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County Superintendent Bill Cirone Receives Statewide Distinguished Service Award

William Cirone, superintendent of the Santa Barbara County Education Office, has received the 2013 Ferd J. Kiesel Memorial Distinguished Service Award from the Association of California School Administrators.

The Ferd J. Kiesel Memorial Distinguished Service Award is the highest honor the ACSA can present to an individual. The award is made in the memory of Kiesel, ACSA’s founding president.

The recipient can be anyone who has made a significant contribution to public education, including an administrator, teacher, legislator or community member. Current ACSA employees and ACSA board members are not eligible to receive this award.

Criteria for granting the award include: 1) the contribution has had significant impact on public education over a wide geographical area; and 2) the contribution has had impact on significant segments of public education. Although it may not be as important as the contribution itself, the time a person has been involved with education also is considered.

The ACSA is proud to highlight the accomplishments of school leaders like Cirone, who work diligently every day to help students succeed throughout California. The award recipients will be honored on stage during an awards ceremony held at the ACSA Leadership Summit Nov. 7-9 at the San Jose Convention Center.

“We are proud of leaders like William Cirone,” ACSA Executive Director Wesley Smith said. “Each year we come together to celebrate the best and brightest in school leadership, and William is certainly among the best in our profession. His dedication to his students and community make William Cirone more than deserving of ACSA’s highest honor, the Ferd. J. Kiesel Memorial Distinguished Service Award.”

Having served as Santa Barbara County superintendent since 1983, Cirone is the longest-serving county superintendent in the state. His firm roots in the community have led to strong partnerships, effective collaborations and, most importantly, academic growth among all students.

He is highly regarded throughout California for providing services that address student needs. He is a leader in promoting his philosophy that teachers are true community heroes who deserve support and respect for the work they do. One of his greatest contributions to public education is spreading the message that educators are highly trained and competent professionals whose work is crucial to a strong society.

Cirone is an ardent supporter of civic literacy, teaching students the knowledge, skills and values needed to take part in a democratic society. To this end, he has organized countywide programs to teach young people the value of philanthropy.

An ACSA member for more than 35 years, Cirone also promotes education for all students, and has coordinated programs for students in need. Foster youth, homeless students and those in juvenile courts and community schools all have equal opportunities for success, and under Cirone’s leadership the high school graduation rate for these students has risen from zero to more than 200 per year.

Established in 1971, the Association of California School Administrators is the largest umbrella organization for education leaders in the nation, serving more than 14,900 statewide. As a student-centered organization, the ACSA is a leader in teaching and learning and strives to ensure all students have the resources and opportunities they need to excel.

Click here for more information about the ACSA’s awards program.

— Cary Rodda represents the Association of California School Administrators.

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