ACSA Region 8 Newsletter - October 2021

A Message from our Region 8 President

I am honored and privileged to serve as ACSA Region 8 President this year. As we are all learning and adjusting to an exciting time in education, I remain committed to our mission to promote the advancement of an equitable and quality education for all students as well as to promote and support the mission of state ACSA. As a reminder, our Region 8 goals for the 2021-2022 school year are:

1) Organizational Development & Sustainability

  • Maintain financial sustainability through development of a multi-year budget.

  • Establish/Institutionalize equitable practices (racial, gender, LGBTQ+, differently abled, etc.) as a driver of development and sustainability.

2) Membership Development & Support

  • Increase membership in Region 8 by 5%.

  • Build capacity and support leadership development within Region 8.

  • Provide differentiated PD that is relevant and responsive to members’ needs, focused on equity, and delivered in a variety of ways.

Advocacy and Influence

  • Become a source of context/local stories to influence policy affecting our students and schools.

As we continue to work towards these goals, and lead alongside state ACSA as Region 8, I want us to remember that we are here to support each other in all facets of this important work.

Additionally, ACSA has a wealth of resources for all members and you should take advantage of all of the benefits ACSA has to offer. I also encourage you to become an active member of the association through one of the following: engage in professional development opportunities, join a state committee or council, serve on your charter or region executive board, and share the networking opportunities with non-members to increase Region 8’s membership.

I am excited to serve as the ACSA Region 8 President this year. Should you ever have any suggestions, questions, or are in need of support please feel free to reach out to me. I look forward to meeting you either in person or virtually!


Ramis Ahrary

Changing Minds in Changing Times

I had the opportunity recently to attend the ACSA Leadership Assembly where State ACSA launched the 50th anniversary celebration. We were reminded of the incredible opportunities California administrators have been afforded throughout the years, including legislative advocacy, professional development, and legal advice.

There was one thing that was very noticeable during the Assembly. The ACSA staff included many new faces. In fact, the transitions are continuing. Our Executive Director, Wes Smith, is now the new superintendent of the Newport-Mesa school district. Retired superintendent of Fountain Valley school district, Marc Ecker, will serve as the interim Executive Director until a replacement can be found. In addition, legislative lobbyist Laura Preston, is leaving to join the law firm Fagen, Friedman, and Fulfrost in a new advocacy venture. We were able to honor both during the Assembly.

ACSA is also embarking on the journey of updating the Strategic Plan. We will be asking our charters for input on the existing goals as well as possible new goals that directly impact retired educators. I will place an agenda item on our next meeting agenda. Be thinking of important issues that will continue addressing our needs and further our advocacy efforts for retired members.

We have an opportunity to recalibrate our position in the ACSA ecosystem by participating in the selection of the new Executive Director and crafting specific goals that support Region 8. Our voices are needed to enhance the vision, mission and advocacy for our members. Please join me on this journey! We will change minds in these changing times.

Be efficacious,

Eric Andrew

Your Region 8 Consultant

ACSA Awards Update Alyssa Lynch and Lena Bundtzen

One of ACSA’s priorities is to ensure that school leaders and students are recognized on the local and state level. There are 21 job-alike categories and 5 additional awards. In May we will recognize the new 2022 awardees. We are planning to hold the recognition dinner in-person at Villa Ragusa.

Please take the time to nominate your colleagues. All nominations are submitted online through the ACSA platform. Nominations are due January 14th. Lena and I will hold a Zoom meet up to answer questions regarding submitting nominations in early December. Below is a list of all the categories available. Charter presidents, please list Award Nominees on your charter meeting agenda as a discussion item. Please reach out to Alyssa at alynch@metroed.net or Lena at lbundtzen@campbellusd.org for assistance. All award categories are listed below.

Award Categories

Superintendent, Secondary Principal, Middle Grades Principal, Elementary Principal, Central Office Administrator (District/County), Elementary Co-Administrator, Secondary Co-Administrator, Classified Leader, Confidential Employee, Personnel/Human Resources Administrator, Adult Education Administrator, Career Technical Education Administrator, Special Education Administrator, Superintendent/Principal, Business Services Administrator, Student Services Administrator, Curriculum and Instruction Administrator, Continuation/Educational Options Administrator, Professor of Education, Retired Administrator, Technology Administrator, Every Student Succeeding, Robert, E Kelly, Partners in Educational Excellence and Valuing Diversity

Classified Educational Leaders - Spotlight

CEL wishes to highlight Jesus Romero, Confidential, Administrative Assistant to the Superintendent and Governing Board of the Sunnyvale School District (SSD). Jesus has been an administrative assistant for eighteen years and has worked with seven superintendents and twenty-nine board members with two school districts. Mr. Romero is a decorated combat veteran. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Organizational Management from Ashford University and an Associate's Degree in Administration of Justice from San Jose City College. Jesus was a key member involved in establishing CSBA’s Executive Assistant Certification Program as an Advisory Committee Member and was one of the first executive assistants to become a Certified CSBA Executive Assistant.

Jesus has been an ACSA member for 16 years. He attributes his success as an administrative assistant to the many professional development opportunities ACSA offered and the many conferences available to all classified leaders. Jesus believes ACSA’s professional development prepared him to be an effective leader, mentor and a successful Administrative Assistant. He looks forward to attending the ACSA Classified Educational Leaders Institute scheduled for February 23-25, 2022. Lastly, he hopes to continue to grow as a Classified Educational Leader.
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Update from the Morgan Hill Charter

We would like to welcome our new school Superintendent Dr. Carmen Garcia and we are very grateful for her instructional leadership expertise. We have revitalize PLC process by working with Dr. Jose Cruz to support learning. We are in one of the last phases of our bond facilities upgrade in which all schools received improvements. Our charter goal continue to focus on equity and advocacy. Our district continues to use the Be Seen And Heard curriculum from Victor Pachini to address Erin‘s Law and support our community to be aware of these sensitive topics for self safety. Finally, a special thank you for Dr. Eric Andrews for leading our Region mtgs and discussions.


Patrick Buchser

MHUSD Charter President.

New OCHO Editor

My name is Brian Schmaedick. I am the new Editor of the Region 8 newsletter, OCHO. After three years as the OCHO Editor, Sheila Walters is stepping into the roll of President-Elect for Region 8. I am grateful to her for her support in the transition.

After having served as a teacher and administrator in the Alum Rock and Campbell school districts, I am now a member of the Region 8 Retirees Charter. As a way to keep involved in the good work of public education, I now serve part time with the ACSA Clear Administrative Credential Program as a coach for new administrators and as a Field Supervisor for Student Teachers at Santa Clara University.

The OCHO newsletter has long been a great resource for connecting us all and keeping us fully informed of the goings on around the Region. I will do all I can to continue that important work. Please reach out to me at the email below with your feedback and suggestions.

"Without any shadow of doubt, amid this vertigo of shows and politics, I settle myself ever the firmer in the creed, that we should not postpone and refer and wish, but do broad justice where we are, by whomsoever we deal with, accepting our actual companions and circumstances, however humble or odious, as the mystic officials to whom the universe has delegated its whole pleasure for us."

Ralph Waldo Emerson