Tustin Unified superintendent announces retirement after more than 35 years in education

Dr. Gregory A. Franklin, who has been superintendent of the Tustin Unified School District for the last decade, announced Tuesday that he’ll retire on Dec. 31, capping a career in education that has spanned more than 35 years.

“It has been a great honor to serve the Tustin Unified community,” Franklin said in a statement. “The school board members, staff, families and community come together to serve students with passion and creativity. It has been incredibly fulfilling to be part of their team.”

Greg Franklin

Greg Franklin

During his 10 years at the TUSD helm, Franklin oversaw the opening of Heritage Elementary School, Legacy Magnet Academy, Sycamore Magnet Academy and the Dual Language Immersion Program. With community support, the district also upgraded its technology infrastructure, launched a robotics program, expanded career technology education pathways, and completed a number of facility projects.

“Under Superintendent Franklin’s leadership, Tustin Unified significantly improved instructional programs, increased student achievement and success, and continued a long history and legacy of excellence,” Board of Education President Lynn Davis. “TUSD has experienced 10 highly successful years, and Dr. Franklin will be dearly missed.”

According to a district news release, Franklin’s leadership resulted in an increase in the number of students who met the A-G college admission requirements and passed Advanced Placement and the International Baccalaureate exams.

“Dr. Franklin guided the district through some of the most challenging times for public education,” Davis said. “Even during a recession and a global pandemic, TUSD maintained fiscal stability, its focus on student and staff health and well-being, and significantly increased student academic success. This is a direct testament to the leadership that Superintendent Franklin brought to Tustin.”

Before arriving in Tustin, Franklin was superintendent of the Los Alamitos Unified School District, assistant superintendent of educational services for the Glendale Unified School District, and assistant superintendent of human resources in the Fullerton Joint Union High School District.

He has also served as principal of Fullerton Union High School and Bonita High School in the Bonita Unified School District, and assistant principal of Saddleback High School in the Santa Ana Unified School District. He began his career as a social studies teacher and football and track coach at Saddleback High in 1985.

Among his career accomplishments, Franklin was named California and Orange County superintendent of the year in 2014, and he was inducted into the USC Rossier School of Education Hall of Fame in 2020.

The TUSD school board said it will immediately begin the search process to find Tustin’s next superintendent.