Board of Directors
The CORE Board of Directors is composed of superintendents from member districts. The Board meets bimonthly.
Superintendent, Sacramento City Unified School District
Jorge Aguilar was named superintendent of Sacramento City Unified School District in May 2017, after serving as Associate Superintendent for Equity and Access at Fresno Unified School District. Aguilar has more than 20 years of experience in K-12 and higher education, with a strong focus on equity and achievement. He has a track record of improving academic achievement for students with special needs, English language learners and children living in poverty.
Aguilar has a degree in Latin American studies and Spanish and Portuguese from University of California, Berkeley, and a law degree from Loyola Law School in Los Angeles.
Recognized as a state and national education leader, Aguilar has also worked as a legislative fellow in the state Capitol, and served as Associate Vice Chancellor for Educational and Community Partnerships at U.C. Merced, where he also served as Special Assistant to the Chancellor. As a result of his work in Fresno Unified, the district increased graduation rates, cut dropout rates and raised the “A-G” completion rates.
Aguilar’s accomplishments earned him an invitation to the White House in 2015 from then First Lady Michelle Obama to present on educational equity and access at a convening hosted by the National Consortium for School Counseling and Postsecondary Success.
He is also the recipient of the Winston Doby Impact Award, given to exceptional professionals who are chosen by their colleagues for their commitment to improving educational opportunities for California students. In 2015, he was appointed to the state’s Advisory Task Force on Accountability and Continuous Improvement.
Aguilar is married and has four children who are enrolled in Sacramento City Unified School District.
Superintendent, Santa Ana Unified School District
Before coming to SAUSD, Jerry Almendarez served as Superintendent of Colton Joint Unified School District since 2010 and was responsible for all aspects of the day-to-day operations of an economically and ethnically diverse district of 23,000 students.
Almendarez’ career in education spans 27 years, and includes experience as a classroom teacher, an assistant principal and a principal. He also served as Director of Human Resources for Colton Joint Unified from 2003 to 2007, and Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources from 2007 to 2010.
As the new Superintendent of the Santa Ana Unified School District, Almendarez is responsible for leading the 10th largest school district in the state, with 61 schools and programs, approximately 5,000 employees, and an expense budget of $697.4 million.
Almendarez has a master’s degree in Educational Leadership from the University of Redlands, and a bachelor’s degree in business/finance from Cal State San Bernardino.
He has also taught as an adjunct professor at Azusa Pacific University and the University of Redlands, and in March was named a 2019 Ted-Ed Innovative Educator.
Superintendent, Los Angeles Unified School District
Austin Beutner was named Superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District in May 2018. Mr. Beutner is a civic leader, philanthropist, public servant and business executive who has worked for the last decade to make Los Angeles a stronger community. During this time, he has served as First Deputy Mayor of the City of Los Angeles, Publisher of the Los Angeles Times, Co-Chair of the LA 2020 Commission and the L.A. Unified Advisory Task Force, and founded Vision To Learn.
Superintendent, Oakland Unified School District
Kyla Johnson-Trammell, who has more than 18 years of service to Oakland Unified School District, was named superintendent of the district in May 2017.
She had been the district’s interim deputy superintendent of academic and social-emotional learning, as well as the district’s lead network superintendent of elementary schools.
Johnson-Trammell has also served the district as a teacher, principal, director of talent development, and associate superintendent for leadership, curriculum and instruction.
The Oakland native is known as a fierce advocate for Oakland Public Schools, which she attended as a student. Johnson-Trammell strives to work collaboratively with staff to unearth and eliminate inequities that impede student learning. She is known for being a strong instructional leader who has developed deep relationships in the district.
Johnson-Trammell earned her master’s degree and doctorate in educational leadership from University of California, Berkeley, and a bachelor’s degree in communications from University of Pennsylvania.
She is a recipient of the Oakland Unified School District Leadership Excellence Award, and the district’s Principal Academic Excellence Award. She was keynote speaker at the American Educational Research Association’s annual conference.
Superintendent, Garden Grove Unified School District
A first-generation college graduate, Gabriela Mafi, Ed.D., was confirmed as the Superintendent of the Garden Grove Unified School District effective July 1, 2013. The nearly 49,000-student district is the 11th largest in California and 96th largest in the United States. The district has 68 schools, including seven comprehensive high schools, serving most of Garden Grove and portions of Santa Ana, Westminster, Fountain Valley, Cypress, Stanton, and Anaheim. The student population is 88% minority, 67% low income, and 48% still designated as English learners, with almost 75% designated as non-native English speakers. The District was selected as the 2004 winner of the Broad Prize for Urban Education and was one of five finalists in both 2002 and 2003.
