MORENO VALLEY USD: Dr. Martinrex Kedziora
Communication is Moreno Valley USD’s key to success
Everyone has a story about the time they had the worst customer service experience of their life. Whether they were placed on hold for hours, were transferred to a dozen different representatives, or there was simply a breakdown in communication, it all results in the same feeling: complete and utter frustration.
Moreno Valley Superintendent Martinrex Kedziora’s office is often the final stop for an exasperated parent expressing issues they have with their child’s education, but unlike dealing with a cable or cell phone provider, Dr. Kedziora wants everyone to walk away feeling truly understood and respected.
“I like to make complex things simple. I think in today’s world parents are under a lot of stress and they want things to be clear and manageable,” Dr. Kedziora says. “If someone comes to me with something they need I just try to do it. I don’t delegate to someone else if I don’t have to—it’s about making things easy.”
It’s similar to the years he spent as a waiter working in a Memphis restaurant. When someone needed something he went and got it rather than telling a table to go ask their own waiter, Dr. Kedziora explains.
“I think sometimes in schools people are given the runaround, so I try to make my leadership one of service and support,” he says. “It’s about taking care of things from beginning to end. People know I’m going to listen and follow through to make sure what they need is done, and people value that.”
Now in his fourth year as superintendent, all the conversations are paying off for students. For instance, after hearing from parents that a lot high-achieving kids in Moreno Valley schools don’t get recognized due to language barriers, the district held its first Spanish-language spelling bee. And last year, a student passed his AP exam in Chinese Language and Culture, which the district accommodated despite not teaching that course, giving that student the opportunity to earn college credit.
“People know I’m going to listen and follow through to make sure what they need is done, and people value that.” —Dr. Martinrex Kedziora, Superintendent
And as more students were encouraged to participate in the science fair and provided the materials they needed, children who otherwise wouldn’t have explored extracurriculars due to a lack of funds for supplies began submitting projects in droves. This year, Dr. Kedziora said 300 science projects were submitted compared to 200 just two years ago.
In an effort to further push communication to every family in the district, Moreno Valley recently partnered with School Innovations & Achievement (SI&A) to implement The Achievement Initiative featuring Attention2Attendance (A2A).
The early warning and intervention system tracks student attendance and sends letters home to families in their home language when their child is trending toward becoming chronically absent. This presents school leaders in Moreno Valley with yet another avenue to communicate with the families of students who may need additional support.
“Dr. Kedziora’s efforts to lead through service to the students and families in his district is not only admirable, but effective” says Susan Cook, COO and Leadership Coach at SI&A. “By listening to what Moreno Valley students need to succeed and implementing change that helps them reach their goals, Dr. Kedziora is ensuring equitable opportunities for all students to meet their potential.”
Indeed, from his time serving as a classroom teacher up until now, Dr. Kedziora says he aims to meet people where they are and offer whatever help he can to improve everyone’s educational experience.
“I’ve always valued communication, and I want to make sure people feel comfortable when they come to meet with me,” Dr. Kedziora says. “I want everyone to feel like they belong, and if there’s something we can improve on I want to know.”