Poway Principal Is a Recipient of Prestigious State Educator Award

Times Staff Writer

A Poway elementary school principal was chosen Monday as one of 12 educators who will receive a prestigious award from the state Department of Education.

Susan Van Zant, former principal of Pomerado Elementary School, will receive the California Educator Award along with a check for $25,000, said Poway Unified School District spokeswoman Cathy Baur.

Van Zant joined the Poway district in 1969 as a kindergarten teacher and was promoted to principal in 1976. In 1988 she received a Distinguished Principal award from the state.

“Her whole career within the district has been one of innovation and hard work and dedication,” Baur said.


During her tenure, Van Zant established an extended student services program, which provides child care and education before and after school, and also started a reading program called “Sharing the Joy,” in which community members are invited to read to classes and talk about the value of reading.

Van Zant will be principal of the new Morning Creek Elementary School when it opens next September, Baur said. Construction on the new school on Morning Creek Drive, in the Sabre Springs area west of Poway, is scheduled to begin Friday. Until the opening, Van Zant will help train Cathy Brose , her successor at Pomerado Elementary, and assist in preparations for the new school.

The winners of the award were chosen based on their “exemplary leadership abilities, professional growth and achievements and commitment to excellence in education,” state schools Supt. Bill Honig said in a statement.

“These 12 educators are outstanding models for other professionals,” he said. “I applaud their commitment and congratulate them for the exemplary contributions they have made toward achieving excellence for our children.”