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Whitney Olson


Whitney Olson currently works as an educational consultant, working primarily for the Sacramento County Office of Education as a co-coordinator for the California National History Day program. She also is a founder and CEO of the California Foundation for History Education, where she has worked since 2015 to support inquiry based social studies and civic engagement throughout California with professional development and student programming. Whitney is an elected member of the board of directors for the National Council for History Education and the Executive Council of Coordinators for National History Day. In 2012, she was selected as the History Channel Educator of the Year.

Whitney has previously served on the CCSS Board of Directors as the Region One representative and the Northern Area Vice President. Her previous work on behalf of CCSS includes building a new website and working with the BOD to update the logo. Since 2017, she has worked closely with the ED to support the annual conference. In 2020, CCSS honored Whitney with the Ruth Delzell Service Award.

Whitney holds an M.A. in history from Pace University, a B.A. in history from the University of California, Berkeley, and a secondary teaching credential from San Francisco State University.



What does CCSS stand for today? How does CCSS go from big ideas to practical action? How should CCSS structure itself to increase membership, visibility, and sustainability? These are the questions the leadership of CCSS must address in order to steer the organization towards a stable, growth-oriented future.

The historical success of CCSS was built on a foundation of community through membership and local councils. The future success of CCSS will require a strategic plan to serve teachers in new ways while still building community. CCSS must be poised to meet the moment in social studies education, supporting educators with the tools and resources to stay relevant in a quickly changing environment. How can CCSS mobilize to serve teachers in ways that large, public agencies cannot?

If elected as Northern Area Vice President, I look forward to using my experience in education and the non-profit sector to support the work that CCSS needs to do at the board level, including finding opportunities to increase the organization’s impact and visibility, embracing the hard work of leadership, and building consensus in order to effect change. Let’s work together to shift the conversation from “what is CCSS?” to “CCSS did that.”

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