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Azusa Unified School District Trustee Xilonin Cruz-Gonzalez Ascends to the Presidency of the California School Boards Association

Cruz-Gonzalez is joined by Pleasant Valley School District Trustee Suzanne Kitchens as President-elect and Natomas Unified School District Trustee Dr. Susan Heredia as Vice President


SACRAMENTO, Calif., (December 10, 2019) – Azusa Unified School District Board of Education President Xilonin Cruz-Gonzalez has taken the reins as President of the California School Boards Association (CSBA), a nonprofit group representing more than 1,000 California school districts and county offices of education.

A native Californian, fifth-generation Azusa resident, and daughter of a Mexican immigrant, Cruz-Gonzalez brings nearly two decades of education leadership experience to her new position. She has dedicated her career to improving outcomes for all students, with a focus on increased support for English learners. Now in her 18th year as a school board trustee, Cruz-Gonzalez has been an active member of CSBA, most recently holding the office of President-elect and previously serving on the CSBA Board of Directors by representing the greater San Gabriel Valley. As an advocate for the state’s public education system and a committed lifelong learner, Cruz-Gonzalez has also served on CSBA’s Legislative Committee and the Council of Presidents. She completed CSBA’s Masters in Governance training program in May 2015. 

In addition to her advocacy work through CSBA, Cruz-Gonzalez is the Director of Policy and Initiatives for Californians Together, directing a project that supports immigrant and refugee students. Cruz-Gonzalez has also served as President of Californians Together and held positions on a variety of national and state nonprofit boards, including the National Association of Latino Elected Officials, Education Trust-West Allies for Equity, and Opportunity Action.

“It’s an honor to represent California public schools and advocate for a system that provides a high-quality education to each and every one of the state’s 6.2 million students,” Cruz-Gonzalez said. “The CSBA presidency provides a unique opportunity to work with school board members across California to ensure that all children have equitable learning opportunities and the resources needed to thrive in college, career, and civic life.”

Joining Cruz-Gonzalez in CSBA’s elected leadership are President-elect Suzanne Kitchens of the Pleasant Valley School District and Vice President Dr. Susan Heredia of the Natomas Unified School District. Dr. Emma Turner of the La Mesa-Spring Valley School District will serve as Immediate Past President.  


 Xilonin Cruz-Gonzalez

CSBA President

 Suzanne Kitchens

CSBA President-elect

 Dr. Susan Heredia

CSBA Vice President

To view the news release for Suzanne Kitchens, click here.
To view the news release for Dr. Susan Heredia, click here.  


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