Women in Educational Leadership (WEL) Symposium

Building a Culture of Support

Facilitated By Dr. LaFaye Platter & Dr. Suzette Lovely

The WEL Symposium grew out of a desire to see more women flourish in school leadership positions. Since 2018, our network has provided an opportunity for hundreds of female educators to build connections and rise together. We invite you to join us on this voyage of sisterhood, self-discovery and sense-making to work in unison on behalf of the students we serve.

Dr. LaFaye Platter

Dr. Platter’s career spans 25 years in K-12 education as a teacher, assistant principal, principal, and central office administrator. Prior to embarking upon her career in education, LaFaye worked in the fields of finance, marketing, and commercial real estate. In 2017, Dr. Platter retired as Deputy Superintendent in the Hemet Unified School District. Currently, LaFaye is an executive leadership coach supporting school districts and businesses with leadership development, teambuilding, and the strategic change process.

Dr. Suzette Lovely

Dr. Lovely’s career has spanned nearly four decades in K-12 schools as a teacher, principal, deputy superintendent, superintendent, education consultant, and search adviser. She co-founded the Women in Educational Leadership (WEL) Network in 2017. As a sought-after coach, author and staff developer, Dr. Lovely helps school leaders work through the barriers that can hijack careers and keep educators from doing and being their best.


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Communicating with Flair, Finesse & Frequency
The Multiplier Effect
Advancing Your Agenda Through Positive Labor Relations


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Zandra Jo Galvan, Superintendent, Greenfield Union School District (Monterey County)

Mrs. Zandra Jo Galvan has been serving as Superintendent of the Greenfield Union School District since August 10, 2017. Zandra has worked in public education for the past 28 years. Prior to joining GUSD, she served as the Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services for Gonzales Unified School District where she coordinated all educational programs, the LCAP development process and budgets, and managed all state and federal programs.

Superintendent Galvan began her career as an elementary classroom teacher for the Greenfield Union School District where
she also attended kindergarten through graduation. Returning to serve as Superintendent allowed her childhood dreams to come true.

She has always been passionate about returning to and serving her community since she was a child and has been able to implement some exciting programs while leading as Superintendent. Over the last 45 months, she has implemented a GUSD District Strategic Plan with an LCAP-aligned vision, mission, core values, and board of trustee priorities; implemented the Professional Learning Community
system of collaboration around essential standards mapping, identified learning targets through teacher clarity, implemented a local, formative common assessments protocol, instilled an effective method of frequent, on-going data analysis; implemented 21st century classroom furniture and designed innovative LEGO & Apple learning lab spaces at all elementary sites for students to build, innovate, create and prepare for their successful postsecondary college and career futures.

Superintendent Galvan graduated from King City High School in 1989, earned her Associate of Arts degree in General Studies from Hartnell College in 1991, her Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal Studies and Teaching Credential from the California State University of Fresno in 1993, her Master of Arts Degree in Curriculum and Instruction from CSU Monterey Bay in 2002, and her Master of Arts Degree and Administrative Credential in Educational Leadership from San Jose State University in 2008. She was most recently accepted into the University of Southern California (USC) Doctoral Program where she will earn Doctoral Degree in 2024. She has also Program where she will earn Doctoral Degree in 2024. She has also successfully completed the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA) Superintendent Academy, is on the ACSA
2020 Superintendent Planning Committee, is a member of the National Superintendents Roundtable, is in the ACSA Region 4 Board of Directors, and is on the California Association of Latino/a/x Superintendents and Administrators (CALSA) Board of Directors for California.

Superintendent Galvan is a consultant and professional development facilitator. She has been spotlighted on several State and National podcasts and routinely is on Superintendent panels and conference speaking events highlighting hot topics in education. She enjoys engaging other professionals around topics of organizational leadership, social justice and equity, dismantling racism, challenging organizational structures for students, social emotional wellness, distance learning, lessons learned as we grow, sisterhood circles of empowerment, and uplifting our next generation to thrive in our world that we challenge and design. She is also extremely proud of lifting others and establishing a #SisterCircle to empower women, specifically women of color into positions of influence for the students and communities we serve.

