OAKLAND, Calif., Jan. 22, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Former Berkeley Unified School District Superintendent Michele Barraza Lawrence will join the Alameda County Medical Center's (ACMC's www.acmedctr.org) Board of Trustees during its regular monthly meeting today.

Lawrence was appointed to the governing body of ACMC by the Alameda County Board of Supervisors and fills a vacant position left by former Trustee Barbara Price, who retired from the Board in July.

"I am very pleased to welcome Michele Lawrence to the ACMC Board of Trustees," said Daniel Boggan Jr., current president of the Board. "Her track record of leadership and success, as well as her educator's perspective, will serve the Medical Center very well as it continues to teach the next generation of physicians and to expand services and access to quality care for all county residents."

Lawrence was appointed Superintendent of Berkeley Unified School District in 2001 and led the implementation of many positive changes until her retirement in 2008. During her tenure at the diverse and highly integrated Berkeley school district, she overhauled the organization and moved its $100 million budget from financial insolvency to a positive budget certification. She also led oversight efforts to achieve multi-year contract settlements with five separate unions.

Lawrence's career in education showcases her strong commitment to the overall welfare of children. For instance, at Berkeley Unified, she worked collaboratively with community leaders and private foundations to institute a progressive school lunch initiative designed to combat ever increasing rates of juvenile diabetes and obesity. She also initiated changes in mental health programs by working with City and County agencies to bring needed resources and services into the schools.

In another effort that earned national recognition, Lawrence gathered a legal team that successfully met and turned back two strong challenges to Berkeley's voluntary integration plan; now recognized as one of the most effective models for integration programs in the nation.

A sought after consultant, Lawrence continues to advise clients that include the Earl Warren Institute at UC Berkeley, the Orfalea Foundation, the Marin Community Foundation, the Chez Panisse Foundation, Washington Unified-West Sacramento, Berkeley Unified School District and other organizations.

During her career she has also received a number of honors including Superintendent of the Year for her region. Lawrence has served as Chairperson of the State Superintendent's Conference and President of City Superintendents. During her administration in Berkeley, she also helped garner significant community support to pass two parcel tax (qualified special tax) measures.

Lawrence received her bachelor's and master's degrees from California State University, Fullerton. She has also conducted doctoral work at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.

About Alameda County Medical Center

Alameda County Medical Center (www.acmedctr.org) is a nationally recognized public healthcare system with more than 2,800 employees, 500 physicians, and 475 accredited beds. ACMC provides comprehensive, high quality medical treatment and compassionate care to all residents of Alameda County.

Jerri Applegate Randrup
Alameda County Medical Center
510.437.8479 media

Monique Binkley Smith
Alameda County Medical Center