MCOE Cabinet

Monterey County Office of Education

Leadership, Support and Service to Prepare All Students for Success

Dr. Deneen Guss, County Superintendent of Schools

Meet the MCOE Cabinet

Administrative Team

Deneen Newman

Dr. Deneen Guss

Monterey County Superintendent of Schools


Dr. Deneen Guss was sworn in as the Monterey County Superintendent of Schools in January 2019 and is serving in her first term of office. Deneen continually supports Monterey County’s 24 local school districts and the 78,000 students they serve.

Dr. Guss is a 33-year veteran educator with a doctorate degree in Educational Leadership. She served as a classroom teacher for 10 years, including two years as a teacher in a bilingual program in South Central Los Angeles. She has also served as a college professor, mentor teacher for new teachers, and a master teacher for teacher candidates completing their student teaching experience. She continues to be a strong advocate for the teaching profession. Dr. Guss has been an administrator here in Monterey County for 23 years serving as an assistant principal, principal, director of curriculum and instruction, associate superintendent of educational services and as district superintendent. Deneen also served as the Deputy Superintendent of the Monterey County Office of Education for 6 years prior to becoming County Superintendent. During her tenure she has received numerous awards for her service in education and her service to the community.

Deneen serves as a Core Convener for the Bright Futures Cradle to Career Initiative, is a member and current Past Chair of the Monterey County Children’s Council, and is a member of the Hartnell College Bond Oversight Committee. She was also just appointed to serve on the Fiscal Crisis & Management Assistance Team (FCMAT) Board beginning in January 2021.  Deneen serves on two non-profit boards: The Bob Hoover Academy and Girl’s Inc. of the Central Coast, and is also an active Rotarian.

With a lens on community and equity, Dr. Guss is focused on strengthening community engagement and improving educational outcomes for Monterey County’s youth.

Jessica Hull

 Jessica Hull

 Communications & Public Relations Officer


 Jessica Hull joined the Monterey County Office of Education in October 2015 as Communications and Public Relations Officer, bringing to MCOE over ten years’ experience in social media, crisis management, community engagement, and media and public relations.

Jessica believes well-informed students, families and citizens are the greatest assets to a school system and focuses all communications to create dynamic, two-way conversations within communities. Before joining MCOE, Mrs. Hull worked as the Communications Director for the Poway Unified School District from 2013-2015 and Communications Specialist for the Tracy Unified School District from 2005-2013.

Jessica is an active member of both the California and National School Public Relations Associations and holds a bachelor’s degree in Communications, Emphasis in Print Journalism, from University of the Pacific in Stockton, California, and a Master’s degree in Journalism and Mass Communications from Point Park University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Ginny Brown

Ginny Brown

Administrative Officer


Ginny Brown joined the Monterey County Office of Education in 2001 when she launched and coordinated the AmeriCorps, Monterey County United for Literacy program. In 2008, she became Administrative Officer to the County Superintendent of Schools. In this role, she leads the superintendent’s project initiatives, as well as manages the County-wide Spelling Bee and County Science and Engineering Fair. She also coordinates interdistrict and expulsion appeal hearings with districts and families, and collaborates with community partners to facilitate such programs as the Student Literary Days of the Pebble Beach Authors & Ideas Festival and Festival to Schools.

Prior to joining MCOE, Brown was advertising sales manager at The Salinas Californian; later served in the marketing division of The Monterey Herald for many years; and coordinated trade shows for Mercury Plastics and Westwind Farms.

Brown is a long-time community volunteer and has served on the boards of the United Way, American Heart Association, Cherry’s Jubilee, and the California International Airshow. She served on the marketing committee for the California Rodeo Salinas for over 20 years. She is a graduate of the University of Southern California with a Bachelor’s degree in Public Relations. She enjoys reading, traveling and wine tasting with her husband Richard. She has two grown children and is a proud grandmother to two grandsons. On weekends, she is often found canning with her friend Pam Dozier.  They are referred to as “Ginny & Pam, Pickles & Jam.”

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Colleen Stanley

Chief Business Official


Colleen Stanley joined the Monterey County Office of Education in November - 2012. As of June -2020, she is now the Chief Business Official of Finance in the Finance and Business Services Division. She is responsible for planning, organizing, controlling and directing operations and activities of the internal and external fiscal operations of the Business Service Department in support of business services functions of MCOE and school districts. She possesses more than 25 years experience in school budget, payroll, facilities and technology functions.

Prior to joining MCOE, Stanley served for 12 years as Assistant Superintendent, Deputy Superintendent and Special Projects Coordinator for the Mono County Office of Education.

