county boards
County Perspective
A message from CCBE President Dana Dean
I am so honored to reach out to all of you today as the President of California County Boards of Education for 2019. Let me start with a big “thank you” to the 2018 CCBE and CSBA leadership teams, especially CCBE 2018 President Bruce Dennis, and CSBA 2018 President Mike Walsh, as well as CSBA CEO and Executive Director Vernon M. Billy, for their hard work in strengthening the framework for a powerful partnership between our organizations. The entire CCBE leadership team and I are really looking forward to working with and within CSBA as we move forward. I am thrilled to take the reins at time when we have great tools in place for all of us, working together, to advance our shared goals — most especially when it comes to bringing voice to the needs of the 6.2 million students we all serve.

In the last year, our respective teams worked to put together important tools for growing our partnership. One of those tools has been the inclusion of CCBE’s distinct perspective each month in the CSBA California School News monthly publication. It is exciting for us to be able to share county board members’ work and CCBE’s vision with local school district board members and the entire California education community.

As to my own perspective, like many of my fellow county board members, I came from a local school district. I spent five years on the Benicia Unified School District Governing Board before moving to the Solano County Board of Education, where I have had the honor of serving for the last five years. While we have different roles in California’s education system, county board members do understand (and very often share) local board members’ concerns, joys and goals.

Of particular focus for all of us now is a shared mission — advocating for the Full and Fair Funding of public school education in California. At CCBE we have concentrated on enhancing our members’ advocacy skills and experience for some time. I am most proud of the excellent trainings and presentations we brought to our annual conferences to help our county board members understand the power of their unique position and voice. My predecessor, Bruce Dennis, made advocacy the central priority of his term. I intend to do the same, because successful advocacy requires a sustained effort, clear messaging and relationships built over time.

We have come a long way from the days when most decision makers thought county boards ran one- room schoolhouses “somewhere outside city limits.” More and more people, including those working at the state level, now understand our countywide jurisdiction and respect our viewpoint. We’ve worked hard to make that happen, but it’s just the beginning. Now that our voice is more recognizable to decision makers, we are eager to use it to send our shared message loud and clear — that our students deserve more and deserve better — and to work with CSBA to make more and better a reality for the children we serve.

CCBE November leadership meetings
The CCBE Board of Directors and general membership held its meetings in late November at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in San Francisco. At the general membership meeting, county board members elected new officers and members to the 2019 Nominating Committee, received a report from then-President Bruce Dennis and heard from CCBE Outstanding Legislator Award winner Assemblymember James Gallagher.

Solano County Board of Education board member Dana Dean began her term as President following the close of the CCBE general membership meeting and CSBA’s Annual Education Conference and Trade Show. Joining Dana on the CCBE Executive Committee are President-Elect Janet Wohlgemuth, Monterey COE; Vice President Rick Shea, San Diego COE; Immediate Past President Bruce Dennis, Riverside COE; Treasurer John McPherson, Monterey COE; and CSBA Director-at-Large, County Heidi Weiland, El Dorado COE.

Visit: to learn more about the 2019 Executive Committee, priorities and upcoming events.