ACSA is the largest umbrella organization for school leaders in the US, serving more than 18,000 CA educators.
August, 2017
President's Message
Welcome to the 2017-18 academic year! The Association of California School Administrators (ACSA) is the largest umbrella organization for school leaders in the United States, serving more than 18,000 California educators. State ACSA's top priority is advocating for public school students in kindergarten through grade 12, as well as adult learners. Its mission is “… to be the driving force of education in California and beyond ” while also working to… “ serve educational leaders in the pursuit of equity and excellence to meet the diverse needs of all California students .”

Districts throughout Region 6 are falling into a new school year to do great work for students and teachers. There have been a few updates since I began as President, namely the completion of our annual Region Leadership Retreat on August 5 and some new additions to our Executive Board. It is a time of transition that is filled with enormous excitement as members are promoted to various positions and some retirements have occurred. For me, I am honored to follow Steve Collins, our Past President and take the helm of our Executive Board and Region. We will continue to work to achieve three key goals for our constituents: increasing Communication , offering high caliber Professional Development and increasing Advocacy efforts with our local and state legislators.

This year, our membership in Region 6 is nearly 1,600 administrators. There is strength in numbers! I challenge all educational leaders in every capacity to be active in your specific Charters, the Region and our public and charter schools: join PTSA, participate in School Site Council & ELAC, volunteer in classrooms, chaperone field trips, adopt classrooms and ask questions. I know that you will discover that the quality of our schools depends on it.

I welcome all of you to drop an email or call to say hello and get to know me and the ACSA Executive Board this year. In addition, come learn about ways you can get involved. If your district or charter has some specific ideas or input around ways to reach or attain our goals, I would love to hear from you.

Have a great year,
           Regards, Essence J. Phillips
Region 6 Welcomes New Superintendents
We welcome the following new superintendents in Region 6 and wish them the best:
  • Matt Wayne, Hayward Unified School District
  • Kyla Johnson-Trammell, Oakland Unified School District
  • David Haglund, Pleasanton Unified School District
  • Charles Miller, John Swett Unified School District
Region 6 Leaders Gathered for Outstanding Conference in June
Region 6's annual Leadership Summit has become well known as a premier professional learning gathering with nationally renowned speakers. The theme for 2017 was " Leading for Equity Engagement and Belonging." The serene setting could not have been better for this end-of-school event.

Over 300 participants attended part or all of the Summit on June 14-15. The two-day conference culminated in the annual Region 6 Administrators of the Year Awards dinner where over 70 outstanding region leaders were recognized.

Region 6 Vice President of Staff Development, Pam Comfort, is already busy lining up another slate of distinguished presenters for our 2018 Leadership Summit. It will again be held at Casa Real at Ruby Hill Winery. Save the date: June 20-21, 2018.
ACSA State President Lisa Gonzales addressing attendees
Wade Colwell-Sandoval & Benji Howard entertaining and inspiring audience
Keynote Speaker Wendy Tokuda sharing her experience on breaking barriers and making a difference
Dr. Shawn Ginwright speaking on how schools can heal America
Contra Costa County School Superintendent Karen Sakata receiving Region 6 President's Award from Steve Collins
Retiring John Swett USD Superintendent Rob Stockberger receiving the Nels Nelson Award with Region 6 Executive Bob Giannini and Donna Nelson.
Region 6 Leadership
ACSA Region 6 represents 19 charters in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties. These 19 charters represent 36 school districts, 2 county offices, and Cal State East Bay administrative credential students. The largest charter has over 200 retirees who are still very dedicated to our profession and ACSA. Region 6 is the second largest region of the 19 regions in the state with nearly 1600 members.
Region 6 Leaders Planning for the Year
Region 6 leaders gathered on Saturday, August 5, for the annual region leadership retreat. Charter presidents, state council and committee representatives, and region officers received information on local and state programs and activities and engaged in conversations to establish region priorities.
President Essence Phillips opening Region 6 annual leadership retreat
Board of Directors members Hilary Dito, Lynn Mackey, Kandi Gravenmier, Matt Chamberlain, and Pam Hughes
Lisa Murphy Oates, Julie Duncan, Harvey Yurkovich, Karen Sakata, and Linda Hutcherson
Region 6 Equity Chair Tovi Scruggs leading Region 6 leaders in identifying focus of equity work in our region
A Priceless Opportunity: Making Qualified Leaders Effective
  • Moving into a new position or facing new challenges next year? 
  • Interested in collaborating with an experienced mentor?
  • Looking to reduce job isolation with a trusted mentor who has walked in your shoes?
  • Want to continue to grow as an educational leader?
  • Just finished clearing your administrative credential and would like to continue to have a thinking partner with whom to share collegial reflections?

