Longtime Riverside County educator Catalina Cifuentes was appointed deputy superintendent of the Performance, Planning, and Technology branch of the California Department of Education by State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond, he announced Monday.

Cifuentes was most recently executive director of career readiness at the Riverside County Office of Education. Cifuentes received the county’s Education Administrator of the Year Award for her career advancement programs geared to grade schoolers in Riverside County.

Cifuentes is also vice chair of the California Student Aid Commission.

“I am excited to have Catalina join our CDE team,” Thurmond said. “She is a passionate, committed and dedicated professional with a proven track record of improving outcomes for all students. Her accolades alone show how respected her work is, and we are lucky that she will continue that work here at CDE.”

Cifuentes was previously head counselor at Santiago High School in the Corona-Norco Unified School District. She started her education career teaching at Norco High School and Sierra Middle School.

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