Thurmond Recognized for Leading Efforts to Transform California Schools
LOS ANGELES—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond was honored Sunday, April 30 with the Educator of the Year Award by Loyola Marymount University (LMU) School of Education. The award recognized Superintendent Thurmond’s substantial contributions to the field of education; his advocacy for greater equity in opportunities for future generations; and his significant, lifelong commitment to enriching the lives of all learners.
Superintendent Thurmond has made transforming California schools his priority. His vision and leadership secured 10,000 mental health counselors for schools and billions in 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.
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.
The LMU School of Education’s Educator of the Year Award is an accolade that has been given annually since 1996. The award is given to individuals who have made transformative contributions to the field of education while advocating tirelessly for more equitable opportunities for future generations. Superintendent Thurmond joined a prestigious list of past recipients of the Educator of the Year Award, including Father Greg Boyle, S.J.; Dr. Carl Cohn; former California State Board of Education President Michael Kirst; Roy Romer; Patricia Gandara; Ana Ponce; and Maureen Kindel.
Superintendent Thurmond speaking at the podium at LMU ceremony.
Superintendent Thurmond provided the keynote address at the event, which also honored numerous LMU graduates with awards in undergraduate and graduate fields of education.
LMU is a top-ranked national university by U.S. News and World Report, which places LMU among the top five Jesuit universities in the country and in the top six private universities in California. Founded in 1911, LMU is a Catholic, Jesuit, and Marymount university with more than 6,500 undergraduate students and more than 3,000 graduate and law students. LMU offers 55 undergraduate majors and 58 minor programs, along with 46 master’s degree programs, three doctorate programs, and 14 credential/authorization programs. LMU’s intercollegiate athletics teams compete in the West Coast Conference with 20 Division I and varsity sports. LMU School of Education is a top 10 education school in California that offers undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral degrees, credentials, and certificates in more than 20 areas of study.