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Heidi Schnell-Cisneros - USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work. Los Angeles, CA, US

Heidi Schnell-Cisneros Heidi Schnell-Cisneros

Adjunct Assistant Professor | USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work


Heidi Cisneros is executive director of Pupil Support Services for the Santa Ana Unified School District.


HEIDI CISNEROS is executive director of Pupil Support Services for the Santa Ana Unified School District, the 6th largest school district in the state of California. In this role, she is responsible for leading efforts to implement policy and practice around positive school discipline and pupil support services, and developing a continuum of interventions and services fostering students' personal and academic success. In her previous position as administrator of Safe Schools & Support Services for the Orange County Department of Education, she was known for her vision, creative problem-solving and leadership in the development and implementation of programs serving at-risk youth. She also has extensive experience providing trainings addressing school safety, school-based mental health, crisis response and youth development on a local and national level for more than 20 years.

Cisneros has always had a passion for the well-being of all youth throughout the communities she has served. The programs and teams she has worked with have significantly impacted the lives of some of the most disadvantaged youth in Orange County. This includes but is not limited to gang involved, and incarcerated and homeless youth. She has also been actively involved in developing internships for Master of Social Work students, as well as personally coaching them. She has served as adjunct faculty at Chapman University and USC School of Social Work for several years, teaching social justice, leadership, policy and school social work.

Education (2)

California State University, Long Beach: M.S.W. 1996

California State University, Fullerton: B.S. 1993

Areas of Expertise (4)

Youth Development

School-based Mental Health

School Safety

Crisis Response

Industry Expertise (1)


Accomplishments (2)

Social Worker of the Year (professional)

National Association of Social Work-California Chapter Orange County Unit (2013)

Jules Levine Memorial Award for excellence in field education (professional)

USC School of Social Work Field Education Department (2013)