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Superintendent for Coachella Valley USD Dr. Grandera

Dr. Maria G. Gandera


(760) 848-1162


Mari Tarango

Executive Administrative Assistant

(760) 848-1166

Dr. Maria G. Gandera

Maria G. Gandera, Ed.D. became Coachella Valley Unified School District’s Superintendent of Schools on July 1, 2019.  CVUSD is a Transitional Kindergarten through 12th grade District with nearly 18,000 students at 21 schools.  CVUSD also has an Adult School that has over 400 students enrolled.

Dr. Gandera was born and raised in San Fernando, California, a suburb of Los Angeles.  She is the eldest of eight children, three of whom are educators. 

Dr. Gandera attended Stanford University where she earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology.  She then obtained her first Master’s Degree and a teaching credential from Claremont Graduate University while teaching in a bilingual classroom.  She taught bilingual 2nd, 3rd and 4th grade classes for eight years.  She then obtained a second Master’s Degree and a credential in Educational Administration from California State, Los Angeles. 

Dr. Gandera left the classroom after eight years to direct a Title VII federal grant as a Teacher Specialist.  Dr. Gandera wrote the first Dual Immersion Grant for her previous District that led to Dual Immersion Language Programs in seven different languages.  She also served as an elementary and middle school principal.  She attended the University of Southern California and obtained a Doctorate in Educational Leadership in 2002.

Dr. Gandera served as a Director of Human Resources for three years before being promoted to Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources, a position she held for seven years.  She is an advocate for children who firmly believes that education provides the opportunity for every student to achieve their dreams.

Dr. Gandera is a member of several organizations including the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA since 2000) and the California Association of Latino Superintendents and Administrators (CALSA since 2002).