“Mark was deeply involved in his community, and more importantly, laser focused on education.  Early on he had a great interest in education.  If you were to look at Mark’s career in the Senate, there have been three main focuses:  schools, veterans, and transparency in government. He authored bills in civic education in schools, in vocational education programs, to improve science and technology education, and he was the author of SB 1752, the veterans housing bond, to help veterans own homes.   Mark is a deeply committed man to our state, and more importantly, to our people.  Who are the three most effective legislators?  One name was always on that list, and it was Mark Wyland.  Consistently people would say, he listens, he thinks about it carefully, and he comes to his own conclusions. I have a lot of respect for that because he’s a voice of reason, it’s that caring about Californians; it’s that caring about people over party, most of all he focused on the people of California.” – Senator Joel Anderson (R)

“Mark Wyland is somebody who constantly strives to make the world what it should be instead of what it is.  He stands out to me because he has these conservative principles which we all respect.  There are different ways to help people who are poor or disadvantaged and that comes from the heart as well as the head.  I appreciate the fact that he was championing this career pathways [vocational education] and CTE [career technical, vocational education] before I was and that he has constantly been an advocate for those alternatives for young people.

The way he approaches issues, with this probing intellect, wanting to know more, wanting to know detail, wanting to know what makes them tick, wanting to know if there are any things that you could apply.

You are a special member of the Senate partly because you are unique; you are unique in the way that you approach public policy, you are unique in the way that you think about so many of these issues, you are a deep thinker.  I really enjoyed doing some important work together, in the education arena, so whatever you do next I know it will be about trying to improve the human condition, to fix something that is broken and that you’ll do it as you have here, with a big brain and an open heart.” – Senator Darrell Steinberg, former President Pro Tem (D)

“Senator Wyland is the epitome of the citizen leader, take note, I did not use the term ‘citizen politician’—he is the ‘citizen leader’.  He got involved in his community because he saw a greater need, as a leader in his community, then he took that leadership to other levels, in elective office.  This is a man who is truly dedicated, to education, but he’s even more rare, he cares about career tech [vocational] education.   Thanks to you, Mark Wyland, I will carry on your advocacy.  This man has made a difference, to me that is the definition of leadership, of a leader, he has made a difference, and the Senate is richer for it.” – Senator Jim Nielsen (R)

“You are a ‘big thinker’, you are not thinking only of what’s in front of us right now, but how our actions are going to impact people in the future and about how we’re going to make the state a better place and I think that’s why you have such a passion for not only career tech education but civics education and history.

You are a great listener, and someone never afraid to speak up and speak your mind, not only for your district but for the future.  You’ve made a great impression here and you will be missed and many of these things you’ve worked on here will not be forgotten, and I thank you for your contributions to the state.” – Senator Ellen Corbett (D)

“A lot has been said about your good character, and I agree with them all.  I view you as a true public servant; some people come here to be served, you come here as a true public servant.” – Senator Mike Morrell (R)

“We share a love for education; you contributed so much when it came to education issues.  I just hope you concentrate on education issues for the benefit of all of San Diego and all Californians once you have more time.”  – Senator Marty Block (D)

“Mark is one of the few Senators who brings years and years of hands on experience in the business sector to the policy debates.  He doesn’t talk only from a business owner’s perspective, he constantly weaves into those conversations and discussions his concern for employees, you know it’s genuine and tied to his  priority and engagement on education issues.  Our economy in California tomorrow relies on how well we do with our educational system today.”  Senator Alex Padilla (D)

“I know you have a passion that comes with you, that passion is what sets you aside, to bring meaningful and impactful legislation to help the state.”  – Senator Bob Huff (R)

“You didn’t have to choose to serve publicly; we know you’re going to continue your passion for education.  I want to thank you for educating me on education issues, you’ve been able to be very passionate about what you’re fighting for, your passion about education.” – Senator Ted Gaines (R)

“I’ve enjoyed our long discussions on education policy, clearly you are a person who thinks through the issues and you will continue to work on policy issues that you care about. I think the state will benefit from your work.” – Senator Lou Correa (D)

“Your perspective always came from the heart, the embodiment of who you are.  You’re one of the good ones who brings out the best in all elected officials whether you’re a Democrat or Republican.” – Senator Kevin de Leon (D)

“Mark Wyland has been one of the most respected and thoughtful voices in the California state legislature for many years, and we’re thrilled that he’s going to bring his experience and expertise to USC.  Our students will benefit tremendously from having him on campus, and we know he’ll be a tremendous resource for them throughout his time here.” – Dan Schnur, executive director, USC Unruh Institute