ssda press release


Contact: Eric Bonniksen, President

Yuri Calderon Appointed as New Executive Director of the Small School Districts’ Association

Sacramento, California – The Small School Districts’ Association (SSDA) is pleased to announce the appointment of Yuri Calderon, J.D., as its next Executive Director, effective June 1, 2024. Calderon brings to the SSDA a portfolio of expertise and a wealth of experience spanning over 30 years in serving public institutions and school districts across California and beyond.

Eric Bonniksen, President of SSDA, stated, “I am very excited to have Yuri on board as our next SSDA Executive Director.  I know under his leadership SSDA will continue to be the foremost association dedicated to students in the State of California.  I am confident that Yuri is dedicated to continuing the strong support and advocacy for the small and rural school districts we have the pleasure to serve.”

As a visionary leader known for his strategic planning and leadership capacity-building, Calderon's core strengths are aligned with the SSDA's mission to support and enhance the capabilities of small school districts. His expertise in fiscal management, crisis and emergency management, collaboration, and team building will be instrumental in steering the Association towards new heights of success and service to its members.

Throughout his career, Calderon has demonstrated a commitment to public education and public service. He has served as general and special counsel for numerous school districts, providing strategic legal advice and managing complex negotiations and litigation involving public contracts, developer agreements, and collective bargaining agreements. His experience in managing multi-million-dollar bond programs for the construction of educational facilities speaks volumes of his ability to lead large-scale projects to fruition, ensuring the best outcomes for the communities served.

Calderon's leadership extends to his achievements in facilities planning, capital improvement programs, and construction management. His strategic insight has guided school districts and public agencies through critical negotiations, including utility agreements and significant public labor agreements.

Yuri Calderon's appointment as Executive Director comes at a pivotal time for the SSDA, as the Association looks to navigate the challenges and opportunities of the future with a renewed focus on excellence, quality, and value. His action-oriented philosophy and strong personal and business ethic are set to inspire and drive the SSDA community towards achieving remarkable successes in the service of public education.

SSDA is confident that Calderon's visionary leadership and comprehensive experience will greatly benefit our member districts, fostering a collaborative environment where innovation, excellence, and strategic growth are at the forefront.

Please join us in welcoming Yuri Calderon to his new role as Executive Director of the Small School Districts’ Association.

About the Small School Districts Association (SSDA)

The Small School Districts Association is dedicated to serving the needs and interests of small school districts across California, providing support, resources, and advocacy to enhance the quality of education for students in small communities. Our mission is to empower small districts through collaboration, innovation, and strategic leadership, ensuring every student has access to the best possible educational opportunities.