September 2014 Member Spotlight - Dr. Arturo Delgado

Dr. Arturo Delgado,
Los Angeles County Superintendent
Los Angeles County Office of Education

Career Highlights & Education:  I am the third of seven children born to Jose and Ysidra Delgado. Raised mostly in East Los Angeles, I graduated from Montebello High School in 1970. I went on to complete my Associate of Arts Degree from East Los Angeles College and transferred to California State University at Los Angeles where I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in liberal studies in 1979.

I began my education career more than 33 years ago. My first teaching assignment was in December of 1980 in the Baldwin Park Unified School District where I taught a third grade bilingual class. I would later work as a teacher in the Rowland Unified School District. Having gone back to Cal State Los Angeles to complete my Masters of Arts Degree in educational administration in 1984 and my Administrative credential, I accepted my first administrative position as an Assistant Principal in the Norwalk-La Mirada Unified School District. One year later, I applied for and was selected as the Principal for Hodge Elementary School in the Azusa Unified School District. During my eight years as the principal at Hodge, the school received recognition as a California Distinguished School.

I now serve as Chief Executive Officer for the Los Angeles County Office of Education (LACOE), and as secretary to the County Board of Education. Among my top priorities is to improve educational programs and opportunities provided by LACOE to youth detained in the county’s juvenile detention facilities.

I have served as the President of the Association of California Urban School Districts and President for the California Association of Latino Superintendents and Administrators (CALSA) in 2007. I was appointed to serve on State Superintendent Tom Torlakson’s transition team in 2010-11. I serve as a Board member for: California County Superintendents Educational Services Association (CCSESA), Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents (ALAS), Los Angeles County Education Foundation (LACEF), Los Angeles Universal Preschool (LAUP), First 5 LA, and WestEd. I am also a council member for the Inter-Agency Council on Child Abuse and Neglect. I was recognized as Educator of the Year by Hispanic Heritage Magazine and was considered one of the 50 most influential Latinos in the Inland Empire. I recently received the 2013 Executive Leadership Award from CCSESA.

What I like best about my job isFirst, I truly enjoy the relationships I have with the great people on my staff that are doing tremendous work with our students on a daily basis. Secondly, I enjoy the challenges of anticipating the needs of our communities and then moving our organization to new areas of success.

The best advice I’ve ever received is:  A Board member in my first superintendent assignment pulled me aside after my Board meeting to say that I would be a great success in my new position if I could remember that there is no such thing as a “little” thing. What I think is a little thing to me is likely to be a big thing to someone else so give honest attention to the little things.

Advice you would give a new superintendent or school system leader:  Always be proud of what you have done, but always anticipate and prepare for change.

If I ever snuck out of work early, I could probably be found:  If I ever snuck out of work early, I could be found at the gym followed up with a relaxing massage.

People would be surprised to know that:  I enjoy practical jokes.

One thing I wish more people knew about ALAS is:  The membership is made up of people all over the nation that are having a huge and lasting impact on children. These same leaders are accessible through our organization.