Vivian Ekchian Hired as Glendale Unified Superintendent

An extensive search that spanned nine states and attracted nearly two dozen candidates has ended with the selection of local Vivian Ekchian as Glendale Unified’s next superintendent. Ekchian was hired in a unanimous vote by the board Tuesday. She is the first Armenian-American to ever hold the job.

Ekchian is the current Deputy Superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District. She has worked for LAUSD for more than 30 years. In that time, she has fulfilled a number of roles, including labor negotiator and interim superintendent. She was in the running for the permanent superintendent’s position after Michelle King was forced to step down due to a battle with cancer, but the job was ultimately given to Austin Beutner.

Ekchian said the decision to leave LAUSD was difficult but that she wanted to serve the community of Glendale where she lives. She’ll earn a salary of $310,000 per the terms of her four-year contract.

GUSD’s last superintendent Winfred B. Roberson was voted out on Jan. 29. Assistant Superintendent of Education Services Kelly King has been serving in the interim. She will now return to her regular job.

“We had a strong field of highly qualified candidates and we are confident that Dr. Ekchian is the right person to lead GUSD,” Board President Jennifer Freemon stated in a press release before the vote. “She is a lifelong educator with extensive experience running a large, diverse district.” 

LAUSD Superintendent Austin Beutner thanked Ekchian for her more than three decades of service, calling her “a terrific partner” that would serve GUSD well.

Her first day on the job is July 1, 2019.


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