Myrna Castrejón to become President and CEO of California Charter Schools Association, Effective January 2019

October 1, 2018

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Myrna Castrejón to become President and CEO of California Charter Schools Association, Effective January 2019

Jed Wallace announces his departure after a decade of leading CCSA

SACRAMENTO, CA - The California Charter Schools Association (CCSA) announced today that its board of directors has selected Myrna Castrejón as its new president and chief executive officer (CEO), effective January 2019. Castrejón will succeed Jed Wallace, who has served as president and CEO since 2009.

As President and CEO of CCSA, Castrejón will lead a state charter organization that represents nearly 1,300 public charter schools educating about 650,000 students. Castrejón will be responsible for strategy, oversight and management at CCSA, and will be a member of CCSA's Board of Directors.

"I am grateful to the board of directors for entrusting me with the role of president and CEO and could not be more thrilled to rejoin an organization where I have devoted so much of my professional energy," said Myrna Castrejón. "I am excited to build upon Jed's legacy of transformational leadership and ensure that all students in California have access to a truly great public school."

Castrejón is currently the executive director for Great Public Schools Now (GPSN), a non-profit organization dedicated to ensuring all students in Los Angeles can attend a high-quality public school. Castrejón comes with a strong background in education and a focus on social justice, having held various senior leadership roles at CCSA over a span of 13 years, from the organization's founding in 2003 through 2016. Castrejón served as senior vice president for regional advocacy, accountability and performance management and government affairs, and served as acting CEO while Wallace was on sabbatical in 2015.

"There is no one more prepared or deserving to lead CCSA forward than Myrna. She is a proven and visionary leader deeply committed to ensuring every student in California has access to a high-quality public education," said Margaret Fortune, the chair of the CCSA Board of Directors. "We are grateful for Jed's extraordinary leadership of this organization for the last 10 years and we know Myrna will further strengthen charter public schools in California."

Fortune, who is the first African American to chair CCSA's Board of Directors, said she is thrilled that  Castrejón  will be the first Latina to be CEO of the association.

"This is a historic opportunity for two women of color to lead one of the most impactful reform efforts in the nation. We deeply and personally understand the urgency of advancing an agenda for equity in education on behalf of the California communities most in need of schools that open doors to opportunity and better life outcomes," Fortune said.

Wallace will continue to serve as president and CEO until the start of 2019. He will move onto a new role advising charter school organizations across the United States.

"Having worked closely with her for a decade, I could not be more optimistic about CCSA's future under Myrna's leadership," said Jed Wallace. "Leading CCSA this past decade has been a privilege and a joy. I am in constant awe of the amazing work being done by charter school educators every day throughout California. The results and student outcomes we have collectively achieved speak for themselves and are at the core of why we do what we do. I look forward to sharing lessons learned in California with educators in other states."

Wallace led CCSA through a 10-year period marked by extraordinary growth. When he joined CCSA in 2009 as CEO, there were 284,000 students enrolled in 746 charter public schools in California. Today, there are about 650,000 students in nearly 1,300 charter public schools. Throughout his tenure, the organization fought for a variety of priorities for charter school students including: funding equity, access to school facilities, maintaining the flexibility and autonomy provided to charter schools, the replication of high-performing charter schools, the non-renewal of chronically underperforming schools and drove improvements in how special education services are provided to charter school students with disabilities.

Before joining CCSA in 2003, Castrejón served as a consultant to the Urban Education Partnership/LAUSD, where she worked to develop eight innovative early education service centers in the high-need areas of Los Angeles. Castrejón also served as the vice president of school and family networks for the Los Angeles Alliance for Student Achievement and as the director for family engagement for the Los Angeles Annenberg Metropolitan Project (LAAMP).

As the founding executive director at GPSN, Castrejón has sought creative solutions to expand the number of high-quality schools available to students in Los Angeles. GPSN has partnered with educational organizations that want to replicate or expand already successful schools in new locations where the need for high-quality schools is the greatest, and build a constituency for quality education, regardless of governance model.

"Myrna has a track record of success. Her career, from her days as a parent organizer to her leadership role at GPSN, has been focused on creating better opportunities for historically underserved students," Fortune said. "I look forward to fighting alongside her for more funding, greater equity and higher academic achievement for all public school students in California."

About California's Charter Schools
California's charter schools are public schools built to put the needs of students first. Public, free, and open to all, charter schools are a growing and valuable part of our public education system. They offer a different approach -- one that is as unique as the kids they serve, one that puts kids above bureaucracy, and one that gives passionate teachers the flexibility to create dynamic lesson plans tailored to kids' individual needs. As a result, charter schools send more kids to college and are preparing more kids for the jobs of tomorrow. Learn more here.