As an Area Director at WestEd, Rebeca Cerna supports districts, schools, and community partners in centering equity and improving educational, prevention, and health outcomes. Cerna’s areas of expertise include health and wellness, school culture and climate, stakeholder voice, data use, and cross-sector collaboration. She has extensive experience in working with communities that have been challenged by infrastructure deficiencies and in lifting the voices of all community stakeholders.
Cerna directs the School Health Data Team Project, funded by The California Endowment, focused on building the capacity of communities across California in understanding and using school climate and community health data. She also serves as an evaluator for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Health Equity Technical Assistance project.
With the Regional Educational Laboratory West, Cerna leads the efforts of a California-based Cross-Sector Data Sharing Work Group which strives to strengthen privacy and data- and information-sharing between districts, schools, and their partnering school-based health centers. Previously, she served as the Evaluation Director for an Investing in Innovation development grant measuring a positive school climate model’s impacts on social-emotional learning.
Cerna has taught in adult education and, prior to joining WestEd, worked for the University of California, Riverside, on research about resilience and reducing risk factors. She has collaborated with multiple organizations focused on mentorship, youth development, civic engagement, and teen pregnancy prevention. Cerna holds a BS in Health Science School Health Education from California State University, Long Beach, and an MPH in Community Health Sciences from the University of California, Los Angeles.