WASC Words California

Spring 2023

In this Issue

  • Chairperson's Update

  • K-12 Accreditation: Streamlining Processes for a More Efficient System

  • WASC Winter Commission Meeting: San Diego
  • Book Update: Connecting the Dots of Accreditation: Leadership, Coherence, and Continuous Improvement
  • Welcome to Dr. Jonathan Schild: New Northern California WASC Director
  • Recent Promotions and New Staff
  • ACS WASC Authorized Merchandise
  • WASC International Accreditation News
  • Testimonials

Chairperson's Update

R. David Gaudi Jr., Ed.D. | Chairperson

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

Happy Spring 2023! It has been wonderful to see our educational institutions collectively resuming all those traditional activities and school functions that were forcibly shelved due to COVID-19. Schools are to be applauded for their thoughtful, creative, and resilient management of a grueling few years and their recent transition back to a pre-pandemic existence. Congratulations one and all!

As we head into the final few months of the school year and I conclude my final year as commission chair, I could not be more proud of ACS WASC and their mission to validate ongoing school improvement by supporting member institutions in a rigorous self-evaluation and peer review process focused on student learning. The general goal of this process is to help individual educational institutions and ostensibly broader educational systems to most effectively serve their student populations regardless of student background or circumstance.

Perhaps the most important element of WASC’s mission is that it involves a peer review process reliant on well-trained professionals volunteering their valuable time in support of systemic school improvement. The fact of the matter is that the WASC accreditation process only works when we have capable educators willingly donate their time and expertise.

I share this reality as a reminder that we continue to need all of our institutions to support WASC’s work and mission by identifying and supporting those educators who can serve on visitation teams. Those who have been on a team know that it is a professionally edifying experience that often results in individuals gaining more than they give. Please continue to support these important efforts.

It has been a true honor and privilege to serve as the commission chair the past two years. The work President Dr. Barry Groves, Executive Vice President Dr. Marilyn George, and the entire WASC staff are doing to support their over 5,200 schools is a true difference maker. I am excited for our future and enthusiastically invite you to join me in warmly welcoming our next commission chair, Dr. Odie Douglas, as he is slated to take over the commission this July.

Aloha, Mahalo and a Hui Hou,

R. David Gaudi Jr.

K-12 Accreditation: Streamlining Processes for a More Efficient System

The accreditation process for K-12 schools is a vital component of the educational system, ensuring that schools maintain a high standard of education and adhere to rigorous guidelines. However, as the educational landscape evolves, reviewing, and streamlining these processes is crucial to foster greater efficiency and effectiveness. In this article, we will explore the importance of K-12 accreditation, the challenges schools face and strategies for streamlining the process.

The Importance of K-12 Accreditation

Accreditation serves as a quality assurance mechanism that evaluates a school's academic and organizational aspects. The process validates that an institution provides an education that meets or exceeds predefined standards, promoting consistency and excellence across the K-12 educational system. Accreditation also facilitates the transfer of credits between schools and ensures eligibility for certain federal and state funding opportunities. ...CONTINUE READING HERE

WASC Winter Commission Meeting: San Diego

The Winter Commission Meeting was held in San Diego at the end of January. Commissioners reviewed and voted on 422 accreditation actions during the meeting. Dinner was held at Tom Ham's Lighthouse.

ACCJC President Mac Powell gave a presentation about the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC). Performing arts teacher Roxane Carrasco and WASC Commissioner and teacher Danny Blas from the San Diego School of Creative and Performing Arts organized a musical student dance performance.

The Spring Commission Meeting will be held in Burlingame April 24-25.

Welcome to Dr. Jonathan Schild: New Northern California WASC Director

A warm welcome to Dr. Jonathan Schild, our new Northern California Director. Dr. Schild has been on the ACS WASC Commission since 2019 as one of the representatives from the Western Catholic Educational Association (WCEA).

Dr. Schild earned a BA in Government and Psychology from Claremont McKenna College where he was also an All-Conference water polo player and All-American swimmer. Upon graduation from CMC, Jonathan worked in San Diego in commercial real estate. In 1999, he returned to his alma mater, Crespi Carmelite High School, as a math and psychology teacher, head water polo and swim coach. He earned his MA in Counseling, as well PPS Credential from LMU and became the vice principal of Academics in 2005. Jonathan earned his Doctorate in Educational Leadership (Ed.D.) from USC in 2013 and became the principal at Crespi. An educational psychologist by training, Jonathan has presented regionally and for national agencies on a variety of topics centered on learning theory, motivation, and technology. During his tenure as principal, Jonathan was involved in capital campaigns, strategic planning, an athletic department review and mission-alignment initiative, development of a STEM Department, new graduation outcomes that required all students to take a course in Coding, and other initiatives that led to increased enrollment and marketing opportunities for the school.

