Sonoma County Office of Education


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State Superintendent Candidates' Forum

Candidates for California State Superintendent of Public Instruction will share their plans and positions on important topics related to education. Marshall Tuck and Tony Thurmond will answer questions from a panel of moderators and respond to questions during an audience Q&A. This is an opportunity for school and district employees, administrators, and representatives throughout the North Bay to learn more about each candidate.

Interview Panelists

  • Dr. Robert Haley, Superintendent, Cotati-Rohnert Park Unified School District
  • Jenni Klose, School Board President, Santa Rosa City Schools
  • Pete Stefanisko, WDEA President and Teacher, Windsor Unified School District
  • Rachel Valenzuela, Director of Student Services and Special Education, Mark West Union School District

When November 14, 2017
10:00am - 12:00pm
Location SCOE, Redwood Rooms A-C

Marshall TuckMarshall Tuck believes in the power of public schools to change lives – and he’s spent the last 15 years working to make it happen. As president of the nonprofit Green Dot Public Schools, Tuck helped create 10 new public charter high schools in some of LA’s poorest neighborhoods. All of them outperformed local schools – and eight have been ranked among the top high schools in America by U.S. News & World Report.

In 2007, Tuck became the founding CEO of the nonprofit Partnership for Los Angeles Schools, a groundbreaking collaboration between the Mayor’s office and LA Unified School District to operate 17 struggling elementary, middle, and high schools serving 15,000 students. Under Tuck’s leadership, these schools raised four-year graduation rates by more than 60 percent, and had the highest academic improvement among California’s school systems with more than 10,000 students. The Partnership launched the innovative Parent College, creating a national model for getting parents more involved in their kids’ education. Tuck was most recently an educator-in-residence at the New Teacher Center (NTC), a nonprofit organization working with school districts to help develop and retain effective teachers and principals.

In 2014, Tuck ran an underdog campaign against the incumbent state superintendent, forcing him into a run-off before narrowly losing with 48 percent of the vote. Before devoting his career to helping students, Tuck was a senior leader at Model N, a successful enterprise software company based in the Bay Area. Prior to that, he worked in finance, and spent a year teaching and doing service work internationally. The son of a teacher, Tuck was born in Burlingame, CA and attended parochial elementary school and public middle and high schools. A graduate of UCLA and Harvard Business School, Tuck lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Mae, and their son Mason.

Tony ThurmondTony Thurmond is a state assemblymember and has served the people of California for ten years in elected office. He is also a respected leader of nonprofits for youth, with a dozen years of experience. At every step, Tony has kept California's kids as his top priority. He knows how to get things done, and get results. Tony was born at Fort Ord in Monterey, California, to a mother who immigrated from Panama to become a teacher, and a father from Detroit who came to Fort Ord as part of his army service in Vietnam. Tony’s father left the family early on and Tony next saw his father when Tony was 39 years old. Tony’s mother raised her four children as a single mom until she became too sick to do so. When Tony was six years, old his mother lost her battle to cancer. Tony and his brother moved to Philadelphia to live with a cousin, who raised them as her sons. This amazing woman provided the brothers with a safe home and made sure they got a great education. It was his public school education that helped Tony to become a 20-year social worker and ultimately to be elected to serve on a city council, a school board, and now in the California State Assembly. That’s why Tony has made improving public education his top priority in the state assembly.

  • Tony passed legislation to provide millions of dollars to school districts to keep kids in school and out of the criminal justice system.
  • Tony fought for money to make sure that all California youth in foster care have the opportunity to go to college.
  • Tony increased funding for early education programs.
  • In 2017, Tony is fighting to provide more money for preschool and after-school programs by shifting $450 million from our criminal justice system into our early education and after-school programs.
  • Tony is working to expand school-based health, mental health, and social service programs to remove the barriers that impede the ability of many of our students to learn. This legislation will support students who are homeless or hungry or have experienced trauma.
  • This year Tony is reducing our statewide teacher shortage by advocating for housing for teachers and other incentives to attract and retain great teachers.

Tony has deep roots in education. Between 2008 and 2012 he served on the West Contra County School Board. He oversaw truancy prevention programs, supported school based mental health programs, and launched a program called CEO Youth to teach entrepreneurship and life skills to disadvantaged students. Tony served on the Richmond City Council from 2005-2008. While on the council he served as liaison to Richmond’s Youth Commission and Workforce Investment Board and the Council Liaison to the West Contra Costa Unified School District. Tony is a graduate and former student body president of Temple University. Assemblymember Thurmond did his graduate work at Bryn Mawr College where he received dual master's degrees in law and social policy and social work. Tony is the proud parent of two public school students. They are his inspiration, and a constant reminder about the promise of our neighborhood schools and the strong future that every child deserves.

Cost Free
Audience School and district employees, administrators, and representatives throughout Sonoma County and surrounding counties.
Registration Kimberly Vallée, (707) 524-2603,
Questions Kimberly Vallée, (707) 524-2603,

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