After 34 years in education, Victor Thompson is still energized by the curious minds of young people.
Victor Thompson graduated from the McKay School in 1984 and has had a growing passion for education ever since. He received a master’s degree in education administration from California State University, Los Angeles in 1988 and a doctorate in education from Pepperdine University in institutional management ten years later.
Thompson is a Pacific Islander who is proud of his heritage and 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. 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, along with other positions, and was named City of Lakewood Volunteer of the Year in 2016. In addition, he is the first Pacific Islander to serve on the state board of the Association of California School Administrators.
Thompson has enjoyed his time in education and believes in the positive impact teachers and leaders can have on students’ lives.
“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 offered a few different pieces of sound advice to those considering careers in education. He feels that education is the greatest profession in the world because you influence those who will change the world.
“We need teachers and administrators who enjoy working with youth and want to make a difference in their lives,” Thompson shared.
Lastly, Thompson advised us to love people no matter what, and to find peace in the beauty of the earth.
“Take time to go to an ocean if you can. 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.”
Writer: Morgan Berry
Contact: Shauna Valentine (801) 422-8562