Superintendent of San Diego Public Education Cyndi Marten
Superintendent of SD Unified School District Cindy Marten’s 25 years as an educator include teaching elementary grades as a classroom teacher and later, serving as a school-wide literacy specialist in the award-winning Poway Unified School District.
She believes that a child’s ZIP code should not determine the quality of their education.
San Diego Unified serves more than 132,000 students in pre-school through grade 12 and is the second largest district in California. She oversees more than 226 educational facilities with 13,559 employees. More than 6,500 teachers are in classrooms at the district's various educational facilities, which include 117 traditional elementary schools, 9 K-8 schools, 25 traditional middle schools, 24 high schools, 49 charter schools, and 14 atypical/ alternative schools. The student population is extremely diverse, representing more than 15 ethnic groups and more than 60 languages and dialects.
After receiving award, Superintendent Marten offered her gratitude for being honor with this special award. It was special for her since that neighborhood is where she started as an educator at Central Elementary where she shared with students court values as ‘Work Hard, Be kind, Dream Big, No Excuses.’ This is something she believes in, that peace begins within each of us and it emanates out from there. They created at Central Elementary school (with 1,000 students), a place for peace, first and foremost as educators. She continued saying that with education we can change the world and with 130,000 students it begins with one student at a time.
Mrs. Marten also shared that San Diego Public Education is committed to bring the highest quality of education in every neighborhood and this starts with one child, one mind, one heart at a time. She starts her day by saying a blessing every morning to be safe, to be happy and live with peace. She asks herself how she may serve and how to work together to offer opportunities for students to learn and grow.
For Superintendent Marten, Peace is essential and said it has been lost in education, where the main focus is only on producing test scores. She wants not only to bring high quality education in San Diego but also make productive members of society to make a positive difference in the world. She continued saying that children are more than test scores. The problem is that the city, the state and the nation has not figured out yet how to measure values that are important for human beings. How do you grade in a bubble perseverance, love, tolerance, compassion, forgiveness, hope, peace? All these qualities have been lost in public education and these characteristics are the ones that make the world a better place and in fact are great for the economy; when children grow up to be a participating productive members in society that hold those inner values that cannot be tested they become great employees. We are creating a new system in the city of San Diego that will be a model for the state and the nation bringing quality neighborhoods and quality schools which begins at home. She thank everyone for honoring her and allowing her to continue to serve.