May 24, 2024 The Best Source of News, Culture, Lifestyle for Culver City, Mar Vista, Del Rey, Palms and West Los Angeles

George McKenna Files Paperwork To Run For LAUSD Board Seat

GeorgeMcKenna
George McKenna formally filed papers to seek the District 1 seat on the LAUSD board. (Courtesy Image)

A former Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) administrator and educator filed papers with county officials to run for an open seat on the district’s board, it was announced Feb. 12.

Dr. George McKenna, who was a principal at George Washington Preparatory School in South Central Los Angeles and a regional superintendent, will be seeking to be elected to the board’s District 1 seat. He had hoped to be appointed to the seat after the person who previously represented District 1 passed away in November. However, the LAUSD board voted to have a special election to fill the seat instead.

The district includes the southern half of Century City and all of neighboring Cheviot Hills.

School board officials voted in January to hold a special election to fill the vacancy left by Marguerite LaMotte, who recently passed away. LaMotte’s term is scheduled to expire June 30, 2015.

The vote came after grassroots lobby involving community leaders, ecumenical leaders, education and parent groups, various school board members, and others urging LAUSD to appoint McKenna as an interim board member to finish out the remainder of LaMotte’s term.

However, at a Jan. 7 meeting, four of six school board members reportedly voted in favor of holding a special election in June. Also supporting the election, according to news reports, was Los Angeles Councilman and council president Herb Wesson and County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas.

Accordingly, the District 1 seat would remain open until the June special election, meaning the schools covered within the district’s boundaries would not be represented with a vote on the board.

That election will be held June 3, 2014. If no candidate crosses the 50-percent-plus-one threshold, a runoff election will be held Aug. 12 with the top two vote getters.

The “Appoint McKenna Now” website pointed out some “critical items” would be voted upon before the special election filled LaMotte’s seat, such as the 2014-15 school year budget and the iPad project.

“It is a disservice to District 1, LAUSD, black, brown and other students to have Marguerite LaMotte’s seat remain vacant for 6 to 8 months, especially with so many critical items that will be decided in the first half of the year, like the 2014-2015 school year budget, Title I funding, the Local Control Funding Formula, implementation of the Common Core Curriculum, a $6 billion facilities upgrade bond program and the billion-dollar iPad project,” a statement on the website stated.

According to the “Appoint McKenna Now” website, those who supported McKenna being appointed to the District 1 seat included State Senator Holly Mitchell, Congresswomen Karen Bass and Maxine Waters, Los Angeles Councilman Bernard Parks, and Assemblywoman Shirley Weber. In all, 118 individuals and groups publicly “endorsed” McKenna’s grassroots campaign to be appointed to the District 1 seat.

A New Orleans native who holds a Doctor of Education degree from Xavier University and a Masters in Mathematics from Loyola University, Chicago, McKenna came to the LAUSD in the 1960s as a math teacher. He also worked as an engineer prior to moving into secondary school administration.

McKenna, 73, gained popularity in the 1980s when he was at George Washington Preparatory School and served as principal. During his time at the school, McKenna reportedly implemented practices to convert the campus from a place of low achievement and violence to a place with a wait list and high percentage of graduates enrolling in college.

In 1986, a television movie entitled “The George McKenna Story” starred Denzel Washington and narrated the McKenna’s work at George Washington Preparatory School.

Beyond LAUSD, McKenna was also the superintendent of the Inglewood Unified School District in California and Assistant Superintendent of Secondary Schools in Pasadena, Calif., among other similar positions. He was also invited to the White House by then-President Ronald Reagan as part of a school discipline panel.

Finally serving the LAUSD as a regional superintendent, McKenna retired from the district in 2012.

Currently, he serves as a consultant, advising community organizations and school districts of professional development.

The “Appoint McKenna Now” website stated McKenna supports “an educational system, which emphasizes justice, equal opportunity and non-violence, is the primary vehicle for positive change in a pluralistic and technological society.”

