As an Area Director at WestEd, Rebeca Cerna supports districts, schools, and community partners in centering equity and inclusion, and strengthening educational, prevention, and health outcomes. Cerna’s areas of expertise include health and wellness, school culture and climate, participatory planning with partners, 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 and educational partners.
Cerna directs the California Center for School Climate, funded by The California Department of Education, focused on building the capacity of schools and districts across California in understanding and using school climate data and in strengthening school climate practice. Through the California Community Schools Partnership
Program, she led technical assistance efforts for the ESSER-funded grantees and is collaborating with a Regional Technical Assistance Center in California.
Previously, she served as an evaluator for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Health Equity Technical Assistance project. With The California Endowment, Cerna collaborated on efforts in building the capacity of communities across California in understanding and using school climate and community health data.
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.