Incoming Executive Director
Matt J. Navo
Matt J. Navo serves as the Executive Director for the California Collaborative for Educational Excellence (CCEE).
Prior to his current role, Navo served as the Director of Systems Transformation with the Special Education Policy and Practice Division (SEPPD) at WestEd. He has experience working with districts and schools to guide systems transformation by developing strategies, structures, policies, and practices, aligned with the Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS) at the state, county, and local levels, to close the achievement gap for all students. Navo’s expertise lies in aligning systems, building capacity for continuous improvement, fostering collaborative cultures and collective efficacy among teams, and establishing coherent and efficient models for districts and schools.
Navo’s knowledge and expertise in systems improvement comes from over 25 years of experience as a K-12 educator and leader. Navo served as the Superintendent of Sanger Unified School District from 2013 to 2018. Before assuming the role of Superintendent, he was a special education teacher, secondary instructor, counselor, resource teacher, junior high learning director, high school assistant principal, elementary and alternative education principal, director of special education, and area administrator.
Navo has sat on various state-level committees, boards, and work groups. Navo has been a Governor appointee to the California State Board of Education (SBE) since 2019 and has served on the CCEE Governing Board, first as the Governor appointee from 2015 to 2017, and later as the Governing Board Chair from 2019 to 2021, appointed by the president of the State Board of Education. He also served on the California Practitioners Advisory Group (CPAG) and the Advisory Commission for Special Education, in which he served as committee chair for the California Special Education Task Force (Evidence-Based Practices).
Navo has been a keynote speaker and trainer for systems improvement across the state, and has presented at over twenty different conferences on special education and school reform. He is the author of Collective Efficacy in a PLC at Work (2021) and has contributed to various articles on school reform, systems improvement, Response to Intervention (RTI), Professional Learning Communities (PLC), and Explicit Direct Instruction (EDI), including ONE SYSTEM: Reforming Education to Serve All Students, Report of California’s Statewide Task Force on Special Education (2015).
Navo’s work has been highlighted for various accomplishments. Most recently, his work in Sanger Unified School District was featured in the publication of Process and Protest, California: How are Districts Engaging Stakeholders in LCAP Development, in which the district was recognized for its efforts in making decision-making processes transparent to prioritize the needs, participation, and leadership of communities that have been historically marginalized and underserved. Sanger Unified School District was also recognized as a California District of Distinction by the Fresno County Office of Education in 2018, during the time Navo served as Superintendent.
Navo received his bachelor’s degree in education and his master’s degree in special education from California State University, Fresno. He holds an array of credentials, including a Professional Administrative Credential, Multiple Subject Teaching Credential, a Professional Specialists Credential in Special Education, and a Supplemental Credential with an Autism emphasis.
Executive Assistant to Matt J. Navo
Phone: (916) 619-7488
If you would like CCEE Executive Director Matt J. Navo to speak at an upcoming event, please submit this Speaker Request Form.
Outgoing Executive Director (November 1, 2021)
Tom Armelino is deeply passionate when it comes to serving the needs of children and honoring the unique and diverse backgrounds, points of view, values, and inclusive sense of community that is necessary to prepare them for success. He understands firsthand how education can be the difference-maker for children, providing opportunity, and in many ways changing the trajectory of young people, society, and the world. Growing up in poverty and the sixth of nine children from a hard-working family where achieving a high school diploma was the exception and not the norm, Tom was the first to change this trajectory and graduate from college.
Passionate to give back to children the love, determination, and importance of working hard and believing in oneself that he learned from some incredible teachers and coaches, he dedicated his life to serving the needs of children and became a teacher. After eight years in the classroom and consistently being asked to serve in various teacher leadership roles as a mentor, coach, teacher-in-charge, model demonstration classroom teacher, and at-risk youth leader, he achieved a higher education degree. Tom went on to serve as a school site administrator, assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction, district superintendent in multiple school districts, and adjunct professor. In 2006, Tom was elected and served three unopposed four-year terms as the Shasta County Superintendent of Schools.
Currently, in his 3rd year as Executive Director of the California Collaborative for Educational Excellence, Tom works with a small team of accomplished and experienced educators, researchers, and facilitators to focus on systemic changes that ensure all students in California receive the quality education they deserve. Tom is spearheading major strategic shifts for the organization, focusing on providing local education agencies (LEAs) with research and development, professional development, and technical assistance. These initiatives will help to expand California’s System of Support to strengthen local control and continuous improvement through an equity-focused approach.
