San Diego Unified schools Superintendent Cindy Marten earned her M.A. in teaching and learning at UC San Diego in 1995. Photo via
San Diego Unified School District Superintendent Cindy Marten. Photo courtesy

Cindy Marten earned a grade of “A” for her work as superintendent of the San Diego Unified School District, prompting one school board member Tuesday to propose giving her a two-year contract extension.

“Progress in our schools is not a sprint, it’s a marathon and Superintendent Marten has had the patience to carefully develop programs, run pilot programs and set all the systems and structures in place so that we really can succeed,” said board member John Lee Evans, who proposed extending Martens contract two years until 2020.

Martens’ contract is set to expire in 2018.

Marten’s annual evaluation was based on the performance of the district’s schools for the 2015-2016 school year.

“San Diego Unified is on track to achieve the highest graduation rate of any large urban district in the state of California — 92 percent,” said board member Sharon Whitehurst-Payne. “The fact these results were achieved at the same time as we raised standards is all the more impressive.

“It is also a reflection of the confidence our superintendent has in the children of San Diego. She believes in their abilities with all her heart, and that is why she supports their success with all her heart.”

The board highlighted several goals that have been met on Marten’s watch, including computers for every student, arts and music programs in every school, a reduction in bullying, increased diversity among teachers, and the revamping of the gifted and talented program.

“Superintendent Marten has balanced the books and given the board a disciplined budget every year in office,” Whitehurst-Payne said.

“As a former teacher, she understands our professional educators and classified employees are the key to our continued success, so she has created an innovative teacher pipeline plan, creating teaching career pathways in our schools and at local colleges.”

Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.