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© 2023 Association of California School Administrators
News Briefs | FYI
March 27, 2023
Bonds receives Outstanding Instructional Leader award
Dwight Bonds, an educator for over 50 years and executive director of the California Association of African-American Superintendents and Administrators, was honored with the California Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development’s Outstanding Instructional Leader award for 2023.
Bonds accepted the award during the CAAASA Conference on March 15. Under Bonds’ leadership, CAAASA has grown its membership exponentially; strengthened key partnerships to support improving experiences and outcomes for African-American students; and is recognized as a critical voice in addressing the underrepresentation of African American teachers and administrators. Bonds has worked tirelessly during his 16-year tenure as executive director to identify and expand opportunities to provide high-quality, student-driven professional development and establish professional learning networks with state and local entities focused on eliminating disparities and improving educational systems for students of color. Most recently, CAAASA’s mission has broadened to include supporting health and wellness for students and families of color through partnerships and grants that provide health and dental screenings and information, immunizations, school supplies, food, clothing and other essential resources.
Bonds has worked in many capacities including school administrator with Los Angeles County Office of Education. He also served as an associate director for a federal education teacher training program at the University of Southern California. As an employee of LACOE, he established exemplary educational programs including the Hollywood Entertainment Museum Arts Academy. This high school was created to provide adjudicated students with career preparation and employment in the entertainment/art industry. Bonds also established meaningful work partnership programs for students with disabilities including Target stores, Vons Company, Johnson & Johnson companies, Paramount Studios and McDonald’s national and state corporate offices. Bonds has spent most of his professional career working with challenged student populations including incarcerated youth, students with disabilities and students in alternative settings.
He serves on the National Alliance of Black School Educators Foundation Board of Directors, National Council on Educating Black Children Board of Directors, Co-Chair of the Education is a Civil Rights Committee and many other educational civil rights organizations.
From left, CASCD Board of Director members Katherine Castleberry, left, and Michele Bowers, right, present the CASCD OIL Award to Dwight Bonds, center, on March 15 at the CAAASA Conference.
Visalia USD offers guaranteed admissions to university
Visalia Unified School District Board of Trustees recently voted to approve a Memorandum of Understanding with Fresno Pacific University that provides juniors guaranteed admissions to FPU.
This is the second partnership of its kind at Visalia Unified School District guaranteeing admissions to a university for all students who complete the requirements.
“I think it is very powerful that students have a pathway to walk right into the door of an institution and continue their educational journey,” stated Superintendent Kirk Shrum, in a news release. Fresno Pacific University offers more than 100 areas of study, including undergraduate, graduate, seminary and degree completion programs.
Key aspects of the MOU include:
  • Guaranteed admissions for juniors who meet the requirements of 3.0 and completing all A-G courses.
  • Scholarship and grant opportunities.
  • Create pipelines for counselors, social workers and teachers.
  • Explore the creation of FPU college-level courses through either traditional, virtual, or hybrid formats to VUSD students in grades 9-12.
  • Conduct on-site registration and admissions verification at all high schools, including alternative education sites (if applicable).
  • Explore the use and development of a university high school to be located at the Visalia campus.
“Knowing that our students have guaranteed admissions to multiple universities reaffirms our commitment that all students can achieve at high levels and demonstrate continuous growth,” said Board Clerk Jacqueline Gaebe.
A similar contract was signed with University of Merced, California on Oct. 25, 2022, providing students automatic enrollment upon graduation.
Submit your nomination for woman in education award
Nominations are now being accepted for ACSA’s Exemplary Woman in Education Award, which will be presented at the 2023 Women in School Leadership Forum. ACSA is seeking nominations for outstanding women in educational leadership. The nominee should serve as a role model for other women and demonstrate:
  • A passion for the profession.
  • A commitment to grow and develop others (seeking mentors to better herself and by becoming a mentor to others).
  • A demonstrated desire to give back through public and/or community service.
  • Advocacy for the value of school administrators and contributes to the improvement of the profession.
  • Effective crisis leadership during unprecedented times.
Nominee must be an ACSA member to qualify. The winner will be notified and the award announced by September 1. Visit to submit your nomination by Friday, July 14.
Join ACSA’s K-12 site admin networking series
ACSA’s K-12 Site Administrators Leadership Network will meet two more times this school year. Presented by the ACSA Elementary, Middle Grades and Secondary Education Councils in collaboration with NAESP and NASSP, sessions feature an essential leadership priority based upon statewide input from school site leaders. Breakout rooms will be available for grade span specific focus. Join this free opportunity to learn from and network with colleagues around the state. The last two sessions will be 5-6 p.m. Wednesdays, April 19 and May 10. To register, visit