Dr. Elaine Beraza
Yakima School District Superintendent
Elaine was born in the beautiful Appalachian mountains of Western North Carolina. Her family represented two cultures – her mother being a Carolina Tar heel and her father a recent Hispanic immigrant. Elaine graduated from high school and college in Puerto Rico. She earned her Masters degree in elementary education from the College of Charleston and administrative certification credits from the Citadel. She then received an Educational Specialist’s degree in Counseling Psychology from Ball State University and a Doctorate in Educational Administration and Leadership.
Elaine began her career as an educator in Charleston, South Carolina. Her career took her to Incirlik, Turkey, Ramstein, Germany, and later to Puerto Rico. Elaine served as the Superintendent of the West Point Dependent Schools and the Camp Lejeune Schools.
Prior to coming to Yakima, Elaine provided leadership for a geographically dispersed, school system with over 25,000 students, primarily serving the children of America’s military men and women. Her sense of pride and accomplishment from this work is tremendous.
Elaine was selected by the Yakima School District Board of Directors as Superintendent beginning July 1, 2009. Her goal is to add value to the lives of the children and young adults she serves in the Yakima Public Schools and to focus attention on the importance and role of each individual in supporting education and student learning.
Throughout her career, Elaine has distinguished herself as a powerful instructional leader who has had notable success in establishing collaborative leadership teams and creating a climate of open communication among all stakeholder groups. Each year she visits hundreds of classrooms and is a forceful advocate for equitable educational opportunities for all learners, narrowing the achievement gap, and ensuring success for all students.
Elaine would tell you that she has found that Yakima is an amazing place to live, work, raise children and experience traditional values that are grounded in the customs, traditions and ethics of a wonderful and caring community.