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Central Elementary Principal Cindy Marten named new superintendent

Central Elementary School Principal Cindy Marten has been named the next Superintendent of the San Diego Unified School District, replacing the retiring Bill Kowba on July 1.

The Board of Education made the announcement of its unanimous choice at a news conference Wednesday.

"We want a leader who will be tirelessly focused on the needs of children and will expect all adults to do the same," said Dr. John Lee Evans, Board of Education President. "We have found such a person in our own district."

Marten has been a teacher and administrator for more than 25 years; principal at Central Elementary for the last six years. She began her career as a teacher in the Poway district, moving to Central Elementary School in San Diego Unified in 2003. During her tenure at Central, the school's Academic Performance Index score rose from 631 to 788.

"What an incredible honor," said Marten. "I believe in the hope and promise of public education in America, and I believe in doing the work to show America what it's all about."

Marten, 46, is a product of the San Diego Unified School District, having attended Hardy Elementary School and Horace Mann Middle School before moving to La Jolla Country Day School for high school. She received her Bachelor's Degree from the University of Wisconsin La Crosse. She holds a Master's Degree from UC San Diego in curriculum and instruction.

"She is well known across the district," said Evans. "She and her work are well known by civic leaders, business leaders in the community."

The other board members also lauded Marten's reputation and vision for education.

"I am absolutely confident that Ms. Marten is the right person at the right time in the right position," said Scott Barnett. "Since I've been here, I've said to myself, 'Do we clone Cindy Marten?'"

"We go about this with great thought and great deliberation. Central is exactly what Cindy talks about: it embodies the promise of public education in this country," said Richard Barrera, District D board member. "Cindy Marten is not only going to lead this district, Cindy Marten is going to lead the conversation in this country as what education can be."

"She was a principal already doing the work of a superintendent," said Marne Foster, District E trustee. "I have no doubt. I am clear that Cindy Marten is going to take that vision and transform San Diego Unified, the state and the nation with her work."

"She is somebody that is passionate about kids and education, somebody that embraces research based reform," said District B Trustee Kevin Beiser. "She gets it. She understands what it takes at all levels."

Dr. Evans said the Board will formally ratify the selection at a future meeting. Contract terms have not been announced.