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SBE Members

Profile information and photos of California State Board of Education members.

The members of the State Board of Education is California's K-12 policy-making body for academic standards, curriculum, instructional materials, assessments and accountability. The public may send an e-mail to all board members.


Linda Darling-Hammond, President State Board of Education

Dr. Linda Darling-Hammond

State Board President

Contact:
State Board of Education
1430 N Street, Room 5111
Sacramento, CA 95814
916-319-0827

End of Term: January 15, 2023
Took Office: February 11, 2019

Linda Darling-Hammond is the Charles E. Ducommun Professor of Education Emeritus at Stanford University and founding president of the Learning Policy Institute, created to provide high-quality research for policies that enable equitable and empowering education for each and every child.  At Stanford she founded the Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education and served as faculty sponsor for the Stanford Teacher Education Program, which she helped to redesign.

Dr. Linda Darling-Hammond's Full Biography

Dr. Darling-Hammond is past president of the American Educational Research Association and recipient of its awards for Distinguished Contributions to Research, Lifetime Achievement, Research Review, and Research-to-Policy. She is also a member of the American Association of Arts and Sciences and of the National Academy of Education. From 1994–2001, she was executive director of the National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future, whose 1996 reportWhat Matters Most: Teaching for America’s Future was named one of the most influential reports affecting U.S. education in that decade. In 2006, Darling-Hammond was named one of the nation’s ten most influential people affecting educational policy.

Darling-Hammond began her career as a public school teacher and co-founded both a preschool and a public high school. She served as Director of the RAND Corporation’s education program and as an endowed professor at Columbia University, Teachers College before coming to Stanford. She has consulted widely with federal, state and local officials and educators on strategies for improving education policies and practices and is the recipient of 14 honorary degrees in the U.S. and internationally. Among her more than 600 publications are a number of award-winning books, includingThe Right to Learn, Teaching as the Learning Profession, Preparing Teachers for a Changing WorldandThe Flat World and Education.She received an Ed.D. from Temple University (with highest distinction) and a B.A. from Yale University (magna cum laude).



Cynthia Glover Woods, Vice President State Board of Education

Dr. Cynthia Glover Woods

State Board Vice President

Contact:
State Board of Education
1430 N Street, Room 5111
Sacramento, CA 95814
916-319-0827

End of Term: January 15, 2026
Took Office: July 6, 2020

Cynthia Glover Woods has served in districts located in Los Angeles County and Riverside County. She has worked as an instructional assistant, teacher, curriculum specialist, principal, professional development coordinator, curriculum director, and assistant superintendent of instructional services. She also served as the Chief Academic Officer of the Riverside County Office of Education, a position she held until her retirement.

Dr. Cynthia Glover Woods' Full Biography

As chief academic officer, she led the county office’s Educational Services division with a focus on equitable learning environments, student academic achievement, and post-secondary readiness. She facilitated the provision of services to school districts and charter schools in the areas of curriculum, data and assessment, educational technology, equity and access, college readiness, and teacher and administrator credentialing.

Dr. Glover Woods is past chair of the Curriculum Instruction Steering Committee of the California County Superintendents Educational Services Association. She is a board member for the California Association of African American Superintendents and Administrators and is a member of multiple community-based organizations and committees.

Dr. Glover Woods earned a bachelor’s degree in English from California State University, Long Beach, a master’s degree in educational administration from California State University, Dominguez Hills, and a doctorate in educational leadership from Azusa Pacific University.



Francisco Escobedo, Member State Board of Education

Dr. Francisco Escobedo

Contact:
State Board of Education
1430 N Street, Room 5111
Sacramento, CA 95814
916-319-0827

End of Term: January 15, 2023
Took Office: September 3, 2021

Dr. Escobedo is the Executive Director of the National Center of Urban Transformation (NCUST) at San Diego State University, where Dr. Escobedo is an adjunct professor of Educational Administration. Founded in 2005, NCUST was created to play a constructive leadership role around urban education nationwide. The center uses a research approach called "appreciative inquiry," focusing on success stories rather than problems.

Dr. Francisco Escobedo's Full Biography

Dr. Francisco Escobedo has been an educator the better part of 30 years. He was the Superintendent of the Chula Vista Elementary School District (CVESD) for over a decade. Located in southern San Diego County, the District’s 46 schools serve over 29,400 students. In 2019, the Learning Policy Institute identified CVESD was one of seven "California Positive Outlier" districts for its superior academic scores. Dr. Escobedo is past president of the Chula Vista Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors; member of the Board of Directors for West Ed Advisory Board, California Collaborative for Education Excellence, the local YMCA, and Classroom of the Future Foundation; and a Rotarian. He was selected as 2019 Superintendent of the Year for ACSA Region 18.

