Weekly roundup: California’s new schools chief, detection dogs in Fullerton, and more

California’s new superintendent of public instruction was abandoned by his father and lost his mother to cancer at age 6. But Tony Thurmond, 50, says he found success in school through support from his extended family and teachers who believed in him.

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“They were sending me a message that no matter how your life started, it can be bettered through education,” he told Capitol Weekly for a story that was published this week.

The profile chronicles Thurmond’s early days as a low-income student in Philadelphia, his 20-year career in social work, his political rise, and his priorities as California’s school chief.

And here are some other education stories from the week that ended Feb. 1:

  • The Brea-Olinda school board voted to rename Fanning Elementary School to reflect its focus on science and technology. But after a lengthy public debate, trustees decided that longtime educator William Fanning will remain its namesake.