LaMotte reportedly passed away Dec. 5 in San Diego, where she was attending a conference. At the time, LaMotte was the longest-serving member of the current board. She was 80.

In addition to the southern half of Century City and Cheviot Hills, LAUSD’s District 1 board seat also includes Hancock Park, University Park, and Windsor Hills, among other areas.

The LAUSD school board is made up of seven members.

Related Posts

West Hollywood’s Arts and Culture Industry Generates $12.4 Million in 2022

May 24, 2024

May 24, 2024

Industry Supports 248 Jobs and Contributes $3.4 Million in Tax Revenue The nonprofit arts and culture sector in West Hollywood...

UCLA Police Make First Arrest in Attack on Palestine Solidarity Encampment

May 24, 2024

May 24, 2024

18-year-old Charged With Assault with a Deadly Weapon; Bail Set at $30,000 By Dolores Quintana After three weeks, the University...

UAW Local 4811 Calls for Strike at UCLA and UC Davis Over Unresolved Labor Practices

May 24, 2024

May 24, 2024

UCLA Administration Calls in Riot Police Over Brief Establishment of Second Encampment The Executive Board of UAW Local 4811 called...

Woman Charged After High-Speed Pursuit, Multi-Vehicle Crash on 405 Freeway

May 23, 2024

May 23, 2024

Preliminary hearing set for June 20, Suspect Faces Multiple Charges Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón announced that a...

UCLA Police Chief Reassigned After Assault on Palestine Solidarity Encampment

May 22, 2024

May 22, 2024

Acting Chief Named as John Thomas Reassigned to Other Duties on Monday By Dolores Quintana In the aftermath of the...

(Video) The Long Awaited Opening of @Something About Her. The line was down the block for most of the day. Huge success

May 22, 2024

May 22, 2024

If you look closely you can see the owners in the video, who were so very gracious and genuine to...

Off-Duty West Bureau LAPD Officer Arrested for Assault with a Deadly Weapon

May 22, 2024

May 22, 2024

Officer Taken Into Custody in Westchester, Internal Affairs is Investigating An off-duty Los Angeles police officer was arrested Tuesday for...

UC Workers’ Strike Intensifies Amid Unresolved Labor Disputes

May 22, 2024

May 22, 2024

University of California Refuses to Attempt to Resolve ULPs The California Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) has urged the University...

LAPD, DEA, and Postal Service to Investigate Actor Matthew Perry’s Death

May 22, 2024

May 22, 2024

Authorities to Probe How Perry Obtained Ketamine Found in His System. The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) has launched an...

Venice Canal Attack Victim’s Condition Takes a Tragic Turn

May 22, 2024

May 22, 2024

CD 11 City Councilmember Traci Park Releases Statement The devastating news that one of the two women who were brutally...

City Files Lawsuit Against Motel Owners For Allegedly Allowing Drug Activity

May 22, 2024

May 22, 2024

A Court Order Could Close the Motel for One Year and Require Changes to Management By Zach Armstrong A lawsuit has...

(Video) 2024 Take Action Campaign Happening Now

May 21, 2024

May 21, 2024

More Information at takeactionla.com @culvercitywlanews Take Action Campaign is happening now throughout LA County #mentalhealth #losangeles #fyp #california #wellbeing #health...

Father-Son Duo RSG Janitorial Services Finds Joy In Serving Customers

May 21, 2024

May 21, 2024

Finding handymen and janitorial services can be a hard pick. RSG Janitorial Services, based in Los Angeles, offers a mix...

LA Pride 2024 Announces George Takei, Cassandro, and Kristin Crowley as Grand Marshals

May 21, 2024

May 21, 2024

Celebrate “Power in Pride” with live broadcasts, a block party, and special events This year’s LA Pride Parade will celebrate...

Target Slashes Prices on 5,000 Everyday Items for Summer Savings

May 21, 2024

May 21, 2024

Consumers to Enjoy Reduced Prices on Essentials Starting Now Target Corporation announced on Monday it will lower the everyday regular...