Departments & Organizational Chart

LACOE department/division organizational chart


Photo of Deputy Superintendent, Dr Ruth Pérez

Dr. Ruth Pérez

Deputy Superintendent
(562) 922-6235

With a career spanning several renowned educational institutions, Dr. Ruth Pérez previously served as the Deputy Superintendent of Schools at the Riverside County Office of Education. She has also served as the Superintendent of the Paramount Unified School District, catering to the communities of Paramount, Long Beach, Lakewood, and Bellflower. During her tenure in Paramount, she spearheaded an Education Foundation initiative that secured an impressive sum of over $250,000 in student scholarships. Additionally, Dr. Pérez successfully led a school bond campaign amounting to $106 million, dedicated to enhancing district facilities and providing students with one-to-one technology access.

Dr. Pérez' professional journey is marked by an array of distinguished leadership roles across the nation. She held the position of Deputy Superintendent of Instruction for the Los Angeles Unified School District, Superintendent for the Norwalk-La Miranda Unified School District, Chief Academic Officer in Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools in North Carolina, and Area Superintendent in Orange County Public Schools in Florida. Her commitment to educational excellence is evident in her involvement in esteemed organizations such as the National Association of Administrators and School Superintendents (AASA) as a Governing Board Member, the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA) as a member of the Superintendents Council, and the Southern Superintendent’s Association in California. Dr. Pérez currently serves on the Board of the Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents (ALAS).

Dr. Pérez' educational achievements include a Doctorate and Master's degrees obtained from Nova Southeastern University in Florida, as well as a Bachelor's degree from Queen's University of the City University of New York. Her personal background as an English Language Learner from Puerto Rico, educated in the New York City Public School system, fuels her unwavering dedication to improving student achievement and outcomes for all students, with a particular focus on the underserved and English language learners.

Furthermore, Dr. Pérez is deeply committed to acting as a role model and mentor, providing guidance to emerging leaders aspiring to attain higher leadership positions. She understands the challenges and rewards associated with the superintendent position and endeavors to support and nurture aspiring leaders throughout their professional journeys.

Dr. Erin M. Simon

Associate Superintendent

Dr. Erin M. Simon leads significant reform efforts in school districts. In her former role as the assistant superintendent of school support services for the Long Beach Unified School District (LBUSD), Dr. Simon managed more than 350 staff members and an $80 million budget.

Dr. Simon led the special education and student support divisions and the Family Resource Centers, which provide social, emotional, and behavioral health-related support to students within a cluster of schools in LBUSD. She also provided guidance to the District’s 84 schools, with over 64,000 students, on specialized services, including compliance and policy.

Dr. Simon’s career began as a high school teacher in Los Angeles. She then served as a high school dean of students in South Los Angeles and a principal in Redondo Beach, before becoming the director of student support services for LBUSD in 2014 and later the assistant superintendent of school support services for LBUSD in 2020. She has been recognized and praised for increasing student achievement, mental health resources, and school attendance, mitigating barriers for homeless and foster youth, and closing opportunity gaps between identifiable groups of students.

Dr. Simon has focused her career on closing opportunity gaps, educational equity, and community improvement. The California Attorney General Kamala Harris' 2015 and 2016 annual reports, In School + On Track: California’s Elementary School Truancy & Absenteeism Crisis, highlighted her attendance efforts in decreasing elementary chronic absentee rates. In February 2016, Simon received the Long Beach City Prosecutor's Office IMPACT award for successfully reducing chronic truancy and assisting at-risk students with gang involvement.

Dr. Simon is the past president of the State Association of California School Administrators (ACSA). The office helps shape the organization’s direction and advocacy efforts.

Dr. Simon graduated from San Jose State University with a bachelor’s degree in public relations. She holds a doctorate in educational leadership from California State University, Long Beach. She has received numerous awards for her contributions to policy and practice. 

Ruben Valles

Chief Academic Officer
(562) 922-8995

Chief Academic Officer Ruben Valles leverages three decades of experience as a transformative academic leader to harness the collective power of staff, students, parents and community members to elevate Los Angeles County’s TK-12 schools.

