- I lead California's 10th largest school district’s external and internal communications efforts, managing a team of 12 staff members, including videographers, writes, television broadcasting engineers. I coordinate media and editorial board briefing and press conferences, and serve as the primary spokesperson for the agency, providing more than125 on-camera and print interviews to date to support our 56 campuses and overall district. I write and review articles, press releases, reports, scripts, and statements on behalf of the superintendent and Board of Education. I serve as a member of the superintendent’s executive staff; gathering information for the superintendent on emerging situations that might require a response. I lead the agency’s public crisis communication to emergencies and other sensitive situations, cooperating with the news media and others, and informing appropriate district personnel. I oversee the agency's primary social media accounts, including Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

- I served as a communications specialist at the Orange County Department of Education, where I work to implement communications and marketing strategies with the primary goal of enhancing community awareness of the agency and of all Orange County public schools. I also operate the agency’s official social media accounts, including Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, and write blog posts for the site. Additionally, I assist with the distribution of internal communications, coordinate event planning, logistics and media support for agency conferences and events, serve as an agency liaison for local and regional news media, and help provide crisis communication and support as needed.

-At EdSource, I research, investigate and report on statewide education issues and trends including the implementation of the Common Core, and the effort to increase the number of students ready for college and careers for EdSource, which works to engage Californians on key education challenges with the goal of enhancing learning success. At EdSource, I work to provide timely, useful and accurate information to key education stakeholders and the larger public.

​- At the Register, I covered more than two dozen k-12 school districts comprising 500,000 students. I write breaking news stories, features, and investigations relating to the standardized test scores, school finances and national and local education trends for the Register’s front page and Metro section.


- Fluently speak, read and write in Spanish
- Microsoft Office Suite
- Adobe Creative Suite, including Premiere Pro, Photoshop, Illustrator, Dreamweaver, InDesign
​- Final Cut Pro
- WordPress

My Short Biography

Fermin Leal


For 16 years, I've worked as an education reporter for EdSource and the Orange County Register. I've been fortunate enough to travel across the country and meet all sorts of interesting people. I've interviewed two California governors, a U.S. Senator, a handful of U.S. Congressmen/women, and almost got to fly on Air Force 1. In the newsroom, I've met dozens of super-talented writers, photographers and editors who inspire my work every day.


I'm originally from Mexico City, but have lived for most of my life in sunny Southern California. I earned a communications degree from Cal State Fullerton. I currently live in Orange County with my wife Laura, our son Rafael and a pooch named Rocco.