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California School Boards Association Elects Emma Turner as New President-elect

Eleven-year school board veteran will serve as next President-elect of the statewide education association


SACRAMENTO, Calif., (Dec. 6, 2017) – La Mesa-Spring Valley School District Board President Emma Turner is the new President-elect of the California School Boards Association. Turner was elected by the organization’s delegates, a group representing nearly 1,000 California school districts and county offices of education, and will become president of the association in December 2018.

Turner brings decades of leadership experience to the position. She retired from the United States Navy in 2004 after serving 27 years and rising through the ranks to become an officer in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps. Along the way, she also earned a doctorate in psychology — all while raising a family.

Upon retirement from the Navy, she turned to civic service and in 2006 became a trustee of La Mesa-Spring Valley SD, a San Diego County district located in the city of La Mesa, Calif. that educates about 12,300 students in grades K-8. After her election to the school board, Turner joined CSBA and received training in school governance and leadership, ultimately earning a Masters in Governance from the organization.

While serving her community as a board member, Turner has served in many roles with CSBA and other educational organizations.

At CSBA, Turner has served as a Delegate, Director-at–Large, African-American and on the Board of Directors. She has authored monthly newsletters to deliver best practices and other resources to school board members serving African-American students statewide. Elsewhere, Turner was elected as Pacific Region Director, secretary/treasurer, chair-elect and then chair of the National Black Council in 2016. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for the National School Boards Association. In this position, Dr. Turner continues her advocacy work by publishing articles on the conditions of, and challenges faced by, African-American students across the nation.

“I have displayed passion, commitment and dedication to the 6.2 million K-12 public school students in California for more than 10 years,” Turner said. “I will continue to bring that passion to lowering the achievement gap for all students and to ensure students are college and career ready after high school.”

Joining Turner on CSBA’s 2018 Executive Committee are Mike Walsh of the Butte County Office of Education, who will serve as President, and Xilonin Cruz-Gonzalez of the Azusa Unified School District, who was elected Vice President. Susan Henry of the Huntington Beach Union High School District will serve as Immediate Past President.

CSBA is a nonprofit association representing nearly 1,000 PreK-12 school districts and county offices of education throughout California.