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Association of California School Administrators
Association of California School Administrators
San Diego Unified School District Superintendent Cindy Marten.
San Diego schools chief nominated for deputy education secretary
January 25, 2021
President Joe Biden has selected San Diego Unified School District Superintendent Cindy Marten to serve in the No. 2 post at the U.S. Department of Education.
In a Jan. 18 news release, Biden announced Marten as his pick to serve as deputy secretary of education. She would serve under current Connecticut schools chief Miguel Cardona, who Biden nominated to serve as the U.S. Secretary of Education. Both appointments are subject to confirmation by the Senate.
“Our administration will hit the ground running to deliver immediate, urgent relief to Americans; confront the overlapping crises of COVID-19, the historic economic downturn, systemic racism and inequality, and the climate crisis; and get this government working for the people it serves,” Biden said, in a news release. “These tireless public servants will be a key part of our agenda to build back better — and I am confident they will help make meaningful change and move our country forward.”
Marten has served as superintendent of the San Diego Unified School District since 2013 after being unanimously selected by the Board of Education.
She directed implementation of the district’s Vision 2020 initiative, committing to a meaningful graduation for all students with the district achieving the highest graduation rate among big-city districts in California and the fastest reading growth of large urban districts nationwide in 2019.
Marten first joined ACSA in 2014 and currently serves on ACSA’s Superintendency Council.
Marten acknowledged her appointment in a Jan. 18 tweet.
“I am honored to serve alongside @teachcardona to restore our education system – putting teachers, students, and parents first. Work Hard. Be Kind. Dream Big. Let’s do this!” Marten wrote.
A classroom teacher for 17 years prior to being appointed superintendent, Marten worked for 10 years at Central Elementary in City Heights, one of San Diego’s most ethnically diverse and economically challenged school communities, where she established a highly successful bi-literacy program, a hands-on school garden program, integrated arts education, quality after-school and preschool programs, a daycare center for employees’ children, and a community health and wellness center for students and their families.
Superintendent, principal, vice principal and literacy specialist are all job titles Marten has held in her 32-year career as an educator. She was chosen as one of the 2018 Business Women of the Year by the San Diego Business Journal, and was awarded the 2015 National Conflict Resolution Center Local Peacemaker Award.

She earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from the University of Wisconsin at La Crosse, and a master’s degree in Teaching and Learning from the University of California, San Diego.
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