Dr. Mafi joined the GGUSD in 2002 as a K-6 Principal, having served as an administrator and teacher in the preceding years at both the elementary and secondary levels. Prior to becoming Superintendent, she has served as the Executive Director of USC’s Ed.D. Program, Director of Personnel, Director of 7-12 Instruction and Assistant Superintendent of Secondary Education
A product of urban Los Angeles, Dr. Mafi received her bachelor’s degree from Cal State Long Beach and her master’s degree and doctorate from the University of Southern California.
Superintendent, San Francisco Unified School District
Vincent Matthews, a San Francisco native who began his teaching and administrative career in the city, has served as the superintendent of San Francisco Unified School District since May 2017.
The 30-year veteran educator had been the state-appointed superintendent of Inglewood Unified School District in Los Angles County since October 2015. Prior to Inglewood, Matthews led the San Jose Unified School District for five years, and was the state-appointed superintendent of Oakland Unified. He also served as an area superintendent for San Diego City Schools.
Matthews has a wealth of instructional and leadership experience, in addition to knowledge about the budgeting process.
He earned his bachelor’s degree, teaching credential and doctorate in educational leadership from San Francisco State University.
As superintendent in San Jose, Matthews was credited with raising academic achievement, narrowing the achievement gap between Latino and white students, and passing landmark agreements with the San Jose teacher’s union that included teachers evaluating their peers.
As the state administrator of Oakland Unified, he oversaw the district as it sought to regain local control after requiring a $100 million bailout from the state.
Matthews and his wife have three grown children.
Superintendent, Fresno Unified School District
Bob Nelson has spent 23 years working for Fresno Unified. Beyond his family, his love and passion is in education. He has been a Fresno Unified teacher, vice principal, principal, human resources administrator, and before returning to the district two years ago, he served as Superintendent in Chawanakee Unified in Madera County. He still teaches at Fresno State one night per week and is currently finishing his doctoral degree at the University of Southern California. As a lifelong learner, he believes that education is the key for success and he wants FUSD’s students to have an opportunity to succeed.
Superintendent, Long Beach Unified School District
Christopher J. Steinhauser has served as superintendent of the Long Beach Unified School District since 2002. The school district is California’s third largest, with about 84,000 students. As a 30-year veteran educator in Long Beach’s diverse school system, Steinhauser has earned a national reputation for improving student achievement and closing achievement gaps. His school district has earned the national Broad Prize for Urban Education and has qualified as a finalist for the award five times. Only one other school district, Boston, has reached the prestigious Broad Prize finalist stage as many times as Long Beach. In a 2010 report, McKinsey & Company, a trusted advisor and counselor to many of the most influential businesses and institutions in the world, named the Long Beach Unified School District one of the world’s 20 leading school systems — and one of the top three in the U.S. — in terms of sustained and significant improvements.
Despite millions of dollars in budget cuts due to California’s fiscal meltdown, Long Beach continues to outperform large districts nationwide. Its students, 70 percent of whom receive free and reduced-price lunches, recently earned a record $51 million in college scholarships. Seven of Long Beach’s high schools were named in 2010 among the top 6 percent in the United States by Newsweek.
Steinhauser has a strong track record of boosting achievement in all geographic areas of the school district. Beginning as a successful teacher at an inner-city elementary school in Long Beach, Steinhauser went on to attain high student achievement as a school principal. He became Deputy Superintendent in 1999 before his unanimous appointment as Superintendent in 2002. During his years as Deputy Superintendent, students in all major racial and ethnic groups throughout the district made unprecedented gains on state tests.
Superintendent Steinhauser is a product of the Long Beach Unified School District, where he attended continuously from kindergarten until his graduation from Wilson High School in 1977. He attended Long Beach City College and California State University Long Beach, earning a bachelor’s degree in liberal studies and a master’s degree in educational administration. He earned multiple-subject and administrative services credentials at the university.
Steinhauser’s wife, Alida, is a veteran educator who teaches fifth grade literacy at the district’s Signal Hill Elementary School. Their son, Edward, graduated from Long Beach’s Wilson Classical High School in June of 2005. Their daughter, Patricia, graduated in June of 2007.