Candidate Profile: Mark Powell for San Diego County Board of Education

Written by Julianne Foster

Mark Powell is the Republican Party of San Diego County’s endorsed candidate for the San Diego County Board of Education District 1. He is more than qualified for their position, as he has proven to be productive and supportive of the needs of students, teachers, and parents while serving on the Board.

Powell has a Master’s degree in Educational Counseling, along with a Master’s in Educational Administration and Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice Administration. He holds a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential, Educational Administration Credential, and a School Counseling Credential. He’s the only candidate with 28 years of educational leadership as a teacher, vice-principal, and university professor.

He has had a great impact on the operations of the Board of Education since he led the efforts to establish term limits on school board members. This allows board members to cycle in and out without any corrupt career politicians.

In his first term on the San Diego County Board of Education, Powell took over operations through independent leadership and common-sense solutions. Through his support of high school internships programs, many students are now better equipped to enter the workplace with the necessary skills to succeed. He also updated San Diego’s drug education curriculum to tackle the dangers of the opioid crisis and teen vaping. He supported providing resources for students to help with mental health issues and campus safety.

Beyond advocating for the needs of students, Powell is concerned with the needs of teachers and parents, who play a critical role in the lives and successes of their students. For this reason, he addressed the need for affordable housing and encouraged school districts to build affordable housing projects.

In 2019, the California State Assembly presented Powell with an award in recognition of his “outstanding leadership and dedication to the promotion of equity and excellence in the real estate industry, helping small business owners succeed and helping more members of our community realize their dream of homeownership.”

With an opportunity to remain on the Board of Education, Powell will continue in his fight for school safety, fiscal accountability, preparing students for the workforce, repairing schools, and combating issues surrounding homelessness and education accessibility.

Powell’s past experience as a teacher, dean, vice-principal, and reserve police officer allows him to effectively work with law enforcement to continue to provide campus security for students. With regard to school districts and leaders who mismanage funds, he wants to hold them accountable and take steps to put the money back into school repair and classrooms.

There is clearly a problem in San Diego with students who have been forced into homelessness, and Powell is prepared to face this challenge head-on. “We must start dealing with student homelessness as an ongoing core function of local government,” said Powell. “Without a proactive approach our homeless student population will remain living in shelters, cars, streets and parks.”

Many students who graduate high school experience struggles with joining the workforce as schools continue to fail to teach them valuable life skills, such as financial responsibility and work ethic. Powell’s leadership on the Board led to the implementation of an internship program to prepare students for work. “We need Career Technical Education throughout all 42 districts in San Diego County to prepare our students to work in a trade or craft,” he explained.

Regarding current events related to education and the COVID-19 pandemic, Powell raised concerns for how the pandemic unfairly restricts minority parents and teachers from having a voice in the new ethnic studies mandates. The curriculum only includes African American, Latino American, Native American, and Asain American communities. However, Powell values other ethnic groups that deserve to be included and wants to ensure their voices are heard.

For more information about Mark Powell’s campaign, visit