ACSA Region 6 offers a premier mentor program to support our members in their professional development. Whether you have just earned your clear credential or you have moved to a new site or been promoted to a district level position, a mentor can reflect with you during this time of transition and support your efforts to be an effective leader in your current setting. Our cadre of mentors includes working and retired administrators with broad and successful experiences.

If you are interested in ACSA's Mentor Program, either as a protege or a mentor, contact  Julie Braun Martin, Coordinator for Region 6's Mentor Program or go to the ACSA Region 6 website .
2018 Administrators of the Year
ACSA State Awards Program - Let’s Get Recognized!

This year's ACSA Administrator of the Year Awards are all done online. Click here to the Region 6 website. These awards include Administrator Awards in 21 job-alike categories, Fred Kiesel Memorial Distinguished Service Award, Marcus Foster Memorial Award for Administrator Excellence, Robert E. Kelly Award, and the Valuing Diversity Award. We are also accepting nominations for the Partners in Educational Excellence Award.

Please pass on the word to nominate fellow colleagues. Contact Vice President of Programs Cindy Matteoni at  if you have any questions. We all have deserving colleagues for this recognition! Let’s get recognized for the great work that is being done on behalf of students! 
Women's Leadership Network
At the June Leadership Summit, Wendy Tokuda gave an inspirational keynote sharing her experiences while breaking barriers as one of the first female minority broadcast reporters in the Bay Area. Our region is committed to continuing conversations that will support women leaders and will be hosting three events this school year.
October 26, 2017
Namita Brown on Culturally Proficient Leadership
January 18, 2018
Dr. Trudy Arriaga on Opening Doors for Women in Leadership
March 22, 2018
Dr. Karina Gerger on How to Use Digital Tools to Increase Productivity

All three events will be held from 4:30 - 6:00 PM followed by a social hour. Topics were selected based on survey done last spring. All school leaders, men or women, are welcome. For updated information, check Region 6 website. Click here.
ACSA Academies - the fast track to your career!
Don't delay! ACSA offers a full range of academies to meet your needs as a school administrator, confidential employee or classified manager. We invite you to take advantage of these exceptional high quality professional learning opportunities.

Region 6 is again hosting the Personnel Administrators Academy in Dublin starting on September 15.
Click here for information on all academies and online registration.
More Benefits for ACSA Members
Have you applied for the three ACSA Region 6 awards/scholarships?

Ten $1,000 grants are provided to ACSA members who are in need of financial support to start a new program (any school or district office) that enhances student learning.
DUE DATE – February 23, 2018

Ten $1,000 scholarships are provided to children of ACSA Region 6 members who are seniors in high school going off to college or continuing their education as graduate students.
DUE DATE- March 16, 2018

ACSA Region 6 recognizes students who have made significant academic growth and have overcome physical and/or emotional barriers to succeed in school. Winner receives $1,000 and each nominee receives $250.
DUE DATE – March 16, 2018

You will find the application forms and submission addresses by contacting your charter President or going to our region website at (click awards/scholarships for the forms). 
From the Desk of Bob Giannini, Region Executive
I want to take this opportunity to publicly acknowledge our Region 6 Charter Presidents for the 2017-18. Our region's success depends on the leadership of these Charter Presidents. “Leadership Matters”
Alameda – Judith Goodwin, Principal, Alameda USD
Alameda COE – Louise Music, Coordinator, Alameda COE
Amador Valley – Jacob Berg, Principal, Pleasanton USD
Castro Valley – Matt Steinicke, Principal, Castro Valley USD
Delta – Harvey Yurkovich, Principal, Oakley Union SD
Diablo Valley – Matt Chamberlain, Principal, San Ramon USD
Diablo Managers –Cathy Chan, Vice Principal, Mt. Diablo USD
Fremont – Brian Benevides, Principal, Fremont USD
Hayward – None at this time
Livermore – Erik Bear Taylor, Vice Principal, Livermore USD
New Haven – Tracie Noriega, Director, New Haven USD
Newark – Pam Hughes, Principal, Newark USD
North Alameda – Pat Saddler, Director, Berkeley USD
Oakland – None at this time
San Leandro – Garry Grotke, Principal, SanLeandro USD
San Lorenzo – Kathy LaCome, Principal, San Lorenzo USD
West Contra Costa – Renee Lama, Principal, WCCSD
Retirees Charter – Frank Brunitti, Retired Admin.
Student Charter – Peg Winkelman, Professor, Cal State East Bay

