Head of the Class: Gregory Franklin (M.A. '91)

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Gregory Franklin (M.A. ’91)

An educator who first dreamed of becoming a football coach has now scored a high-profile award as a school district administrator.

Gregory Franklin (M.A. ’91) was named 2014 California Superintendent of the Year, an accomplishment he says recognizes the great collaborative work being done by the 3,000 employees in the Tustin Unified School District.

Among other things, Franklin’s leadership has helped drive innovative programs involving technology in the district.

“Every student from grade 4 to grade 12 is given an iPad or laptop, and it really has changed the way we teach kids,” said Franklin, who previously was a high school principal and assistant superintendent before taking on the Tustin superintendent role in 2011.

Franklin singled out Professor Kenneth Tye, Ed.D, as an influential figure in his educational development at Chapman University.

“He was instrumental in my decision to pursue education as a career,” Franklin said. “He inspired me to think I might be able to help lead a school or a school district. His passion for education really came through.”

Franklin sure sounds like a teacher when he says that the only road to success is to work hard every day. He knows firsthand the benefits of such an approach.

“When one is working hard on behalf of others, such as in education, it really makes for a great life,” he said.

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