He is also known as a widely respected leader. As a past president of his state's largest umbrella organization, the Association of California School Administrators, Dr. Da Marto is recognized as a premier Superintendent throughout the state of California. His can-do attitude and caring demeanor have earned him the admiration and appreciation of the Turlock Unified School District staff. A steady emphasis on putting the best interests of students first has endeared him to students and parents.
Superintendent Da Marto joined Turlock Unified School District on July 1, 2008. With more than thirty years of experience in education he was well-equipped to take the district to the next level, and he didn't waste any time.
He instituted a Two-Way Immersion Program, organized a new charter school and implemented ongoing professional development for both special education and regular education departments. Under Dr. Da Marto's leadership, State Testing Program scores in all sixteen T.U.S.D. schools have steadily risen, with double digit numbers for some sites.
Providing students with the best possible foundation for dealing with 21st century technology is one of Da Marto's key concerns. He spends a great deal of time researching what constitutes the best preparation. Dr. Da Marto is moving the district into the 21st Century with a cutting-edge technology vision for staff and students alike.
While student achievement is an ongoing top priority, he has made it a point to address all facets of his district's programs and services. He has initiated a District Strategic Plan and an Education Foundation, transitioned the district's schedule from a year-round to a traditional school year, instituted an employee wellness program, implemented paperless online Board Agendas, moved to energy efficient schools, reorganized and streamlined all district departments and built a state-of-the-art athletic stadium.
During these difficult budgetary times, Dr. Da Marto has established himself as a leader who guides the Turlock Unified School District through successful negotiations and keeps the District financially stable with healthy reserves
In spite of all of his district projects and responsibilities, Sonny Da Marto hasn't ignored his county or his community. In fact, the importance of community is clear to him, and he has been actively involved in numerous organizations, including Rotary, the Chamber of Commerce, the Film Commission and the Carnegie Arts Center. One of his projects is a District Music Festival for the community.
He has also actively supported an Education Coalition with his County Office of Education. A Choose Civility Campaign was the product of county-wide collaboration. Dr. Da Marto made it the perfect vehicle for bringing his city, Chamber of Commerce, private sector, staff, parents and students together to permeate civility throughout the community.
Dr. Da Marto's education includes a B.S. Degree from the University of Nevada, a M.Ed. Degree from the University of Nevada and an Ed.D. from the University of La Verne.
He served for 8 ½ years as Superintendent of the Burlingame School District. During his tenure in Burlingame he was instrumental in guiding the district into a strong fiscal position and promoting educational excellence. Prior to assuming the leadership role in the Burlingame School District, Dr. Da Marto worked for 14 years in the San Mateo-Foster City School District, ultimately serving as the Associate Superintendent.
Sonny Da Marto does not see his professional responsibilities as limited to his current position; he contributes to his profession and to education as a whole on a regular basis.
He is the author of numerous publications, and he has served on many California state-level committees and local non-profit organizations.
He has worked closely with two governors, two State Superintendents of Schools, and many legislators to help develop effective policy and protect California education. Dr. Da Marto is currently helping to spearhead the fight to retain Prop 98 funding for California students.
Dr. Da Marto is a people-oriented superintendent. Some of the aspects of his job that he finds most rewarding include helping administrators become good leaders, helping certificated and classified staff become great student mentors, and helping students maximize their potential, both in educational achievements and as productive citizens.
While Dr. Da Marto takes his job seriously, he also has a personality and smile that puts students and staff at ease. He is an active outdoorsman, enjoying camping, high country backpacking, fishing, swimming, and walking.
Dr. Da Marto is not afraid to roll up his sleeves and get directly involved in the various functions of the district. On a daily basis, the complexity of the job, both planned and unplanned, in areas such as curriculum, the budget, personnel and business services, takes him in numerous directions. One experience he says he'll never forget was learning how to make the salads served for student lunches. Dr. Da Marto quickly realized that the students knew who made their salads when the lettuce was missing under the toppings.