Catalina Cifuentes

Certificated Administrator of the Year


Catalina Cifuentes is a visionary and dedicated administrator who always puts students first. For her, no task is too small or insignificant if it involves a student – whether it is talking with children of colleagues to help them find capable tutors or connecting them to resources to prepare for college. She also works closely with districts to complete transcripts audits to ensure all students are accessing A-G courses and completing graduation requirements. Catalina envisioned and implemented the highly successful Race to Submit program designed to ensure students complete the FASFA for financial aid. Race to Submit has grown to become a statewide initiative formally recognized by former First Lady Michelle Obama. Catalina exudes a positive attitude in every situation because she believes all of us can make a difference with students. In 2018, she received the National Association of College Admission Counseling Inclusion, Access, and Student Success Award.

Catalina's Message

“I am honored to receive this recognition and would like to thank my RCOE family and the extraordinary educators from all 23 school districts we serve for their relentless efforts and belief that we will provide equitable educational opportunities for ALL Riverside County students. I would like to thank my husband, mother, and sister for their unconditional support and my daughters for their willingness to share their mommy with other students and families in need. Education transformed and eliminated poverty from my life and the words of Cesar Chavez inspire me to continue our history making advocacy so that every student reaches their college and career dreams. ‘Once social change begins, it cannot be reversed. You cannot un-educate the person who has learned to read. You cannot humiliate the person who feels pride. You cannot oppress the people who are not afraid anymore.’- Cesar Chavez”