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Passion for Education

Fall 2018
Read Time: 2.5 minutes

A man stands next to two women wearing graduation caps and gowns.

Victor Thompson graduated from the McKay School in 1984 with a passion for education. He received a master’s degree in education administration from California State University, Los Angeles, in 1988 and a doctorate in education in institutional management from Pepperdine University in 1998.

Thompson is a Pacific Islander and is proud of his heritage and his family, who have defied the nationwide statistic that only 14 percent of Pacific Islanders/Samoans obtain a college degree. His wife, Marie, and four children have all received bachelor’s degrees.

After 34 years in education, Thompson is a well-decorated professional and citizen of his community. A former high school Spanish teacher and track coach, Thompson is currently serving as director of Student Support Services in the Los Angeles County Office of Education. In addition, Thompson teaches courses online as an adjunct professor for the University of Phoenix and BYU–Pathway Worldwide.

In his community in Lakewood, California, Thompson is the executive director of the National Pacific Islander Education Network, serves on the Long Beach Area Council Board for Boy Scouts of America, and was named 2016 City of Lakewood Volunteer of the Year. In addition, he is the first Pacific Islander to serve on the state board of the Association of California School Administrators.

“I have always believed that with the right support systems—oftentimes coming from the schools due to challenges at home—and positive adult attitudes in the schools, we can help every child to succeed. I look at my job not as a burden but as a gift to be able to encourage and inspire children,” Thompson said.

 Thompson feels that education is the greatest profession in the world because you influence those who will change the world. Thompson’s advice is to love unconditionally and to find peace in the beauty of the earth.

 “I go to the ocean weekly, and I feel peace and admiration for the creations of our Heavenly Father,” Thompson said. “When we are at peace, we are better teachers and leaders. The Spirit can work with us more effectively.”