State, Northridge. He earned his Doctorate in Educational Administration with a specialty in school finance and curriculum from USC.

     He is a former member of the Chaffey Community College Board of Trustees. He remains busy in educational circles and is involved in numerous community activities in the Hemet, California area. 

Dr. Steve Goldstone is a founding member of TCG, and immediate past Chairman of the Board.

     Dr. Goldstone has served for over twenty three years as superintendent of both urban and suburban unified school districts throughout California. Prior to serving as superintendent Dr. Goldstone was an assistant superintendent, principal, counselor and teacher.

     Dr. Goldstone served as the Founding Dean of Touro University’s College of Education. He has been an Associate Professor at USC, University of La Verne, and California State University Hayward.

     Dr. Goldstone earned his doctorate from the University of Southern California and an MA in administration and a BA in history from California State University Northridge.

Teresa (Terri) Grey is widely known and respected for her distinguished 28-year career with the Wilsona School District, a small, geographically remote and culturally diverse school district, where she held a host of positions, including teacher, reading specialist, vice principal, principal and finally nine years as superintendent. The variety of these district positions provided Terri the opportunity to work with diverse groups of teachers, parents and students. Throughout her tenure,  Teresa was focused on providing children of poverty top notch education and opportunities; she had a close relationship with her board of education and brought many programs and opportunities to her low socioeconomic district. Prior to joining Wilsona, Teresa worked for Los Angeles Unified and the Los Angeles Archdiocese as a teacher.

     Currently Grey works with ACSA’s Clear Administrative Credential Program coaching new administrators, sits on the Antelope Valley Community College Bond Over-site Committee and the non-profit RISE After School Program Board of Directors, and maintains her own Educational and Coaching Support LLC working with a variety of districts. She is dedicated to teaching, learning and improving students’ lives.

     Teresa Grey earned her Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies at California State University, Northridge (1982), a Reading Specialist Certificate from California State University, San Bernardino (1999) and her Master of Arts degree in Educational Administration from California State University Bakersfield (2003).

Dr. Mike Hendricks served in public school education for 40 years. Prior to retiring as the Superintendent of the Charter Oak Unified School District, he served as the Assistant Superintendent of Instructional Services. Dr. Hendricks also served as the Assistant Superintendent and Superintendent in the South Pasadena Unified School District. He also held positions as an Assistant Principal, Principal, and/or Director of Educational Services in the Temple City and Pasadena Unified School Districts. Dr. Hendricks was an elementary school teacher in Wisconsin and in the Baldwin Park Unified School District.

Dr. Hendricks received a B.S. in Elementary Education from the University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point, a M.A. in Educational Administration from California State University at Fullerton, and a Ed.D. in Policy Studies at the University of Southern California.

Dr. Hendricks has been an adjunct professor in the EDUA Department at Concordia University since 2008. Prior to that he was an adjunct for Azusa Pacific University and California State University at Los Angeles. Dr. Hendricks continues to serve ACSA as
the President of the Retired Administrator Charter in Region XV. He also serves as an education advisor for Schneider Electric.

Dr. Tom Johnstone served for 38 years as an educator. After serving the Lennox School District community for over 28 years, Dr. Johnstone served as superintendent in the Wiseburn Unified School District from 2008-

2018.  Among his accomplishments as superintendent in Wiseburn are the successful culmination of a 13-year struggle to achieve K-12 unification, a successful $89 million bond election, and the construction of a $160 million

state-of-the-art high school.

   His education career he served as a social studies teacher, middle

school counselor, an elementary assistant principal and principal, a Director of Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment, and ten years as the Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources.

     Dr. Johnstone earned his Bachelor’s Degree in history at the University of Santa Clara, a Master’s Degree in Latin American History from UCLA, a Master’s Degree in Counseling from Loyola Marymount University, and his doctorate in Institutional Management from Pepperdine University.

     Dr. Johnstone believes strongly in giving back to his community, and most specifically, activities that support children.   He coached Little League, girls’ softball and AYSO soccer.   He serves on the Board for St. Margaret’s

Center in Lennox and served for 10 years as Chairman of the Board for Diabetic Camping and Education Services, which supports outdoor science programs for children with diabetes.  

     Dr. Johnstone is an active member of the Hawthorne/Los Angeles International Airport/Lennox Rotary Club and Rotary Club of Westchester for the past twenty-one years held leadership roles in both the HLL and in Westchester Rotary Clubs.

Professionally, Dr. Johnstone was an active member of the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA) for 34 years, including serving as State Chair or the ACSA-CAPEA Committee for three years. Dr. Johnstone

also served as a Board Member for the School Employers Association of California (SEAC) for 9 years including 3 years as the Chair of the Board. He currently sits on the Board for DaVinci RISE Charter High School.

