Published: April 27, 2011
On May 14, 2011, Pacific Oaks graduates will receive their diplomas in front of family and friends at the 51st annual Commencement. The ceremony will take place on the Westmoreland Campus from 10 a.m. to noon. Pacific Oaks welcomes back alumna Marlene Canter, a former Los Angeles Board of Education member and Pacific Oaks trustee, to address the crowd.
Saturday, May 14, 2011
Pacific Oaks College
5 Westmoreland Place
Pasadena, CA 91103
10 a.m. — noon
Marlene Canter, Ed.D., is a proud graduate of Pacific Oaks College. She graduated in 1971 with three credentials—Special Education, Early Childhood Development, and Elementary Education. She also served on the Pacific Oaks College Board of Trustees for six years. Dr. Canter received her B.A. in Social Welfare from Long Beach State in 1970 and recently received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters in May 2010 from Loyola Marymount University.
In 2001, Dr. Canter was overwhelmingly elected to the Los Angeles City Board of Education in June 2001 and again in March 2005. She served as President of the Board from 2005 to 2007. The Los Angeles Business Journal named her Woman Executive of the Year in May 2006 for her leadership of the Board. In 2008, the League of Women Voters presented her with their Government Leadership Award.
Dr. Canter has represented students and their families in neighborhoods stretching from the Valley to the Pacific Ocean, including such communities as Encino, Tarzana, Woodland Hills, Hollywood, West Hollywood, Miracle Mile, Pacific Palisades, Brentwood, Westwood, Venice, Westchester, Mar Vista, Marina Del Rey, and Playa Del Rey.
Dr. Canter began her career in education as a special education teacher at Alta Loma Elementary School. She went on to co-found and serve as the co-CEO of Canter & Associates, now Laureate Education Inc. The company became one of the world’s leading teacher-training organizations and has trained more than 1 million K-12 teachers worldwide. It developed an extensive catalog of professional development programs, distance learning graduate courseware, and resource materials for teachers, administrators, and parents.
During Dr. Canter’s time with the LA City Board of Education, she chaired the Charters and Innovation Committee, a committee she conceived to help drive school and District transformation. In addition, Dr. Canter authored the resolutions to ban the sale of soft drinks and junk food in LAUSD schools—which passed in 2002 and 2003, respectively—making LAUSD the first large urban district in the nation to approve such bans. California and many other districts have since adopted similar nutrition reforms.
Dr. Canter also sat on State Superintendent Jack O’Connell’s P-16 Council. She is also a former advisor to the Children’s Partnership, a national nonprofit, nonpartisan child advocacy organization, and currently serves on Loyola Marymount School of Education Board of Visitors, City Year Board of Directors and the Fielding Graduate University Board of Directors.
Dr. Canter has two children. Her daughter, Nikky, graduated with her MBA from Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University and will work in the area of social responsibility. Her son, Joshua, lives with his wife, Kristin, in Asheville, N.C., and also in Costa Rica. They are both involved in work that helps make the world a better place.