SSDA Names New Executive Director

The SSDA Executive board has announced that after a statewide search and interviews with several qualified candidates, that effective July 1, 2019, Tim Taylor, will take the helm as the SSDA Executive Director to replace Debra Pearson who will be retiring after a 37-year career in education. 

Taylor previously served Butte County as Superintendent of Schools from 2012 through the end of his term in January 2019.  He also has served as Assistant Superintendent at Sacramento County Office of Education and as a Director for the Elk Grove Unified School District.  Moreover, Tim was a SSDA Executive Board Member from 2014-2018.  

In making the announcement, Helio Brasil, Superintendent of Keyes School District and President of SSDA said, "The Executive Committee looks forward to working with Tim as we continue to grow the organization, expand member services, and advocate on behalf of California Small Schools to further support and address the many challenges our small schools face.” 

Taylor is known for developing and expanding programs to benefit students and small school districts.  He has extensive experience supporting small school districts through advocacy and working with associations to ensure equity for all students.  As Butte County Superintendent, his commitment to schools and students in rural communities led to his County Office being selected by the state to support nine regional and eleven state wide contracts including the Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS), California Mini Corps programs and Region 2 Arts Education Community of Practice. As a former leader of Migrant Education, CA Rural Educators Network, Parolee Reentry Centers and Bilingual Teacher Training programs throughout the state, Taylor is committed to serving the diverse students and communities throughout California. 

Taylor stated, “I am honored and excited to serve the membership of SSDA and begin working with Governor Newsom, State Superintendent Thurmond, and other associations to assist small school districts in continuing to create pathways of success for students.  At SSDA, I look forward to ensuring that students receive the best education possible and to support Superintendents and Governing Boards of our small school districts.  SSDA is the only voice for small, rural districts and are often forgotten on issues decided in Sacramento.  We will continue to make sure our students and educators have their voice heard and issues addressed.”

Debra Pearson has served as the SSDA Executive Director for the past ten years.  She is recognized throughout the state for her experience as a veteran small school district superintendent and her unwavering commitment to California’s Small School Districts. Her leadership helped save school transportation funding, increased funding from Prop. 39 in the form of Block Grant Funding for small schools in California, changes to the Department of Industrial Regulations process that also saved money for small school districts, and her relentless work at the Capital.  Debra was instrumental in supporting small schools during the transition era of the Local Control Funding Formula, Local Control Accountability Plan and the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium.