Dr. Amy Cranston to Lead California SEL Alliance

Dr. Amy Cranston to Lead California SEL Alliance

At the start of July 2019, Dr. Amy Cranston will lead the social-emotional learning (SEL) revolution in California as executive director of the California SEL Alliance.

Cranston currently serves as Director of Expanded Learning Services for the Ventura County Office of Education and a Regional Lead for the California Dept. of Education Expanded Learning Division,

In the fall of 2018, she joined the Alliance as a steering committee member and subsequently agreed to chair and direct our first statewide SEL conference, slated for 2020.

As Amy learned more about the Alliance and our exchanges deepened, and as I learned more about her extensive connections and respect within the education community, I broached the matter of her providing the next level of leadership for SEL4CA. I noted this would allow me to focus more intensely on my other role – as president of the national media awareness campaign, EQuip Our Kids!, under the banner of the advocacy organization the Big EQ Campaign.

Going forward, and once Amy is fully aboard, I will remain for now chair of the Alliance steering committee and active on the strategic and advocacy levels but will give up my major Alliance role as Lead Organizer. From the outset I’ve believed that the next stage of our development would be made possible by bringing in a leader from the education community who was intensely passionate and knowledgeable about SEL and who has strong leadership skills and respect in the community.

Amy is that person. I believe our movement of 100 organizations and 200 individual members will now grow faster and stronger as a foundational force for the SEL movement in the state, and nationally.

As she enters into this pivotal role at the Alliance by joining us as our executive director, she’d like to share with you her vision for SEL4CA, as well as a brief bio of her 19 years in education.

“Words cannot express how excited I am for the opportunity to take the helm at SEL4CA! Like all of you Alliance members, I am a rabid supporter, believer, and advocate of SEL – for all kids, of all ages, in all schools and learning environments. Along with Jay, my vision for the potential of the Alliance is limitless in our ability to grow SEL4CA as a force to be reckoned with in furthering the cause and mission of SEL.

In our own creative ways, we intend to put SEL4CA on the map as one of the core leaders of the SEL movement in this country, just as our six-year old SEL4MA counterpart has done in the state of Massachusetts. In collaboration with our multi-state counterparts, the California Alliance will also help to grow the national network of Alliances anchored by SEL4US.

I look forward to getting to know each and every Alliance member, learning more about the great SEL work each of you are doing, and working together to make our dream—our common goal and collective vision—a reality. Onward!”


Amy currently serves as the Director of Expanded Learning Services for the Ventura County Office of Education and as a Regional Lead for the CDE-Expanded Learning Division. A professional educator for nearly 20 years, she has been a teacher, school site administrator, county office administrator, and state representative for a four-county region.

A formal and passionate SEL expert, her Doctoral study focused on Social Emotional Learning for At-Risk students. She has since brought her SEL expertise into service in various capacities at the local, state, and national levels. Dr. Cranston holds an Ed.D. in K-12 Educational Leadership and has published several articles based on her SEL research. She will present her work at CASEL’s inaugural conference in Chicago this October.

Her book, Creating SEL Environments, is set for release in July 2019 by Shell Education Publishing. Additional areas of expertise include: Impact of poverty on education, social justice and educational equity for at-risk students, dropout prevention, college and career readiness, school climate and safety.

1 thought on “Dr. Amy Cranston to Lead California SEL Alliance”

  1. Congratulations Amy! I am so happy for your next journey…a huge one…in which you will continue to impact lives and make a difference!

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