Skip to main content
California Department of Education Logo

Advisory Commissioners and Members

Advisory Commission on Special Education Directory.
Commission Member Names, E-mail Address, Term, and Appointing Body

Commissioners Term Appointment
Sara Jocham
sjocham@nmusd.us
01/16/13-12/31/20
State Board
Keila Rodriguez
krodriguez@icoe.org
01/01/16-12/31/20
State Board
Christina N. Mills
christina.mills.gelardin@gmail.com
01/01/16 -12/31/19
State Board
Somer Harding
harding.somer@gmail.com
01/16/13-12/31/20
State Board
Mildred Browne
brownemildred@gmail.com
01/15/14-12/31/19
State Board

Gina Plate
gplate@ccsa.org

09/13/12-12/31/19

Governor

Mariano Sanz
mariano.sanz@harborrc.org

09/13/12-12/31/19

Governor

Kimberly Salomonson
ksalomonson@sbcglobal.net
12/31/17-12/31/21
Governor
Steve Winlock
swinlock@scoe.net
12/31/17-12/31/21
Governor
Havaughnia Hayes-White
havaughnia.hayes.white@csulb.edu
12/31/17-12/31/21
Assembly

Jeannine Topalian
jtopalian@sbcglobal.net

04/30/18-12/31/19

Assembly

Barbara Schulman
Barbara.Schulman@gmail.com
08/20/12-12/31/19
Assembly

Michele J. Andrus
auon.michele@gmail.com

01/01/16-12/31/19

Senate

David Toston
dtoston@edcoe.org
12/31/17-12/31/21
Senate
Gloria Perez-Stewart
gloriaperez@gmail.com
06/18/16-12/31/19
Senate
Student Commission Member Name and E-mail Address

Leanne Libas, leannealibas@gmail.com

In accordance with the ACSE Bylaws, Article I, Section 4, Tenure, "Every Commissioner whose term has expired may continue to discharge the duties of his/her office until his/her successor has qualified."

Legislative Members:

Senate Member
Richard Pan
916-651-4006
916-651-4966 (fax)
senator.pan@sen.ca.gov

Assembly Member
Tony Thurmond
916-319-2015
Assemblymember.thurmond@assembly.ca.gov

Executive Secretary:
Kristin Wright
916-445-4602
916-327-3706 (fax)
kwright@cde.ca.gov

State Board Liaison:

Niki Sandoval
State Board of Education Liaison
1430 N Street, Room 5111
Sacramento, CA 95814
916-319-0827
SBESandoval@gmail.com

State Special Schools Director:

Scott Kerby
916-327-3850
916-445-4550 (fax)
skerby@cde.ca.gov

Commission Staff Liaison:

Matt Traverso
916-323-3308
916-327-3706 (fax)
mtraverso@cde.ca.gov

Commissioner’s Biographies
Somer Harding

Somer Harding is currently an elementary school principal in the Conejo Valley. When she was a teacher, she discovered a great love of working with students with disabilities and their families. It was a joyous process to find ways to help her students access the curriculum effectively and to help them become curious and engaged learners. As she became an administrator, she worked with programs serving severely Autistic students and she took great pride in advocating for these students' services and education.

Somer believes in impacting change through educational leadership. She has served as Charter and Regional President with the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA) advocating for all students in California, and is now very proud to serve as a Commissioner for the California Advisory Commission on Special Education (ACSE) continuing her advocacy for Students with Disabilities.

Mariano Sanz

Mariano Sanz is a school counselor at Palos Verdes Intermediate School with the Palos Verdes School District. Born and raised in Spain, Mr. Sanz obtained a masters in psychology from the Universidad de Salamanca and in school psychology from the Universidad de Madrid.

For 25 years, Mr. Sanz has been a teacher and middle school counselor for various school districts in the Los Angeles area. He is involved in promoting full inclusion for students with disabilities both as an educator and as the parent of a young woman with developmental disabilities.

Mr. Sanz is a member of the Harbor Regional Center (HRC) Board of Trustees. He has served on the HRC board for more than 20 years in various capacities, including as president and state representative.

Barbara Schulman

Barbara Schulman believes she was born a teacher. She received her Bachelor of Sciences degree in special education from Southern Illinois University and currently serves as a special education teacher at the Saddleback Valley Unified School District in Mission Viejo.

