President Elect - Natalie Wojinski 

Natalie has been teaching elementary, middle, and high school for more than 20 years. She managed her district's Teaching American History Grant and currently serves as a Program Assistant for Secondary History/Social Studies in her district in the San Francisco Bay Area. In her work with CCSS and the California Geographic Alliance, Natalie has advocated for History/Social Studies education on Capitol Hill. Natalie's current favorite books are Chernow's "Alexander Hamilton" and Schiff's "The Witches: Salem, 1692." 

First Vice President - Mary Janzen

Mary Janzen received an M.A. in Education with an emphasis in Curriculum and Instruction  from  Fresno Pacific University. She was a world geography teacher in the Central Valley for five  years  before taking a position as a History/Social Science Consultant at Fresno County Office of  Education. She has worked with two Teaching American History Grants and coordinated Fresno  County History Day. Mary also worked as the Common Core State Standards 6-12 Literacy in  History/Social Studies Teacher on Special Assignment for Fresno Unified School District (FUSD), training secondary history/social studies  teachers in Common Core strategies and using the C3 Framework in their classrooms. Currently she teaches AP European History and Modern World History at Duncan Polytechnical High School in FUSD. Mary is an active member of the San Joaquin Valley Council for the Social Studies and has served on the CCSS Board of Directors and as the Central California Vice President in the past.    

Northern Area Vice President - Avi Black

Avi Black is a CCSS Past President, and has served on the Board of Directors in other capacities  over the past twenty years. He has helped to organize statewide and local conferences. Having  recently retired from service as a county-level professional development coordinator, he continues to advocate for social studies education through channels of both policy and practice.  Avi currently spends the bulk of his time at SF Giants’ games and cheering on the soon-to-be-repeat-champion Golden State Warriors. He can say this since he is running for a regional seat, but invites votes from elsewhere in the state.

Southern Area Vice President - Tracy Middleton

Tracy has a B.A. in Liberal Studies with a minor in social science, and a M.A. in Education in the area of Leadership, Learning and Instruction.  She currently teaches 8th grade social studies at Del Dios Academy of Arts and Sciences in Escondido.   She also provides professional development in the areas of historical thinking and the C3 Framework for Social Sciences.  She has presented at both the National Council for Social Studies and the California Council for Social Studies annual conferences.  Tracy has served on the CCSS Board of Directors for over 6 years, first serving as a Region Director before serving as the Southern Area Vice President.

Central Area Vice President - Valerie Doherty

Valerie is a retired fourth grade teacher, and continues to be an active contributor to CCSS while  maintaining a seat in the local council, Golden Valley Council for the Social Studies. She enjoys  volunteering and most recently served as a judge during History Day in Stanislaus County. She  vows to continue her support and encourage more schools to participate. She  is always  inspired by the level of commitment to history/social studies shown by all members of CCSS. 

Region 2 Representative - Cricket Kidwell

Cricket is an Education Consultant and Curriculum Specialist and an instructor at California State University, Chico in the School of Education.  She has served in public education for over 30 years in the classroom and as Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum & Instruction at the county level.  Dr. Kidwell currently serves on the Board of Directors of  CCSS and is Chair of the Governmental Relations Committee.  She is a Board Member of KIXE, public television (PBS) for California's north state.  She is actively involved in state and national organizations and has facilitated numerous committees and projects in civic education, 21st century skills, curriculum development, assessment, project-based learning, and rural education. She has authored numerous articles and papers. In all of her efforts, student success, student engagement, and academic growth has been her goal and aspiration. She is an advocate of high-quality and effective education at all levels. 

Region 4 Representative - Ayisha Benham

Ayisha loves ​
 Economics, US & World History, Geography, and AVID
​ courses​
 at Gateway to College, a high school collaboration between WCCUSD and Contra Costa College.  She serves as Region 4 Director and editor of the CCSS Sunburst Newsletter. Ayisha also serves as treasurer and book club chair of the San Francisco Bay Area Social Studies Council (BACSS) and assisted in hosting Selma to the Bay, a 50-Year commemoration of the Bloody Sunday/Civil Rights Movement/Voting Rights Acts. Ayisha has presente
 at NCSS and CCSS annual conferences.

