Skip to main content

Esther Salinas

Esther Salinas

Division of Teacher Education
School of Education and Human Services



  • EdD, Education, University of Southern California
  • MA, Educational Administration, California State University - Los Angeles
  • MEd, Educational Technology, Azusa Pacific University
  • BS, Home Economics, Bob Jones University


  • Teaching English Language Arts (2-6) (Ed 363)
  • Teaching English Language Arts (PK-3) (Ed 356)
  • Teaching Social Studies (2-6) (Ed 361)
  • Teaching Social Studies (PK-3) (Ed 355)
  • Theories of Teaching & Learning (Ed 201)


Dr. Esther Charlotte Salinas has over 25 years as an education practitioner in K-12 public schools with diverse populations. She has been an elementary teacher, curriculum and instructional specialist, school principal, central office administrator, director of educational services, director of human resources, education ombuds, and mediator. In these capacities she served children and their families, faculty and staff members, school and central office administrators, labor-management partners, executive leadership teams, boards of education, educational foundations, and partnered with governmental agencies, churches, and community organizations.

She earned her EdD from the University of Southern California, where she utilized a gap analysis framework to examine collaboration around student achievement at the school site leadership level. Her interest in studying the barriers to effective collaboration led her to pursue additional study in dispute resolution from the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution at Pepperdine University Caruso School of Law where she interned with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in Los Angeles. Her areas of expertise are in collaboration around student achievement, conflict competence development, and education ombuds in the educational arena for parents, schools, school districts, and boards of cooperative educational services (BOCES).

Dr. Salinas holds a PK to 12 multiple subject teaching credential authorizing her to teach in classrooms from pre-school to 12th grade. She holds an administrative services credential qualifying her to serve as a school-site and district office administrator. Her English Learner Authorization in Cultural, Linguistic, and Academic Development (CLAD) qualifies her to teach English Language Development for English Learners and Muli-lingual Learners. Additionally, she is a Certified Organizational Ombudsman Practitioner (CO-OP) by the International Ombudsman Association (IOA), and mediator.

As a teacher, Esther was a Sallie Mae First Class Teachers Award recipient and one of five California state finalists. As a principal, she spearheaded programs that positively impacted student learning. Her schools were awarded the California Title 1 Academic Award; Los Angeles Music Center BRAVO Award for school-wide excellence in the Arts; California Distinguished School Award for academic achievement; California Business for Education Excellence Scholar School; California Gold Ribbon Award for Community Engagement; and California Exemplary Arts Education Award.

As a district administrator, Dr. Salinas helped school teams identify performance goals, determine gaps and related causes, prioritize those causes, plan, implement solutions, refine as needed, then evaluate outcomes. She worked closely with labor partners and served on the district negotiations team. As the Ombuds Officer and designated neutral, she created a model education ombuds program to reduce complaints, grievances, and associated costs of conflict. She analyzed data and recommended systemic improvements. She provided confidential, alternative dispute resolution (ADR) services to all district stakeholders and conducted training for teachers, administrators, and parents to improve conflict competence and collaboration.

As an ombuds Dr. Salinas contributed to the creation of the K-12 Education Ombuds Toolkit published by the American Bar Association (ABA). She was part of the Ombuds Committee, Section of Dispute Resolution. As a mediator, she served the Los Angeles Superior Court. She has presented at the National School Board Association, the American Association of School Administrators, California State PTA Convention, The Center for Appropriate Dispute Resolution in Special Education (CADRE), and the California ADR Convention.

Esther is a California native and grew up in a historic gold-mining town located in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains. After she graduated from BJU, she returned to California. She and her husband, Carlos served in several churches in Southern California, including Community Bible Church of Van Nuys where Carlos was the senior pastor for 30 years. Their daughter, Michaela competed for the Cal State Bakersfield NCAA Division 1 Women’s Swim and Dive Team. She later graduated from BJU and now works for the American Heart Association as Development Director of Heart Walk in Greenville, South Carolina. Esther and her family love exploring the rugged beauty of God's creation.

Equipping the next generation of educators and sharing what God has taught her in this journey is a great honor and joy.