His experience includes working as Assistant Superintendent for Educational Leadership in the South Bay Union School District and Principal Research Analyst for American Institutes for Research. He earned his undergraduate degree from Yale University; M.A. degree from SDSU; and Ed.D. from the University of California, San Diego.



Brenda Lewis, Member State Board of Education

Dr. Brenda Lewis

Contact:
State Board of Education
1430 N Street, Room 5111
Sacramento, CA 95814
916-319-0827

End of Term: January 15, 2026
Took Office: February 28, 2022

Dr. Brenda Lewis retired in October 2021, from the Kern High School District {KHSD} in Bakersfield, California. During her tenure with the KHSD, she served as a Physical Education Teacher, Coach, Physical Education Department Chair, Dean of Students, Assistant Principal of Instruction, Director of Program Improvement, Principal, and she retired in the position of Associate Superintendent of Instruction. Within the Instruction Division, her responsibilities included curriculum and instruction, professional development, student supports and discipline, athletics and activities, assessment and accountability, the Local Control Accountability Plan, equity and inclusion, and two district-level student advisory councils. Dr. Lewis served as Associate Superintendent from 2014-2021, and she was the first woman, and the first African American to hold the position of assistant/associate superintendent in the KHSD.

Dr. Brenda Lewis's Full Biography

Dr. Lewis earned a Master of Science degree in Physical Education from Oklahoma State University, and a Doctor of Education degree in Organizational Leadership from the University of LaVerne. She is a member of the Association of California School Administrators, the California Association of African American Superintendents and Administrators, and is also a board member for two Bakersfield non-profit organizations.



James J. McQuillen, Member State Board of Education

Mr. James J. McQuillen

Contact:
State Board of Education
1430 N Street, Room 5111
Sacramento, CA 95814
916-319-0827

End of Term: January 15, 2024
Took Office: July 6, 2020

James J. McQuillen, a Yurok tribal citizen, has been appointed to the State Board of Education. He is from the village of Turip along the lower Klamath River in far Northern California and has been an advocate in education for thirty years plus. McQuillen has served as the Director of the Yurok Tribe’s Education Department since 2004.

James J. McQuillen's Full Biography

As the Education Director, he oversees more than 75 employees working to improve scholastic outcomes for students of every age, ranging from toddlers to college students. The Department is comprised of three Head Starts, the nationally recognized Yurok Language Program, a Higher Education Program and several other services that support the advancement of tribal youth. Additionally, McQuillen headed up the team that paved the way for the Yurok language to be taught in three separate school districts. He is a lifelong practitioner of the Tribe’s rich culture and his family organizes an annual Brush Dance, which is a traditional healing ceremony. McQuillen holds a Master of Arts degree in Psychology from California State University, Sacramento, a Pupil Personnel Services Credential (PPS) in school counseling, as well as a Marriage Family Therapy (MFT) license in California. He has been in private practice, a lecturer at Humboldt State University (HSU), and an Assistant Principal.



Sharon Olken, Member State Board of Education

Ms. Sharon Olken

Contact:
State Board of Education
1430 N Street, Room 5111
Sacramento, CA 95814
916-319-0827

End of Term: January 15, 2025
Took Office: February 28, 2022

Sharon Olken is the Executive Director of Gateway Public Schools in San Francisco, where she has worked for more than 20 years as a teacher, school leader and school founder. Gateway's schools, Gateway Middle and Gateway High, serve 800 students who represent the rich diversity of San Francisco and help them discover their unique potential, what they love, and the impact they hope to make on their communities. Annually, more than 96% of Gateway's diverse graduates attend college, more than double the statewide rate. Gateway also operates Gateway Impact, an initiative that shares Gateway’s best practices and brings educators together to collaborate and learn from one another through conferences, speaker series, and digital publications. Sharon loves her work because she sees education and leadership as two essential tools for personal growth and social change. Sharon recently founded Everyday Leadership, a website dedicated to providing models of positive leadership and helping others cultivate their power and voice.

Sharon Olken's Full Biography

Sharon earned her B.A. from Harvard University, where she was captain of the varsity soccer team, and she received her M.A. in Education at Stanford University. Sharon taught a course in the Stanford Teacher Education Program called "Educating for Equity and Democracy," and she worked for Senator Feinstein for two years before beginning her career in education. Sharon is proud of her Bay Area roots, her San Francisco Giants, and her very well behaved dog, Cody Ross. She lives in San Francisco with her wife, Nancy.



