Title: Educator, Former California Superintendent of Public Instruction
Location: Davis, California, United States
Delaine A. Eastin, Educator, Former California Superintendent of Public Instruction, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Educators for dedication, achievements, and leadership in the field of education administration.
Encouraged by her family to attend college, Ms. Eastin knew that she would not only receive but also bestow education upon others. In preparation for this endeavor, she earned a Bachelor of Arts in political science from the University of California Davis in 1969 and a Master of Arts in political science from the University of California Santa Barbara in 1971. Ms. Eastin worked as an instructor at various California Community Colleges from 1971 to 1979, an accounting manager for Pacific Bell in San Francisco from 1979 to 1984, and served as a city councilmember for Union City, California, in 1980. From 1984 to 1986, she was a corporate planner for Pacific Telesis Group in San Francisco and proudly served as an assemblywoman for the California State Legislature in Sacramento, California, from 1986 to 1994, during which time she wrote the biggest landfill clean-up bill in California’s history. She also wrote the biggest state school bond in history, combining K-12 and higher education in a bond for the first time. Ms. Eastin also strengthened the financial oversight of school districts after Richmond schools became the first school district in California to go bankrupt.
Following her time in the legislature, Ms. Eastin assumed the role of superintendent of public instruction for the California Education Department in Sacramento from 1995 to 2003. She was the first woman to hold this post and only the fourth woman elected statewide in California history. When she was elected State Superintendent of Public Instruction, the state of California averaged the largest class size in the United States of America. After tenaciously fighting for funding, Ms. Eastin received 2.3 billion dollars to reduce class size in kindergarten to third-grade classrooms in all districts in California to 20 students or less in order to ensure students were getting the attention they needed during their formative education years. After her time as a superintendent, she worked as executive director of the National Institute for School Leadership from 2003 and 2005 distinguished professor of educational leadership at Mills College in Oakland, California, from 2005 until her retirement in 2009. Ms. Eastin also presided over Net Day, where the President of Vice President joined 20,000 volunteers to wire schools for technology. Vice President Gore said that was the impetus for him proposing the Erate because if the home of the Silicon Valley was not wired then neither were the other states.
As a testament to her success, Ms. Eastin has had an elementary school in Union City, a childhood developmental center in Fremont, and a high school art gallery in Healdsburg, all in California, named after her. She helped to mentor a lot of young men and women to run for public office based on her time in government and considers her time the interacting with the students to be the most rewarding aspect of her career. Ms. Eastin’s personal definition of success is that she has had a number of important achievements and successful moments from writing legislation and being an advocate for environmental, education, and transportation, issues, among others.
Ms. Eastin has been lauded with the Janet Rankin Courage to Run Award from the National Women’s Political Caucus and the California Women Lead Luminary Award, both in 2019. She also received the UC Davis Gold Medal in 2015, the highest award given by UC Davis, for her work to improve the education of children, to create school gardens and to improve student nutrition. She was the recipient of the 2003 Jane L. Taylor award from the American Horticultural Society, for her work to inspire children about horticulture. Ms. Eastin served on the board of directors for the Pence Gallery and for the International Association for Foreign Students Foundation, and was a commissioner for the Commission on Status of Women in Sacramento from 1990 to 2003. She is a past chair of the Legislative Women’s Caucus, California Women Lead, the Rutgers Project 2012 to elect more women nationwide after reapportionment and past chair of Close the Gap California to elect more women in California. She served several years on the National Gardening Association. While serving the association adopted her garden in every school initiative and took it nationwide. She also served on the board of Real School Gardens based in Texas. Furthermore, she received the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award and has been featured in multiple editions of Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in American Education, Who’s Who in the West, Who’s Who in the World, and Who’s Who of American Women.
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