Lakeside School District and ACSA Vice President
Only a born multi-tasker like Lisa Gonzales could be a television weather person in the evening and a substitute elementary school teacher during the day. "At first I was just looking for something to do during the morning," recalls Lisa, "but once I started working with the children, I knew my heart belonged in education." Choosing a career in education also allowed Lisa to settle in near her home in the Bay Area, and not be forced to move frequently, as is common in broadcasting.
Following that first substitute job back in 1991, Lisa earned her credential and began teaching middle school in Daly City, California, just south of San Francisco. After enduring much teasing from her students when she admitted to not having a computer, Lisa agreed to buy one, but only if they would show her how to use it. As a result, Lisa's first computer teachers were actually children, whose natural enthusiasm and lack of fear make them eager to learn anything new with technology.
Lisa was grateful for her students' coaching a few years later, when she was a first-year principal at an elementary school where the technology infrastructure fell apart. The school had to release the computer tech from his contract, and it was up to Lisa to pick up the pieces. Realizing the school needed to start from scratch, she worked with the leadership team to revamp the school's technology system. "We had the plan, but we needed funding," Lisa recalls. "Then we wrote grants for $80,000 and our parents and community groups stepped in to raise more than $45,000, which allowed us to implement an entirely new technology program."
Lisa's leadership in Ed Tech has been vast. She's served TICAL for nine years now, and is one of TICAL's Leading Edge Certification trainers in both Administration and Professional Learning Leaders for California, Arkansas and Hawaii educators. Work at the state level has included the Ed Tech Task Force and the K12 High Speed Network. Her ed tech leadership also reaches other organizations for greater articulation, including ACSA's Technology Leadership Group and CUE's Advocacy Committee.
A living embodiment of the old saying, "if you want something done, ask a busy person," Lisa relies on her laptop to focus on her many commitments, including ACSA State Vice President, CreateCA Task Force, co-founding member of the Women's Leadership Network for Santa Clara County, and Head Coach for the San Francisco Marathon training program. In 2014, she was one of 100 superintendents selected nationwide to go to The White House and work with President Obama and Secretary Duncan on the #FutureReady Initiative.