The architect of an organizational philosophy built on distributed leadership, collaborative teams, caring adults, and an unwavering belief in the ability of each student to learn, Mr. Valles has led school sites out of program improvement and toward California Gold Ribbon Schools distinction. He now leads the work of supporting LA County’s 80 districts to deliver on the promise of a world class education in a world impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Before stepping into his role overseeing LACOE’s Accountability, Support & Monitoring, Curriculum & Instruction, and Student Support Services departments, Mr. Valles served as a Community of Schools Administrator for Los Angeles Unified School District, the second-largest school district in the nation. He supervised TK-12 schools in Bell, Cudahy, and Maywood, in addition to serving seven years as a LAUSD Instructional Director and as a principal for the Grand View Boulevard and Graham elementary schools.

His work as principal for the Santa Monica Alternative School House (SMASH) in the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District, and as an Assistant Principal in the Paramount Unified School District form the bedrock of his tenants of administrative leadership. His years as a teacher and coordinator in the Pomona Unified School District cemented his belief that system wide improvements can be achieved through continuous improvement teams who are empowered to effect change

Dr. Maricela Ramirez

Chief Education Officer
(562) 803-8301

Maricela Ramirez joined LACOE in November, 2016 after serving as Instructional Director for the Los Angeles Unified School District, Local District-East for more than a year. Previously, she served as a principal at Belvedere Middle School and helped open the East Los Angeles Renaissance Academy, a pilot school at Esteban E. Torres High School, as its founding principal. She began her career as a teacher at Roosevelt High School, where she had also served in multiple leadership roles for 15 years. She received her M.A. in Education from Stanford University, M.A. in Educational Administration from UCLA and B.A. in Sociology from Yale University.

Cabinet member, Karen Kimmel

Karen Kimmel

Chief Financial Officer
(562) 922-6124

Karen Kimmel has served in public education for 24 years, most recently as the Assistant Superintendent of Business Services for the Las Virgenes Unified School District. Additionally, Ms. Kimmel worked in private industry for 10 years in the capacities of Controller and Vice President of Finance. She started her career as an auditor with Deloitte and Touche where she earned her license as a Certified Public Accountant.  She received her Bachelor’s in Accounting from California Lutheran University, graduating cum laude, and is a graduate of the FCMAT Chief Business Official certification program.

She has served as a board member with the Alliance of Schools for Cooperative Insurance Programs and held the role of Treasurer for both the Schools Linked for Insurance Management Joint Powers Authority and the California Statewide Delinquent Tax Financing Authority.  Her work has been recognized with the CASBO Smart Business Award and she has been honored with multiple community recognitions including the City of Calabasas Superior Public Service Award and the Boys & Girls Club Community Partner Award.  Ms. Kimmel serves as an adjunct instructor teaching educational finance to aspiring school administrators and non-profit financial controls to parent volunteers.

Dr. Kanika White

Chief of Human Resources
(562) 922-6818

Dr. Kanika White leverages her extensive experience in education leadership and a deep commitment to equity to empower educators and support student success. Throughout her distinguished career, she has championed educational excellence in public schools, universities, and international organizations. Dr. White is a passionate advocate for underserved children, driven by the belief that every child deserves the opportunity to reach their full potential.

Her dedication to education is rooted in personal experience. Having spent half her childhood in the foster care system, Dr. White understands the transformative power of education and the importance of unwavering support.

Dr. White's leadership has demonstrably improved schools. In the Compton Unified School District (CUSD), she transformed one of the district's lowest-performing schools into one on track for academic improvement within two years. She subsequently led the creation of CUSD's first successful K-8 school, fostering a culture of learning that increased student achievement and reduced student attrition.

Dr. White's expertise extends to human resources, where she previously served as Executive Director of Human Resources and Personnel Development for CUSD. In her current role as Chief Human Resources Officer at the Los Angeles County Office of Education (LACOE), she continues to champion excellence by cultivating a diverse and talented workforce, recruitment processes grounded in fairness and equity, and systems that promote retention and job satisfaction, all dedicated to supporting educators and ultimately, student success.

Dr. White holds a Doctor of Education degree from Pepperdine University (Malibu, CA).