Dr. Linda Kimble has served as a superintendent for sixteen years in urban, rural, and suburban school district settings. She led Acton-Agua Dulce Unified School District, Keppel Union School District, Monrovia Unified School District, Anaheim Elementary School District, and most recently Vista Unified School District.

Dr. Kimble has focused on equity and social justice throughout her career. Her dissertation focused on instructional leadership in schools of poverty. Dr. Kimble speaks Spanish, and has made a consistent effort to reach out to diverse, impacted communities.        

 Dr. Kimble has written two books on instructional leadership, one from the lens of the principal, and another from the lens of the superintendent. For each book, she studied almost one hundred leaders and gleaned their knowledge to share with the field of education.        An area of emphasis for Dr. Kimble has been school construction and the passage of school facilities bonds. In Anaheim Elementary School District and in Vista Unified School District she led the passage of voter approved facilities bonds, both with high rates of voter approval. Prior to that time, she oversaw school construction projects in multiple districts.  

Dr. Steve Kennedy, is a recently retired Superintendent and veteran public school educator with over 32 years in the K-12 education space. His career trajectory began as a classroom teacher and school principal, followed soon thereafter by positions as Assistant Superintendent and most recently, Superintendent for the Menifee Union School District. Known for his keen insight in the areas of personnel management, business services, fiscal management, labor negotiations, and union relations, Dr. Kennedy demonstrated tremendous success leading multiple successful school bond campaigns to address District growth. Yet among his greatest accomplishments across a career strewn with educational accolades is his lifelong mission to develop talented, diverse, capable, and compassionate school and district leadership.

 

Dr. Kennedy understood early in his career, that sustained success requires meeting the needs of all children, while developing and addressing the professional and personal competencies of a dedicated teaching force. His lifelong work with equity and inclusion has been a hallmark of his leadership in many diverse communities across California representing rural, suburban and inner city school districts. While his robust student learning programs regularly achieved both state and national recognition, Dr. Kennedy’s strong relational skillset proved a catalyst to his success. 

Known for developing strong school and district teams, Dr. Kennedy’s work has always focused on engaging whole school communities by leading critical conversations that helped to define the work of our schools, and at the same time, helped to define a framework from which to measure each school’s results. Community leadership is critical to our quality of life, and among Dr. Kennedy’s community leadership endeavors are Rotary Club President (Rotary Club of Menifee), Past-Chair of the San Diego Zoological Society’s Education Board, Board Member for the Boys and Girls Club of the Inland Valley, Project L.I.F.T. Board, and volunteer for Father Joe’s Village in San Diego. Recognized as a leader with tremendous “heart,” Dr. Steve Kennedy brings his passion for excellence to the consulting world to continue his outstanding work.

The professional career of Lynne B. Kennedy, Ph.D., spans 36 years in education. She began her teaching career in the Rialto Unified School District as a secondary mathematics teacher. She moved through the educational ranks holding positions of junior high and high school assistant principal, middle school principal, Director of Categorical Programs, Assistant Superintendent, Associate Superintendent and Superintendent. Additionally, she has worked for Chapman University as an adjunct professor.

     Dr. Kennedy received her undergraduate degree from the University of Redlands, with a Bachelor’s degree in mathematics. Upon completing her undergraduate work, Dr. Kennedy obtained a Masters Degree in School Administration from Cal State, San Bernardino, and a Ph.D. from Claremont Graduate University. Her dissertation, “Policy as School Reform: Selection Criteria and Student Access to Algebra I”, received the Claremont Graduate University, Urban Leadership Achievement Award and the Phi Delta Kappa award for Dissertation of the Year.

   In addition to her professional life, Dr. Kennedy has a long history of community service. She is a charter member of the San Bernardino Valley chapter of The Links, Incorporated. The Links, Incorporated is an international, not-for-profit corporation, established in 1946. It is one of the nation’s oldest and largest volunteer service organizations of women who are committed to serving their communities. Links members contribute more than 500,000 documented hours of community service annually – strengthening their communities and enhancing the nation. A very important component of Dr. Kennedy’s service to the community also includes her active role in the church. Since the early 1980s, she has taught confirmation classes, served as church board secretary and participated in visitation and community outreach. For the last five years, she has been active in the greeter ministries and small-group Bible study for the Hillside Community Church in Rancho Cucamonga.

     Dr. Kennedy remains active in the academic arena as an educational consultant to school districts and mentor to school administrators.

Dr. Joy Mahdesian obtained her BA and MA degrees from California State University, Northridge. Her doctorate degree is from the University of Southern California. 

     She is a twenty year superintendent. In addition, Dr. Mahdesian has been a teacher, reading specialist, coordinator, assistant principal and principal. Dr. Mahdesian is a member of the CSBA Superintendents Committee and Legal Alliance Board of Directors. 

