June 05, 2012

The J. Paul Getty Trust Names Thelma Meléndez de Santa Ana to Board of Trustees

Superintendent of Schools for the Santa Ana Unified School District Brings Expertise in K-12 Education

Julie Jaskol
Getty Communications
(310) 440-7607

Dr. Meléndez de Santa Ana

LOS ANGELES—The Board of Trustees of the J. Paul Getty Trust today announced it has elected Thelma Meléndez de Santa Ana as a member of the board.

Dr. Meléndez de Santa Ana is the superintendent of schools for the Santa Ana Unified School District, the largest school district in Orange County. Previously, she was Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education at the U.S. Department of Education.

"We are delighted to welcome Thelma Meléndez de Santa Ana to the Getty," said Mark Siegel, chair of the Getty Board of Trustees. "Thelma brings great commitment to excellence in education and outreach to underserved communities and she’ll be a tremendous asset as we work with the entire educational community."

As Superintendent of the Santa Ana Unified School District, Dr. Meléndez de Santa Ana oversees a district with 56,000 students at 61 school sites. With 4,500 educators and staff members, the district is the second-largest employer in Santa Ana.

While at the Department of Education, she helped to develop the Blueprint for Reform and led the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education as it administered billions of dollars in grant funding through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. She also was responsible for implementing the signature School Improvement Grants program.

She earned a BA cum laude in sociology from UCLA, a Ph.D. from USC’s Rossier School of Education and an Honorary Doctorate from Pepperdine University’s Graduate School of Education and Psychology in 2011.
In 2012, Dr. Meléndez de Santa Ana received an Alumni Merit Award from the USC Alumni Association. In 2011, she was named National Hispanic Woman of the Year by the Mexican American Opportunity Foundation, and in 2010 Dr. Meléndez was Hispanic Business Magazine’s Woman of the Year. In 2009 the American Association of School Administrators named her the California Superintendent of the Year, and that year she also was named a “Latina of Excellence” by Hispanic Magazine, a national honor accorded to six Latinas of great distinction. In 2005, she was named Outstanding K-12 School Leader & Distinguished Partner for Educational Excellence by California State Polytechnic University at Pomona.
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