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Superintendent's Profile

Marian Kim Phelps, Ed.D., Superintendent

superintendent Dr Marian Kim PhelpsDr. Marian Kim Phelps has served as the Superintendent of the Poway Unified School District since April 2017. Over the past 6 and a half years, Dr. Phelps has demonstrated courageous leadership, guiding the Poway Unified School District through fully and safely reopening schools during the pandemic, the implementation of a Racial Equity & Inclusion Plan, the creation of a new District vision, mission, and strategic plan, the expansion of career pathways and foreign language programs, improving fiscal accountability, addressing learning loss and students’ growing mental health needs, and the advancement of education technology and innovation (providing 1:1 devices for each of PUSD’s 36,000 students).

She was named the 2021 “Exemplary Woman in Education” by the Association of California School Administrators, selected out of almost 70 outstanding female educators from across the State of California. Phelps was also previously named the 2021 Superintendent of the Year for Region 18 (San Diego and Imperial Counties) by ACSA. Under her leadership, the Poway Unified School District has been awarded four prestigious Golden Bell Awards by the California School Boards Association (CSBA) in the categories of School Culture and Safety (2020), Special Education (2021), Career Technical Education Program (2022), and Social Emotional Category - Superintendent's Student Advisory Council (2023).

Before arriving at PUSD, she served as the Superintendent for the Westminster School District in Orange County for nearly four years, where she was named as one of Orange County’s 100 Most Influential "2016 Game Changers in Orange County." In her 25 years as an educator, Dr. Phelps was an elementary and middle school teacher, a vice principal, elementary principal, and Area Superintendent in the San Diego Unified School District. Dr. Phelps was also an adjunct professor at California State University Fullerton, where she taught doctorate level coursework on Ethical and Legal Dimensions of Educational Leadership.

Prior to and during her years as an educator, Dr. Phelps worked in hospital business administration with Scripps Health for over ten years. She resides in North County San Diego with her husband and daughter.

Every month, Dr. Phelps writes a monthly column for the Pomerado News on relevant school and community-related topics. Follow this link to read some of her most recent articles.