Skip to main content
California Department of Education Logo
California Department of Education
News Release
California Department of Education
News Release
Release: #23-64
August 31, 2023
Contact: Communications
Phone: 916-319-0818

State Superintendent Tony Thurmond Honored with Children’s Champion Award by LA’s BEST

Recognition Is Latest in Multiple Prestigious Education Leadership Awards for Thurmond

LOS ANGELES—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond was honored last night with the Children’s Champion Award by LA’s BEST, an after school enrichment program. The award recognizes Superintendent Thurmond’s substantial contributions to the field of education, his advocacy for greater equity in opportunities for future generations, and his unwavering support of after school programming. The LA’s BEST Children’s Champion award comes after Superintendent Thurmond was recently honored with multiple other prestigious education leadership awards.

“I am honored to accept this award, and I am mindful of the journey and where I may have ended up. I am extremely grateful for the educators, the faith leaders, the mentors who invested and believed in me to make the right opportunities possible,” Thurmond said. “For all of the educators that were at the LA’s BEST event last night, and all other educators and educators to be, I want to applaud you. You and people like you made the world possible for people like me, allowing someone from my background, someone without financial resources, someone who worked in school-based mental health and after school programs, to rise to be Superintendent of Public Instruction and be a public servant fighting for nearly 6 million students in the great State of California. Thank you.”

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. He is also leading a statewide effort to provide a graduation requirement in personal finance for students.

Through 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 efforts to provide transitional kindergarten for every four-year-old as well as universal meals to all students—free meals for every student regardless of ability to pay.

LA’s BEST after school enrichment program provides a safe and supervised after school education, enrichment, and recreation program for children ages five to twelve in Los Angeles. The program is designed to engage children intellectually, creatively, physically, and socially through fun activities; academic support; science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), and creative expression; team sports and performances; and meaningful relationships with caring adults.

# # # #

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

Last Reviewed: Thursday, August 31, 2023
Recently Posted in News Releases