Rich Thome, MS
Senior Advisor

Mr. Rich Thome retired as Superintendent from South Bay Union School District. He also served as Superintendent at Cardiff School District. During this tenure, he chaired the Superintendents Technology Committee, served as ACSA Region XVIII legislative representative and on numerous advisory boards in San Diego County. Previously, Rich also worked as Assistant Superintendent, Human Resources and Technology at the San Diego County Office of Education where he worked in collaboration with educators from Mexico and the United States to bring high school and adult educational technology programs from Mexico to California. For his efforts in establishing the educational technology programs and for his 36 years of services to the Latino Community, Mr. Thome was awarded the prestigious Ohtli Award from the government of Mexico in 2008. He was also the recipient of the Excellence in Leadership Award by the University of California, San Diego in 2007, and the Willie Velasquez Community Service Award in 2006.

Mr. Thome spent 23 years of his career in Capistrano Unified School District as a high school Spanish and ESL teacher, K-12 coordinator of Technology and Research, Elementary Principal, Director and Assistant Superintendent.

Mr. Thome currently serves at the University of San Diego’s School of Leadership and Education Sciences as Co-Director of the Educational Leadership Development Academy and previously served as Professor of Practice and Educational Leader in Residence. Mr. Thome is also a partner in Leadership Associates, an executive search firm, working with Boards of Education to conduct executive searches and Board workshops.

Mr. Thome received his BA from California State University, Los Angeles and his MS degree from Pepperdine University, and has taught classes at Saddleback College, California State University, Long Beach, California State University, San Marcos and San Diego State University. He is Hispanic, fluently bilingual in Spanish and received his Bilingual, Cross Cultural Specialist, Administrative Services and Standard Secondary credentials in California.

During the course of his career, Rich Thome has received the Honorary Service Award from the California Congress of PTA’s, the Orange County Hispanic Educator of the Year Award and the Apple Distinguished Educator Award.