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Meet our Superintendent

Dave Marken, Ed.D.

Dr. Dave Marken’s extensive teaching career began in West Contra Costa County (formerly Richmond Unified) at both Richmond High School and John F. Kennedy High School.  In addition, he was a teacher at Martin Luther King Middle School in San Francisco and spent several years at Jefferson High School in Daly City.

Desiring to contribute in an expanded manner, Dave began his administrative experience opening a new high school in the Liberty Union High School District while simultaneously starting his doctoral program in Educational Leadership.  He then moved to Dublin Unified School District, where for the last thirteen years he held several different positions.  He was an assistant principal, a high school principal, senior director of Student Services and alternative programs, an assistant superintendent of Educational Services and assistant superintendent of Human Resources.  Dave earned his doctorate from the University of LaVerne in 2000.

Dave was the first from his family to attend and graduate from college and instilled the value of education to his children.  His wife, Virginia, is a CRNA (Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist) for Kaiser Permanente.  They currently reside in San Francisco.  Dr. Marken has three children, all grown, Jessica, M.A. Boston University, Krista, B.A. University of Washington, and Evan,  J.D., a recent graduate from Gonzaga Law School.

Dr. Marken is a certified LEAD Coach with the New Teacher Center at U.C. Santa Cruz.  Dave has mentored and coached administrators, who, upon completion of their coaching may apply for their Tier II Administrative Credential.  Dave believes coaching is crucial to the ongoing development of Newark’s instructional leaders to attain student success.

As a passionate advocate for students, he credits much of his educational philosophy and beliefs most recently to:

  • Rick and Becky Dufour, Anthony Muhammad and Professional Learning Communities for providing a framework for our goal to improve student learning.
  • Dr. Sharroky Hollie and the Center for Culturally Responsive Teaching and Learning for clear and practical classroom strategies to assist our underserved students in their educational advancement.
  • ACCLAIM, Alameda County Office of Education math staff developers for their clearly articulated K-12 Math instruction and support to all elementary and secondary Math Teachers.

Finally, some of these educators who continue to instill in Dr. Marken the desire to be a life-long learner and have helped to shape his thinking:

  • Doug Reeves, The Leadership and Learning Center
  • Bob Marzano, Marzano Research Laboratory
  • Michael Fullan, Leading in a Culture of Change
  • Mike Schomoker, School and District Improvement, Assessment, Curriculum and Staff Development Consultation
  • Bill Daggett, International Center for Leadership in Education
  • Ray McNulty, International Center for Leadership in Education
  • Russlynn Ali, former Director of Education Trust West

Dr. Marken looks forward to working together with the Newark community, teachers, classified staff and administrators to improve student learning. 

Dave is unwavering in his belief that ALL students, including students of color, English Language Learners and students in poverty are provided equal access, high expectations, and have literacy skills to succeed in school and be prepared for college and career.

As we start our new year, I am reminded of our one goal: Student Learning. 

Newark Unified School District's theme and focus is on student learning.  From that, we will not waiver.  In my six months in Newark Unified School District, I have found an amazing group of dedicated educators who believe not only in the potential of every child, but act on that belief.

Starting in the fall with "Back to School" nights, I was pleased to see the support and interest in our schools.

I have been able to meet students, visit with many teachers and our maintenance/custodial and central office staff.  I believe we are on our way to provide 21st Century learning to all our students.

The Newark Community is an extraordinary place to work, play, raise a family, and educate our children.  I could not ask for a better place to serve.

Our students deserve the best educational program and facilities.

I feel welcome here!  Thank you for your support, even in this excruciatingly difficult financial down turn.


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Superintendent's Message

To the Newark Community:

I am both greatly honored and truly humbled to join this community as the Newark Unified School District’s new Superintendent. We have an outstanding educational organization in Newark.  I’ll be joining an excellent team focused on student learning and instructional practice, which directly translates into academic achievement.  That achievement hits at the heart of my educational core value.  I wholeheartedly believe that every student can learn, and that the role of every educator is to ensure that every student does learn.  

In my career, I have had the privilege to fill a variety of roles in education: Teacher, High School Vice-Principal and Principal, Sr. Director of Student Services and Assistant Superintendent of both Curriculum/Instruction and Human Resources.  There are similarities between Newark and my prior district where I spent my last 13 years.  Because of that experience and familiarity with this district, I want to assure you there will be little “down” time during this pivotal transition.  We will be continuing the ongoing work and achievements of our outstanding staff and excellent schools.

I am also a realist.  Our state’s budget crisis forced our district to make millions in cuts to personnel and programs for the 2011-12 school year.  This reduction is in addition to the already millions of dollars in cuts made prior to this upcoming year. That equates to an overall 25% general fund reduction. 

The state and national economy, the California Legislature– not our school board or administration – have driven and deepened this crisis.  As a leadership team, we have no desire to make these cuts which directly impact our students and staff; however, we must have a balanced budget.  In these challenging times, we need to continue to pursue additional sources of revenue and carefully scrutinize all expenses.

Student achievement, high academic standards, respect for our diversity, developing strong instructional practitioners and building strong community support reinforces the work for which I am most passionate.

I think you ought to know that you’re going to be seeing a lot of me.  I’ll be around both our schools and our community.  I truly look forward to meeting with students, parents and staff at each school, as well as other groups in our community.  I’ll be listening to all of you, to better understand the programs, initiatives, concerns, goals and dreams.  In fact, during my first 90 days, I am looking forward to visiting every classroom in our school district.  And when you see me around town, please take a moment to introduce yourself, and always feel free to contact me at dmarken@nusd.k12.ca.us.

Again, I am truly honored and humbled to be joining this great community with outstanding students, teachers and staff! 


Dave Marken, Ed.D.


July 6, 2011