Dr. Gladys I. Cruz

District Superintendent/Chief Executive Officer,


Gladys Cruz headshot cropped 

 Over a 30 plus-year span, Dr. Gladys I. Cruz has established a distinguished career in education. As district superintendent for Questar III Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES), Cruz serves a dual role – acting as the representative of the State Commissioner of Education and CEO of Questar III BOCES. As the Commissioner’s representative in Rensselaer, Columbia and Greene counties, Cruz is responsible for providing leadership and bringing local district concerns to the attention of state leaders. As CEO of the BOCES, she leads the organization in the development and implementation of programs/services provided at the request of local districts and serving more than 650 districts across the state. Questar III educates 1,600 students in a wide range of programs, including pre-K, special education, career & technical education (CTE), and adult education. Since joining Questar III in 1998, Cruz has served in several positions including COO/deputy superintendent, assistant superintendent, director of school improvement and specialist.

Cruz is president-elect of AASA, The School Superintendents Association, representing the more than 13,000 public school superintendents nationwide. She also serves as a commissioner of AASA’s Learning 2025 Network, a lead teacher of the AASA Aspiring Superintendents Academy® for Latino and Latina Leaders and a mentor in the AASA National Superintendent Certification Program®.

She began her career as a teacher in Puerto Rico and her experience ranges from K-12 schools to universities in New York State and Puerto Rico. In addition, she worked briefly as director of curriculum services for the NYS Education Department.

Cruz holds a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction and a master’s degree in Curriculum Development and Instructional Technology from the University at Albany. In addition, she holds a master’s degree in Bilingual Education and a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and English from La Universidad del Turabo in Puerto Rico.



 Gwen Wright
Interim Executive Director,

New York State Coalition Against Sexual Assault


Gwen Wright retired from the NYS Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence after 20 years with the agency. During her tenure Ms. Wright developed training and policy in the areas of child welfare, social services and public benefits, substance abuse and mental health care and criminal justice. Ms. Wright has received numerous awards for her work in the field of domestic violence, most recently the Kathryn Allen Legacy Award in 2021.

Starting her career in direct service to survivors of abuse, Ms. Wright has held numerous positions in the field of domestic violence services. She  is the former Executive Director of the NYS Coalition Against Domestic Violence, a statewide advocacy group, and she is a nationally recognized speaker and expert on domestic violence issues. She currently serves as the Interim Executive Director of the NYS Coalition Against Sexual Assault.

Ms. Wright’s volunteer experience is extensive. Of note, she serves on the board of A Call to Men, nationally dedicated to ending violence against women and girls; In Our Own Voices, an LGTBQ people of color service and advocacy agency; and The Pride Center of the Capital Region. She is currently on the board of directors of Upper Hudson Planned Parenthood, the Center for Women in Government and Civil Society, Unity House of Troy, WMHT, and serves as member of the Advisory Board of the National Center on Domestic Violence, Mental Health and Trauma. She attended the Fashion Institute of Technology and Empire State College.