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California Department of Education
News Release
California Department of Education
News Release
Release: #23-72
September 25, 2023
Contact: Communications
Phone: 916-319-0818

State Superintendent Tony Thurmond Receives Award from Urban League of Greater San Francisco Bay Area

SACRAMENTO—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond was honored on Saturday, September 23, 2023, with the President’s Award by the Urban League of Greater San Francisco Bay Area. Thurmond was recognized for going beyond the call of duty for African Americans and underserved communities and for his ongoing work at the California Department of Education to address opportunity gaps—specifically, his work on hiring practices as well as in diversity, equity, and inclusion.

“It is my honor to be recognized with the President’s Award by the Urban League of Greater San Francisco Bay Area,” said Thurmond. “It’s my passion and mission to serve our schools and communities, and I look forward to continuing my work and collaborating with educators, administrators, and communities across the state to ensure that every student receives the opportunities and quality education they deserve.”

The Urban League of Greater San Francisco Bay Area empowers Bay Area African Americans and underserved communities to achieve their highest true social parity, economic self-reliance, power, and civil rights. The League promotes economic empowerment through education, job training, housing, community development, workforce development, leadership programs, entrepreneurship, health, sustainability, and quality of life.

This award follows several other prestigious awards in recent months. Last month, Thurmond was awarded the Children’s Champion Award by LA’s Best, an after-school enrichment program. The National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Inc., awarded Thurmond a Distinguished Service Award in May. Thurmond received the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA) Region 16 Leadership Award for service to the 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.

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. 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.

Throughout his tenure, 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.

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

Last Reviewed: Monday, September 25, 2023
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