Richard Thome

Co-Director, ELDA; Director, Professional Learning, MTLC

  • M.S., Pepperdine University
  • B.A., California State University, Los Angeles

Rich Thome is the Director, Professional Learning for the Mobile Technology Learning Center (MTLC). He also serves as Co-Director of the Educational Leadership Development Academy (ELDA) in the School of Leadership and Education Sciences at the University of San Diego. Rich has also served as an educational leader in residence in the School of Leadership and Education Sciences.

Prior to joining the University, Rich served as Assistant Superintendent, Technology and Human Resources for the San Diego County office of education. In this role he led the development and operation of three regional technology centers, including the technology infrastructure serving 500,000 students in 42 school districts, and was responsible for advancing technology initiatives in all districts to assure equal access for all students. A highlight of his work in this role was the collaboration with the government of Mexico to bring numerous technology and digital resources in the Spanish-language to the entire state of California, benefiting students at the K-12 level. Rich also supervised the operation of a public television channel reaching 1 million homes and led the development of content for 24 digital closed-circuit television channels.

Rich, before joining the technology team at the San Diego County Office of Education, served as Superintendent in the South Bay and Cardiff School Districts. During this time he chaired the superintendents’ technology advisory committee (STAC), whose responsibilities included coordinating county-wide technology implementation. Rich was a pioneer of educational technology in the early 80s, serving as Coordinator, Instructional Technology in the Capistrano Unified School District and teaching computer literacy and productivity classes at Long Beach State University. Rich also served as Assistant Superintendent, Instructional Operations in Capistrano Unified, after having served as a Director, Principal, and teacher at both the elementary and high school levels. He began his career as a middle school teacher in the Pasadena Unified School District.