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ACSA Region 6 – 2015 Slate of Candidates
Election Open March 2, 2015 – March 13, 2015

Read about our candidates and then click the link at the bottom to go to the ballot
Alternatively, click here to download a PDF of this page


ACSA president elect candidate Frank AcojidoFrank Acojido

I joined ACSA in 1988 after receiving my preliminary administrative services credential and becoming a site administrator.
1988-1990: Assistant Principal, North Salinas High School, Salinas Union High School District
1990-1994: Principal, Steinbeck Middle School, Assistant Principal, San Jose High Academy San Jose Unified School District
1994-1999: Principal, Hogan Senior High School, Vallejo City Unified School District
1999-2001: Director of Student Services, San Ramon Valley Unified School District
2001- present: Director of Adult and Alternative Education, Director of Human Resources, Director of the Del Valle Education Center, Acalanes Union High School District

My involvement with ACSA in a charter role was with the Vallejo School Managers Association where I was a member of the Managerial Rights Committee for two years.

In 2012, I also had an opportunity to be a member of Strategic Plan Action Team #9 – We will dedicate our budget, resources and assets to accomplishment of our mission and objectives.  What struck me about this experience were the administrators statewide who carved their calendars to participate in numerous webinars, and meetings.  This made my workdays longer as I calendared my work around ACSA; but this also gave me the opportunity to see ACSA at a different level.

This past year, I joined the ACSA Region 6 Executive Board and as region representative to the Special Education and Student Services State Council.  While new to the ACSA Region 6 Board, I am impressed that district and site level administrators can have access and a voice in the organization.

I have previous experience with leadership in the California Association of Child Welfare and Attendance  – Bay Section as a member of the State Conference Planning Committee, Vice-President, and later Bay Section President, and a member of the CASCWA State Executive Board from 2002-2005.

I realize that ACSA conferences, summits, and symposiums, plus the networking influenced my professional development in my role as an administrator.  It is now time to give back to ACSA.

ACSA president elect candidate Steve CollinsSteve Collins

I am excited and honored to be nominated for President Elect to the ACSA Region VI Executive Board.  I have spent over 38 years in Public Education as a General Education teacher, Special Education teacher, Principal, Administrator and Special Education Local Plan Area (SELPA) Director assisting and advocating for students and families whose needs fall outside the traditional school system offerings.  At the local level, since 1992, I have served as a Board member, Treasurer, Vice-President and President of our Local Chapter of ACSA – Richmond Association of School Administrators (RASA).  At the Region VI level, I have served as Vice­ President of Staff Development and Vice-President of Legislation.  Finally, at the State level, I have served on the ACSA Special Education and Pupil Services Council for the past seven years and the ACSA Special Education Symposium Planning Committee for five years.

Over the past 10 years, I have been instrumental in developing programs and services in the school district and community to enable access for Special Education students to General Education in regards to promoting inclusive practices.  I am a strong believer in Professional Development and as President Elect; I would work toward expanding opportunities for Region VI members.  I have had the opportunity to support, train and coach aspiring administrators in both general education and special education.  My role as a Mentor to many administrators has been rewarding and personally energizing.  This energy has reinforced my goal to continue to grow in my role as an active participant in ACSA and take the next step as President Elect.  I am ready and committed to assume all of the duties and responsibilities of President Elect.


Vice President Legislative Action candidate Brett NelsonBrett Nelson

As an ASCA member for over eleven years, I have served as an administrator at both the Elementary and the Secondary levels. Whether as a Vice Principal or as a Principal, I have gained valuable insight about the changing needs and challenges in education, especially with Common Core and Local Control Formula. As Principal, I have led effective change in my schools and my district through the information I have learned in the ACSA Academies and workshops I have attended. As a Charter President and Region Officer I have committed myself to using my background and energy to “serve both the aspirations of individual students and the greater good of society.” (Mission of ACSA)

It is the mutual commitment to excellence by administrators that allows us each to serve the students of California. As Legislation Action Vice President, I will make it a priority to identify needs of the students of California and be an advocate that is focused on universal accessibility for all. In addition, I will work to advocate diligently on behalf of schools so they are provided the resources and supports they need to educate all students.

Essence Phillips

It is with great pleasure that I submit my application for the nomination/position of Vice President of Legislative Action for ACSA Region VI. As a past President, Vice President and Secretary of the Region VI Delta Charter, I have been very involved and dedicated to the mission of ACSA at large and serving my local and  county administrators.

I have served in the education field since 1987 in various capacities for children from : para-professional, elementary teacher, high school teacher, vice principal of both elementary and secondary education, principal of both elementary and secondary education, adult school teacher, and now district Director in Educational Services. In addition, I have taught at the University level. I feel my varied experiences and diverse background suit me well to serve every constituent within the ACSA Region VI organization.



My commitment to Newark Unified, my expertise, and my dedication to excellence in education are unsurpassed.  I have served the Newark community with enthusiasm, dedication, respect, and humility in my current role as Director of Curriculum, Instruction, & Accountability, and formerly as Principal of Musick Elementary School, a Title I school which I led to astonishing growth on API.  I am proud of my expert knowledge, skilled leadership, and uncompromising commitment to the students and families served by my school and district.

I maintain a consistent focus on teaching and learning amidst the whirlwind of changes, mandates, and programs. My expertise in adult learning and professional development are a tremendous asset for Newark Unified School District.

I have served in countless leadership roles at the site including School Leadership Teams, School Site Councils, Parent Teacher Clubs, BTSA, instructional coach, professional development facilitator, teacher and principal. I have successfully led the work of Data Drive Dialogue and sought new opportunities for leading the staff through analysis of data from our online assessment system, OARS, data from Cruncher, and district assessment data CELDT (English Learner) data.

