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Compton school district chief is Superintendent of the Year


Darin Brawley has been chosen to receive the 2019 Los Angeles County Superintendent of the Year award presented by the Office of Education. Brawley heads the 24,000-student Compton Unified School District.

Los Angeles County schools chief Debra Duardo presented the award late last week at the annual Superintendents’ Professional Collaborative Conference being held at the Sheraton Hotel in San Gabriel.

“This award pays tribute to the talent and vision of our district leadership,” said Duardo, superintendent of the County Office of Education. The award recognizes an individual’s leadership for learning, excellence in communication, professionalism and dedicated community involvement.

Brawley, a resident of Riverside, was nominated by Compton USD Board of Trustees President Micah Ali.

“Under Superintendent Darin Brawley’s leadership, Compton Unified has undergone a renaissance — a dramatic turnaround that has taken Compton from the verge of state receivership and transformed it into a top-performing school district,” Ali wrote in his nomination. “Superintendent Brawley has made a real, tangible impact on the community as well as the lifetime achievement of the students we serve … providing the leadership to mold Compton Unified into a force for advocacy on behalf of urban students everywhere.”

Brawley joined the Compton school district as its superintendent in 2012. Under his tenure, academic achievement has been on the rise for all student groups as measured by state assessments. A steadily increasing number of students are finishing high school, with the current graduation rate close to 90 percent. Brawley has boosted investment in infrastructure and facilities, expanded dual language programs and established a culture of data-based decision making characterized by professional development for all staff and the infusion of trauma-informed practices (linking academic achievement and social success for students who ahve experienced toxic stress) and project-based learning.

Under Brawley’s leadership, Compton schools have launched a successful “middle college” whose 2018-19 cohort graduated with a 100-percent four-year college acceptance rate. Brawley also has deepened the presence of “STEAM” (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics) at every district school. He also has established partnerships to eliminate barriers to college and careers and invested in civic engagement initiatives that create opportunities for students to participate in summer programs on Ivy League campuses.

Brawley began his education career in 2000 as director of Human Resources for the Fontana Unified School District. He previously served as superintendent of the Adelanto Elementary School District from 2009-12 where he also was a school principal.

He earned a master’s degree in Educational Administration from CSU San Bernardino and a doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of Southern California.

Brawley will receive a $1,000 grant for use in his district courtesy of the California Credit Union.

Compton USD chief Darin Brawley was named 2019 Los Angeles County Superintendent of the Year and received the award from County Superintendent of Schools Debra Duardo.