Tom understands the importance of working collaboratively with all stakeholders within the school system through his experiences as a school, district and county office leader, trained in Edward Deming’s Total Quality Management (TQM) principles. His schools, teachers, and staff were multiple recipients of the California Distinguished School and Title I High Achieving School awards during his tenure. Tom has also served in various state-level leadership positions as a member of California Governor Jerry Brown’s “Kitchen Cabinet,” Association of California School Administrators (ACSA) State President (2015-16), and chair of the state-appointed Fiscal Crisis and Management Assistance Team (FCMAT) committee. During his superintendency, Tom served as a Region II chair and state board member for the California County Superintendent Educational Services Association (CCSEA). Before joining CCEE, Tom served as Executive Director of the National Association of School Superintendents.
Recognized for his collaborative style of leadership, Tom has received numerous awards, including the CCSESA Champions Award, Shasta County Excellence in Public Health Award, Shasta County Community Builder Award, Shasta County Asset Champion, California Teachers Association (CTA) Local Chapter Administrator of the Year Award, Robert Woods Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Community Coalition Leader Award, ACSA Shasta Charter Award for Central Office Administrator of the Year, ACSA Shasta Charter Superintendent of the Year Award, ACSA Region 1 Central Office Administrator of the Year Award, and ACSA Region 1 Superintendent of the Year Award.
Executive Assistant to Tom Armelino
Phone: (916) 619-7488
If you would like CCEE Executive Director Tom Armelino to speak at an upcoming event, please submit this Speaker Request Form.
Deputy Executive Director
Sujie Shin serves as the Deputy Executive Director for the California Collaborative for Educational Excellence (CCEE). In this role, Shin works closely with Executive Director Matt Navo, oversees agency operations, spearheads specific statewide initiatives, and helps to lead Direct Technical Assistance efforts. She oversees research and evaluation initiatives within the agency, centered around the implementation of systemic practices within districts and schools aimed at equitable access, opportunity, and outcomes for students.
Prior to joining the CCEE, Shin served as the Co-Director of Research for the Standards, Assessment, and Accountability Services program at WestEd, where she managed the National Center on Standards and Assessment Implementation. In this role, she provided technical assistance and research support to states and districts in the implementation and evaluation of their new standards, assessments, and accountability systems, focusing on the alignment of standards to assessments and instructional practice.
Shin also previously worked as the Deputy Chief of Assessment and Accountability for the District of Columbia Public Schools, where she oversaw the development and administration of assessments and accountability metrics for the district. She has held educational assessment and research positions in Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, and New York. Her career in education began as a teacher at Norwood Elementary School in the Los Angeles Unified School District.
Deputy Executive Director
Dr. Stephanie Gregson serves as the Deputy Executive Director for the California Collaborative for Educational Excellence (CCEE). In this role, Dr. Gregson works closely with Executive Director Matt Navo, overseeing the Direct Technical Assistance efforts focusing on school turnaround centering on improving teaching and learning within districts and schools aimed at equitable access, opportunity, and outcomes for students. Stephanie has more than 24 years of experience in public education and started her career as an elementary school teacher in the Sacramento City Unified School District. As a teacher, principal, and district leader in curriculum and instruction, she anchored her decision making upon the belief that every student deserves the opportunity to thrive in an ideal learning environment.
A lifelong learner, Dr. Gregson earned a bachelor’s degree in Liberal Arts and a master’s degree in Educational Leadership from California State University, Sacramento. In 2016 Stephanie earned a doctorate in Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment, helping to expand her understanding of the research and scholarship of educational theory to apply that knowledge as a practitioner in a school and district.
Prior to joining CCEE, Dr. Gregson was appointed Chief Deputy Superintendent of Public Instruction at the California Department of Education (CDE) from March 2020 – September 2021. She was responsible for the overall operations and administration of eight branches where she served as lead learner, convener, and facilitator, ensuring all students in California are well supported and well prepared for the future. She also was the lead writer for the Stronger Together guidance helping schools work to be inclusive and collaborative designing programs that center on caring for and educating each student. Prior to being appointed Chief Deputy Superintendent, Stephanie held multiple key roles at CDE, including serving as the Deputy Superintendent of the Instruction and Measurement Branch and Director of the Curriculum Frameworks & Instructional Resources Division. She was responsible for the development of state standards, curriculum frameworks, managing statewide assessments, school and district supports, and the collection and reporting of educational data. Her past positions have enabled her to amplify the importance of the interdependency of high-quality curriculum, instruction, assessment, and the mental health and well being of students.