Ryan Hagen, Staff Writer
Posted: 06/19/2012 11:37:24 AM PDT

SAN BERNARDINO – Education and political leaders joined more than 200 other community members in welcoming Dale Marsden as incoming superintendent of the San Bernardino City Unified School District on Tuesday.

Officials cited long familiarity with Marsden’s work as leader of various education initiatives and of the Victor Elementary School District, which they said was one of the county’s best.

“The Victor Elementary School District in the High Desert is a leader in terms of academics,” said county superintendent Gary Thomas, noting that half of that district’s schools had an Academic Performance Index above the state goal of 800. “I know Dr. Marsden will bring the same leadership skills and standards of excellence to (San Bernardino).”

Marsden thanked those he said had supported him in his Victorville-based district and at the county level, and added that he felt the support of others in the community.

“It’s very obvious to me there’s a heartbeat in this community that yearns for real change,” Marsden said, pledging to meet with 90 people in days as a start toward that change.

Marsden chatted with many visitors Tuesday, but also had slips available for longer meetings as he prepares to officially take office July 1.

He also stressed the importance of faith.

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