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California Department of Education
News Release
California Department of Education
News Release
Release: #19-75
November 8, 2019
Contact: Scott Roark
Phone: 916-319-0818

State Superintendent Tony Thurmond Appoints Robin Zane as Director of the State Special Schools and Services Division

SACRAMENTO—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond announced today that he has appointed Robin Zane as the new Director of the State Special Schools and Services Division (SSSSD) at the California Department of Education (CDE).

“Robin is an outstanding administrator, educator and advocate. The CDE is fortunate to have her at the helm of the SSSSD,” said Thurmond. “Her decades-long work with deaf and blind students demonstrates a fundamental understanding of how best to support the students and families we serve.”

Zane herself is deaf. In her new role as SSSSD Director, Zane will oversee California's Schools for the Deaf in Fremont and Riverside; the California School for the Blind in Fremont; and Diagnostic Centers located in Fremont, Fresno, and Los Angeles. She will work collaboratively with the Special Education Division to ensure that services are provided to students with exceptional needs under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), and provide technical assistance and consultation to local educational agencies (LEAs) in the education of deaf and hard of hearing and visually impaired students. The SSSSD employs approximately 1,000 staff.

Zane has worked in the SSSSD since 1997, beginning her service as a middle school English teacher in the California School for the Deaf (CSD) in Fremont. This role transitioned into summer school principal for elementary, middle and high school at CSD, before Zane settled into the role of middle school principal, a position she held until 2006. From there at the CSD, Zane went on to become the supervisor of Curriculum and Media Services (CAMS), the program coordinator for Beginning Teacher Support Assessment (BTSA), the supervisor of communication and speech services and then finally in 2012, the director of the Diagnostic Center, Northern California in Fremont, a position she held until she was appointed director of the SSSSD.

Zane earned her bachelor’s degree in English literature from State University of New York at Buffalo; her master’s in special education from Boston University; a certificate of advanced studies from Harvard University, where she was recognized with a Conant Fellowship Award for Boston teachers; and her Ed.D from University of California, Berkeley.

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Tony Thurmond — State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Communications Division, Room 5602, 916-319-0818, Fax 916-319-0100

Last Reviewed: Wednesday, October 6, 2021
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