Print this Article

State Board of Education Recognizes Carl Cohn, Richard Zeiger, and the late John Mockler

March 12, 2015

The March meeting of the State Board of Education – which began on Wednesday morning (March 11) – opened with tributes to the late John Mockler – who was the primary architect of Proposition 98, approved by California voters in 1988 – as well as recognition of outgoing SBE member Carl Cohn and outgoing Chief Deputy Superintendent Richard Zeiger, both of whom announced plans to retire in January.

Several members of the SBE offered personal recollections of Mockler, who at various points in his career served as a legislative aide, a consultant to several Assembly committees, deputy chief of staff to Assembly Speaker Willie Brown, a senior staffer under State Superintendent of Public Instruction Wilson Riles, and secretary of education under Gov. Gray Davis. Mockler was remembered for his vast knowledge of public education (and public education finance) as well as his sometimes wicked sense of humor, and the sometimes pointed advice he dispensed to elected officials and SBE appointees.

Carl Cohn, who recently led a state task force that developed recommendations for changes in the area of special education (see separate article in this week’s EdBrief), previously served as superintendent of the Long Beach Unified School District, in addition to serving four years on the SBE.

Zeiger, as chief deputy superintendent under Tom Torlakson, has overseen day-to-day operations at the California Department of Education over the past four years. Zeiger had previously served as Torlakson’s chief of staff during Torlakson’s legislative career in Sacramento.

Source:  EdBrief staff