Cristina de Jesus, an educator of nearly three decades, has been elected the board chair of the California Charter Schools Association, the organization announced this week.
The association advocates for non-profit charter schools that can help California students prepare for college and life afterward.
“I am honored and humbled for the vote of confidence by my fellow board members and for the opportunity to lead the board and guide our strategy to strengthen high-quality charter public schools across California,” de Jesus said in a statement.
De Jesus, who identifies as multiracial, is the president and CEO of Green Dot Public Schools California, a non-profit network of charter public schools. She oversees 19 middle and high schools in the LA area.
“Our education system is at a crossroads, responding to unprecedented challenges created by a public health crisis, economic uncertainty, and a greater recognition that our schools must lead in fostering greater equity among students. In this critical moment during a national pandemic, charters are demonstrating extreme agility, flexibility and creativity in mitigating learning loss and supporting the families, students and communities we serve,” de Jesus added.
Prior to Green Dot, de Jesus was an English and history teacher in the Santa Monica-Malibu School District. She earned a master’s degree in education from the University of California Los Angeles, a master’s degree in education administration from California State University Northridge, and a doctorate in educational leadership from the University of California Los Angeles.