Executive Director for the Early Childhood Education Division
Organization: Los Angeles Unified School District
Dr. Dean Tagawa is currently the Executive Director for the Early Childhood Education Division in the Los Angeles Unified School District. Over the last few years, early education and transitional kindergarten programs in LA Unified have grown to over 30,000 students. During that time, he has been instrumental in building Outdoor Classrooms for communities across the district that do not have safe outdoor places for children to play. During the pandemic, he also worked to make instructional technology a reality for over 31,000 students. He has brought 35 early education dual language classrooms into the district and aligned them to existing dual language programs so students can begin their pathway to California’s Seal of Biliteracy. In addition, he has added 126 preschool inclusion programs and implemented a new curriculum with a focus on concept development and social emotional learning. This has been critical to the success of the district’s earliest learners during the pandemic. Each of these efforts has resulted in recognition such that Early Education in LAUSD is now an integral part of the district’s goal of 100% graduation.
As a long-time employee of LAUSD, he has been an Instructional Director for Early Education, a Staff Relations Field Director, an Elementary Principal, a Primary Center Principal, an Early Education Center Principal, an Assistant Principal, an advisor in Instructional Support Services, a reading coach, and an elementary teacher. He has a BA from the California State University, Los Angeles, a Masters in Educational Administration, and recently completed his Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Liberty University.