Alison Yoshimoto-Towery is Chief Academic Officer of Los Angeles Unified, leading instructional strategies for almost 500,000 students in one of the nation’s largest and most diverse school districts. She oversees preschool to adult education, including specialized programs for English learners, Standard English learners, Gifted learners, Academic counseling, guiding post-secondary success, advanced placement programs, linked learning and career technical education are a few of the programs within the Division of Instruction. Most important to Alison is leading from an equity lens and rethinking how “business as usual” is done to meet the needs of those students and communities traditionally underserved by public education.
Alison has served Los Angeles Unified for more than 25 years as a teacher, principal, director and top administrator. She is a fierce advocate of high expectations for all students and believes it is up to educators to find a way to reach every child. As principal, her school won a California Distinguished School Award and the highly competitive Target Heart of America Library Grant in collaboration with local government. She currently is overseeing the effort to provide all students with access to high-quality instruction and a robust online curriculum as Los Angeles Unified shifts to a system of remote learning.
The great-granddaughter of Japanese-American migrant farmworkers, Alison learned the values of hard work and perseverance during her childhood in Boyle Heights and Monterey Park. Through her family’s experience, she understands the importance of ensuring all students feel proud of their heritage, and is dedicated to providing them with opportunities that celebrate biculturalism and bilingualism.
Alison has a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Irvine; a master’s degree in education and reading specialist credential from Cal State Los Angeles; and a master’s degree in education and an administrative credential from UCLA. In 2020, Alison was awarded the Curriculum and Instruction Administrator of the Year for the Association of California Administrators, Region 16.
“A quality, public education is the foundation of the American dream. Supporting a student to reach to the unreachable, see the invisible, and believe in themselves -changes a life and every life that child will ever know and influence.”
– Alison Yoshimoto-Towery