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San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools Ted Alejandre has helped build, sustain and implement the county’s Cradle to Career Roadmap, which included partnering on a countywide literacy initiative that resulted in preschoolers hearing an additional 293 million words.
Alejandre’s leadership makes a difference
October 17, 2022
ACSA Administrators of the Year graphic.
Name: Ted Alejandre Award: Superintendent of the Year Title: San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools ACSA highlights: Member since 1995; president, San Bernardino School Management (1999-2002); Region 12 President (2003-04); ACSA Board of Directors (2006-2009 and 2018-2021).
San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools Ted Alejandre knows the success of students requires a collective approach that extends beyond the years of K-12. Alejandre collaborated with key partners to build, sustain and implement the San Bernardino County Cradle to Career Roadmap which is part of the larger Countywide Vision. This roadmap incorporates support from multiple community institutions and provides the key indicators of success for all students, both in academics and social/emotional readiness.
Alejandre’s support of the Cradle to Career approach includes bolstering the Vision2Read Countywide literacy initiative that resulted in preschoolers hearing an additional 293 million words, and strengthening ties between employers and schools to ensure students learn the skills needed to succeed in the workforce. Districts and cities have adopted this roadmap and as a result, graduation rates, A-G completion rates and other key indicators continue to excel.
Alejandre’s office provides crucial support to the county’s 33 districts in numerous ways, including a new “Systems of Support” initiative that targets funds to districts in their identified areas of need. He meets monthly with all district superintendents to share, replicate and accelerate best practices that lead to improved student outcomes, as measured on the California School Dashboard.
“He continuously collaborates with all district superintendents to build a trusting and supportive environment where all superintendents work together for the best interest of our entire county,” said Yucaipa-Calimesa Joint USD Superintendent Cali Binks.
Understanding the importance of stakeholder input, Alejandre has strengthened the countywide Family Engagement Network. Due to the success of this network, it was selected by the state as the only county office to lead the Statewide Community Engagement Initiative. He also established the first-ever countywide Student Advisory Council, inviting students from throughout the county to collaborate with other students and present their recommendations at the local, county and state level.
Throughout his 34-year career, Alejandre has continuously modeled the highest level of ethics. A true ACSA believer, he seizes each opportunity the association presents to grow, lead and share knowledge about the profession.
From his highly decorated service in the U.S. Air Force to his expert coordination of supports to districts during the COVID-19 pandemic, Alejandre's leadership has made a difference in the lives of others.
What’s your favorite book or quote on leadership? The book on leadership I would highly recommend is “Good to Great” by Jim Collins.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
The best advice I have been offered is to give 150 percent in every job you have as people will notice this and doors of opportunity will open. Once they do, raise your hand to accept lead roles and don’t be afraid to take some risks!
What’s your best strategy for work/life balance? To ensure that you have several key strategies to take time for yourself and your family. Everyone needs time for family, relaxation and special interests. Once you find a way to include this in your daily schedule, it will help you to maintain that balance.
What are some life hacks that you would recommend for a new administrator? Develop strong, collaborative relationships with people you work with and seek out a strong mentor who can give you recommendations and guidance.
What would people be surprised to learn about you? I am a retired U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. ­— serving 34 years at Norton and March ARB. I also am a U.S. Air Force Academy Liaison Officer and I serve students in San Bernardino and Riverside counties.
What made you want to become a school administrator? When I was a teacher, my principal (Jim Marinis) encouraged me to become a vice principal. He stated that I could have a bigger impact on education if I became an administrator. His encouragement gave me the confidence to apply.
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve overcome to get where you are? As an elected county superintendent, I had to get the support of voters throughout the county to be elected. In my first race, I ran against two other opponents and had to put forth a hard campaign to get voters to know me and trust me with their vote. I was so fortunate to get 55 percent of the vote in the primary as well as being elected in two more elections. Campaigning is demanding and requires patience and stamina, as well as building a strong support team.
What are you most proud of accomplishing? Having incredible programs at SBCSS that truly transform lives through education. Programs like our Alternative Education Graduation Program, County Student Advisory Panel, county student events, Vision2Read collaborative, Cradle to Career Roadmap and so many others that are successful because of the amazing team of dedicated professionals we have at SBCSS.
How has ACSA supported you in your career/current position? ACSA has been key to establishing a network of other dedicated professionals I can engage with who are focused on leading and learning. Through many different opportunities with ACSA, I have been able to build my skills, expertise and confidence in developing solutions to many complex issues and establishing an incredible team to meet our goal to support the success of all students.
What new strategies are you using to ensure student success in the post-“return to school” period? At SBCSS, we are focusing on much needed social-emotional learning supports for our students and staff to be successful as well as utilizing technology to accelerate learning.
San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools Ted Alejandre said his office is focusing on social-emotional supports for students post-”return to school.”
2022 Superintendent of the Year Ted Alejandre.
2022 Superintendent of the Year Ted Alejandre.