Mr. Cora has served as the Superintendent of the Guadalupe Union School District since 2011. He has been in education his entire career spanning 33 years. Prior to working for the Guadalupe Union School District, he began his administrative career as an assistant principal at an elementary school for one year, followed by an additional year as an assistant principal at the junior high school level. He was then promoted to an elementary school principal for seven years followed by seven more years as principal at a local junior high school, both in Santa Maria.
Graduating in 1983 with his Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education from East Stroudsburg University in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania, he began his teaching career in 1984 as an elementary teacher in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. After three years teaching in Pennsylvania, Mr. Cora moved to California and made his home on the Central Coast. Once again, he taught at the elementary level for four years in the Orcutt Union School District. In 1991, he served an additional four years as the district’s Outreach Coordinator, Mentor Teacher, and Parent Education Coordinator focusing his positive energy and attention guiding and working with at-risk students. In 1996, he earned his Master’s degree in Educational Leadership and Administration from the University of LaVerne before beginning his administrative career. In September 2016, Mr. Cora began a doctoral program in Organizational Leadership which he will complete in 2018.
He has been awarded the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA’s) Administrative Excellence Award (2002), Leadership Matters Award (2005) Principal of the Year Award (2011) and was the statewide recipient of the prestigious Valuing Diversity Award (2014), and most recently, earned ACSA's Region XIII Superintendent of the year. Mr. Cora has presented for numerous state ACSA and California Association of Latino Superintendent’s and Administrators (CALSA) conferences, academies and workshops on current and relevant topics for administrators and superintendents.
As an active member of ACSA Region XIII, he also serves on the board of directors for CALSA Region 4, and is a director for the Fiscal Crisis & Management Assistance Team (FCMAT). Locally, he serves as a member for the Kiwanis of Guadalupe, an advisor for Brandman University, and board member for the following educational agencies: THRIVE Guadalupe, Allan Hancock College Foundation, Fighting Back Santa Maria, and Santa Maria Valley YMCA. He is an engaged and active member of the community, always supporting students and public education.
Mr. Cora lives in Santa Maria with his wife Denice, who works as the Administrator of the School Business Advisory Services for the Santa Barbara County Education Office. They celebrated their 28th wedding anniversary this past July and have twin daughters – one daughter who is currently working on her MBA while working as a Branch Manager at Enterprise and the other daughter is nearly finished with her education to become an elementary teacher. Mr. Cora enjoys spending time with family and friends, playing golf and hockey, traveling with his family and listening to music. Most of all, Mr. Cora enjoys being invited to high school and college graduations by his former students.