José R. González

Chief Technology Officer
(562) 922-6463

Mr. José González has more than 18 years of K-12 education experience. While working for LAUSD as the Senior Director of Information Technology, he managed more than $300 million in project and operational funds. He built a reputation as a growth-focused professional with an ability to lead organizations to success. He led the efforts to consolidate an Enterprise Help Desk that will merge customer support for district departments that play a critical role in integrating policies to maximize cross-functional efficiency, stimulate team cohesion and remove silos. His leadership role with the Customer Experience team has resulted in increased student, parent, and employee satisfaction ratings from 70 to 90 percent. Mr. González has held senior leadership positions at multiple organizations in software development, engineering, device management, and infrastructure.

Mr. González attended Cerritos Community College and transferred to CSU Los Angeles to earn his undergraduate degree. He is currently earning his Executive Master’s in leadership at the University of Southern California. He has served as Mayor of Cudahy since 2018.

Daisy Esqueda

Chief of Staff
(562) 922-6492

Daisy Esqueda is a dedicated K-12 Educational Administrator with over ten years of progressive experience in public education administration. She has a passion for promoting student equity and academic achievement, and she strives to prioritize the needs of children, social and economic justice, and community empowerment.

Daisy’s professional journey has showcased her exceptional skills in project management, program and policy development, and public education. As the Chief of Staff at the Los Angeles County Office of Education, she serves as the right hand and trusted advisor to the Los Angeles County Superintendent of Schools. In this role, she oversees strategic planning activities, projects, and goals, manages the development and implementation of new initiatives, and liaises with various stakeholders to coordinate activities and programs.

Daisy’s educational background includes pursuing a Doctorate of Education in Educational Leadership at the University of California, Los Angeles, expected to be completed in 2024. She holds a Master of Science in Social Work, Policy Practice from Columbia University School of Social Work, as well as a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Mount St. Mary’s College. She also studied abroad at Universidad de Granada in 2008.

Outside of her professional endeavors, Daisy actively contributes to her community as the Board Chair of the Southeast-Rio Vista YMCA, a former Board Member of Community in Schools, Los Angeles, and a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) of Los Angeles.

Alicia Garoupa, LCSW

Chief of Wellbeing and Support Services
(562) 922-6169

Alicia Garoupa (pronouns: she/her) is proud to serve as the new Chief of Wellbeing and Support Services for the Los Angeles County Office of Education (LACOE). She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with over 20 years of social work and educational leadership experience. Her achievements include the development and implementation of numerous effective child welfare and attendance and specialized support service programs. She brings passion, commitment, and capacity to enhance organizational structures and accountabilities, establish and strengthen strategic partnerships, and align resources to foster wellbeing and improve outcomes. Her approach emphasizes effective, datainformed Universal Prevention strategies, grounded in a Multi-Tiered System of Support framework. She is committed to serving and supporting our children, youth, families, school communities, and school districts throughout Los Angeles County toward an educational model that is grounded in nurturing and affirming the whole child, embracing families as true, equal partners, realizing the promise of educational equity, and achieving social and racial justice.

She began her career as a Children’s Social Worker with the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services. Her service in public schools began as a Pupil Services and Attendance Counselor with the Los Angeles Unified School District. Prior to joining LACOE, she served as the Administrator for LAUSD’s Division of Student Health and Human Services.  She earned her Master of Social Welfare degree from the University of California at Los Angeles. 

Pamela Gibbs, J.D.

Exec. Director of Governmental Relations
(916) 324-6651

Pamela Gibbs joined LACOE in 2005.  Before joining LACOE, Ms. Gibbs worked for the Office of Legislative Counsel and served in the California Governor’s Office. Prior to her tenure in the Governor’s Office, she worked in the California State Senate and Assembly serving as committee and personal staff to numerous northern and southern California legislators. Ms. Gibbs earned her undergraduate degree from the University of the Pacific in Communication, with an emphasis in rhetoric and public address. She earned her law degree from Lincoln Law School of Sacramento. 

