ACSA at 50 | Past leaders: Holly Edds
May 16, 2022
Holly Edds wanted to give back to ACSA the way it had given to her, so she ran for ACSA Vice President. Edds was elected in 2016-17 and became president in 2018-19. Her leadership of ACSA and advocacy for its students took her from California to Washington, D.C., and even as far as India.
What led to you becoming a leader within ACSA? ACSA is an incredible organization that is student focused and its members are incredibly talented and dedicated educational leaders. I wanted to serve and be a part of the magic that is ACSA, and I wanted to give back to an organization that has done so much for me personally and professionally.
What issues were at the forefront during your time on the executive board? In my tenure as a board member, we faced a change in elected leadership at the national level that had a direct impact on our students. We were faced with potential reductions in funding, changes in federal policy (DACA, school choice), and increasing instances of school violence. We worked closely with Jim Delizia to develop ACSA’s Strategic Plan which the current board is updating. During my presidential year, I convened the Mental Health Task Force which brought together multiple organizations focused on increasing mental health services in our schools and community, and assembled resources for educational leaders to use. I was also invited to participate in the launch of a curriculum developed by Emory University in partnership with the Dalai Lama (SEE Learning) which provides educators with the tools they need to foster the development of emotional, social, and ethical intelligence for students and themselves. The launch of this curriculum took place in India, and I had the opportunity to sit with the Dalai Lama to discuss the need for kindness and compassion in our society at his home.
What impact do you think ACSA has had on education and California’s students over the last 50 years? ACSA has had an immeasurable impact on our students and on education in California over the last 50 years, especially over the last nine years. ACSA’s voice has shaped educational policy through advocacy and the education of our elected leaders. ACSA has provided training and networks of support for administrators over the years that has built capacity in educational leaders. ACSA has provided a space for educational leaders to lean on one another, learn from each other, and coalesce around issues together — one giant professional learning community for site and district administrators! ACSA has also provided the support our members need to do their jobs successfully and confidently; ACSA has our back and will be there if we need to make tough decisions that may impact our career path.
Thank you for your service to ACSA, Holly. Keep watching for ACSA at 50 features in EdCal each week and find out how you can help celebrate at
Holly Edds meeting with the Dalai Lama.
Assm. Patrick O’Donnell with Edds at LAD 2019.
Edds with VPLA Teri Rufert.
Edds advocating for students.
ACSA at 50
Keep watching for ACSA at 50 features in EdCal each week and find out how you can help celebrate at
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