Superintendent Galvan is passionate about preparing students to be social-emotionally and academically prepared for college and career and ensures that every GUSD team member knows they are an ELITE team member dedicated to the arduous task of saving students from the cycle of poverty. She proudly is committed to “ALL Means ALL”: Fulfilling the Greenfield Guarantee for ALL students in the Greenfield Union School District.

Julie Mitchell, Superintendent, Rowland Unified School District (LA County)

Julie Mitchell, Ed.D. has served as the Superintendent of the Rowland Unified School District beginning October 1, 2014. After an extensive search process, the Board of Education chose Mitchell for her broad and established instructional leadership roles across all grade levels, strength in collaboration and focus on increasing student learning and achievement.

Dr. Mitchell has 32 years of experience in public education. She has served at all leadership levels — as an instructional aide, middle and high school teacher, assistant principal, principal, assistant superintendent, and superintendent. She has a strong personnel background with extensive experience in employee relations, contract negotiations and the creation and implementation of comprehensive professional development and leadership programs for teachers, classified support staff and management. Dr. Mitchell also assisted with the passage and implementation of bond measures both for school facilities modernization and technology for K-12 students and 21st century classrooms.

Dr. Mitchell has dedicated her entire career to ensuring that every child is given every opportunity to succeed and achieve. She considers herself a teacher at heart and public education is her passion. Her leadership philosophy is to create a positive learning environment for both students and staff, while building upon excellence with students at the center of all decisions. Her leadership has brought a laser focus and unwavering vision and commitment to “Innovative Learning for All” that supports the needs of students, families and staff. She is an advocate for expanding access to technology and bridging the digital divide for all students, and has guided the District to its first-ever digital initiative, instituting new technological tools to support student learning and providing teachers the tools and content knowledge needed to increase student achievement.

This new vision has garnered our District with many state and national awards, including being named as a “2018 Visionary School District” that was featured at the National Model Schools Conference in June, and receiving a “Districts of Distinction” honor by District Administration Magazine in July. Rowland Unified is also one of 12 school districts across the nation selected as a Future Ready Schools Digital Equity Program. The District also received the state’s highest educational honor for three schools being named California Distinguished Schools.

Dr. Mitchell has been recognized at the local, regional and state levels. She has a bachelor’s degree in social science from San Diego State University, a master’s degree in education from the University of La Verne and received her doctorate in administration/management from Pepperdine University. Mitchell is married with three children.

“I’m committed to providing all students with an exceptional educational experience which will assist them with becoming thriving members of an ever-changing global society,” shared Dr. Mitchell.


Lillian Maldonado French, Superintendent, Mountain View School DIstrict (Los Angeles County)

Lillian Maldonado French is the Superintendent of the Mountain View School District in El Monte, California.  She has 35 plus years of experience in public education, including Bilingual Teacher, Curriculum Specialist, Principal, and Director of Curriculum and Staff Development and over 15 years’ experience as Superintendent in two urban school districts.

A native of Southern California, Ms. Maldonado French was raised in Boyle Heights, a Latino community just east of downtown Los Angeles.  She received her B.A. in Linguistics from U.C. Irvine, an M.S. in Educational Administration from Cal State Fullerton, and is currently completing her doctorate in Organizational Leadership at Brandman University. Ms. Maldonado French’s diversified and successful professional experience has led to her expertise in addressing the needs of English Learners, developing researched-based instructional programs, and maintaining effective family and community engagement through consensus building and collaboration.


Saturday, April 10, 2021

Saturday, May 22, 2021

Saturday, June 12, 2021

TIME: 9:00-10:30AM PDT


FEE: $95 per person
With 4 paid registrations, get the 5th for free!


“This was an amazing experience, one that I will forever value. I am excited to put into action everything that I learned.”

“WEL taught me that I do not have to be the ?perfect female administrator.? I now know there is no such thing ? who I am and what I bring to the table is exactly what is needed.”

“Each session was motivating and empowering. I can’t wait to continue to work with the network.”