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SBE Members

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

Ilene Straus, Vice President | Sue Burr | Feliza I. Ortiz-Licon
Patricia Ann Rucker | Nicolasa Sandoval | Ting L. Sun | Gema Q. Cardenas


Ilene Straus, Vice President State Board of Education

Dr. Ilene Straus

State Board Vice President

Contact:
State Board of Education
1430 N Street, Room 5111
Sacramento, CA 95814
916-319-0827
Send an e-mail to Board Member Straus

End of Term: January 15, 2021
Reappointed: March 9, 2017
Reappointed: January 14, 2013
Took Office: January 12, 2011

Dr. Ilene Straus served as the assistant superintendent for Educational Services in the Beverly Hills Unified School District. Prior to that, she was a teacher and an elementary, middle, and high school principal and senior director of secondary education. Straus received her bachelor’s degree and elementary teaching credential from University of California, Los Angeles, her master's degree in educational administration from California State University, Northridge, and her doctorate in educational leadership from University of Southern California.

Straus began her career as a teacher in the Lennox School District, and served as an assistant principal at two large K-6 schools before becoming a K-7 principal at the Norwalk-La Mirada Unified School District. Dr. Straus was named principal of Lincoln Middle School in Santa Monica where she served for 16 years, leading the school to national distinction as the Disney School of the Year, a National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence, and twice recognized as a California Distinguished School. Straus was named the California Secondary Principal of the Year in 1991, and received the YWCA Woman of the Year Award in 1996.

In 2002, Straus was named chief educational officer/principal of Santa Monica High School, where she guided the redesign of a large comprehensive high school into six smaller learning communities, helping the school to raise its academic performance significantly with all subgroups. The U.S. Department of Education declared the school a national model for high school redesign, and Newsweek named it one of the country’s top 300 performing high schools. Straus next served as the senior director of Secondary Education for Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District, and joined Beverly Hills Unified School District in the fall of 2006 as assistant superintendent, where she developed stronger high school graduation requirements and intervention programs to support student success, as well as initiatives in mathematics and literacy.

She has taught graduate courses that focus on Pre-K through 16 reform and change, policy influences, college access and success, schools and equity, teachers and teaching, standards and assessment and educational leadership, at California State University, Northridge, University of Southern California, Loyola Marymount University, and currently teaches in the doctoral program at the University of California, Los Angeles. Dr. Straus currently focuses her time on State Board of Education priorities and responsibilities, consulting, educational projects and graduate teaching.


Sue Burr, Member State Board of Education

Ms. Sue Burr

Contact:
State Board of Education
1430 N Street, Room 5111
Sacramento, CA 95814
916-319-0827
Send an e-mail to Board Member Burr

End of Term: January 15, 2021
Reappointed: March 9, 2017
Took Office: January 16, 2013

Sue Burr served as the executive director of the California State Board of Education and as education policy advisor to Governor Brown from 2011 to 2012. She served as the executive director of the California County Superintendents Educational Services Association from 2006 to 2011 and was the Association’s governmental relations director from 2003 to 2006. Burr was the assistant superintendent for business services with the Elk Grove Unified School District from 2000 to 2003. She served as the undersecretary of education under Governor Gray Davis from 1999 to 2000, also serving as interim secretary in 2000. Burr was co-director of the California State University Institute for Education Reform from 1995 to 1999, a principal consultant for the California Senate Education Committee from 1991 to 1994 and a principal consultant for the California Senate Appropriations Committee from 1986 to 1991. She earned a Master of Business Administration degree from California State University, Sacramento.


Feliza I. Ortiz-Licon, Member State Board of Education

Dr. Feliza I. Ortiz-Licon

Contact:
State Board of Education
1430 N Street, Room 5111
Sacramento, CA 95814
916-319-0827
Send an e-mail to Board Member Ortiz-Licon

End of Term: January 15, 2020
Reappointed: January 18, 2016
Took Office: April 10, 2015

Dr. Feliza I. Ortiz-Licon has invested 15 years in the field of education working in various capacities including teaching, research, operations, policy, program development and college access. Despite a wide gamut of experiences at the local and national level, Feliza has predominately focused on issues of access and equity, specifically as it relates to Latino students and English learners.

A champion of equitable education and opportunities for all students, Feliza currently serves as the Senior Director of K-16 Education at the National Council of La Raza (NCLR). As Senior Director, Feliza leads and coaches the national Youth Leadership team to develop a common vision and practice for high quality education programs including culturally relevant service-learning, college and career-readiness, STEM initiatives, and post-secondary programs geared at first-generation college students.

Feliza holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Los Angeles in Political Science, a master’s degree from the University of California, Berkeley in City and Regional Planning, and a doctoral degree in Education Leadership from the University of California, Irvine. Feliza resides in the great City of Long Beach with her husband, a veteran teacher at Long Beach Unified School District, and their two young children.