It is my pleasure to serve the administrators of Alameda and Contra Costa Counties again this year. I am here to assist you in any way that I can so that you can do the important jobs of educating, assisting, and supporting our students. My email address is and my phone # is 925-216-9430.
Don’t forget our website at for the latest news, calendars, leadership roster and updates on our scholarships, mini- grants, and student awards.

Have a great school year!!
Bob Giannini, Region 6 Executive 
What's Happening in Our Charters?
San Lorenzo Leaders Deepen Commitment to Equity
In San Lorenzo we know that Leadership Matters! For our annual district leadership team retreat we invited well known author, advocate and actor, Brian Copeland to speak about his experiences growing up as one of the first African American families to live in San Leandro. With humor and passion, he shared his story with us and reminded us that not too long ago, African American families were prohibited to live in the neighborhoods around our school district. 

We also went deeper in our district wide commitment to equity and reviewed the Anti-Bias Framework developed by our elementary principals with the goal of ensuring that San Lorenzo students and families meet our goal of ensuring that students will become creative, collaborative, compassionate, resilient, well-informed and socially responsible advocates for equity and social justice as a result of their education, experience and support from educators, families and the community. In order to focus on this work, the leadership team spent time reviewing our Commitment to Customer Service which will be distributed and discussed district wide so that all members of our community, both internal and external customers, experience a service oriented commitment to providing the best customer service. 

With these inspiring messages and valuable tools, San Lorenzo Unified School District leadership is ready and excited about the upcoming school year.

Retirees Charter Plans for A Fun, Educational and Meaningful Year
Plans Are Underway!!! We are excited about our three, planned luncheons! All on Tuesdays, 10:30 am to 1:15 pm at Faz Restaurant (Sheraton Four Point Hotel in Pleasanton): October 17, February 13 (day before Valentine’s Day), and May 15. Please put these dates on your calendar and plan to attend!
We hope you’ll encourage other retired administrators from Contra Costa and Alameda Counties to attend as well as yourself. Invitations and reminders for your RSVP will be emailed late September. We’ve listened to your suggestions. Our goal is to plan luncheons which give you an opportunity to visit with friends and colleagues; benefit from 30 to 45 minute programs that are appealing, interesting and/or informative; and to enjoy one another in the time we are together (in other words, just plain have fun together).

Tentative Programs:
  • High school speech & debate presenters (unbelievable talent and excellent speakers … they are awesome)
  • Cultivate your cultural competence through a well-planned interactive program (“Our goal is to increase understanding and empathy for greater compassion in this world” – real conversations about ideas that matter.)
  • Hear what public schools might learn from charter schools (understand the differences and what helps make schools successful)
Welcome to new ACSA members
Region 6 welcomes the following new members:
Alameda USD
Jodi McCarthy 
Albany City USD
Elizabeth Reimuller
Tami Benau
Brentwood UESD
Lauren Griggs
Castro Valley USD
Yvonne Rogers
Sarah Winding
Emery USD
John Rubio
Hayward USD
Juan Flores
Yvonne Valdez
Miroslaba Velo
Victoria Tarumoto-Wallace
Oakley UESD
Selena Modelo
San Leandro USD
Virginia Quock
West Contra Costa USD
Christopher Mount-Benites
We welcome your feedback and suggestions.

Region 6 Staff
Bob Giannini, Executive
Rose Lock, Consultant
Region 6 Leadership
President:  Essence Phillips
President-Elect: Sonja Neely-Johnson
Past President: Steve Collins
Vice President, Staff Development: Pam Comfort
Vice President, Programs: Cindy Matteoni
Vice President, Legislation: Lynn Mackey
Vice President, Membership: Kris Martin-Meyer
Secretary: Pam Hughes
Treasurer: Pam VandeKamp
ACSA Board Director: Karen Sakata
At-Large Representatives: Kevin Grier, Bruce Burns, Kathy LaCome, Lorianne Ventura
"Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." - Nelson Mandela