DSAG members were celebrated during the group’s annual awards ceremony
This year’s awards ceremony for the Dean’s Superintendent Advisory Group (DSAG), which took place virtually, awarded four DSAG scholarships and inducted Gregory Franklin ’83, EdD ’97 into the DSAG Hall of Fame.
Franklin, the chair of DSAG and superintendent of Tustin Unified School District, began his career as a social studies teacher at Saddleback High School in Santa Anna, California, where he also coached football and track. Rudy M. Castruita EdD ’82, USC Rossier professor of clinical education and Irving R. and Virginia Archer Melbo Chair in Education Administration, hired Franklin at Saddleback High and described him as “one of the best hires I’ve ever made.” Franklin went on to become assistant principal at Saddleback High as well as principal at Fullerton Union High School and Bonita High School. His path to the Tustin superintendency included appointments as assistant superintendent of human resources in the Fullerton Joint Union High School District, assistant superintendent of educational services for the Glendale Unified School District and superintendent of the Los Alamitos Unified School District. In 2014, Franklin was named California and Orange County superintendent of the year. “Known for his service, for his generosity and for his integrity as a leader, [Franklin] is so deserving of this recognition,” USC Rossier Dean Pedro A. Noguera noted in his opening remarks.
For Franklin, “changing the lives of kids” has always been paramount, and students’ success in school permeates other aspects of their lives. “Every part of their lives—every measurable part and many parts that aren’t measurable—will be better if we’re doing our job well,” Franklin said in his acceptance speech.
The DSAG Endowed Scholarships were awarded to Christopher Brown, assistant superintendent in the Office of Research, Planning, Evaluation and School Improvement at Long Beach Unified School District; William Gideon Jr., assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction for the Los Nietos School District; Lita Mallett, founding principal of Milwaukee Excellence High School; and Karen Mercado, an administrator of instruction in LAUSD Local District West. Mercado’s scholarship was awarded through a partnership with TELACU, whose mission is to equip Latino/Latina scholars with the tools they need to effect positive change in their communities.