After 38 years in education, Turlock Unified School District Superintendent Dr. Sonny Da Marto has announced his retirement.
“I’m very proud to have been the superintendent in this school district,” said Da Marto at Tuesday’s Board of Trustees meeting. “I’ve decided at the end of this year to retire.”
Da Marto has served as Superintendent of Turlock Schools for the last seven years, since joining TUSD in July of 2008. Prior to TUSD, Da Marto served as Superintendent of Burlingame School District for more than nine years.
His retirement will be effective the end of this year school year, with his last day being June 30. Da Marto joked that his retirement will be the first time in his life that he’s not in school.
“I look forward to spending some time with my 10 grandchildren and just seeing what else is out there and seeing what happens when I grow up,” joked Da Marto at Tuesday’s meeting. “I’ve never done anything but gone to school.”
Over recent years, Da Marto, as well as the rest of TUSD, has faced a fair share of criticism, most recently with the school district's drawn out labor negotiations with Turlock teachers and staff.
Last month, the Board of Trustees approved an approximately 14 percent pay raise for administration, while only giving a 5 percent raise to teachers and staff. These raises brought protests from the California School Employees Association prior to Tuesday’s meeting.
“I have nothing but respect for all of the employees of this district — the administration, the confidentials, the classifieds, the teachers,” said Da Marto on Tuesday. “Everyone that works in this district are second to none, as far as I’m concerned.”
Da Marto said he announced his resignation to the Board of Trustees two to three weeks prior to making it public on Tuesday.
“It is a delight to work with a dedicated staff whose focus has always been what is best for students,” Da Marto said in a letter to the Board, staff, and community. “For me, it has always been about the children.”