Eric Rowen

Exec. Director of Classified Human Resources
(562) 803-8365

As Executive Director for the Personnel Commission, Eric Rowen brings a wealth of experience as a Human Resources professional to education.

A native of Buffalo, New York, Rowen moved to California in grade school and graduated from Palos Verdes Peninsula High School.  He went on to receive a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from the University of Southern California and a Master of Arts degree in Industrial-Organizational Psychology from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology.

Rowen joined LAUSD in 2013 as an HR Specialist and has performed numerous roles since joining LACOE in 2014— HR Analyst, Senior HR Analyst and a brief assignment at Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District as Director of Classified Personnel. He has extensive experience in classified human resources for TK-12 district merit systems in areas including recruitment, pre-employment assessments, classification, organizational design, staff development, and employer branding.

In his role as Executive Director of Classified Human Resources, Rowen was instrumental in the LACOE’s transition to virtual hiring procedures as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Those processes are now handled entirely online and as a result of the streamlined effort, the unit reviewed over 7200 applications and filled 258 permanent Classified vacancies in 2021. 

Photo of LACOE Cabinet Member, Liz Grazwich

Dr. Elizabeth Graswich

Executive Director of Communications
(562) 922-6369

Elizabeth Graswich is a communications leader with nearly two decades of expertise in public education, communications, public policy, and media. Her work includes leadership and support for numerous initiatives, such as the COVID-19 response, diversity, equity and inclusion, digital literacy, multimedia storytelling, and strategic partnerships. She served as a board member on multiple education foundations for more than 15 years, including her present role on the board of the Greater Los Angeles Education Foundation.

Prior cabinet-level leadership roles include Communications Director for the San Ramon Valley and Elk Grove unified school districts in Northern California. She honed her storytelling skills as a reporter for The Sacramento Bee, where she focused on education and public safety. An alumnus of the University of Southern California, Graswich earned both her doctoral degree in Organizational Change and Leadership and her master's degree in Communication Management from USC.

Photo of LACOE Cabinet Member, Vibiana Andrade

Vibiana M. Andrade

General Counsel
(562) 922-6123

Vibiana M. Andrade previously served as a Los Angeles deputy city attorney. Prior to that, she was with the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, serving as the attorney in charge of legal programs, public policy and community outreach. She also has worked as a lawyer for California Rural Legal Assistance, Inc. and the National Labor Relations Board. Ms. Andrade holds a bachelor’s degree from Pomona College and a J.D. degree from Harvard Law School.


Department Name




Accounting and Budget DevelopmentECW 112(562) 803-8251 
Business Advisory ServicesECW 204(562)
ControllerECW 115(800) 352-3385 
School Financial Services (562) 
Facilities & ConstructionECW 125(562)
Division of Pupil ServicesEC 109(562)
Division of Student ProgramsEC(562)
GainECE 400(562)
Head Start & Early Learning10100 Pioneer Blvd., #325
Santa Fe Springs, CA 90670
Curriculum & Instructional Services (CIS)ECW 3156(562)
Accountability, Support & Monitoring (562) 803-8227
Fax: (562) 803-8325
Division of Special EducationECW 3106(562)
GENERAL COUNSEL SERVICESEC 299            (562) 922-6123 
Charter School Office (562)
Immigrant RelationsEC(562)
Sacramento, CA 95814
Fax: (562) 469-4399
Fax: (562) 803-8430 
Applications, Development & Support (562)
BEST (562)
Technology Infrastructure ServicesEC 153(562)
Technology Learning & Support Services (562)
Community Schools InitiativeECW(562)
EASEECE 800(800)
Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
Student Support Services
ECW 253

(562) 922-6233


Los Angeles County Education Center (EC)

9300 Imperial Highway
Downey, CA 90242-2890
Phone: (562) 922-6111
FAX (562) 922-6768

Education Center East (ECE)

9525 Imperial Highway
Downey, CA 90242-3009
Phone: (562) 922-6111
FAX (562) 803-8446

Education Center West (ECW)

12830 Columbia Way
Downey, CA 90242-4720
Phone: (562) 922-6111
FAX (562) 922-6362


Downey Area Freeway Map

LACOE Area Map

Head Start - Santa Fe Springs