LAUSD Superintendent Michelle King to be keynote speaker at commencement

MFT student Sal Farooq will be student speaker

Michelle King (LAUSD photo).

Michelle King (LAUSD photo)

The superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District, Michelle King, has been chosen to give the keynote address for this year’s Master’s Commencement Ceremony at USC Rossier. The event takes place on May 13.

King became LAUSD’s superintendent in January, the first woman to hold that position in the nation’s second-largest school system in 80 years. She already has strong ties to the Trojan Family: She’s in the second year of her EdD program at USC Rossier, focused on executive leadership.

King has spent her entire career with LAUSD, beginning in 1985 as a life-sciences teacher at Porter Junior High School, in Granada Hills. In 1997, she became assistant principal at Alexander Hamilton High in Castle Heights and eventually took over as principal there.

She went on to serve in the district as assistant superintendent in health and human services, chief instructional officer for high schools, senior regional administrator, chief of staff to the superintendent, head of operations and, most recently, chief deputy superintendent under former LAUSD chiefs John Deasy and Ramon C. Cortines.

Student Speaker

Sal Farooq

Sal Farooq

Joining King in speaking to the master’s graduates will be Sal Farooq, a student who will be earning his master’s degree in marriage and family therapy.

“Being chosen for this honor means the world to me,” Farooq said. “To be able to share a small glimpse of my experience at Rossier during commencement with my fellow cohort and colleagues is something that I will cherish for the entirety of my career going forward.”

Farooq graduated from the University of California, Irvine, in 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and social behavior. Before enrolling at USC, Farooq helped high school youth in San Francisco transition from school to employment.

Farooq hopes to pursue a doctorate after a stint with the Department of Mental Health and one day come back to USC in a teaching capacity.

USC Rossier also hosts a Doctoral Commencement Ceremony, which takes place on Thursday, May 12. For information about attending either ceremony, visit