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California Department of Education
News Release
California Department of Education
News Release
Release: #23-41
May 19, 2023
Contact: Communications
Phone: 916-319-0818

State Superintendent Tony Thurmond to Receive Distinguished Service Award

The National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Inc. Orange County Chapter honors Thurmond with the fourth significant leadership award he has received in recent weeks

SACRAMENTO—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond will receive the Distinguished Service Award from the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Inc. (NC100BW) Orange County Chapter on Saturday, May 20, 2023, for his leadership and exceptional community service toward keeping children safe at school.

Thurmond will take part as a panelist in the NC100BW Orange County Chapter virtual event Gun Violence: A Preventable Tragedy in Our Communities, Homes, Schools, and Workplace External link opens in new window or tab. . During the event, he will be honored with the Distinguished Service Award for identifying and adopting school climate strategies to increase student engagement and decrease bullying.

“It is my honor to be recognized with the Distinguished Service Award from the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Inc. Orange County Chapter,” said Thurmond. “It has been my passion and mission to serve our schools and our communities throughout my career, and I consider myself extremely fortunate to be able to dedicate myself to providing safer and more equitable opportunities for children and families in California.”

The NC100BW award comes after Superintendent Thurmond was recently honored with three other prestigious education leadership awards. He has received the Association of California School Administrators Region 16 Award for Service to Children of California and 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 for 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.

The NC100BW is a historic Black advocacy organization established to promote the professional development, personal growth, and economic well-being of Black women and girls. The Orange County Chapter has been recognized locally and nationally for its efforts in community advocacy, financial literacy, and health education. Its mission is to advocate on behalf of Black women and girls to promote gender equity in leadership development, health, education, and economic empowerment.

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 the effort to ensure reading by third grade for all students by 2026, and he 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 create a graduation requirement in personal finance for students.

More information about Superintendent Thurmond’s Transforming California Schools Initiatives can be found on the California Department of Education's 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: Friday, May 19, 2023
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