Constantino Aguilar Named 2017 Mentoring Minds Administrator of the Year by CALSA

K-12 Publisher Mentoring Minds Partners with CALSA to Honor Merced UHSD Administrator for Dedication to Excellence and Innovation

SAN DIEGO – Yesterday at the California Association of Latino Superintendents and Administrators (CALSA) Summer Institute, veteran educator Constantino Aguilar, assistant superintendent of Educational Services at Merced Union High School District (MUHSD), was named 2017 Administrator of the Year. Aguilar was awarded $10,000 through a sponsorship by national K-12 publisher Mentoring Minds and its partnership with CALSA.

“Constantino Aguilar truly reflects and embodies the qualities of an outstanding public school administrator, as he is an exceptional leader and an inspiration to those who are dedicated to the students and families we serve,” said David Verdugo, Ed.D., executive director, CALSA. “It has been an honor for CALSA to partner with such an amazing organization as Mentoring Minds, as its commitment to excellence and the support it provides to help further the educational journey and professional development of CALSA members is unprecedented.”

During his 20 years as an educator, Aguilar served as Spanish teacher, associate principal and principal. As executive director of technology and innovation for MUHSD, he developed opportunities for students to earn college credit while in high school. Many students, the majority of which were first-generation college students, were dually enrolled at the local community college. Aguilar helped bring the Merced County Parent Institute to MUHSD, which focuses on educating parents, particularly those of color, about the district, while providing strategies to navigate the school system and empower them to take an active role in their child’s educational curriculum. To create vocational-technical opportunities for students, Aguilar developed and implemented CISCO Computer Science Academies and computer repair centers across the district, which teach students how to repair Chromebooks.

Aguilar is currently pursuing a doctorate of education at the University of Southern California and will apply his CALSA scholarship toward tuition.

“Constantino Aguilar is a true innovator and his commitment to his students is extraordinary,” said Michael Lujan, CEO, Mentoring Minds. “Mentoring Minds is proud to continue our partnership with CALSA to honor this outstanding administrator and his tireless dedication to excellence.”

The Mentoring Minds Administrator of the Year Award, now in its second year, honors an exceptional leader in education for outstanding contributions to a school or district. While CALSA has previously offered scholarships to administrators to help further their continuing education and professional development, this is the organization’s first award dedicated to celebrating the achievements and impact of a sitting administrator.

The scholarship award offers one administrator $10,000 to be used toward personal growth, student scholarships, or a charity of their choice. Applicants must be a current CALSA member in good standing and a sitting superintendent, deputy superintendent, chief academic officer, chief business officer, or principal. A comprehensive nomination form must be submitted detailing demonstrated success as a site or district administrator with clear student outcome criteria such as increased graduation rates and improved reading scores. The successful applicant must also show an ongoing commitment to professional growth and support for CALSA’s mission.


The California Association of Latino Superintendents and Administrators (CALSA) is a professional association of diverse educational leaders skilled in addressing the needs of Latino/a students and dedicated to increasing the number of highly effective Latino/a administrators. CALSA advocates for the ongoing development and placement of Latino educational leaders who are committed to quality public education.

About Mentoring Minds, the Critical Thinking for Life company

Mentoring Minds is a national K-12 publisher with a mission to put critical thinking at the center of the classroom in order to support student achievement and empower educators to teach to higher standards. Mentoring Minds’ award-winning, research-based resources are designed to be flexible for classroom needs, supporting technology integration and standards mastery for Math, ELA, and Science. Mentoring Minds’ commitment to education extends beyond the classroom, as well; the company proudly sponsors groundbreaking administrators across the nation and supports community-based education initiatives through MindShare, an employee-driven grant program. For more information, call 800-585-5258 or visit

For more information, press only: Shaun Wiley, L. Wolfe Communications, 847-644-0237, [email protected].