Stanley holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of La Verne , where she graduated Magna Cum Laude, as well as a Masters of Business Administration Degree from the same university.

Joshua Jorn

Joshua Jorn

Chief Officer of General Services


Mr. Jorn has served as the Executive Director of General Services with MCOE since 2010, and in this capacity oversees maintenance, operations, transportation, mail service, warehousing, county wide safety, fleet management, and school facility planning and funding to ensure students and staff are housed in the best possible learning environments.

Mr. Jorn currently serves as a Chairperson to CSF (Californians for School Facilities), where he lobbies Federal involvement in California school infrastructure. He is an associate member of CASH (Coalition for Adequate School Housing), and serves as Vice Chair for CSFC (County School Facility Consortium), where he works to secure new school and modernization funding, as well as promoting change in the state facilities program.

In his new role as Chief Officer of General Services and Business Support, which began in August 2017, Mr. Jorn began development and implementation of contracts and form agreements for MCOE programs in coordination with Finance and Business. He works directly with our local educational agencies in the area of developer fees, developer studies and local bond review and implementation.

Caryn Lewis

Caryn Lewis

Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services


As a curriculum and instruction specialist, Ms. Lewis is passionate about creating equitable solutions for college and career readiness and developing academic pathways that foster student agency through a commitment to deeper learning competencies.

Ms. Lewis is dedicated to the growth of innovative school programs in order to accelerate student learning and cultivate systems of continuous improvement.

Leigh Butler

Leigh Butler

Chief Human Resources Officer


Leigh Butler joined the Monterey County Office of Education in 2014 as Executive Director of Human Resources and was named Chief Human Resources Officer in July, 2016. Previously, Mrs. Butler held a variety of position with school districts in Monterey County demonstrating her ability to successfully develop, implement and manage new human resource systems and procedures. Leigh is known for her intuitiveness and personal attention to detail, fostering a positive workplace and establishing relationships of integrity and trust. She has extensive experience in all aspects of administration including business management, human resources, and operations management.

Mrs. Butler holds a master’s degree in Business Administration from Texas A&M University. She completed her undergraduate work in Business Administration at California State University.

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Dr. Ernesto L. Vela

Assistant Superintendent of Student Services


Dr. Vela has over 20 years of educational and administrative experience. He recognizes the importance of community partnerships, high expectations, and the responsibility for delivering educational excellence. He has served at the school site, district and county office levels and most recently held the position of Senior Director of Migrant Region 16 at the Monterey County Office of Education. 

Dr. Vela holds a Doctorate of Education from University of Phoenix, two Masters of Arts in Education degrees, and a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish with a minor in Political Science.

Terri Dye

Terri Dye

Assistant Superintendent of Special Education


Terri Dye is Assistant Superintendent of Special Education.

Terri is an educator and administrator with over 30 years of experience in communities of need, including special education, bilingual and low income populations. She is an accomplished leader, who has been serving as the Senior Director for Special Education for MCOE since 2014. Before joining MCOE, Terri worked for the Salinas City Elementary School District for 19 years as a teacher, vice principal, principal, and as the Director of Special Education and Pupil Personnel Services.

Terri has a Master of Arts degree in Educational Leadership and Administration from San Jose State University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from University of California, Santa Barbara.

As Senior Director for MCOE, Terri has established and sustained strong professional relationships with special education teachers and administrators throughout the region. She is a proactive leader, well-versed in the regulations, research, and technologies of modern special education. Terri looks forward to enhancing the high-quality special education trainings and services MCOE provides to students and educators throughout Monterey County.

Trish Paulson

Dr. Trish Paulson

Chief Technology Officer


Dr. Trish Paulson is Chief Technology Officer.

Before joining MCOE in 2018, Dr. Trish Paulson was the Director II of Technology Services at the Stanislaus County Office of Education. Prior to her role with SCOE, she served as the director of information technology for three different schools/districts in Southern California and as an educational technology facilitator in San Luis Obispo.

Dr. Paulson has a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from California State University, Fullerton, a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Antioch University Los Angeles, a Master of Science in Instructional Technology from University of Houston at Clear Lake, and a Bachelor of Arts in General Studies English/Journalism from Wichita State University.

As a Director for the Stanislaus County Office of Education, Dr. Paulson has facilitated a wide variety of technology upgrades to improve functionality and modernize technology and processes. She is well-versed in cybersecurity, technology customer service and training current best practices, and network infrastructure. Dr. Paulson looks forward to collaborating with all stakeholders on new ideas to maintain an innovative program that supports a dynamic learning environment where technology enhances learning and instruction at MCOE and in our 24 districts. 



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