Gabriela Orozco-Gonzalez, Member State Board of Education

Ms. Gabriela Orozco-Gonzalez

Contact:
State Board of Education
1430 N Street, Room 5111
Sacramento, CA 95814
916-319-0827

End of Term: January 15, 2026
Took Office: February 28, 2022

Gabriela Orozco Gonzalez is an elementary school teacher and has taught in Montebello Unified School District for over 20 years. She has taught kindergarten through sixth grade. She is a Common Core Standards expert, curriculum and assessment writer, master teacher, and mentor. In addition, she is a teacher leader for the Instructional Leadership Corps (ILC), and national presenter on Common Core instructional shifts and teacher leadership. She is also a blogger and writes about teaching strategies, curriculum, and educational resources.

Gabriela Orozco-Gonzalez' Full Biography

In 2012, she was part of the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium. As an assessment writer, she developed performance tasks in Language Arts for the primary grades. She was also an Item Reviewer for 4-6th grade Mathematics, specifically in Accessibility, Bias. In 2014, she became a Smarter Balanced Teacher Ambassador in California. Teacher Ambassadors from across the nation learned how the Smarter Balanced Assessment System, including the formative assessment process, can be used to implement the Common Core State Standards.

In 2014, she joined the Instructional Leadership Corps (ILC), which is a statewide community of professional educators committed to transforming our profession to advance the cause of educational equity so each child in California public schools may reach their full potential and thrive. It was through this community that she formed a team of teachers in Montebello to provide professionally learning opportunities for teachers. She started the Common Core Cafe, which is a professional learning community focused on learning how to best meet the needs of our diverse community of students through collaboration and curated lessons around the Common Core instructional shifts, Next Generation Science Standards, and Social Emotional Learning. She also blogged about Common Core resources and best teaching practices for the NEA EdCommunities for over 5 years.

She earned a bachelor’s degree in Liberal Studies with a minor in physics from California State University, Dominguez Hills, a master’s degree in Educational Leadership from California State University, Dominguez Hills. She holds a multiple subject and administrative credential in the state of California.



Kim Pattillo Brownson, Member State Board of Education

Ms. Kim Pattillo Brownson

Contact:
State Board of Education
1430 N Street, Room 5111
Sacramento, CA 95814
916-319-0827

End of Term: January 15, 2024
Reappointed: January 21, 2020
Took Office: March 29, 2019

As the Vice President for Policy and Strategy, Pattillo Brownson is responsible for strengthening First 5 LA’s profile and influence on local and statewide early childhood public policy, legislative and advocacy efforts. In addition to oversight of First 5 LA’s relationships with local, state and federal policy makers, Pattillo Brownson also ensures First 5 LA’s external strategic partnerships, public policy and government affairs, and communications and marketing efforts are integrated to drive better outcomes for the highest number of children and families in L.A. County.

Kim Pattillo Brownson's Full Biography

Pattillo Brownson previously served as the Managing Director of Policy and Advocacy at the Advancement Project, a civil rights organization engaged in policy and systems change to foster upward mobility in communities most impacted by economic and racial injustice. In this capacity, she led the Advancement Project’s policy and advocacy staff across Sacramento, Los Angeles and the Bay Area and provided strategic direction to their work on early education, school funding, and school facilities, public budgeting transparency, governmental relations, and state and local campaign advocacy.  In addition to spearheading statewide coalition work on the early childhood budget, her local coalition work at the Los Angeles Unified School District resulted in over $1 billion in increased investment in the highest-need neighborhoods for K-12 and early learning students, and expanded early learning programs for almost 8,000 young children.

Prior to joining the Advancement Project, Kim was an education attorney at the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California, where she focused on educational equity issues in California schools. Previously, she worked in private sector litigation at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom. Kim began her legal career as a law clerk to the Honorable Dolores Sloviter on the Third Circuit Court of Appeal, and the Honorable Louis H. Pollak in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Prior to law school, Kim worked at the Boston Consulting Group, where she provided financial and strategic planning services to Fortune 500 companies.

Pattillo Brownson earned a Doctor of Law degree from Yale Law School and graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University with a Bachelor of Arts in Social Studies.



