School board VP Nick Melvoin ’04 holds reelection event


Lily Lee/Chronicle

LAUSD Board of Education Vice President Nick Melvoin ’04 poses with former Chronicle advisor Kathleen Neumeyer during his reelection event.

Lily Lee

Vice President of the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) Board of Education Nick Melvoin ’04 held a political fundraising event for his school board reelection campaign at the home of former Director of Admission Elizabeth Gregory Riordan and former LA Mayor Richard Riordan on April 23. The attendees of the event included Chronicle alumni and members of Melvoin’s campaign staff.

During the event, Melvoin expressed his gratitude for the endorsement of three of the city’s former mayors, including Richard Riordan, as well as the support of the school community. He said he enjoys working to solve the issues in the LAUSD system, including those outside the classroom.

“I love my job,” Melvoin said. “I get to work with some of the most incredible people on some of the most challenging issues facing our city and our country.”

Former Chronicle advisor and one of the event’s organizers Kathleen Neumeyer said in an interview that everyone should care about the education of public school students, including private school parents.

“It is in the best interests of everybody to have every child get an excellent education,” Neumeyer said. “Whether they get it in public school or private school, every child needs to be well-educated. I cannot imagine anybody that I would trust more than Nick to be in charge of the education of the children of this city.”

Neumeyer said she believes Melvoin is the best person to tackle key educational issues.

“These are hard times in America and hard times all over the world,” Neumeyer said. “I don’t know what he will be able to accomplish, but I’m certain that nobody could do it better.”

Melvoin’s other events that day included an event at Barrington Park in Brentwood. Farnaz Simantob, a parent whose children attended LAUSD schools, said Melvoin has created an environment where public school students can succeed on the same level as private school students.

“Nick puts kids first,” Simantob said. “It doesn’t matter whether they have the means to go to a private school. What matters is that everyone gets the opportunities and that they get a quality education.”

Melvoin discussed the work he is most proud of, including superintendent searches, navigating the district through COVID and organizing the largest school-based food relief effort of serving over 170 million meals.

“In public school districts in America today, especially with our demographics, where over 84% of kids are living in poverty, it’s not just about educating kids [or] teaching kids literacy and numeracy. It’s about feeding them, [and] giving them supportive homes,” Melvoin said.

In an interview, Melvoin said he served as a guest speaker for the school’s course Directed Study: Public Education in America and discussed how his experience as former Editor-in-Chief of The Chronicle impacted his career as a teacher, lawyer and politician.

Melvoin said he is proud of what he has achieved, but there is more he wishes to accomplish.

“The work is not done,” Melvoin said. “There’s a lot more work to do.”