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Trudy T. Arriaga

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Dr. Trudy T. Arriaga currently serves as the Dean of Equity and Outreach in the Graduate School of Education at Cal Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks, CA. She continues to contribute to the field of education through keynote speeches, workshops, leadership and equity institutes, and professional development collaborations. Trudy has enjoyed a 40-year career in education, including 14 years as the first female superintendent for Ventura Unified School District (VUSD) before retiring in July 2015. Her early roles include working as a bilingual paraeducator, teacher, assistant principal, principal, and director. In recognition of her service, VUSD named its district office the VUSD Trudy Tuttle Arriaga Education Service Center. Dr. Arriaga is also a co-author of two books, "Leading While Female: A Culturally Proficient Response for Gender Equity" and "Opening Doors: An Implementation Template for Cultural Proficiency."


  • Cultural proficiency
  • Schoolwide and districtwide equity reform
  • Diverse learners


Trudy can help you:

  • Articulate the language, beliefs, policies, and practices that support all learners

  • Promote a values-based, inside-out approach for embracing cultural differences within anorganization or district

  • Understand the tools and strategies needed to embed Cultural Proficiency into organizational culture


  • The Guiding Principles of Cultural Proficiency: An introduction to the Four Tools of Cultural Proficiency, values, behaviors, knowledge and skill. An emphasis on breakthrough communication and door opening skills will be placed on the first professional development day. Embracing the Guiding Principles as core values in esteeming culture as central to professional and institutional practice will be the agreed upon outcome of the day. The book, Opening Doors, will be introduced as the book study for the year.
  • Essential Elements of Cultural Proficiency: The essential elements will be demonstrated as standards to guide upcoming practices and to examine existing policies and procedures on campus. A focus on parent / guardian interactions, classroom instruction, approaches to assessment and accountability and curriculum development will be covered during this session.
  • Overcoming Barriers: Proficiency Barriers will be introduced and discussed. Identification of barriers on campus and opportunities to develop action plans to eliminate practices that serve as barriers to students. Time will be devoted to the recognition of personal and professional barriers to Proficiency as we addresses unintentional biases.
  • Cultural Proficiency Continuum: An opportunity to examine the six areas on the cultural proficiency continuum and strategically place current practices at the site on the continuum. This session ensures a sound understanding and common language to be agreed upon by all staff as expectations of success are modeled. Discerning unhealthy values, behaviors, policies and practices in a way that allows educators to use healthy values, behaviors and practices as we embrace the culture of students as assets will be the focus on this session.
  • Equity Walk Throughs: Scheduled equity walk throughs for all staff to identify practices on campus in the four areas of Cultural Proficiency with an opportunity to discuss and share at the culmination of the day. End of the day will be a time of celebration, review and goal setting for the upcoming school year.

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What People are Saying

"Couldn't have asked for a more perfect PD experience. Having the actual author working with us was incredible."

-Cynthia Delgado, Principal, Hueneme Elementary School District, Oxnard, CA

Certified In

  • Deep Equity