Patricia Ann Rucker, Member State Board of Education

Ms. Patricia Ann Rucker

Contact:
State Board of Education
1430 N Street, Room 5111
Sacramento, CA 95814
916-319-0827
Send an e-mail to Board Member Rucker

End of Term: January 15, 2022
Reappointed: January 9, 2018
Took Office: January 12, 2011

Patricia Ann Rucker, of Elk Grove, has worked as the Legislative Advocate for the California Teachers Association since 2008. She also served as a consultant for the California Teachers Association on instruction and professional development from 1997 to 2008 and as a teacher in the Del Paso Heights School District during this same period Rucker was a lecturer in the Teacher Education department at CSU Sacramento from 1983 to 1997.


Nicolasa Sandoval, Member State Board of Education

Dr. Nicolasa Sandoval

Contact:
State Board of Education
1430 N Street, Room 5111
Sacramento, CA 95814
916-319-0827
Send an e-mail to Board Member Sandoval

End of Term: January 15, 2020
Reappointed: January 18, 2016
Took Office: January 16, 2013

As Education Director for the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians, Sandoval guides their strategic educational investments. The Tribe's educational initiatives embrace children and families from birth through adulthood by supporting kindergarten readiness, educational attainment, and career transitions.

A lecturer in the Education Department at the University of California at Santa Barbara (“UCSB”), Sandoval instructs undergraduates pursuing careers in teaching, academic counseling, and school psychology. Her primary research interest is family engagement in education. As an evaluator at UCSB, she collected and analyzed data for Project RENEW, a professional development and leadership initiative for mathematics instructors.

At the Nonprofit Support Center, Sandoval managed the organization's consulting practice and served as a trainer and facilitator for their professional development programs targeting nonprofit leaders. In her capacity as Assistant Director for Community Services at Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian (“NMAI”), she directed professional development and technical assistance for Native Americans in museum practice.

She holds a Ph.D. in Education from UCSB, M.A. in Museum Studies from the George Washington University, and B.A. in Public Relations from Pepperdine University. She resides in Lompoc with her husband, John Gustafsson, and their beloved canine companions, Stella and Midnight.


Ting L. Sun, Member State Board of Education

Dr. Ting L. Sun

Contact:
State Board of Education
1430 N Street, Room 5111
Sacramento, CA 95814
916-319-0827
Send an e-mail to Board Member Sun

End of Term: January 15, 2022
Reappointed: January 9, 2018
Took Office: May 6, 2015

Ting Lan Sun is the co-founder and Executive Director of the Sacramento-based Natomas Charter School (NCS). She has more than 28 years’ experience in the field of education and has been actively involved in educational policy for over 23 years as a teacher, administrator, and charter school operator.

Prior to her tenure as Executive Director of NCS, Ting served as the Educational Programs Director, leading curriculum, instruction, staff development, and professional growth. From 1997–2000, she was an Educational Programs Consultant in the California Department of Education’s Charter Schools Unit where she participated in the development of charter school administrative policies and regulations, and the administration of the federal public charter schools grant program. She has also served as a senior consultant for Cambridge Education, an international school quality review and educational consulting firm.

Ting was Vice President of Leadership and Quality for the California Charter Schools Association from 2003-2006 where she developed and implemented the Association’s quality assurance strategy and initiatives, including standards articulation, quality site visits, and program reviews. Ting was also responsible for technical assistance publications, knowledge briefs, reports and articles published by the organization. In addition she has created, directed and implemented effective leadership training programs in all aspects of charter school administration and served as a mentor for the Leadership for Educational Entrepreneur (LEE) program at Arizona State University. Ting served on California’s Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) from 2007-2011 and as chair of the CTC from 2009-2011. Ting also co-chaired the state's Public Schools Accountability Act (PSAA) Advisory Committee from 2011-2015.

Ting received her bachelor’s degree in Latin and English from Austin College, a master’s degree in education from Stanford University, and a doctorate of education from the University of California at Davis.


Gema Cardenas, Student Member State Board of Education

Gema Q. Cardenas

Student Member

Contact:
State Board of Education
1430 N Street, Room 5111
Sacramento, CA 95814
Send an e-mail to Board Member Cardenas

Term Expires: July 31, 2019
Took Office: August 1, 2018

Cardenas has been co-founder of Life Academy Student Leadership since 2016 and a student at the Life Academy of Health and Bioscience since 2012. She was an intern for the Student Engagement Office at the Oakland Unified School District from 2017 to 2018. Cardenas was health and wellness director of the Oakland Unified School District’s All City Council Student Union from 2016 to 2017, where she was vice president from 2015 to 2016. She is also served on the Oakland Unified School District Board of Education from 2017-2018, a student representative for the Oakland Unified School District Sanctuary District Task Force and an ambassador for Oakland Promise.

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Questions: State Board of Education | sbe@cde.ca.gov | 916-319-0827 
Last Reviewed: Tuesday, January 15, 2019
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