Russ Sperling

Russ Sperling is the Director of Visual and Performing Arts for San Diego Unified School District.  He responsible for all components of arts education in the state’s second largest school district. Under his leadership, the district’s board of trustees unanimously approved a district Strategic Arts Education Plan in the fall of 2016.  

Mr. Sperling currently serves as Western Division President of the National Association for Music Education (NAfME).  He previously served as President of the California Music Educators Association (CMEA). He is the founding President and now board member of the San Diego Winds, a professional wind ensemble. He is the Director of the Grossmont College Concert Band.

Mr. Sperling served three years as Visual and Performing Arts Coordinator for the San Diego County Office of Education. He provided consultations and services to the 42 school districts in San Diego County on all facets of arts education, K-12. While at the county, he served as the leader of Arts Empower San Diego, San Diego County’s strategic arts education initiative. He has also served four years as Director of Visual and Performing Arts for the Sweetwater Union High School District.

Mr. Sperling began his career as the Instrumental Music Director at Helix Charter High School. During his fourteen-year tenure at Helix, the band and orchestra tripled in size, won numerous awards and performed in Europe on three tours.

Mr. Sperling holds a B.A. in Political Science from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, a Masters in Educational Leadership from Point Loma Nazarene University and a second Masters in Music Performance with an emphasis in Conducting from San Diego State University.

Mr. Sperling recently received the Arts Advocate award from Bravo San Diego. From the CMEA Southern Border Section, he has received their “Music Educator,” “Administrator,” and “Band Director” of the year awards.  He has received the Outstanding Administrator award by the California Art Education Association, and has been honored as a distinguished alumnus by the School of Music and Dance at San Diego State University. He has received the “Prize Principal Award” from KYXY FM and Point Loma Nazarene University. He has received the Golden Apple Award from Helix Charter High School for excellence in teaching.