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
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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 Tom Armelino, 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, Systems Improvement and Innovation
Karla Estrada, Ed.D.
Dr. Karla Estrada serves as the Deputy Executive Director of Systems Improvement and Innovation for the CCEE. In this role, Dr. Estrada oversees and manages the Direct Technical Assistance (DTA) support for districts and schools struggling with chronic instructional system challenges. In addition, she works with the California Department of Education, State Board of Education, and Special Education Local Plan and Accountability (SELPA) Leads within the CA System of Support, which serves as a connector, capacity builder, and facilitator to quality resources and learning opportunities for LEAs across the state with the aim of improving outcomes for students with disabilities.
Dr. Estrada has spent over 20 years as an educational leader committed to successfully addressing educational opportunities for all students. Before her time with CCEE, Dr. Estrada served as the Deputy Superintendent for the offices in the Academic and Student Support for Equity Team (ASSET) within Boston Public Schools.
Throughout her educational career, Estrada has led efforts and collaborated with others to transform systems driven on compliance to those engaged in attaining successful instructional outcomes for all students. Her background as a teacher and administrator in the Los Angeles Unified School District has been critical in building meaningful partnerships with schools, local and central offices.
Dr. Estrada obtained her doctorate in Educational Leadership for Social Justice from Loyola Marymount University by examining English language development among over 22,000 English learners with specific learning disabilities in an urban school district.