Region 4 Representative - Keldon Clegg

Keldon earned a B.A. in Womens Studies and Politics from the University of California at Santa Cruz in 2005. He participated in the West Contra Costa Unified School District's Intern credential program through Cal State East Bay and holds a single subject Social Studies credential. Keldon taught at Hercules Middle-High School and Amador Valley High School before teaching at his current position at Berkeley High and working as an EdTech Specialist. He is currently a CCSS Executive Board member for Region 4 and believes CCSS can help expand the understanding of social studies to go beyond “history” and reach into geography, economics, psychology and the variety of fields that make up social studies as a whole. Keldon is committed to building local council membership and connecting new ideas and resources to CCSS members

Region 5 Representative - Pamela Harter

Pamela earned both her undergraduate degree and teaching credential from CSU Sacramento. She has spent most of her career teaching at San Jose High School. She has been a member of CCSS since 2009. Students at all levels, AP/IB, College Prep and Alternative Ed/credit recovery need good teachers. I see education for all three groups as an important step towards building the future. CCSS has provided access and professional development opportunities for teachers of students of all levels, as well as teachers of all experience levels. My goal it to continue the mission of CCSS, and bring support and inspiration for good teachers to stay in teaching.

Region 6 Representative - Stella Estrada (bio and picture coming soon)

Region 7 Representative - Brinkley Abercrombie

Brinkley is a middle school history teacher in Fresno, California. She is currently one of two regional directors serving Region 7, and is the current president of the San Joaquin Council for the Social Studies. Through her experience on the Board of Directors this past year, she has observed the dedication and necessary and important presence our state council has in making sure history education maintains its relevance, especially as the History-Social Science framework makes its way through the state legislature. With new and exciting steps in  history education on the horizon, she looks forward to continuing to represent Region 7.

Region 8 Representative - Ruth Luevanos

Ruth is currently a full time social studies teacher, department chair, and lead teacher at a Title I public middle school in Los  Angeles who  has taught at-risk students for seventeen years.  She is a NBCT in Social Studies who works to promote civic  education, college and career  preparation skills and parental involvement at the Title I schools where she has worked. She has  presented at several conferences  including the National Council for Social Studies, the California Council for Social Studies and  the National Council for Geography Education.  She was honored as the Middle School Teacher of the Year by the National Council  for Geography Education in 2011 and was a TeachPlus Fellow in from 2014-2015. She currently resides on the CCSS Board of Directors where she chairs the Committee for Diversity and Social Justice. Ruth graduated from George Washington University with a BA in Criminal Justice, earned her JD from Loyola Law School, and a MA in Instructional Leadership from Argosy University.  

Region 10 Representative - Maureen Johnson 

Maureen taught middle school English and social studies from 1969-2007 and was awarded CCSS Middle School Teacher of the Year in 2006.  She has served on countless committees, including We the People congressional district coordinator from 2007- 2010, president of the Inland  Empire Council for the Social Studies (IECSS) from 2011-2015 and the CCSS 2016 Conference chair. She currently supervises and evaluates  teacher candidates for California State University, San Bernardino.

Region 10 Representative - Katherine Rand

Katherine M. Rand is a 21-year veteran Social Studies teacher from the Victor Valley Union High School District.  She teaches AP Government, US History Honors, and Mock Trial at Cobalt Institute of Math and Science, and is also serving as a Reflective Coach for the New Teacher Induction Program at the district level. Mrs. Rand is an active member of CCSS, currently serving as one of two Region 10 Directors for CCSS and as Secretary for the Inland Empire Council for Social Studies.  Additionally, Mrs. Rand has presented at the IECSS Jamboree, CCSS, and other local Social Science professional development venues.

Region 11 Representative - Rebecca Valbuena

Rebecca Valbuena, M.Ed., began teaching in South America and currently works in the Glendora Unified School District. For the past two  summers, she co-directs a teacher institute at the Autry National Center.  A California History-Social Science Project fellow of UC Berkeley and  CSU Dominguez Hills, Rebecca continues work as a teacher leader at the Dominguez Hills site.  Rebecca co-directed a Multilingual Institute  and taught for UCLA Extension assisting teachers with effective instructional strategies for English Learners. Valbuena has served as a model  teacher for Levstik & Barton’s book Doing History and as a model Common Core teacher in videos for the California Department of Education and LACOE. As the President of SCSSA, she leads the activities of Region 11.  She is a past recipient of the California Council for the Social Studies Outstanding Elementary Teacher Award and a Los Angeles County Teacher of the Year.

Region 11 Representative - Scott Petri

Scott Petri has taught social studies at the middle school level and  high school level since 2003. He has also served as a coordinator and  small school principal in LAUSD.  He holds a Doctorate in Educational Leadership and a Masters in Educational Administration from California  State University Northridge, and a B.A. in Political Science from the University of San Diego. Dr. Petri is the Vice Chair of the National Council  for the Social Studies Instructional Community and President-Elect of the Southern California Social Studies Association.

California Council for the Social Studies
Serving K-16 Educators Statewide
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