The county’s 28 public school superintendents received top honors this week from the Orange County School Boards Association. During a virtual seminar on Jan. 27, the superintendent group was surprised with the prestigious Maureen DiMarco Award “in recognition of exemplary leadership for youth and the education community amidst a global health pandemic.”
In a statement, OCSBA said:
During this unprecedented time, when the world is grappling with the Coronavirus-19 pandemic crisis, there is only one group of individuals who come to mind to be nominated for the 2020 Maureen DiMarco Award for their exemplary and extraordinary leadership in addressing the myriad of needs for our diverse students and families countywide; that group is the various school district superintendents throughout Orange County.
As Board members and president and past presidents of the Orange County School Board Association, we have witnessed first-hand the trials and tribulations this crisis has unfolded before these amazing men and women. Just like they did with the Proposition 63 Mental Health Services Act funds, our superintendents have banded together, on an around the clock basis, to share and examine the vital work and important decisions they bear. This group has come together but still managed to customize and tailor their individual responses to meet the needs of their individual communities. Each passing day has brought new challenges and considerations; without hesitation, these superintendents have remained steadfast and flexible, inspiring advocates for the education, well-being and safety of all our students, teachers, staff and community.
These have been incredibly tumultuous times, however, we have complete confidence that we will get through this, because of the leadership and dedication of our superintendents. It is with deep pride and sincere appreciation that we nominate each individual Orange County school district superintendent for the 2020 Maureen DiMarco Award.
“Since collaboratively developing ‘Orange County Together: A guide to safely reopening schools in the COVID-19 era,'” we have been meeting weekly as a group with our partners from the Orange County Health Care Agency and reaching out to share information and gather input from community organizations and local stakeholders,” said Orange County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Al Mijares. “It hasn’t been easy, we were definitely challenged and we didn’t always agree. But we remained united as a strong coalition with the clear objective of promoting high-quality instruction while ensuring the safety of students and staff.”
OCSBA’s Maureen DiMarco Award recognizes exemplary and far-reaching leadership in addressing the broad needs of youth in Orange County. It was first presented in 1993 to recognize the contributions of Maureen DiMarco, who, in addition to being California’s first cabinet secretary for child development and education, served as president of the California School Boards Association and the Orange County School Boards Association.