LAUSD’s Michelle King gets a diploma—and honored as Superintendent of the Year

May 23, 2017

National organization gives honor to newly minted doctor

By Ross Brenneman

Dean Karen Symms Gallagher (left) and LAUSD superintendent Michelle King following this year’s doctoral hooding ceremony at USC Rossier. Photo by Brian Morri.

The National Association of School Superintendents announced this past week that it has named Michelle King EDL ’17 the Superintendent of the Year.

The award is one of two big recent accomplishments for King, the superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District. Just one week earlier, she earned her education doctorate from USC Rossier in the Doctor of Education and Educational Leadership program.

In a statement, King said she was grateful and humbled by the superintendent award.

“I strive each day to advance opportunities for every student in L.A. Unified,” she said. “This recognition is a testament that our organization is moving forward on the path to success.”

A dedicated Angeleno

NASS praised King’s commitments to school climate and restorative justice. “King believes the path to a successful education must include a nurturing environment where every student feels a sense of belonging,” the organization said in its press release.

With more than 640,000 students, LAUSD is the second largest school district in the country. King has had multiple roles during her 30-year career with LAUSD, and attended Los Angeles schools growing up.

“Dr. King has spent her entire career with LA Unified, and her dedication as a teacher, assistant principal and assistant superintendent has served her well in the challenges she has faced in her first full year as superintendent,” said USC Rossier Dean Karen Symms Gallagher. “But her success has also come from her willingness to improve as a student of leadership, and we are proud of her accomplishments as both a student and educational leader.”

King began pursuing an education doctorate at USC Rossier three years ago, and graduated May 11 with a cohort of other education leaders.

“It has been an honor and pleasure working with Dr. King for the past three years,” said Michael Escalante, a professor of clinical education at USC Rossier and the leader of King’s cohort. “She epitomizes the Rossier Trojan values of hard work and dedication to urban education. We are pleased that her contributions are being recognized.”

King will receive her award in October at the annual NASS leadership conference.

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