Laura Alvarenga, Ed.D

Dr. Alvarenga brings a rich background of experience to the executive search scene. Prior to joining Dave Long & Associates Executive Search Services she worked over a decade with the California School Boards Association (CSBA) assisting in superintendent searches. During the course of her 34 year career in public education she served children attending public schools in San Francisco, Emeryville, and San Rafael California. She retired as superintendent of the San Rafael City Schools in 2007. In the San Francisco Unified School District, she taught at the elementary, middle and high school levels. She held the position of middle school principal, assistant superintendent, and associate superintendent during her 25-year tenure in the same district. She also served as superintendent in Emeryville Unified School District, and in the San Rafael City Schools.

Dr. Alvarenga reflects fondly on the school districts with which she was involved. While all are located in the San Francisco Bay area, they are different in many ways. In size, for instance, Emeryville had an enrollment of just over 1,000, San Rafael approximately 5500, and San Francisco about 65,000. On the other hand, there are similarities in these districts which reflect the population of the State of California. She participated and led programs in which assertive steps were taken to meet the needs of all students in pre-school programs, grades K-12, and adult school. The diversity of the children and their families is evident in the racial and linguistic tapestry in the schools. The educational programs instituted were designed to bridge the cultural and linguistic differences and to promote high achievement of all students. During challenging financial periods the districts also managed their funds prudently to provide for the educational needs of the students. Further, bonds measures were passed to upgrade facilities. Under Dr. Alvarenga’s direction parents and members of the community were involved in every step of the process. In San Rafael, for example all schools were fully renovated, two were demolished and rebuilt with a community investment of nearly 175 million.

She has been an active member of the Association of California Schools Administrators, and served in numerous committees over the years. As superintendent, she served in the state-wide advisory committee for the Fiscal Crisis Management Team. This team is responsible for providing support to districts in the areas of public schools finance and construction management. This team also developed guidelines to ensure that all districts could manage their funds efficiently and intervened in situations where the school systems had failed to do so. Her involvement in these and various other educational leadership organizations throughout the state provides her with a wealth of networking avenues for identifying and recruiting strong school district chief executive officers.

Dr. Alvarenga obtained a Bachelors of Arts in Spanish, a Masters Degree in Education with emphasis in Bilingual Education, and a Masters in Educational Administration from San Francisco State University. She received a doctoral degree from Teachers College, Columbia University in New York City.