Luisiana Meléndez was appointed to the Chicago Board of Education by Mayor Lori Lightfoot and began serving on June 26, 2019.
Dr. Meléndez is a Clinical Professor at Erikson Institute and director of the Institute’s Bilingual/ESL Program. She received her BA in Psychology in her native Dominican Republic and a master’s in early childhood education and doctorate in child development from Loyola University Chicago/Erikson Institute. Before joining the faculty at Erikson, Dr. Meléndez worked for close to two decades as an early childhood and elementary teacher in the Dominican Republic and in the U.S.
At Erikson, Dr. Meléndez teaches courses and participates in initiatives to prepare early childhood practitioners to meet the developmental and learning needs of the increasingly diverse children and families in U.S. educational settings. In the last years she has also collaborated with Gateways for Opportunity, the statewide professional development support system for individuals and programs serving children, youth, and families around issues of early bilingual and multilingual language development.
Dr. Meléndez frequently presents in national as well as local conferences and has several publications on her areas of professional interest. In addition to her work in early childhood teacher education and professional development, Dr. Meléndez has served on the Early Childhood Committee of the Illinois State Board of Education since 2012. She was a member of the Board of Directors of El Valor for several years. Dr. Meléndez regularly participates in workgroups and advisory boards convened around issues of bilingual and multilingual development and acted as co-chair of the Chicago Consortium for School Research Steering Committee. She is a Chicago resident since 1996 and feels privileged by the opportunity to serve in the Chicago School Board of Education, where she aspires to bring together her professional interests on bilingual and multilingual young children and her personal commitment to equity and social justice.