Dr. Marian Kim-Phelps has worked in public education as a teacher, vice-principal, principal, area superintendent, and superintendent in both the elementary and secondary levels for over 24 years. In November 2013, Dr. Kim- Phelps was unanimously selected by the Westminster School District Board of Trustees to be the first minority Superintendent for the Westminster School District. The school district is comprised of a student demographic group that includes approximately 40% Asians, and 40% Hispanic students. The district serves a student population that has nearly 80% of students whom are socio-economically disadvantaged and 50% who are second language learners. There are a total of 17 schools and nearly 10,000 students in the Westminster School District.
Since becoming superintendent, she has focused on bringing equity, access and opportunities to every student in the district. She has equipped all schools with a new wireless infrastructure and provided 8,200 Chromebooks to all students in 2nd through 8th grade. She has created a new education technology department to enhance the integration of technology in the classroom, implemented district-wide blended learning, and created digital libraries at every school. She has created an Office of Language Acquisition, to meet the growing needs and demands of our English Learners and to further develop dual immersion programs throughout the district. Under Dr. Phelps’s leadership, the district has developed and expanded the Visual and Performing Arts and Physical Education programs at all schools in the district. She has implemented foreign language classes at every middle school and a Saturday Academy has been established that allows the district to recover funding lost from student absences through a four-hour enrichment program. In addition, beginning next fall, the district will host the first Vietnamese Dual Language Immersion Academy in California.
Dr. Kim-Phelps was named the 2013 Central Office Administrator of the Year by the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA) Region 18. Dr. Kim-Phelps was also instrumental in leading the 2nd largest school district in the state to become recognized as a 2013 Broad Prize for Urban Education District Finalist. Dr. Kim-Phelps was also awarded the 2009 and 2010 ACSA National Distinguished Principal Finalist Award for the State of California. She has a record of success in raising student achievement, both as a principal and superintendent. As a principal, she led one of the state’s largest elementary schools (1,450 students), and raised their API over 130 percentage points, increasing its Similar School Ranking from a “2” to a “10.” Her colleagues, staff, and parent communities describe her as “ethical and trustworthy,” a “hard worker,” and an “advocate for all children.” She is described by her principals as someone who “demonstrates an uncompromising commitment to student achievement,” and is an “inspiring leader who empowers others to work together towards a common goal.” She has created a “collaborative culture…integrating state of the art technology” with “innovative research practices.” Staff describe her as being able to “delicately balance heart and compassion, yet instills a laser like focus with systems of accountability.”
Dr. Kim-Phelps completed her Doctorate degree at San Diego State University. Her dissertation study was on Superintendent Leadership. She graduated from the University of California San Diego with a B.A. in Psychology and a double minor in Biology and Theatre. She earned her M.A. in Educational Leadership from Point Loma Nazarene University, graduating Magna Cum Laude. Prior to and during her years as an educator Dr. Kim-Phelps worked in hospital business administration with Scripps Health for over 10 years. Dr. Phelps holds a Doctorate degree from San Diego State University, a Master of Arts in Educational Leadership from Point Loma Nazarene University and a Bachelor of Arts from University of California, San Diego.
On a more personal note, Dr. Kim-Phelps is actively involved with various community organizations, has taught a doctorate course “Ethics and Legal Dimensions of Educational Leadership” at Cal State University Fullerton (CSUF), she serves on the board at CSUF College of Education, she serves on the board for the National Resource Center for Asian Languages, and serves as a choir member and deaconess for her church. She is married and has a daughter. Her hobbies and interests include cooking, scrapbooking, photography, music, traveling, singing, and spending time with her family and friends.