Education Marketing and Advancement

Objectivity, transparency, and a collaborative spirit

Debra Schade

Research Associate

With over 38 years experience in higher education, health and behavioral research, tech industry startup, educational non-profit leadership and local school board governance, Debra brings a unique perspective to Connor Associates.    Debra holds a doctorate degree in Public Health and currently serves as a 5 term elected School Board Trustee, State Delegate for the California School Board Association (CSBA) and Vice President of the San Diego County School Board Association. 



Debra has a passion for work that focuses on the success of each student.   She has high level perspective and insight into what connects organizational goals with the efforts that employees, teachers and students need to achieve their higher potential. Debra has worked in higher education as a teacher, mentor and research scientist- always striving to help others meet their potential.

As School Board President she was instrumental in the vision and development of the district’s STEM program which received a 2016 Golden Bell Award from the California School Board Association. Debra’s 16 year service as a school board trustee has demonstrated leadership in data driven decision making and setting policy and a vision for quality child-centered education.

Debra has grown a technology start-up through product development, market growth and talent acquisition.  Through this work she became an advocate for early education in skills for the changing workforce of the future.  She believes in early computer science literacy, in particular K-6 education that includes algorithmic thinking and computational theory building a common language and competency in computer science.  Early exposure to computer science for all students will move the needle on expanded diversity for technology careers. Debra serves on the board of The League of Amazing Programmers, a non profit organization that teaching JAVA programming, engineering skills and career focused soft skills to under-served youth and low income communities in San Diego.  Through this work Debra has been involved in executive coaching and strategic planning during staffing transition and growth.

Debra, a former NCAA athlete, has balanced work & family with competitive tennis, running and ocean sports.  She enjoys reading, travel and time with family. Debra and her husband live in California. They have three sons, a UC Berkeley Bio-Engineer graduate and two Engineering students at University of California, San Diego.