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Tuesday June 5, 2018 — California Primary Election
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State of CaliforniaCandidate for Superintendent Of Public Instruction

Photo of Lily "Espinoza" Ploski

Lily "Espinoza" Ploski

Educational Administrator/Instructor
984,039 votes (16.4%)
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Advocating for funding for K-12 and college and career pathways
  • Safe and healthy schools and communities
  • Equity in all student outcomes to close the achievement gap



Profession:Educational administrator/Teacher
Instructor, Mills College (2016–current)
Director, Workforce Development, Goodwill Industries of the Greater Eastbay (2016–2017)
Dean/Athletic Director, School of Human Performance and Development, Solano College (2011–2014)
Director, Cadena Cultural Center and Transfer Center, Fullerton College (2008–2011)
Interim Director, Extended Opportunity Programs and Services/ CARE, Evergreen Valley College (2007–2008)


California State University, Fullerton Doctorate Degree, Educational Leadership (2011)
Teachers College, Columbia University Master of Arts Degree, Student Personnel Administration (2002)
University of California, Berkeley Bachelor of Arts Degree, Women's Studies (1998)
Diablo Valley College Associate of Arts Degree, Liberal Studies (1995)

Community Activities

Golf Tournament Director, Solano College (2012–2014)
Board Member, Brandman University, Teacher Preparation and Early Childhood Education Development Programs (2011–2014)
Chair, Diversity Committee, Fullerton College (2009–2011)
Fellow, National Community College Hispanic Council, American Association of Community Colleges (2009–2011)
Community Leader, White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics (2009–2010)


Dr. Lily E. Ploski was born and raised in Orange County and is a proud graduate of the public school system, graduating from Fullerton Union High School in the City of Fullerton, CA. Dr. Ploski completed my associate's degree in Liberal Studies at Diablo Valley College in Pleasant Hill, CA. I transferred to U.C. Berkeley to earn my bachelor's degree in Women's Studies. Lily attended Teachers College, Columbia University in New York City for her master's degree in Student Personnel Administration. She then attended California State University, Fullerton to complete her doctorate in Educational Leadership.

Dr. Ploski has worked in education for over 15 years as a student advocate in Student Services (member of CSEA, SEIU and CalPERS), also as an instructor, manager, Dean, and Athletic Director. She currently works at Mills College in Oakland, CA as part of the Upward Bound program, as an instructor teaching financial literacy courses to low income and underrepresented students. Her passion to serve others in their educational achievement is her life's work.

Many of Dr. Ploski’s career highlights include her work to support student success and to increase the academic pathway for all students to be able to achieve. She led a statewide conference focused on African American student retention programs that led to the establishment of the Umoja Programs across all 115 community colleges. In 2016 she oversaw $6M in grants focused on workforce and career development for ex-felons and CalWORKs recipients. Dr. Ploski was elected to serve a two-year term as the chair for the Fullerton College Diversity Committee where she established policy to address discrimination and protections for LGBTQ students and undocumented students, as well as overseeing a steering committee to support former foster youth. Lily also established a golf tournament fundraiser that generated almost $100,000 in revenue while serving as the Athletic Director at Solano College. Dr. Ploski also authored the book, Not Getting Stuck: Success stories of being Latina and transferring from a California community college, in 2017, Alive Publications. As well, Ploski has led in the development of enrollment management plans, accreditation self-studies and site visits, and she has made contributions to the California Community College Athletic Association. As well, Ploski has published and presented educational research on LGBTQ student success and Latina student success in higher education and in college preparation programs.

Dr. Lily Ploski has experience leading educational improvement efforts including, Educational Master Planning, Facilities Master Planning, Bond Measures, Student Equity Planning, Diversity Action Planning, policy development, fiscal and budget development, Strategic Planning, Business Advisory Committees, grant management, workforce and economic development and community development. She is a leader with expertise in educational administration who puts students first!

Please review the website, to learn more about her background and vision for California. We have no time to lose!

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More information about contributions

Source: MapLight analysis of data from the California Secretary of State.

Political Beliefs

Political Philosophy

Lily’s family is her motivation to seek out this public office. Her father, Donald Ploski, was an English teacher while he was stationed in Okinawa, Japan serving as an U.S. Air Force officer. After four years in the Air Force, Lily’s father re-located to Los Angeles, CA to attend law school in order to become a worker’s compensation attorney. Lily’s mother, Margarita Espinoza, came to Los Angeles from Mexico at the age of 16 and she worked as a housekeeper until she married Donald. Margarita and Donald had five children, four girls and one boy. Margarita was very active in the church and community service, writing newsletters and organizing community events. As a lawyer, Donald primarily served clients injured on the job in the agriculture industry. While both her parents have since passed, Margarita in 1987, at the age of 37 and Donald in 2004, at the age of 67, their years of dedication to public service deeply impacted Lily and her siblings. Lily’s brother recently retired from 20 years of service in the U.S. Air Force. Two of her sisters are teachers and her other sister works in the mortgage industry. Lily is mother to her 14 year old son, who attends the local public middle school.

Lily brings 15 years of experience working in public education at all levels, from middle school to high school, community college to the university. A true California girl born and raised, Lily spent half her life living in Southern California. Ploski's love of California has led her to live in many parts of the state including Los Angeles, San Jose, Merced, and finally the San Francisco Bay Area. While growing up in Orange County in the 1980s, Lily attended the finest public schools in the nation. Lily relocated to the San Francisco Bay area to attend community college. She transferred to U.C. Berkeley to complete her Bachelor’s Degree in Women’s Studies. Lily completed her Master’s Degree in Student Personnel Administration from Teacher's College, Columbia University in New York City. Dr. Ploski completed her doctorate in Educational Leadership from Cal State University, Fullerton.

As State Superintendent, Lily E. Ploski’s administration will focus on four key areas:

1.) Clear Pathways Across Schools, Employment, Workforce Training, and Colleges

2.) Safe Schools and College Campuses

3.) Equity in All Outcomes

4.) Champion for Academic and Fiscal Integrity

Please read more about Lily’s vision for the state of California at her website,

The public school system in the state of California needs a true leader ready to do the work to stand up for our students, teachers, schools, and districts. The people in the state of California and our students deserve better. Lily E. Ploski is ready to build the partnerships and collaborations we need to secure the funding, policy, and resources to return our state back to the top of the list for public education achievement. Time is of the essence! We cannot afford to wait another minute to bring our schools into the future. The future is now! Lily is the hands-on educational leader the state of California needs to pave the way for all our students to succeed!

Please show your support for Lily E. Ploski for California State Superintendent of Public Instruction 2018 at

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