BCA Architects, a West Coast architectural firm, announced that Edwin Diaz will join the firm as the first ever Superintendent in Residence. Mr. Diaz retired as Superintendent of the Pasadena Unified School District (PUSD) in 2011, yet his desire to be involved in the advancement of education and school systems has not diminished. The hire of Mr. Diaz reinforces BCA’s commitment to bringing the future of education to every classroom project they work on.
At BCA, Mr. Diaz consults on a variety of projects, including serving as the head of BCA’s partnership with Pivot Learning Partners Executive Leadership Center (ELC) program. Also, Mr. Diaz worked closely with BCA’s Devorah Merling on the four-part series she led about classroom adaption in preparation for the transition to the Common Core. BCA has received advisement from Mr. Diaz on some elements of its design of the 21st Century Classroom Demonstration space at the BCA headquarters.
“My role specifically is to focus on promoting the 21st Century Classroom to educators and superintendents,” says Mr. Diaz. “It is my goal to help educators understand the importance of 21st century tools as they prepare students for the work world and the transition to the Common Core curriculum. The common core requires students to be more flexible with different types of learning methods, so as educators we need to adjust as well.”
Prior to joining BCA, Mr. Diaz worked as Superintendent of Pasadena Unified School District (PUSD). During his four and half years at PUSD, Mr. Diaz led organizational improvements, innovative reforms, and strategic partnerships to accelerate student achievement. He established the Approach to Excellence initiative, based on the vision that all students graduate prepared to succeed in college and in their careers.
Mr. Diaz has won numerous awards and accolades for his 35 years of work in public education. In 2011, he was named Superintendent of the Year by the Association of California School Administrators, Region15. In 2009, he was selected as a Distinguished Educator by the California State University of Los Angeles; in 2008, he was awarded the LULAC Educator of the Year award; in 2005, Education Weekly profiled Diaz and the Gilroy schools in a special report; he was named Educator of the Year by the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in 2002; and he was a member of a team of K-12 and university educators who traveled to South Africa to assist with public school reform.
A native of Gilroy, California, Mr. Diaz was the first in his family to attend college. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from California State University Chico and a Masters of Arts in Education from San Jose State University.