The Educate Our State Board of Directors is committed to advocating for a great education for all the students of California.
For our Educate Our State Leadership board, please visit this page.
Delaine Eastin is the former two-term California State Superintendent of Public Instruction, the only woman to ever hold that position. She was elected Superintendent following eight years in the State Assembly and six years on the Union City City Council. Born in San Diego and raised in San Francisco and San Carlos, California, Delaine attended U.C. Davis, and U.C. Santa Barbara. As a state legislator, Eastin’s legislative accomplishments were varied, ranging from environmental issues to highway funding to education. As State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Delaine served as a champion for wiring schools for technology and stronger technical and vocational training for students. She launched the Garden in Every School initiative, and was an architect of Net Day, where 20,000 volunteers wired California schools for modern technology. The volunteer ‘barn raising’ was copied in 40 states and 40 countries. She advocated for STEM and for a return of the arts to K-12 curriculum standards. While Superintendent, Delaine successfully sued the governor for withholding funds from K-12 schools. She used these funds to reduce class sizes in grades K-3. Delaine also joined the successful lawsuit against Proposition 187 and refused to allow teachers to be used as immigration agents, one of the key provisions of the proposition. Delaine was an early and strong supporter for LGBTQ rights. She launched the first LGBT Task Force to develop and implement practices to ensure a safe and supportive environment for LGBT students. As a UC Regent, she stood with the University of California leadership to ensure domestic partner benefits when the then Governor tried to reverse that right. After leaving elected office, Delaine became the first Executive Director of the National Institute for School Leadership, and a Distinguished Visiting Professor of Educational Leadership at Mills College, where she directed the Center for Civic Engagement and Women’s Leadership. Delaine resides in Davis, CA. An elementary school in Union City is named after her.
As a student, a teacher, and now as a parent, Cushon has had a lifelong connection to California public schools. After 14 years of teaching, Cushon left the classroom to spend time with her children, but she didn’t leave the education field. In addition to membership in her school site council and PTA and founding her school’s African-American parent council, Cushon shifted her focus to parent engagement and advocacy through social networking and presentations at parent workshops. She has been recognized by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors and the Pasadena Education Network for her work as an advocate for all children. In 2011, Cushon was selected to represent the state of California at Parenting Magazine's Mom Congress on Education and Learning Conference in Washington, D.C. A wife and mother of three, Cushon is a graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles.
Ruth Burton (Bakersfield)
Ruth was born and raised in Honduras. She and her husband Bruce moved to Bakersfield twenty-five years ago, where she found her passion for teaching. Ruth worked with migrant children in the rural areas of the southern San Joaquin Valley as a teacher, utilizing her bilingual teaching skills to offer new immigrants into the U.S. an education that included a great deal more than academics. While any good teacher can attest to the energy required in a normal classroom, this migrant population also confronts the challenging issue of poverty, which requires a level of teacher commitment far and above a traditional school environment. Ruth committed her heart and soul to this profession for almost 15 years and recently retired from the classroom. She has four children: daughters Ruthie and Ana, both married with children and living in the bay area. Ana is a teacher, and Ruthie is an Industrial Engineer. Her son Danny, also married, after eight years in the Navy, lives in Los Angeles, and works for Wells Fargo. Her son James graduated from Haverford College and works for City Bank in South Africa. . Ruth studied English in England, accounting in Honduras, and worked for almost a decade for the Central American Bank for Economical Integration. She earned her Masters degree in Spanish language, literature and culture at UC Santa Barbara.
Katherine Welch, Treasurer (Piedmont)
Katherine is galvanized by the message and the approach of Educate Our State, and first joined the board in 2011. She served as Board Chair from 2013-2015. She served on the board of Gateway Public Schools in San Francisco from 2008-2014 and is currently on the board of Head Royce School in Oakland. She has a diverse business background with experience in corporate finance, venture capital, non-profit education and general business management and operations. Katherine has been actively involved as a volunteer in the non-profit sector for over 20 years in many capacities. After a tireless effort to raise funds for her children’s public school district several years ago, she realized that, more than ever, systemic change in California’s public education system is the only solution for our children – and parents are the best messengers for that change. Katherine graduated with an MBA from Harvard University and a BA in Public Policy Studies from Duke University.