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USC ‘masters’ to hear grad speech from LAUSD’s Melendez

Vanessa Romo | May 1, 2014

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Thelma Melendez

Thelma Melendez

Commencement season is upon us and with it, the rush to find moving speakers to lead graduating students through the expensive right of passage.

Sometimes schools get lucky, such as UC Irvine, which this year reeled in President Barak Obama by sending 10,000 postcards from students, staff and alumni, inviting him to be the guest of honor.

Other times, schools look to their own past grads for inspiration.

Such is the case with USC’s Rossier School of Education which recently announced Thelma Meléndez de Santa Ana, PhD ’95, will be the keynote speaker at its May 16 Masters Degree Commencement Ceremony.

“Meléndez de Santa Ana is one of USC Rossier’s most distinguished alumni,” says the announcement.

It goes on to list her work under U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and as Education Deputy for Mayor Eric Garcetti. Only problem is, she’s no longer there. Melendez  left her post at the Mayor’s office in mid-March to become second-in-command at LA Unified’s Beyond the Bell program.




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