     Dr. Mahdesian is part of the California School Business Officials Strategic Planning Team. She is dedicated to learning and teaching.

Ken Noonan served as a teacher and administrator in California public schools for forty years, thirty as a superintendent in three K-12 districts, Corcoran, Gilroy and Oceanside. He earned his BA, MA and Administrative Authorizations at CSU Los Angeles, Whittier College and Claremont Graduate School respectively. He served on the State Board Of Education for four years, two years as president.

     Ken Noonan has served on the Board of Directors of the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA) was the founding president of the California Association of Bilingual Educators (CABE), and is a founding member of The California Association of Latino Superintendents and Administrators (CALSA). He is a member of the Board of Directors of ConnectEd in Berkeley, The President’s Advisory Council at California State University San Marcos and the Board of Directors of the Mira Costa College Foundation in Oceanside.

     Ken Noonan has had over twenty years of experience assisting directly with superintendent searches He is retired, is a partner in The Cosca Group and lives in Oceanside, California 

Dr. Barry Pulliam, has served public education for more than thirty years. Most recently he provided leadership as the County Superintendent in San Bernardino County. Best known for his innovative, visionary applications of technology and his aptitude for educational capacity building with business, government and community partners, Barry has secured millions of dollars of additional funding and in kind academic support for students in urban, suburban and rural environments.

Dr. Karla Rhay has been representing the interests of public schools in K-12 and community college settings, providing visionary leadership for public entity members for two risk-sharing insurance organizations, and serving on a variety of committee and boards for the past 32 years. A passionate believer in empowering others, Dr. Rhay has instructed administrators regarding employee health benefits, risk management, and school law basics. She has spoken and participated in various panels and workshops across parts of the country on topics that include child safety, well-being, equity, and risk mitigation strategies.      In 2015, she was appointed as one of six state Commissioners to serve a 4-year term on the Fraud Assessment Commission under the California Department of Insurance.  Subsequently, she was elected president of a statewide association for public entity special districts providing education, accreditation, and legislative advocacy.  In 2019, based on her work as chief executive officer of California Schools Risk Management Joint Powers Authority (JPA) and California Schools Employee Benefits Association JPA, she was recognized as California Classified Administrator of the Year by the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA).     Dr. Rhay earned a Master’s from Pepperdine University in Educational Leadership and a Doctorate in Education from USC. Today she is chief strategist for a private leadership consulting group.

California native Roger Gallizzi is a 30-year veteran educator. He began his career as a substitute teacher, working as a bilingual teacher in a high poverty schools in Lancaster and Palmdale, California. During his administrative career he served in the positions of Director of Biliteracy Programs, Migrant and Immigrant Education; Principal; Director of Personnel; Director of the Personnel Commission; and Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources. He served as the Superintendent of Schools for the Palmdale School District for eight years.

     A noted consultant and staff developer, Mr. Gallizzi has worked for the Los Angeles County Office of Education and numerous school districts in Southern California. He has taught on the faculties of the University of California at Los Angeles Extension; California State University, Northridge; California State University, Bakersfield; and Brandman University. He was named Superintendent of the Year by the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA) for the entire state of California for the 2013-2014 school year. He has experience in all aspects of collective bargaining – Impasse, Mediation, Fact-Finding, and Unilateral Implementation.

     He currently serves as an advocate and consultant to a variety of education related organizations through his education consulting firm, Every Student Learns, Inc.

Dr. Skvarna has served as superintendent of the Baldwin Park Unified School District for 13 years, retiring from the position in 2014. He was formerly a Deputy Superintendent for Baldwin Park Unified for three years and Assistant Superintendent for La Canada Unified school District for two years.

   As a representative of the California Department of Education, Dr. Skvarna served on the Advisory Commission on Charter Schools. In 2013, while serving as Superintendent of Baldwin Park Unified, Education Trust West noted that out of the 148 largest unified school districts in California, Baldwin Park Unified was ranked #1 for closing the achievement gap for students of color and low income.

   Dr. Skvarna holds a Master’s of Science degree in Strategic Leadership and a Doctorate of Philosophy degree in business.

 Dr. Wilson graduated from Southwest Missouri State College with a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education, a Master’s Degree from Azusa Pacific College in Education Administration and Doctorate in Education from the University of Southern California. Dr. Wilson’s professional career includes thirteen years as a teacher, twenty years in public school administration and ten years as professor and administrator for the University of Southern California.

   Dr. Wilson served as the Superintendent of Schools in Sunnyvale Elementary School District (1992-1997) and Desert Sands Unified School District (1997-2007).

   Dr. Wilson is currently a District Assistance Intervention Team lead, California Dept. of Education and an Associate Professor, Educational Leadership, College of Education, CSUSB.

Dr. Mara Winick is an Associate Professor of Management and Chair of the Business and Accounting Department at the University of Redlands. 

