California County Superintendents Educational Services Association (CCSESA) Announces Historical Change in Leadership
April 1, 2022
As Women’s History Month comes to a close, there is no better time to announce the historic moment that will take place in CCSESA’s very own history. While leading as Alameda County Superintendent of Schools, L.K. Monroe also gracefully and expertly led as CCSESA President for 15 months, steering her fellow 57 county superintendents through arguably the most tumultuous time in public education during a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic. With her term coming to an end, it is time to hand the gavel over to Dr. Debra Duardo, Los Angeles County Superintendent of Schools, who will take over as CCSESA President, effective April 1, 2022.
“Under Superintendent Monroe’s capable leadership, CCSESA has made incredible strides at heading in the direction that the organization needs to go, in order to equitably serve the diversity of our state, and more importantly, our students,” said Karen Stapf Walters, CCSESA Executive Director. “We couldn’t be more thrilled to know that the momentum created over the last 15 months that Superintendent Monroe was President, will be expertly carried on by the fantastic leader that is Dr. Debra Duardo.”
Since CCSESA created the role of President in 1973, there has only been one other time that a female President has preceded another female colleague as the CCSESA President. What makes this year’s transition historic, aside from being only the second time that two female county superintendents hold this position back-to-back, is that it’s the first time a woman of color is succeeded by another woman of color.
“In what has been one of the most difficult times that public education has ever experienced, it has been both a great challenge and great privilege to serve as the leader for our 58 county superintendents,” said Superintendent Monroe. “Our county offices across the state have been the backbone of COVID response and resources for our districts and schools for more than two years. We have demonstrated beyond a doubt that the work we do is vital and indispensable. I’m proud that what we have known to be true all along is now more visible to our state leaders and our communities. I look forward to supporting Superintendent Duardo as she begins her tenure as CCSESA President and I know the organization will continue to grow and thrive with her extremely capable leadership.”
“I want to thank Alameda County Superintendent Monroe for her amazing leadership during a global pandemic,” said Dr. Duardo. “I am honored to work more closely with the 57 County Superintendents that support the nation’s largest educational system to learn and grow from our experiences during the pandemic. We all have a responsibility to uplift our most vulnerable youth through an equity lens that recognizes wellbeing as a critical component to student success. To do this, we will need to collectively advocate for continued support for sustainable programs that shift outcomes for all students. I look forward to the coming year!”