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Tamarra Rennick

Tamarra Rennick
Year Graduated: 1991
Title: Associate General Counsel, State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company
Area of Practice: Civil Litigation

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Home > William Ellerbee
William Ellerbee

William Ellerbee

M.S.L. — Human Resources Concentration
Year Graduated: 2016 (MSL)

Undergraduate: Sacramento State University / University of the Pacific
Major: M.A. in Elementary Education / Ed.D. in Educational Administration


William Ellerbee has 1400 state employees working for him in five divisions of the state Department of Education, he has three degrees including a doctorate, and he is enrolled in McGeorge's MSL program because he feels strongly that you're never too old to learn something new.

"My motto since I was in 7th grade has been, 'No goal is too high if you climb with care and confidence,'" said William.

It was a motto which served him well when William started his career in the public school system as a custodian. In the early 1970s he and other non-teaching staff were recruited for a state-sponsored program to increase the number of teachers, and William was able to get his undergraduate degree and teaching credential while working full-time.

William moved from teaching into school administration and then district administration before being asked to serve at the state level in a newly-created position in 2003.

"I said I'd try it for a couple of years, and that was 12 years ago," said William.

As the head of state programs such as nutrition services and special education, William says his job has required him to have a lot of legal knowledge. When he heard about McGeorge's MSL program, William thought, "Wow! This is exactly what I need!"

"I don't have the time to endure the rigor of working on a JD," said William, "but I need to know a lot about the law--particularly labor and employment law--with my job. This degree is giving me a good understanding of the process used to develop regulations and laws. I'll be able to help people working for me to understand how to move forward on a number of issues."

While he says he's still several years from retirement, William says this degree will also help him with new pursuits when that happens. "I'm looking at reinventing myself, perhaps teaching other administrators the basics of the law," he said. "Nothing is set in stone. Many doors remain open to me because of my lifelong love of learning."

At McGeorge, William enjoys the intellectual stimulation of the classroom, and he enjoys being around the other students, most of whom are 30 years younger than him. "I really like talking with the other students in the library and after classes," he said.

William says that the younger students are incredulous that he's pursuing an additional degree at this stage of his career. "They say, 'You don't need this!'" he said. "I encourage them to keep learning, no matter their age. It will keep them young."

Mr. Ellerbee holds an M.A. in Elementary Education from California State University, Sacramento and an Ed.D. in Educational Administration from University of the Pacific.  He is currently the Deputy Superintendent for Student Support and Special Services  at the California Department of Education.  His focus is in human resources and conflict resolution/management.

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