Turlock Unified School District Superintendent Sonny Da Marto has been named as a national finalist for the Superintendent of the Year 2013 award, given out by the National Association of School Superintendents.
Recognition for the honor is based on three criteria including outstanding achievement as a school district superintendent, demonstrated belief in continuous improvement, and a commitment to collaboration and mutual support in the profession.
Da Marto joined TUSD in July of 2008 and now has more than 35 years of experience in the education field.
According to the NASS, Da Marto has a lengthy list of achievements, including forming a district education foundation, jointly cultivating projects with the county, launching a district music and arts festival, developing energy efficient schools, and noteworthy strategic planning. Under his guidance all sixteen of the district’s schools have steadily improved their state test results – many with double-digit improvements. And during these most challenging fiscal times, he has continuously orchestrated successful employee negotiations and maintained substantial financial reserves.
NASS Executive Director Dr. Theresa Daem said Da Marto represents what educational leaders need to be today. "It is clear that our country's educational system faces tremendous challenges and is in need of dynamic and continuously improving leadership.”
According to Daem, there simply is not one simple “fix” for education. “The real answer is leveraging the collective know-how of stellar district superintendents like Dr. Da Marto. We are very proud to have him as an active member, and we are anticipating many valuable contributions to the profession,” she added.
Da Marto has had the opportunity to work with two State Superintendents of Schools, many legislatures, and two governors to help frame educational policy and protect California education.
He previously served for 9 and a half years as Superintendent of the Burlingame School District. During his tenure there, he was instrumental in guiding the district to a strong fiscal position and promoting educational excellence.
Prior to joining the Burlingame School District, Da Marto worked in education for 14 years and was the Associate Superintendent of San Mateo-Foster City School District.
He is also a past president of the Association of California School Administrators, the largest umbrella organization for school leaders in the nation, serving more than 14,000 school leaders.