Aijeron (Aija) Simmons is the Director for the 21CSLA State Center Universal Transitional Kindergarten Initiative. Aija is a transformational education leader, expert facilitator, and professional learning program coordinator. Aija specializes in designing learning experiences that leverage the unique identities of each participant and connects them with tools that will move them forward in their practice. Through inquiry, reflection, and adult SEL strategies Aija has supported countless educators to engage in equity centered professional learning in service of systems change. Aija served as Program Manager of Social and Emotional Learning in Oakland Unified School District leading SEL implementation and the district level bringing national attention to the Oakland SEL work. A speaker, writer, and avid reader. Aija’s writing has been published in Inside our Schools Teachers on the Failure and Future of Education Reform by Harvard Education Publishing Group and she has been featured in Ed Leadership Magazine, Center for Teaching Quality reports, Visual Thinking Strategies Digital Newsletter, and an episode of Life Kit on National Public Radio.