Gloria E. Ciriza Named First Female County Superintendent of Schools

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Gloria E. Ciriza Named First Female County Superintendent of Schools

Asian Heritage Society
Published by Times of San Diego in Education · Monday 15 Apr 2024
Tags: TimesofSanDiego
Gloria E. Ciriza will succeed Paul Gothold as the county’s superintendent of schools, becoming the first female superintendent in the San Diego County Office of Education‘s 76-year history, the SDCOE announced Monday.

The county Board of Education, which made the decision during a special meeting Saturday, is expected to consider Ciriza’s contract at its next regular meeting, on May 8. It’s anticipated she will assume the post on July 1.

Gothold is retiring after seven years in the role.

Ciriza is currently the SDCOE’s assistant superintendent of student services and programs, which includes the Juvenile Court and Community Schools, Special Education, Student Support, Student Wellness and School Culture, Whole Child and Community Design, and Outdoor Education departments, a statement from the office said.

She joined SDCOE in March 2021 and has advanced SDCOE’s North Star goal to reduce poverty through public education, the department said.
“I am thrilled to be selected and to continue advancing progress towards SDCOE’s North Star so that every child thrives in school, career and life,” Ciriza said in a statement. “It’s an honor to be the first woman in this role, to provide representation for young women and people of color, and to advocate for all students.”

“I look forward to connecting with educational partners throughout our region and leading the organization with integrity, compassion and grace,” the statement continued.

According to the county office, Ciriza began her career as a substitute teacher in the National School District, then taught third, fourth, fifth and seventh grades in the San Diego and Poway districts.

She later served as an associate principal in the Poway and Chula Vista elementary school districts. During her tenure as principal, Heritage Elementary School became the highest-performing of 47 schools in CVESD.

“Dr. Ciriza is a human-centered leader who has demonstrated an ability to raise educational outcomes and success for all students, especially our most historically underserved students,” said Board of Education President Alicia Muñoz. “Kids need to see role models who look like them, and to be able to picture themselves in the workforce and in leadership positions.

“We have strong schools and tough challenges in our region,” she added. “With Dr. Ciriza at the helm, we look forward to deeper collaboration with our partner districts and increased academic opportunities for the 500,000 students we serve.”

Ciriza continued her career at CVESD as director of human resources; executive director of curriculum, instruction, and assessment; and assistant superintendent of instruction.

The Association of California School Administrators named her its 2018 Administrator of the Year for Curriculum and Instruction, and the California Association of Bilingual Educators named her Administrator of the Year in 2010.

She holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Slippery Rock University, a master’s in education administration from National University, and a doctorate in educational leadership from San Diego State.

Besides being in charge of the SDCOE’s programs and services, the superintendent has the responsibility of approving district budgets, calling district elections and assisting with district emergencies.

City News Service contributed to this article. © 2024 Copyrighted all rights reserved
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