In 2017, Dr. Schild and his family moved to the Bay Area where he served as an associate superintendent for the Archdiocese of San Francisco. As an associate superintendent, Jonathan provided leadership and support for twelve high schools and nine elementary schools, served as WCEA Secondary Schools Commissioner, liaison during the COVID-19 pandemic, and worked closely with school counselors and the Homeland Security's "Study in the States" program for the Archdiocese. Jonathan and his wife, Melissa, have a ten-year old daughter.

Connecting the Dots of Accreditation: Leadership, Coherence, and Continuous Improvement

The recently published book, Connecting the Dots of Accreditation: Leadership, Coherence, and Continuous Improvement, coauthored by WASC President Dr. Barry Groves and Executive Vice President Dr. Marilyn George has sold over 1,600 copies. The book can be ordered on Amazon. Scan the QR code for additional ordering information.

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Promotions and New WASC Staff

WASC has promoted a number of staff members: Dr. Margaret Alvarez is now the Vice President, International Accreditation; Elizabeth Oberreiter, Vice President, Domestic Accreditation; and Nancy Brownell is now Vice President, Educational Partnerships. Francesca Lorenzo has been promoted to Supervisor, Members Desk and Frances Rivette and Sonia Padilla are Supervisors, Schools Desk. Congratulations to all!

WASC has also hired new staff members in the past few months. We would like to welcome Maegan Redmon and Elissa Watters.

Professional Development Units for Visiting Committee Training/ Participation

ACS WASC is offering two professional development units for a course that prepares educators to serve as WASC accreditation visiting committee members to facilitate continuous school improvement. The credits are offered through the Teachers College of San Joaquin (TCSJ), which is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission. Click here for additional information.

ACS WASC Authorized Merchandise

Authorized ”accredited” merchandise is available through WASC. Flags, banners, stamps, and embossers are available for purchase. You can find more information as well as the order form in the Communication Toolkit located on the Home page of the School Portal: https://acswasc.force.com/schoolportal/s/login/.

2022-2023 WASC Commissioners

Get to know our Commissioners here:


The Commission is comprised of up to thirty-five persons, representing various constituencies of WASC, selected by the Commission’s Nomination Review Committee from candidates nominated by member organizations or the Commission.

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WASC International Accreditation News

AAIE 2023 Global Leadership Conference

The AAIE 2023 Global Leadership Conference was held February 6-8 in Washington DC. Dr. Barry Groves, Dr. Marilyn George, Dr. Margaret Alvarez, Alana Steward, and Barbara Parker attended the conference. WASC participated in a joint presentation with ICAISA, NIPSA, Cognia, MSA, and NEASC, "New School Principles & Accreditation Partners in Transforming Schools." WASC also participated in the book celebration and shared the recently published WASC book, Connecting the Dots of Accreditation: Leadership, Coherence, and Continuous Improvement, at the Tuesday evening social.

WASC International Fireside Chat

WASC's Vice President of International Accreditation, Margaret Alvarez, hosted the first virtual Fireside Chat on March 8 with Mark Orchison of 9ine.

The chat included an overview of cyber security, it's impact on school communities, and changes in international and local privacy law. The webinar was attended by school leaders around the globe!

WASC Student Wins the 2022 International Children’s Peace Prize

Congratulations to Rena Kawasaki, a student at WASC accredited Osaka International School of Kwansei Gakuin in Osaka, Japan. She was awarded the prestigious International Children’s Peace Prize for 2022 by the KidsRights foundation for her pioneering work to involve more young people to participate in politics, the environment, and society.

This highly respected international prize is awarded annually to a young person who has made an exceptional difference for children's rights. Previous prize winners include environmental activist Greta Thunberg and Nobel Peace laureate Malala Yousafzai.

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We would love to hear from you! Share your experience with WASC and be featured on our website, newsletters, and social media pages. Submit your testimonial in either video or written format. Please include a photo of yourself and/or one of your school, if available.

Submit your testimonial here: https://forms.gle/Wozt2uLiXZkW5w5G6

Thank you!

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Accrediting Commission for Schools, Western Association of Schools and Colleges

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