On the very day that I posted my view that San Diego is the best urban district in the nation, Mario Koran wrote in Voices of San Diego that Cindy Marten does not believe in hero superintendents.

He writes:

Spoiler alert, San Diegans: Cindy Marten isn’t a hero who has swooped in to save your children.

If that sounds a little bristly, consider this: She doesn’t think students need saving.

“The idea of saving anyone from anything is disempowering, disenfranchising and kind of arrogant, actually,” Marten said. “People need to be supported, empowered, guided, led, understood, believed in, honored, listened to – not saved.”

The post refers to the rise and fall of Michelle Rhee and to an article about Mike Miles, who arrived in Dallas as a swashbuckling superstar, then found himself fighting for his job only a year later.

What is truly wonderful about Cindy is that she is a normal person. She is real. She was a successful principal. She is a professional educator. She knows she doesn’t have all the answers. She has a straightforward belief that leadership involves listening, not dictating. She is not a hero. She is an intelligent, compassionate, experienced, wise leader.

If only every school board would look for that kind of leadership instead of seeking the ones who promise to disrupt the district, close schools, give everyone new marching orders, and blow up everything. Schools, children, families, communities need stability and wise leadership. That is what Cindy Marten offers.