Tony Thurmond, educator and public school parent, took his oath of office as California’s twenty-eighth State Superintendent of Public Instruction Monday, saying that it is an honor to lead the state’s 6.2 million students and over 10,000 schools.
He said his own life story underscored the vital need for all students, regardless of income, race, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation or immigration status, to have a first-class education.
“I grew up in poverty and without my parents,” he said. “But I was raised by a cousin, an amazing woman, who made certain that I got a great education. That’s what got me where I am today, and that’s what I want for my two daughters and all students. I pledge to devote all my energy, talent, experience, and all the powers of my office to ensure all students get a great education.”
“But I need help. I’m asking everyone to join me. Help with your local schools. If you can, find a way to be a mentor, a volunteer, or contribute to a fundraiser.”