Michelle King is the superintendent of schools for the Los Angeles Unified School District, the second-largest school district in the nation. She is responsible for creating policy, making recommendations to the members of the Los Angeles Board of Education and creating conditions that promote student success.
Dr. King is a proud product of L.A. Unified, having attended Century Park and Windsor Hills Elementary Schools, Palms Junior High School and Palisades High School. She has dedicated her 30-year career to the students of L.A. Unified, having worked as a teacher, coordinator, assistant principal, principal, chief administrator of secondary instruction, local district superintendent, chief of staff to the superintendent, senior deputy superintendent and chief deputy superintendent.
As a veteran educator, instruction is Dr. King's strength. She is committed to ensuring that all students have access to the tools they need to prepare for college and careers. She has led district-wide reforms to increase graduation rates, particularly among traditionally under-represented populations. She has also been a champion of programs such as Restorative Justice, aimed at keeping students in school and improving citizenship.
Dr. King holds a bachelor's degree in biology from the University of California, Los Angeles, a master’s degree in administration from Pepperdine University and a doctorate in education from the University of Southern California. She has also received honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degrees from Pepperdine University and Loyola Marymount University.
During her first year as superintendent, she received a number of accolades including recognition as "Woman of the Year" by Women On Target, a nonprofit advocacy group supporting leaders in Southern California's African-American community, and "Woman of the Year" by California Assemblyman Sebastian Ridley-Thomas.
She continued to receive honors in her second year, having been inducted into the African American Hall of Fame and was among recipients of the YWCA’s “Phenomenal Woman Awards” recognizing top female executives in Southern California. She was featured in ESSENCE magazine’s “Woke 100 Women” feature, honoring “women who are blazing trails for equal rights and inclusion for Black people in America.” Soon after she was named 2017 National Superintendent of the Year by the National Association of School Superintendents. She was also honored by UCLA with the Edward A. Dickson Alumnus of the Year Award, joining such trailblazers as John Wooden, Yvonne Brathwaite Burke and Arthur Ashe.
Since Dr. King took on the role of L.A. Unified Superintendent, the District has seen steady increases in graduation rates and rising scores on new online standardized tests. She has been instrumental in building coalitions that strengthen family and community engagement and establishing partnerships that guarantee students free tuition to community college, as well as admission to California State University campuses and other institutions of higher learning.