September 5, 2013
State Schools Chief Tom Torlakson Appoints Three Division Directors at California Department of Education
SACRAMENTO—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson today announced the promotion of two veteran California Department of Education (CDE) experts and the hiring of an experienced administrator to guide assessments, career technical education, and child development activities for the agency.
Torlakson appointed Diane Hernandez as Director of the Assessment Development and Administration Division and Russell Weikle as Director of the Career and College Transition Division. Debra McMannis was appointed Director of the Child Development Division.
"With the many changes underway to the landscape of education in California, I'm pleased to have such dedicated, experienced experts to call on,” Torlakson said. "I look forward to working with them as we improve upon our work to prepare every student for college and careers.”
Hernandez has moved up through the ranks over 12 years in CDE's Assessment Development and Administration Division. She served as the manager of the High School and Physical Fitness Assessment Office, and as a consultant in the Standardized Testing and Reporting Program Office. Prior to working at CDE, she taught mathematics and science for 20 years and provided professional development for a national company. She earned an undergraduate education degree from California State University, Sacramento, and a graduate degree in mathematics and science from Fresno Pacific University. She also holds a Teaching Credential. Hernandez started her new position August 30.
Weikle also held leadership roles during his eight years in the Career and College Transition Division. He spearheaded the development of a new five-year state plan for career technical education (CTE), and led a team in the creation of California's new CTE Model Curriculum Standards. Before joining CDE, he spent the previous 28 years as a middle school principal; a high school and college counselor; and high school instructor of architectural and mechanical drawing, woodworking, and building construction. He was named the Association of California School Administrators CTE Administrator of the Year in 2011. He earned undergraduate and graduate degrees in industrial arts from California State University, Fresno. He holds four credentials in Clear Administrative, Pupil Personnel, Designated Subjects, and Single Subjects. Weikle has served as Interim Director since the retirement of Dr. Patrick Ainsworth in December.
McMannis, who will lead the Child Development Division, brings 25 years of experience in the field in the private and public sectors. Prior to CDE, she worked as a teacher and administrator at San Juan Unified School District implementing state and federal early learning programs. Her experience includes working with the California State Preschool Program, child care services Title 5 funds, California School Age Families Education Program, federal Head Start and Early Head Start programs, and the Program for Infant and Toddler Care. She holds an undergraduate degree in Human Development from Pacific Oaks College in Pasadena. She also holds a Program Director permit, teaching credential, and administrative credential. McMannis replaces Camille Maben and will start her new position in the Child Development Division today.