President’s Message




Welcome to the ACSA Region 8 Webpage!  We are very fortunate to have a diverse and dynamic team committed to supporting each other and every member of our region through thought-provoking partnerships, collaboration, advocacy and professional development activities. Our purpose is to fully support Region 8 educational leaders in the pursuit of equity and excellence to meet the diverse needs of all students. Leading learning organizations where equity and excellence are the focus is a complex and daunting endeavor that can be accomplished only with a strong support network.  Region 8 is that indispensable support network!  To that end, our 2017-18 region goals are closely aligned to the state ACSA’s strategic plan and include:

Communication and Participation Goal

  • 100 % charter Annual Activity Plans
  • Minimum of 2/4 charter quarterly reports to OCHO/Mtg in Memo
  • Charter rep at minimum of 2/6 Board meetings
  • Completion of charter updated By-laws
  • Committee/Council reps at all State ACSA meetings followed by reports to OCHO
  • Committee/Council reps at min. of 2 Board meetings
  • Region 8 website current with all Region meetings and events, plus directory/leadership info and responsibilities

Equity and Excellence/Professional Learning Goal

  • Equity keynote speaker followed by discussion at Leadership Retreat
  • Equity focused PD at each Leadership Forum
  • 20% increase in participation in Leadership Forums with reps from each charter
  • Job-alike bold action plans and updates shared at Board meetings, Leadership Forums and Awards night

Advocacy Goal

  • Region 8 Invite Legislators to Leadership Retreat
  • Leg Action Day attendance will increase by 10%
  • Member from each charter will connect with a local legislator and invite to meeting or school

Joann Vaars, President Elect will play a pivotal role assisting me throughout the year.  Chair of Programs, Sheila Walters supported by Dawnel Sonntag have planned two awesome Leadership Forums focused on equity and a Mini Conference scheduled early March.  Members at large along with other women leaders of Region 8 plan the Women’s Leadership Network events. Vice-President of Membership, Jeff Bowman will want your assistance in recruiting and will host an array of social events. Vice-President of Legislative Action, Anisha Munshi, will call on your support to make this year’s Legislative Action Day another one to remember.  In addition, we will continue the tradition to honor excellence in leading during our annual Regional ACSA Awards dinner in May hosted by award co-chairs, Alyssa Lynch and Joann Vaars.

Our Mentor Coordinator, Iris Berke will continue our commitment to support our leaders through the mentoring program. Internal Affairs Representative, Bob Lowery will continue his support and expertise to ensure our by-laws are adhered to.  Our Communications Chairperson, Karen Larson will ensure the ACSA website contains detailed information about our Region and Charters.

Other critical members of our team working on your behalf include Region Secretary Bhavna Narula, Region Treasurer Ann Jones, past President Will Ector, Member-at-Large Yvonne Sugimura, Jose Gonzalez, Ramis Ahray and Mala Ahija and ACSA State Board Member Juan Cruz. All of us are assisted and supported by our Executive Director Pat Einfalt and our OCHO Editor Ginny Fahimi.

Making our goals a reality requires active participation and bold strategic actions. Your involvement and active engagement at all of our Regional events are essential. We are an indispensable support network! We are ACSA!  I look forward to collaborating with and learning from all of you.  

ACSA Region 8 is committed to supporting Santa Clara County school site and central office leaders in not only understanding the barriers to learning but also in advancing solutions towards more just and inclusive environments where all students can thrive.   

Norma Rodriguez