Sacramento County Superintendent of Schools David W. Gordon has been selected as the General Education Leader and Champion for Preschool in California by the David and Lucile Packard Foundation.
Gordon was honored at a reception in Sacramento at the Sheraton Grand Hotel on Monday, November 12, 2007. The event was hosted by the Packard Foundation.
Superintendent Gordon has been a long-time supporter of preschool and early childhood education. While serving in his current capacity as Sacramento County Superintendent of Schools Gordon has served as a statewide advocate for preschool education.
"Dave Gordon has been an extraordinary leader for preschool education, and The Packard Foundation is pleased to honor him for his impact in the classroom, with families, in communities, and with policymakers," said Carol Larson, President and CEO of the David and Lucile Packard Foundation. "As Sacramento County Superintendent of Schools, he has become a tireless leader for expanding preschool access and quality across the state. He understands that children who enter kindergarten ready to learn will do better throughout their school years, enhancing their prospects for lifelong success."
In 2005 and 2006, the Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE) in partnership with First 5 Sacramento hosted a series of community forums on the benefits of preschool in an effort to help parents make informed decisions about preschool options for their children.
SCOE's School Readiness Department provides assistance and coordination to foster the development of preschool in the county. In May 2005, the Sacramento County Board of Education unanimously passed a resolution in support of voluntary, quality preschool for all four-year-olds in California.
SCOE serves as the headquarters for the ten-county region California Preschool Instructional Network (CPIN) which provides consistent and high quality professional development for preschool administrators and teachers that consists of current research and information, resources, and best practices, which are focused on school readiness and transition to kindergarten for all children, including children with disabilities and those who are learning English.
"Preschool makes a difference in the lives and academic achievement of children," said Superintendent Gordon. "It makes a difference for the teachers at the higher levels and it makes a difference in the communities. Preschool lays a solid foundation for a child's future."
Gordon has a statewide and national reputation as an innovator in areas such as preschool, assessment, teacher education and special education. He was appointed by President Bush to serve on the National Assessment Governing Board (NAGB), which oversees the National Assessment of Educational Progress, the "Nation's Report Card". He also serves on Governor Schwarzenegger's Commission on Excellence in Education.
Prior to being named Sacramento County Superintendent of Schools in 2004, Gordon served as Elk Grove Unified School District Superintendent, beginning in 1995.
From 1985 to 1991 he was California Deputy State Superintendent of Public Instruction. Gordon began his career as an elementary school teacher in South Bronx, New York, in 1968. He holds a B.A. degree from Brandeis University and an Ed.M. and Certificate of Advanced Study (C.A.S.) in Educational Administration from Harvard University. He and his wife Deborah reside in Sacramento. They have two grown children and five grandchildren.
About the Packard Foundation
The David and Lucile Packard Foundation was created in 1964 by David Packard (1912-1996), the co-founder of the Hewlett-Packard Company, and Lucile Salter Packard (1914-1987). Throughout their lives in business and philanthropy, the Packards sought to use private funds for the public good, giving back to a society which enabled them to prosper.