Ms. Schulman’s passion for special education emphasizes the benefits of full inclusion in the classroom, extra-curricular activities, and in paid employment. She strives to instill confidence and self-awareness in her students as well as a desire to be contributing members of society.

Among her many accolades, in 2011, Ms. Schulman was awarded the Outstanding Contribution to Education Award from the Orange County Department of Education, a program that recognizes the contributions of individuals, groups, and organizations whose unique efforts have impacted the education of Orange County students.

Mildred Browne

Dr. Mildred Browne has spent 30 years as an educator and psychologist assisting and advocating for students and families whose needs fall outside traditional school system offerings. Holding increasingly responsible positions as director, administrative director, and assistant superintendent at school districts in California and Georgia, she is recognized for her expertise in special education, pupil services, student discipline, and alternative education. She has developed such innovative programs as the Mental Health Collaborative Model, the Counseling Clinic/Wrap Program, and the School Coordinated Care Teams. Dr. Browne has been sharing her knowledge about serving challenged students and their families in presentations to educators, families, and agency personnel for 25 years.

Over the past five years, Dr. Browne has had an opportunity to focus on her passion of addressing disproportionality as it relates to the over-representation of specific ethnic groups in special education and in regards to suspension and expulsion.

As a Special Education Local Plan Area (SELPA) Director, Assistant Superintendent in the Mt. Diablo Unified School District, and a consultant in San Francisco Unified School District, Dr. Browne has embraced an equity agenda in developing an equity plan, facilitating a district stakeholders’ equity advisory group, and writing a Significantly Disproportionate Coordinated Early Intervention Service Plan which was well received by the District’s school board and the California Department of Education.

Havaughnia Hayes-White

Dr. Havaughnia Hayes-White is a proud Alumna of California State University, Northridge (CSUN). Dr. Hayes-White earned a Bachelor of Arts in Child Development, Master of Arts in Early Childhood Special Education, Master of Arts in Education Administration, and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership. Dr. Hayes-White earned three credentials issued through the State of California; Clear Education Specialist (Moderate to Severe Disabilities K-12), Clear Early Childhood Special Education Authorization, and a Clear Administrative Services Credential.

Dr. Hayes-White served as an employee of the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) for 15 years. She served the district at multiple capacities and grade levels from Education Specialist (Pre-K-12), Special Education Coordinator, and Bilingual/Title 1 Coordinator. As a Special Education Teacher, Dr. Hayes-White taught students who were diagnosed with Autism, severe cognitive & language delays, emotional disturbances, blindness, and multiple disabilities from Pre-School through 12th grades (up to 22 years of age). Under the role of Special Education Coordinator, Dr. Hayes-White prepared professional development presentations for faculty and staff in the areas of curriculum, assessment, positive behavior support, assistive technology, and District Validation Review. Her duties included survey completion, budget development, school site plan preparation, and safety/emergency planning. Dr. Hayes-White facilitated the majority of over 200 Individual Educational Plan (IEP) meetings with students and their families.

Dr. Hayes-White currently serves as a University Professor for California State University, Long Beach and National University. Within the California State University system, she teaches undergraduate/graduate students and supervises teacher candidates who are either pursuing their Bachelor and/or Master Degree(s) or California Teaching Credential(s). At National University, Dr. Hayes-White works closely with faculty, staff, teacher candidates, and outside districts/other education agencies to facilitate the fieldwork experience within Student Teacher/University Internship credential programs. She also teaches online/hybrid courses in Mild/Moderate and Moderate/Severe programs, and core special education courses to adult learners who are earning their Tier I or Tier II Education Specialist Credential(s).

Dr. Hayes-White’s heart felt philosophy is that all people, children and young adults with and/or without disabilities can learn when empowered with caring educators, high expectations, individualized support(s), and quality instruction that enriches them to strive for excellence. She believes it takes a collaborative team effort to design schools and programs within the State of California that are inclusive, vibrant, healthy, and exciting for all students!

Questions: Matt Traverso | mtraverso@cde.ca.gov | 916-323-3308 
Last Reviewed: Friday, June 8, 2018
Recently Posted in Special Education
  • ACSE Meeting Webcasts (updated 19-Jun-2018)
    Live and recent webcasts of the California Advisory Commission for Special Education (ACSE) meetings.
  • ACSE Agenda June 20-21, 2018 (updated 18-Jun-2018)
    Advisory Commission on Special Education (ACSE) meeting agenda.