Gunn Marie Hansen, Ph.D.

Biography, January 2020

Gunn Marie Hansen, Ph.D., has been an educator for 30 years.  She is currently serving as Superintendent in the Orange Unified School District, previously having served as Deputy Superintendent and Assistant Superintendent for Educational Services before that. Under her leadership, Orange Unified has seen improvement in all areas of the California School Dashboard and last year was accepted to the League of Innovative Schools.

Dr. Hansen earned her B.S. in Psychology and B.A. in International Relations/Political Science from Tulane University.  Both her Masters of Science in Education and Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Policy are from the University of Southern California.

During her career in education, Dr. Hansen has served as an elementary and secondary teacher, mentor teacher, assistant principal, and principal.  She has had district-level responsibilities spanning grades PreK-12. As an assistant director and director of PreK-12 Instructional Services, she implemented many educational reforms to improve student achievement.  Before coming to Orange Unified, Dr. Hansen was associate superintendent of secondary schools in a large urban district.  Her experience includes serving students of diverse populations and socioeconomic levels in both urban and suburban settings.

Dr. Hansen has developed a reputation for focusing on student learning and achievement. Her duties have included curricular/instructional innovations, organizational development, expanding the instructional leadership of principals, transitioning to the Common Core State Standards, implementation of technology integration programs, development of interventions and support programs for special populations, maximizing resources, fiscal efficiencies, School Facilities Bond implementation, and strategic planning. Dr. Hansen is committed to excellence in education and believes that all students should be provided the highest quality of education.

Dr. Hansen has been awarded numerous awards and professional recognitions throughout her career, including the prestigious State Award from the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA) for Central Office Administrator of the Year in 2014, distinguishing her leadership in raising student achievement, the HALO Award from the Orange County School Nurses Organization for outstanding support for school nurses and students, and the Orange Community Council of PTA’s leadership award for volunteer service to youth.  She is also a member of several professional organizations, including the Urban Education Dialogue (UED), a select group of urban superintendent’s working on cutting edge practices in public education in California. She also provides service to the Orange Rotary and is a frequent participant in leadership networks across the state.

Dr. Hansen with Taft Elementary kindergarten students on their first day of school, August 2019.