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Los Angeles Unified School DistrictCandidate for Board of Trustees, Trustee Area 4

Photo of Nick Melvoin

Nick Melvoin

Educator/Children's Advocate
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Transparency
  • Local Control and Autonomy
  • Ensuring Effective Teachers in Every Classroom



Profession:Educator, Attorney
Public Schools Representative, Brentwood Community Council — Appointed position (2015–current)
Board Member, Los Angeles County Young Democrats — Elected position (2015–2016)


New York University School of Law J.D. (2014)
Loyola Marymount University M.A. in Urban Education (2010)
Harvard University B.A. in Government with a Secondary Field in English (2008)

Community Activities

Director, Camp Harmony (2009–current)


Nick Melvoin has spent his career fighting for our city’s schoolchildren. He believes that together, with the right leadership, we can ensure that every student in Los Angeles has the opportunity to succeed.

Born and raised on the Westside of LA, Nick served as a seventh and eighth grade English teacher at Markham Middle School, an LAUSD campus in Watts, where he coached soccer and baseball and helped his students launch a school newspaper.

At Markham, he saw firsthand how LAUSD failed to support schools and neglected the needs of our city’s most vulnerable students. When he and two-thirds of Markham’s teachers lost their jobs due to budget cuts, he fought to be re-hired and worked to end the indiscriminate, seniority-based teacher layoffs that harm so many LA families.

As a teacher, Nick joined the ACLU, Mayors Riordan and Villaraigosa, and others to bring a ground-breaking civil rights lawsuit which argued that LA’s layoffs violated the rights of students. They won.

Nick holds a Bachelor’s degree from Harvard University, a Masters in Urban Education from Loyola Marymount University (LMU), and a law degree from the New York University School of Law, where he was a Root-Tilden-Kern Scholar.

In addition to serving as a teacher, Nick has worked in the Obama White House with the Domestic Policy Council and the US Attorney’s office where he took part in various civil rights investigations as a legal clerk.

Today, Nick leads and facilitates efforts by students, parents, teachers, and community members to rethink and shape the future of our city’s schools. He is also an adjunct professor at LMU where he teaches teachers how to improve their own advocacy in the classroom. In working for nonprofits such as Teach Plus and Educators 4 Excellence, Nick helps to improve the support teachers across the state receive before and during their time in the classroom, as well as amplify teacher voice in policy-making.

Nick serves on the boards of the Los Angeles County Young Democrats, Brentwood Community Council, Teach For America Associates, University Synagogue's Social Justice Committee, and United in Harmony. He is a graduate of the Jewish Federation’s New Leaders Project and the New Leaders Council and chairs the Jewish Federation’s Educators’ Network.

Nick is also proud to serve as a director of Camp Harmony, a camp for homeless and underserved children. His commitment to solving educational inequity was first sparked as a volunteer at Camp Harmony more than fifteen years ago.

Who supports this candidate?

Featured Endorsements

  • The Los Angeles Times
  • Kip Morales: LA Public School Teacher of the Year
  • Mayor Villaraigosa

Organizations (7)

  • Speak UP
  • The Daily News
  • The Parent Teacher Alliance
  • The LAX Chamber of Commerce
  • The Pacific Palisades Democratic Club
  • The Los Angeles County Young Democrats
  • The Argonaut

Elected Officials (1)

  • Mayor Riordan

Individuals (2)

  • Drew Karimlou, Instructional Coach, Synergy Academies
  • Susan Hughes, Parent, Broadway Elementary School:

Political Beliefs

Political Philosophy

As an LAUSD teacher in Watts, I witnessed firsthand how the system fails students and teachers and neglects our city’s most vulnerable. But I remain confident that, with the right leadership, we can give every student the opportunity to succeed and reach their God-given potential.

This is my plan to L.I.G.H.T. a path toward a new system of public schools in LA.


Local Control and Autonomy

The Los Angeles Unified School District covers 27 cities, 710 square miles, and over 660,000 students. It should come as no surprise, then, that what works in one community may not work in another. I want to give our schools more local control to make the decisions that are right for them. We need more flexibility over school structure, budgeting, staffing, and community partnerships so that every classroom reflects its community and every educator can teach students at their level.


Innovation and Creative Thinking

The same old teaching methods are no longer working - we need new ideas. I will promote creativity in school design, classroom learning, and district governance. I plan to use technology to support families and schools and to find new ways to partner with LA’s creative industries. And we need to share best practices across schools, from neighborhood schools to magnets to charters, so that all schools can learn from what works.


Great Choices for All Families

Regardless of zip code, families deserve access to great choices, including local neighborhood schools, innovative magnet programs, and charter schools. And we need to help parents navigate those choices more easily. I will work to put all school options in one place, and I will help schools unify the application process and deadlines so all parents can choose the right school for their child. I'll also work to expand access to free preschool and pre-k programs throughout the city.


Human Capital Development and Support

We need to overhaul the District’s policies to better support our educators. I will work to incentivize high-performing teachers to teach in the schools that need them most. I also want to give teachers the training and support they need to become the best educator they can be. To do that, LAUSD needs a systematic way to recruit, develop, place and retain highly effective teachers.


Transparency and Accountability

Videos (1)

— March 3, 2017 Nick Melvoin for School Board 2017

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