Dear Bonsall School Community,

Last Thursday, at the Small School District Association’s Annual Conference in Sacramento, I was very surprised to receive the 2013 Charles Binderup Award for the Outstanding Superintendent of the Year. There are over a thousand school districts in California, with the majority being small districts, especially in central and northern California. I was very surprised because I never expected such an honor, but with such a wonderful school community here in Bonsall I shouldn’t have been so surprised. Such an amazing team of fantastic students, teachers, parents, employees, Governing Board, and community members create an outstanding school district. I will be forever grateful for such an honor but I will never forget that it happened because of you and all you’ve contributed to the team effort of improving Bonsall schools. I thank you with all my heart for allowing me to serve the Bonsall School Community.

We all seek to attain skills highly desired by our peers, and I have a tremendous amount of respect for my peers, the other superintendents of small school districts; they have to know so much more about the complex responsibilities of leading a school district than superintendents of larger districts because they don’t have the layers of personnel to delegate to. So, I was incredibly honored, but I was a bit embarrassed too. Our Board President, Dick Olson, was there on the stage as well as my wife; as a leader of an organization, or even your own home, you should be aware of what’s going on around you, but there I was taken completely by surprise!

Again, please know I am very aware that such a wonderful honor could not have happened without the high level of performance of the Bonsall school community. I intend to try to leverage this award to get all the support, grants, and interest we can toward Bonsall’s efforts to develop a high school.


Justin Cunningham, Ed. D.