Rich Thome, Partner

Rich Thome served as Superintendent of the South Bay Union and Cardiff School Districts in San Diego County, as well as the Assistant Superintendent of Technology and Human Resources at the San Diego County Office of Education. He is a Partner in Leadership Associates, a Superintendent Search Firm. In these capacities, he has conducted over 139 executive searches, including 100 Superintendent searches, 39 Administrative searches (non-superintendent), and 203 Board Workshops since 2003. Rich joined Leadership Associates and has been in the firm for 17 years, joining in 2006 as a search consultant.

Of these searches, Rich has conducted 54 Superintendent searches in Unified School Districts, 15 in High School Districts, and 31 in Elementary School Districts.

He also served as Director, Professional Learning in the Mobile Technology Learning Center (MTLC), a research center in the School of Leadership and Education Sciences (SOLES), at the University of San Diego. Prior to that assignment, he served as Director of the Educational Leadership Development Center at the University. In addition, Rich was an Executive Coach for Pivot Learning Partners in Los Angeles and San Diego Counties.

Previously, he served for 23 years in the (now 49,974 enrollment) Capistrano Unified School District as Assistant Superintendent in charge of 29 elementary schools, Director, Elementary Education Coordinator, Research and Instructional Technology, Elementary Principal, and High School Teacher. Prior to that Rich served as a Middle School Teacher in the Pasadena Unified School District.

He received his bachelor’s degree from California State University, Los Angeles, and his master’s from Pepperdine University. He is fluently bilingual in Spanish and received his Bilingual, Cross-Cultural Specialist credential in California.

Rich was awarded the prestigious Ohtli Award, awarded rarely by the Government of Mexico in 2008 for his 40 years of service to the Latino Community. In 2007 Rich was awarded the Excellence in Leadership Award by the University of California, San Diego, and in 2006 he was awarded the Willie Velasquez Community Service Award. He has received the Honorary Service Award from the California Congress of Parents, Teachers, and Students, and the Orange County Hispanic Educator of the Year Award.