After a nationwide search, the Board of Trustees for the Poway Unified School District has named Dr. Marian Kim-Phelps as their selection to lead the 3rd largest school district in San Diego County.
Westminster School District Superintendent Dr. Marian Kim-Phelps will officially become the new Superintendent for the Poway Unified School District on March 7th when her contract is approved by the Board of Trustees. Kim-Phelps will be the first minority and the first female superintendent for the top job in Poway. The Poway Unified School Board on Tuesday announced Kim-Phelps as the finalist from a pool of 91 applicants.

Since becoming Westminster School District’s superintendent, Dr. Kim Phelps has focused on bringing equity, access and opportunities to every student in the district. Under her leadership, the district established the first Vietnamese Dual Language Immersion Academy in California, a Spanish Dual Language Immersion Academy, a STEAM Magnet School, a GATE Academy and Orange County’s first Computer Science Magnet School. Last year, Westminster School District was one of only 13 districts throughout California to be named an Honor Roll District, a national program recognizing high-performing schools that improve the outcomes for students. The district was also honored as a 2015 White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics “Bright Spot in Hispanic Education”. Most recently, the Orange County Register named Dr. Kim Phelps as one of Orange County’s 100 Most Influential “2016 Game Changers in Orange County.”

In her 25 years as an educator, she was an elementary and middle school teacher, a vice principal, elementary principal for 10 years, Area Superintendent for four years serving 32 schools K-12, and currently Superintendent for nearly four years for 17 K-8 schools. Dr. Kim-Phelps is also an adjunct professor at California State University Fullerton, where she has taught doctorate level coursework on Ethical and Legal Dimensions of Educational Leadership.

“Dr. Kim-Phelps is an incredibly accomplished Superintendent. She has outstanding credentials and brings the experience and vision needed to lead the district and embrace the community. We are very excited to have her as our next Superintendent,” announced Board President Michelle O’Connor-Ratcliff.

Dr. Kim-Phelps was awarded the 2016 Golden Bell Award by the California School Board Association for technology, she was named 2016 ACSA District Administrator of the Year and the 2013 Central Office Administrator of the Year by the Association of California Administrators (ACSA) Region 18.

Kim-Phelps was awarded the 2009 and 2010 ACSA National Distinguished Principal Finalist Award for the State of California. In addition, Dr. Kim-Phelps was part of the senior level management team that led the 2nd largest school district in the state to become recognized as a 2013 Broad Prize for Urban Education District Finalist. Prior to and during her years as an educator, Dr. Kim-Phelps worked in hospital business administration with Scripps Health for over ten years.

Dr. Kim-Phelps says, “I am honored to have been selected as the new superintendent for Poway Unified, and I look forward to being part of a high quality team and district. I am committed to ensuring that our children not only have the skills necessary to be college and career ready, but have the skills needed to be successful in life! I look forward to building on the achievements of Poway Unified while looking forward to a shared future.”

Dr. Kim-Phelps earned a Doctorate degree from San Diego State University, a Master of Arts in Educational Leadership from Point Loma Nazarene University and a Bachelor of Arts from University of California, San Diego.