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California Department of Education
News Release
California Department of Education
News Release
Release: #23-34
May 11, 2023
Contact: Communications
Phone: 916-319-0818

State Superintendent Tony Thurmond Honored with ACSA Region 16 Award for Service to Children of California

ACSA Award Is Third Significant Education Leadership Accolade Thurmond Receives in Recent Weeks

SACRAMENTO—State Superintendent Tony Thurmond has been recognized with the prestigious Association of California School Administrators (ACSA) Region 16 Leadership Award for his achievements and dedication to public education and for his service to the children of California. The award was presented at an awards ceremony on Tuesday that took place in front of 400 administrators from the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), underscoring their unwavering support for Thurmond’s mission of equity. Steve Zimmer, Deputy Superintendent of Public Instruction at the California Department of Education (CDE), accepted the award on behalf of Superintendent Thurmond, who could not attend the event in person because of his role as the neutral mediator of the teachers strike in the ongoing labor dispute in Oakland.

“I am deeply honored to receive the ACSA Region 16 Leadership Award, and I regret that I could not be there in person to accept it. I extend my heartfelt gratitude to the ACSA Region 16 and all those who have recognized my efforts and dedication to public education,” Superintendent Thurmond said. “I look forward to continuing my work and collaborating with LAUSD and all other educators, administrators, and communities across the state to ensure that every student receives the opportunities and quality education they deserve. Together, we can build a brighter future for all of California’s students.”

ACSA Region 16 includes LAUSD, the largest public school district in California, which serves over 1 million students hailing from 32 different cities. The ACSA Region 16 Leadership Award is given to leaders who demonstrate exceptional dedication and effectiveness in tackling the most important and challenging aspects of leadership, as demonstrated by Superintendent Thurmond’s current role as mediator in the Oakland teachers strike and other past labor negotiations.

The ACSA award comes after Superintendent Thurmond was honored recently with two other prestigious education leadership awards. He received the Educator of the Year Award from the Loyola Marymount University School of Education for his transformative contributions to the field of education while advocating more equitable opportunities for future generations. He also received the Excellence in Leadership award from one of the state’s premier financial literacy organizations, the California Council on Economic Education, for his tireless efforts to promote personal finance education.

Throughout his tenure, Superintendent Thurmond has fought for all students. He has launched initiatives to close opportunity gaps for African American and Latino students, English learners, students with disabilities, foster and homeless youth, and students from low-income backgrounds. He is leading an effort to provide universal preschool for every four-year-old as well as providing universal meals—free meals to every student regardless of their ability to pay.

Superintendent Thurmond has made transforming California schools his priority. His vision and leadership secured 10,000 mental health counselors for schools and billions of dollars for wraparound services to support the whole child through community schools. Superintendent Thurmond is leading an effort to ensure reading by third grade for all students by 2026, and he has established the first statewide teacher recruitment effort with a public service announcement and a one-stop information and referral system to help connect teacher candidates to scholarships, credentialing programs, and employers with current vacancies—candidates can email to learn more. Superintendent Thurmond is also leading a statewide effort to provide a graduation requirement in personal finance for students.

More information about Superintendent Thurmond’s Transforming California Schools Initiatives can be found on the CDE Transforming Schools: Superintendent’s Initiatives web page.

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Tony Thurmond — State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Communications Division, Room 5602, 916-319-0818, Fax 916-319-0100

Last Reviewed: Thursday, May 11, 2023
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