Dale Marsden Featured as a 2018 Leader to Learn From for his work in Making Schools an Oasis of Calm and Safety in San Bernardino, California

March 2018

EdWeek featured Dale Marsden, superintendent of the San Bernardino City Unified School District (SBCUSD), as a 2018 Leader to Learn From for his work in building a culture of physical and emotional safety in his district. When Marsden started as superintendent in SBCUSD in 2012, he hit the ground running, embedding himself in the city, and spending time building relationships and having conversations with the community. One message that came out of those conversations was that people wanted assurances that their children would be safe in San Bernardino schools, which are located in an area with high crime rates—including murder and gang warfare. Under Marsden’s leadership, the district made great strides with initiatives focusing on health, wellness, and safety, and has put protocols in place to respond to crises. So when two fatal shootings impacted SBCUSD staff and students in 2015 and 2017, the district proactively reached out to students’ families and the surrounding community.  The federal government has praised SBCUSD for its responsiveness, and Marsden has since been recognized for his leadership in school climate and safety, in large part for his commitment to preparation for all situations and understanding of the essentiality of communication.