My own leadership style relies on an accurate, up-to-date knowledge of the field; a realistic assessment of the challenges faced at my site; creative problem-solving; and deliberate, thoughtful processes for achieving the most equitable and most positive outcome for all stakeholders.

I believe I have experiences and skills that will provide an excellent foundation on which to serve as ACSA Region IV Treasurer. I will serve will humility, gratitude, and enthusiasm for our professional community.

I look forward to being more involved and expanding my knowledge base around legislative needs for students, administrators and all stakeholders. I promise to serve openly and wholeheartedly.

ACSA treasurer candidate Jaime ValenzuelaDr. Jaime Valenzuela-Mumau

I am the Director of Special Projects at the Newark Unified School District. I am a graduate of Argosy University with an Educational Doctorate degree in Educational Leadership.

Working in the service of students and families in education since 1997, I have had a successful career in Texas and California. I have full K-12 experience in administration as well as classroom knowledge from teaching middle school mathematics and teacher education programs at California State University East Bay.

I am currently a member of the Association of California School Administrators and have been since 2005. I serve as the Co-President of the Newark Charter of ACSA. I am also a member of Rotary International, and have served as President of the Soledad, CA Rotary Club.

I am committed and enthusiastic about ensuring that all students reach success.


ACSA secretary candidate Cindy Hicks-RodriguezCindy Hicks-Rodriguez

I have been in the education arena since 1988.  I began my teaching career in Arcata California where I taught Physical Education and Health in grades 9-12 and coached girls Varsity Tennis and Varsity Track and Field.

I moved to the bay area in 1989 to begin my teaching career at Milpitas High School then moved to Rancho Middle School in Milpitas where I taught PE and Leadership and coached volleyball, basketball and track and field.  During my teaching years in Milpitas, I had the honor of being named the California League of Middle Schools Educator of the Year for Region 8, was a member of the California Demonstration Grant Schools Program for PE and was a Golden Bell Award Winner for Physical Education.  I have been a presenter at several CAHPERD conferences and have written Physical Education documents such as “Portfolios in Physical Education” and “Fitness Focus Lessons” that have been sold and used by many PE professionals in California.

I earned my Masters Degree and Administrative Credential in 1998.  I began her administrative career in Morgan Hill Unified as an Assistant Principal where I worked at Britton Middle School for 9 years, Live Oak High School for 4 years and then moved to Fremont Unified in 2006 as an Elementary Principal.  I have served in administration roles at the high school, middle school and elementary school level.

I have served as the Principal at Brookvale Elementary School in Fremont Unified School District for the last 9 years.  During her time in Fremont, Cindy has served as the Vice President of Programs and Awards for the Fremont Schools Management Association and has attended multiple ACSA events and has continually promoted active participation in ACSA for FSMA members in Fremont.

I have attended Women in Leadership events, Region 6 charter events and worked with the Region 6 Vice President of Programs to help screen the Administrator of the Year awards for the last 2 years.

I have attended the leadership summits and ACSA awards dinners as well as ACSA conferences and have nominated several Administrators of the year for Fremont.  I reside in Dublin California with my husband Mark and seek to become more active in ACSA in an executive role.  Cindy currently belongs to the following administrator organizations:

  • Association of Schools Curriculum Development
  • Association of California Schools Administrators
  • Fremont Schools Management Association
  • California Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation & Dance
  • American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance
  • American Association of School Administrators
  • National Association of Elementary School Principals

I consider myself to be an education professional driven to create an environment that promotes increased membership and participation in ACSA and look forward to increasing opportunities for its members that benefit the learning process for all students.  I would be honored to serve as the Region 6 Executive Committee Secretary.

ACSA secretary candidate Pam HughesPam Hughes

I have served in the Newark Unified School District as a teacher and principal for 18 years. I supported one Title I school to surpass the 800 mark on their API and am now the proud principal of a California Distinguished School! I am passionate about creating a school community in which all students and their families have a strong sense of belonging, feel valued, and are treated with fairness, caring and kindness. I have worked especially hard to ensure that English learners get the support that they need to be successful, and that teachers get the support they need to better support student learning using research-based instructional strategies.

I recently supported my district on the design and roll out of several large and highly impactful initiatives: Common Core State Standards, Next Generation Science Standards and a redesigned teacher evaluation process, to name just a few. I served on the district leadership team for the Common Core State Standards. I worked with her colleagues to create a multi-year, multi-phased plan that has supported the district roll out of the Common Core. For many years I supported the district’s science program by serving on the Science Leadership Team, keeping science alive and well in the midst of the many recent changes in education.

I maintain that teachers are a district’s greatest asset and that teaching is a highly honorable–albeit challenging–profession. Teachers’ actions have a profound impact on student learning every day, and that learning further impacts students’ lives and therefore our society. After all, everyone goes to school! Improving teachers’ effectiveness is one of the most important things professional educators can do. Therefore, I played a key role in the redesign of Newark’s teacher evaluation process, looking in depth to determine what works and what doesn’t.


ACSA State Board of Directors candidate Rob StockbergerRob Stockberger

My name is Rob Stockberger and I am the Superintendent of the John Swett Unified School District.  I have worked in education in Contra Costa County for the past 37 years, the last 25 in administration.

I am completing my second year on the ACSA Region VI Executive Committee, currently serving as President.  Prior to serving on the Executive Committee I served Region VI for three years as the Region VI Representative to the State Career Technical Education Council.  I believe these experiences have prepared me well to represent Region VI on the ACSA State Board of Directors, and I hope to have the opportunity to do so.