Dr. April Moore President
Dr. April Moore
Dr. Moore, an Assistant Superintendent of Education Services in a high school district in Northern California, served as principal of one of our founding Middle College High Schools. Her experience, and the success of her students, has inspired her to continue in leadership in the arena of Dual Enrollment in California. In her current role with CCEMC, Dr. Moore coordinates Dual Enrollment Coaching and Leadership Academy programs, facilitating coaching and leadership training for Dual Enrollment programs throughout the state. Dr. Moore has been a founding member of the California Coalition of Early & Middle Colleges and has served on the board since 2013.
James Espinoza Vice President
Mr. Espinoza, a principal of an award-winning Middle College High School in Southern California for over ten years, has served on the board of the California Coalition of Early & Middle Colleges since 2013. He is a passionate advocate of dual enrollment across the state as a key tool for helping all students, including first generation college bound scholars learn how to navigate and graduate from 4-year colleges and universities toward their career goals. He shares through dual enrollment best practices and CCEMC support how his school was able to take mid-range, underserved students and see them rank in the top 1-2% of CA high schools on state testing yearly. Awards for the school include 2021 California Distinguished School, 2020, 2019, 2017 AVID Site of Distinction, 2017 ACT College and Career Transition Award, National Blue Ribbon School, and annual recognition as one of America’s Best High Schools. In 2019, MCHS received a 6-Year Clear on WASC accreditation. Since 2010, MCHS has achieved a 100% Graduation rate, 100% A-G completion, and in 2021 58% of scholars graduated from MCHS with their AA degree or IGETC certification. He credits his 2018 ACSA High School Principal of the Year for Region 12 to his school’s work with CCEMC and the network of dual enrollment professionals.
Dr. Sarah Ragusa Secretary
Dr. Sarah Ragusa
Dr. Ragusa, a Secondary Administrative Director in a K-12 district in Southern California, opened a Middle College high school as a counselor in 2006. That experience inspired a passion for dual enrollment which propelled her to return to that same school in 2014 to serve as principal for three years. In that time, she and her team focused on an intrusive counseling model which more than doubled the number of Associate Degree recipients at the high school within two years. In her current role as Educational Services Administrative Director for a large K-12 school district, Dr. Ragusa maintains a strong relationship with the local community college and supports a Middle College high school as well as Dual Enrollment programs at comprehensive high schools. Dr. Ragusa has been a member of the California Coalition of Early and Middle Colleges since 2014.
Dr. Erin Craig Treasurer
Dr. Erin Craig
Dr. Erin Craig, with 15 years of experience in teaching, leading, and operating schools is the Founder of Unity Middle College High School. She specializes in early and middle colleges, charter schools, instructional leadership, innovative school reform and dual enrollment. Dr. Craig has also redesigned developmental math at Golden West College and instructs the doctoral K-12 school finance course at USC’s Rossier School of Education. She has served as Director of Curriculum and Instruction and Principal for NOVA Academy Early College High School. Prior to NOVA, Dr. Craig was an assistant principal, department chair, college math professor, and math teacher. Dr. Craig received her Ed.D. in Educational Leadership specializing in K-12 Urban Schools at University of Southern California. Dr. Craig has been on the board since 2013.
Meridith Randall Member At-Large
Ms. Randall is the Vice President of Instruction at a mid-size southern California community college. In her experience as Vice President of Instruction at four different California community colleges, Ms. Randall has had oversight of the development and success of many dual enrollment agreements. Her passion and belief in the benefits of dual enrollment has been an ongoing aspect of her educational career. She has played a pivotal role in her current and past positions in the creation of numerous educational programs and recognizes the value of dual enrollment programs in creating equitable outcomes for students. Ms. Randall has played a critical role in the exponential growth of dual enrollment in California high schools and development of more effective practices in that area. Ms. Randall has served on numerous committees including the California Community College Chancellor’s Office Advisory Committee for Dual Enrollment.
Dr. Petria Gonzales
Dr. Petria Gonzales
Dr. Gonzales, a Middle College Principal in Southern California, began her career serving as a middle school teacher and quickly learned her passion was in school events and activities. She served as Activities Director for over 10 years and then moved into an Assistant Principal role. Dr. Gonzales has been Principal at the Middle College for the last four years and it is there she learned about the importance of early access to college, dual enrollment and the change in life trajectory it has on students. Since working with CCEMC as the Conference Coordinator, Dr. Gonzales has combined her passion for events and her love for dual enrollment to create memorable and informative conferences for those seeking to learn more.
Ms. Palacio is the current Executive Assistant of CCEMC and has been with the organization since 2016. She has worked within the education sector for 10 years. In her current role she is involved in all phases of CCEMC conferences and workshops as well as the office administration of the organization. Her commitment to the organization supports dual enrollment as another option for student success.
Ms. Balian is the current Executive Director of CCEMC and past board president. She was instrumental in the development of the CCEMC and under her leadership the Coalition has emerged as a force for the advancement of dual enrollment throughout the state. Working with the California Community College Chancellor’s Office she was the co-coordinator of the first dual enrollment statewide conference held in 2014 which led to annually held dual enrollment conferences. Ms. Balian was the former principal, for 12 years, of a middle college high school in Northern California and under her leadership the high school received numerous awards including a 2008 and 2015 National Blue Ribbon Award. Her involvement in the middle college high school movement fueled her passion for dual enrollment and her commitment to promote dual enrollment throughout the state as another path to support student success. Ms. Balian has been a member of CCEMC since 2013.