Haydee Rodriguez, Member State Board of Education

Ms. Haydee Rodriguez

Contact:
State Board of Education
1430 N Street, Room 5111
Sacramento, CA 95814
916-319-0827

End of Term: January 15, 2024
Took Office: July 6, 2020

Haydee Rodriguez, National Board Certified Teacher (NBCT), is a bilingual and bicultural high school teacher who received her bachelor’s in history from San Diego State University, and earned a graduate degree in education from Stanford University, in 2002. As a graduate student at Stanford she participated in the founding of East Palo Alto High School, an urban college-prep, student-centered/teacher-led school. In 2005, she became a National Board Certified Teacher and has worked tirelessly to increase the teacher’s voice at the local, state and national levels. Although her specialization is in history, she has also taught Theater, AP Spanish Language and Literature, AP Government, ELD, and is currently teaching AVID, Journalism, as well as being the AVID Coordinator at Central Union High School.

Haydee Rodriguez' Full Biography

In 2014, Rodriguez was appointed by Governor Brown to the Commission on Teacher Credentialing, where she chaired the Educator Preparation Committee and served as liaison to the Committee on Accreditation. She also served on the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards from 2009 until 2017. In addition, she has served on the NPBTS’ Standards Committee for Social Studies/History, the CAEP Commission and the NEA’s Commission on Transforming Teaching.

Haydee has received various awards and fellowships. In 2016, she was named Stanford GSE Alumni of Excellence. She was also named Woman of the Year by both her Assembly member, Eduardo Garcia (2016), and state Senator Ben Hueso (2020) for her commitment to equity, access and social justice in education. In 2001, she received the Governor’s Teaching Fellowship, and was named NCSS Student Teacher of the Year. In 2008, she was named ACSA of Imperial County Teacher of the Year, and was selected by Rotary International to represent Southern California in Ghana and Togo.

As an International Leader in Education (ILEP), she represented the U.S. State Department for a month as an educational ambassador in Brazil. She was also sponsored by the Transatlantic Outreach Program to visit East and West Germany to study their educational system, apprentice programs and opportunities for immigrants.

Other than having danced a Paso Doble in a Dancing with the Stars Competition to raise money for scholarships, she also walked the Way of St. James from the French Pyrenees to Santiago de Compostela. Haydee was born in Mexicali, BC and lives in El Centro, California.



Naomi Porter, 2022-2023 Student Member State Board of Education

Ms. Naomi Porter

Student Member

Contact:
State Board of Education
1430 N Street, Room 5111
Sacramento, CA 95814

Term Expires: July 30, 2023
Took Office: August 1, 2022

Naomi Porter is a senior at Palos Verdes Peninsula High School and is concurrently earning an Associate's Degree in Business from Santa Monica College. Locally, she serves as a student representative on her School Site Council, Principal’s Advisory Committee, and Superintendent’s Roundtable. Regionally, she serves as a Student Advisor to the Los Angeles County Office of Education. Naomi is an Ashoka Young Changemaker, Ted Talk Speaker, Gold Award Girl Scout, and Eagle Scout.

Naomi Porter's Full Biography

Naomi is the founder of EntrepreYOUership, a 501(c)3 she founded in 2019 to address educational equity and remove barriers to learning about entrepreneurship and financial literacy. She oversees a team of over 200, whose average age is 16. The team serves 3800 youth in over 42 countries by hosting events, startup funding competitions, financial literacy book clubs, and implementing their curriculum. Naomi has been noted as a top innovator in her field by Forbes, Wharton, Business Insider, Prudential, and Yahoo News.

Naomi cares deeply about the well-being of all students and continues to make her high school a more inclusive campus. She is a Link Crew Orientation Leader, working to welcome freshman and transfer students throughout the year. She is a member of Service Learning Leadership where she leads community events including the UCLA Blood Drive, Walk for Life to raise money for cancer research, and canned food drives. She serves as President of Friendship Club, a group that builds bridges between neurotypical and special needs students through monthly events. During the 2021-22 school year, she organized a team to host "Inclusion Week", spearheading an advocacy campaign for students with disabilities. The week culminated with a Unified Track Meet in collaboration with the Special Olympics, raising money to fund athletic training for youth with disabilities.

From 2019-2021, Naomi served as a Global Research and Design Intern for Girl Scouts of the USA through which she led national focus groups, hosted a TV show, and created relevant online content for youth. She co-authored a 2020 research report for the Girl Scouts Research Institute which highlights the need to address and de-stigmatize mental health. She served as an America's Afterschool Alliance Youth Ambassador for the 2021-22 school year where she conducted research and testified to support the expansion of congressional funding for afterschool learning. Naomi is a 2022 American Legion Girls State Delegate, 2021 HOBY Delegate, and 2021 Civics Unplugged Fellow.


Questions: State Board of Education | sbe@cde.ca.gov | 916-319-0827 
Last Reviewed: Monday, August 1, 2022
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