   She is trained as an organizational researcher and known for designing inclusive processes for collecting and interpreting important information about public school performance in America. 

   Dr. Winick’s expertise is in developing statistically sound scales that assess a school’s student learning environment. She also develops vehicles with district office staff to evaluate and improve department and district office performance.

  Dr. David Brown began his career in education teaching German at the University of Southern California. Since then he has held a variety of teaching and administrative positions at the university and high school levels, including service as Principal of La Canada High School.  He served as the Superintendent of Schools of the San Marino Unified School District from 1980-1987, the Irvine Unified School District from 1987-1994, and the Napa Valley Unified School District from 1994-2003. He has been actively involved with the Accrediting Commission for Schools, Western Association of Schools and Colleges (ACS WASC) for more than 35 years. He served as an ACS WASC Commissioner from 1995-2001 and as the ACS WASC Executive Director from 2003-2014.

After supporting the Association of California School Administrators in 2015-16 as the Executive Staff Liaison to Executive Director, Wes Smith, he assumed the role of Executive Director of the National Association of School Superintendents in June of 2016.

Dr. Brown’s professional and community activities are numerous and wide ranging. Dr. Brown was actively involved with the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA) and served as ACSA State President from 1990-1991. He served as chair of several state task force groups, including School-to-Career, and Discipline and Safety committees.  Additionally, Dr. Brown has been quite active in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, having served as a Bishop and Stake President.  He presently serves as the Director of Public Affairs for most of Northern California. 

     Dr. Brown earned his Ph.D. and Masters from University of Southern California and his B.A. from Occidental College.

Prior to becoming Superintendent of California’s Stockton Unified School District in 2006, Jack served one term (2001-2004) as the State of Nevada’s Superintendent of Public Instruction. At 26 he was the youngest ever to receive a Doctorate in Educational Administration from the University of Southern California. Before his service in Nevada, Dr. McLaughlin was in California public education for 37 plus years, with 26 of those years as Superintendent in Berkeley Unified (1994-2001); Hemet Unified (1987-94); and Sunnyvale School District (1974-87). He was a teacher, principal and Assistant Superintendent, Instructional Services from 1963-74, serving all levels K-12.

     While attending Antelope Valley College, Jack was selected All-Conference in football and received the Most Valuable College Athlete award. In 1999, he was named by the American Association of School Administrators as the California Superintendent of the Year. In 2008, he was presented the Joseph B. Whitehead Educator of Distinction Award.

     Professional contributions include service as President of Association of California Urban School Districts, Founding Member of the Minority Student Achievement Network, California State Budget Review Committee Member, California Special Education Task Force Member, Charter Member of the California Education Research Council, Member of Council of Chief State School Officers, Commissioner of the Education Commission of the States, WestEd Board Member and California Special Olympics Advisory Committee.

     After his term as the Nevada Superintendent of Public Instruction and prior to his Stockton Superintendency, Jack toured 25 state departments of education reviewing data infrastructures on behalf of the Council of Chief State School Officers.

     Since retiring from Stockton Unified in June 2008, Dr. Jack, in addition to his continued educational work at the national level, has been pursuing motion pictures and television as a screenplay writer. He has several active projects involving academy award winning actors in the works and has published mR. bERZERKELEY: The Naked Mayor of Berkeley, and the POLAR Principle: Successful Decisions in School, Life and Work by Following the Path of Least Anticipated Resistance.

     Jack and Sheryl McLaughlin are residents of Carson City, Nevada, have four grown children and four grandchildren.

 Irene Newton, who earned her Bachelor of Science in Education and Speech Pathology (1963) as well as her Master of Arts degree in Speech Pathology (1965) from the University of Southern California joined the Rialto Unified School District in 1964 for the start of a stellar 38 year career with that district. During nearly four decades in Rialto USD, she held a host of positions: Speech Therapist, School Counselor, K-12 Consolidated Projects Program Specialist, Elementary Principal, Assistant Superintendent of Instructional Services, and District Superintendent. The diversity of these positions provided Mrs. Newton the opportunity to work with students, parents, teachers, administrators, and governing board members in setting and achieving many educational goals of the district.

     Of special note was her assignment as Principal of Bemis Elementary School which housed six pre-school through sixth grade classes from the Office of the San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools. The challenge was to integrate the county students with the district students while developing and implementing a district Gifted and Talented (GATE) magnet program. The process went so well that Bemis Elementary was recognized and rewarded for Excellence in Education by the United States Department of Education as a “Blue Ribbon School.”

     Mrs. Newton was well-known during her entire career for her ability to work collaboratively with all personnel and members of the community and solving matters before they problems and big issues. Her steadfast leadership facilitated the 29,000 student district to effectively deal with a burgeoning student growth population which necessitated the building of five new elementary schools, one new middle school, and one new comprehensive high school.