Because transitional kindergarten is a voluntary option for families, successful implementation of transitional kindergarten (TK) depends on
Adonai Mack is a legislative advocate for the Association for California School Administrators (ACSA). Mr. Mack advocates on behalf of members of ACSA in the areas of the state budget, special education, transportation, pupil services, preschool and other areas.
Prior to joining ACSA, Mr. Mack was a legislative advocate at the California School Boards Association, where he focused on the issues of charter schools, facilities, retirement and professional development. He has also worked as an advocate for the Superintendent of Public Instruction, Jack O’Connell and for Governor Gray Davis in his Office of the Secretary for Education.
Mr. Mack has served on various nonprofit boards including organizations that specialize in advocating for children with mental health needs and the education of African-American children. Mr. Mack received his B.A. from Morehouse College.
Ernesto Saldaña, State Field Director for Preschool California, develops and executes preschool advocacy strategies across the state. Previously he served as executive director for Public Allies Los Angeles; deputy director of constituency services and director of communications at the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) Educational Fund; and he currently serves on the Liberty Hill Foundation’s Fund for a New Los Angeles Community Funding Board. Mr. Saldaña earned his bachelor’s degree in political science from California State University, Fullerton and his law degree from Whittier Law School.
Melissa Vernon is a married mother of four. Her children range from 6, 4, 2, and 1 year old. Her four year old son attends the transitional kindergarten program at Antonio Del Buono in Gilroy.
Mrs. Vernon currently works part-time for the city of San Jose as a Public Safety radio dispatcher. Her most important and favorite job is raising her children. She has also been fortunate enough to study psychology at the University of Southern California, where she earned her Bachelor’s Degree in 1998.
Ruth Yoon is the current Administrative Coordinator for LAUSD Early Childhood Education Division. Prior to this role, in 2000 Ms. Yoon founded Families In Schools, a non-profit organization dedicated to strengthening the capacity of schools, families and community partners to improve student academic achievement, and served as Executive Director through June 2006. Under Ms. Yoon’s leadership, Families In Schools developed three primary program areas: family literacy, college preparation, and capacity-building in parental involvement.
Previously, Ms. Yoon was the Director of Parental Involvement Initiatives at the Los Angeles Annenberg Metropolitan Project (LAAMP). It was at LAAMP that Ms. Yoon helped to create Parents as Learning Partners (PLP), a program she continued to direct at Families In Schools.
PLP is a capacity-building initiative designed to implement systematic, comprehensive approaches to parental involvement in school districts and individual schools. Ms. Yoon has also spent several years as a teacher, site administrator, and district administrator in the Los Angeles Unified School District.