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Claremont Graduate University Honors Dr. Frances Gipson with a Distinguished Alumni Award (05-10-19)


Claremont Graduate University Honors Dr. Frances Gipson with a 2019 Distinguished Alumni Award

Contact Shannon Haber, 213-241-6766


LOS ANGELES (May 10, 2019) - Chief Academic Officer Dr. Frances Gipson will be honored this evening as the recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award from the School of Educational Studies at Claremont Graduate University in recognition of her professional excellence and positive impact on the community.

As the top administrator in the Division of Instruction, Dr. Gipson oversees academic strategies for more than 600,000 students in preschool through adult school. She previously was superintendent of Local District East, where she led a staff she dubbed “Team Kid,” and was principal of the award-winning El Sereno Middle School and Magnet Center.

With a passion for active learning, Dr. Gipson has served as director of professional development and partnership at UCLA’s Center X, and has taught at the UCLA Teacher Education Program, California State University-Los Angeles and the Principals Leadership Institute.

Dr. Gipson previously received the Excellence in Urban Leadership Award from Claremont Graduate University. She also has been honored with the regional Administrator of the Year Award from the Association of California School Administrators and the Tae Han Kim Award for Humanitarian and Cultural Accomplishments. In addition, she has been recognized for outstanding excellence in fieldwork supervision by California State University Los Angeles, Top 30 Transformers, Trailblazers and Technologists by the Center for Digital Education, and as an international Ed Tech influencer by the International Society for Technology in Education.

She began her career in public education more than 20 years ago, teaching primary grades at 107th Street Elementary School and other elementary and secondary schools across Los Angeles Unified.

“Dr. Gipson has spent her career as an advocate for students,” said Superintendent Austin Beutner. “We are proud of Dr. Gipson’s accomplishments and congratulate her on this well-deserved recognition.”

“It is a heartfelt and humbling honor to be recognized for the important shared mission of Claremont Graduate University and my Los Angeles Unified family,” said Dr. Gipson. “The academic mission of CGU is to create new knowledge and to prepare leaders who will go out into the world with the purpose and skills to make it a better place. To be honored as a Distinguished Alumni, within this mission, is a boundless thank you to the mentors and models who give with an abundant heart and mind to our leaders, young scholars, and the community that believes in them.”

“Congratulations to our distinguished leader and learner, Dr. Gipson, aka ‘Team Kid’ cheerleader,” said Board President Mónica García. “Dr. Gipson brings her passion to her work daily and always puts kids first. Her leadership and drive in working toward best outcomes for students is felt throughout all Los Angeles schools and beyond.”

“Congratulations to Dr. Gipson on a well-deserved honor!” said Board Vice President Nick Melvoin. “It’s great to see Claremont Graduate University recognize your work that we at Los Angeles Unified see every day – as a creative thinker and a strong advocate for our students’ academic potential.”

“Dr. Gipson has distinguished herself in all academic areas,” said Board Member Dr. George J. McKenna III. “We congratulate her on this honor.”

“It has always been an honor and a pleasure to work with Dr. Frances Gipson,” Board Member Scott M. Schmerelson said. “When I was a principal, my teachers and I appreciated her knowledge and skills as we actively followed her lead to improve instruction. As a Board Member, I have even more insight into her gift of crafting effective instructional professional development. I also appreciate the many networks and relationships that Frances has throughout Los Angeles Unified and the enormous responsibilities in the many departments and offices that she manages.”

“Congratulations to Dr. Gipson on this well-deserved honor,” said Board Member Kelly Gonez. “Dr. Gipson is a relentless advocate for our students, and we are so grateful for her years of dedication to public education in Los Angeles.”

"Dr. Gipson plays an invaluable role in our work to give the children of our communities a quality education,” said Board Member Dr. Richard Vladovic. “She is most deserving of this recognition, and I wish her continued success in her role with the District and in the years to come."