School Board Approves Vivian Ekchian as Interim Superintendent

LOS ANGELES(January 9, 2018) - The Los Angeles Board of Education unanimously approved today the appointment of Vivian Ekchian as interim superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District. Ms. Ekchian, a senior administrator and career educator, has been serving as acting superintendent since October. She replaces Superintendent Michelle King, who has been on a medical leave and recently announced she would be retiring for health reasons.

“I am humbled and honored to serve the students, families, and employees of the Los Angeles Unified School District as interim superintendent,” said Ms. Ekchian. “I look forward to accelerating the transformative work that is occurring throughout the District, while maintaining our steadfast focus on 100 percent graduation that will guarantee college, career, and life readiness for our shining stars.”

As she continues to lead the district, her employment contract as the interim superintendent is being finalized by L.A. Unified General Counsel David Holmquist.

“We have confidence in Ms. Vivian Ekchian’s ability to lead the team during this critical period,” said School Board President Mónica García. “L.A. Unified’s commitment to access and equity will continue without interruption.”

Board Vice President Nick Melvoin said, “Vivian has once again answered the call of this Board to serve. Her leadership of the District over the last few months has earned her our confidence in this interim appointment, and her steady hand ensures that we can keep working to increase student achievement during this period of transition.”

Board Member Dr. George J. McKenna III said, “I have great confidence in her ability to lead.  She is part of our L.A. Unified family. I wholeheartedly support her as the interim superintendent.”

Board Member Scott M. Schmerelson said, “While I remain saddened by Superintendent King’s illness and retirement, there could not be a better choice to lead our District in the coming months than Vivian Ekchian. I had the pleasure of working closely with Ms. Ekchian as the Local District Northwest Superintendent where she was known for her ability to resolve problems, motivate everybody around her and think outside the box. She is a seasoned and highly ethical professional who never ceases to amaze us with her intelligence, kindness and total commitment to our children and the future of L.A. Unified.”

Board Member Dr. Ref Rodriguez said, “Interim Superintendent Ekchian is immensely qualified and I look forward to continued collaboration with her. Ms. Ekchian has an impressive breadth and depth of experience. Among her many accomplishments, she ran Local District Northwest, directed L.A. Unified’s Human Resources Division, and made significant strides in fostering labor relations. Ms. Ekchian inspires my confidence that she will advance our District’s goals, while we seek a permanent superintendent.”

Board Member Kelly Gonez said, “I thank Interim Superintendent Ekchian for her continued dedication and service to the students and families of the District. I am confident that with her leadership, we can continue our steady progress toward providing high-quality public education that prepares all students for success in college, careers, and life.”

“I have full faith and confidence in Interim Superintendent Ekchian to keep our District on the positive track Dr. King set us on before her departure,” said Board Member Dr. Richard Vladovic.“I look forward to continuing our existing working relationship as we strive to improve attendance and student achievement.”

                                                                      ###

Contact: Shannon Haber (213) 241-6766