January 21, 2011
State Schools Chief Tom Torlakson Names
Deputy Superintendent and Legislative Affairs Director
SACRAMENTO—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson today named Jeannie Oropeza, one of the state's leading experts on education finance, to the post of Deputy Superintendent of the Fiscal, Technology, and Administration Branch* of the California Department of Education (CDE).
"No one knows the education budget and the fiscal emergency facing our schools after years of painful budget cuts better than Jeannie," Torlakson said. "Her knowledge and experience will be invaluable as we make our case, inside and outside the Capitol, that California must once again make investing in education a top priority."
Oropeza will replace Susan Lange, who is retiring after more than more than 25 years of outstanding service to the California Department of Education. Lange served in a wide variety of roles, including more than 14 years as Deputy Superintendent with CDE's Management Services Branch. She then served as Deputy Superintendent for the Fiscal, Technology, and Administration Branch since 1999.
Oropeza has been at the Department of Finance since 1992 and has worked for both Democratic and Republican administrations. She currently serves as Program Budget Manager of the Education Systems Unit (K–20). Oropeza also spent two years working in the Legislature, where she served as the Education Budget Consultant for K–12, Community Colleges, and Capital Outlay K-20 for the Assembly Budget Committee.
Torlakson also announced that Erin Gabel is joining CDE as Director of the Legislative Affairs and Fiscal Policy Division**. Gabel previously served as Legislative Director and District Representative for Torlakson during his service in California's Assembly and Senate. Gabel is a former Deputy Chief of Staff to Contra Costa County Supervisor John Gioia. Gabel also was one of the founding staff members of the Bay Area Partnership for Children and Youth.
Also joining the Department's Legislative Affairs Division are Jeanice Warden-Washington, who formerly served as Legislative Director for Assembly member Wilmer Amina Carter; and Monique Ramos, who previously worked in the Assembly Speaker's Office of Member Services.
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* Now named the Services for Administration, Finance, Technology & Infrastructure Branch.
** Now named the Government Affairs Division.