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Black History in the Making: Introducing Ms. Debra Watkins

Debra Watkins spent 37 years in the East Side Union High School District in San Jose, CA, as a teacher, counselor and project manager before retiring in 2012. During that same time period, she was a founding member of the Santa Clara County Alliance of Black Educators (SCCABE) and served as president from 1994 – 2001.

In 2001, she founded the California Alliance of African American Educators (CAAAE) and the Dr. Frank S. Greene Scholars Program (GSP). Named after an African American scientist who helped pave the way for today’s computers, the GSP sends 100% of its students to college, 90% graduate in 4 years with BA or BS degrees, and 60% of those are in STEM which is about 8 times the national average for Black students.

In 2015, she was one of the founders of Black Students of California United (BSCU).

In 2017, Debra officially changed the name of the CAAAE to A Black Education Network (ABEN). She currently serves as Interim Executive Director while conducting a national search for her successor.

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