Delaine Eastin

Delaine Eastin served as the California State Superintendent of Public Instruction (SPI) for eight years from 1995 to 2003, the first and only woman in history elected to that position. As an elected constitutional officer, Delaine managed more than 40% of the California budget and oversaw the education of 6.1 million children. While serving as SPI, she advocated for reduced class size in K-3, better technology and more hands on learning, a restoration of arts, career and technical education, school gardens and improved nutrition for children, school libraries and a longer school year, state academic standards and assessments aligned to those standards. She was the architect of the first Net Day, an electronic barn raising, copied in 40 states and 40 countries. She also advocated for Universal Preschool and full day mandatory kindergarten which she continues to advocate for. Prior to serving as SPI, Delaine served 8 years in the California State Assembly where she chaired several committees including the Education Committee. She authored what was the largest school bond in history. She also authored legislation to provide for better financial oversight of schools and a host of other educational improvements. After retiring as SPI, Delaine was the first Executive Director of the National Institute for School Leadership in Washington, DC and then a Distinguished Visiting Professor of Educational Leadership at Mills College in Oakland. She now does speaking and consulting. A native Californian, Delaine is an avid reader, gardener, cook, traveler and advocate for children. Delaine holds a BA from UC Davis and an MA from UC Santa Barbara.