Alumni Story

L’Cena Brunskill Rice ’53 inducted into Half Century Trojan Hall of Fame

Dean Karen Symms Gallagher praises alumnae as model of USC Rossier’s mission

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L’Cena Brunskill Rice ’53 has been inducted into the Half Century Trojan Hall of Fame by the USC Alumni Association. Rice has been a devoted volunteer for USC for the past 50 years. In addition to serving on the boards of the Trojan League of South Bay, Friends of the USC Libraries and the USC Rossier School of Education for many years, Rice is a lifetime member of Cardinal & Gold, EDUCARE and the USC Associates at the Presidential level.

“I believe this record of service is intrinsically connected to the passion and commitment she first brought to her job as a classroom teacher,” said Dean Karen Symms Gallagher, who introduced Rice at the award luncheon in Town & Gown on October 1. “We at USC Rossier believe in the importance of improving learning in urban education locally, nationally and globally. L’Cena’s approach to her career stands as a model of this mission, from her first teaching job after graduation at Redondo Union High School to her leadership positions as vice principal and then principal at Redondo before becoming the assistant superintendent for Educational Services for the district. With each step, her rise in leadership coincided with a wider and wider impact. Indeed, test scores rose dramatically in the district during her tenure as assistant superintendent.”

“From the local to the global, from her own community to the Trojan Family, L’Cena is a hall of famer in many, many more ways than one!”

Rice traces the origin of her path to a classroom exercise prior to high school. “My contributions to education all started in the 8th grade when I took an interest test showing I should consider teaching as a career,” she said. “That test really shaped the rest of my life.”

Rice spent 10 years as the principal at Redondo Union High School before becoming district assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction. Her involvement in numerous professional associations, most notably the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), has enabled her to have a great and lasting impact in the education field; Rice served on 19 and chaired four accreditation teams for the WASC, evaluating school performance and identifying areas for improvement.

“I cannot think of a more worthy alumnae for this honor,” said Gallagher in her introduction. “From the local to the global, from her own community to the Trojan Family, L’Cena is a hall of famer in many, many more ways than one!”

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