May 01, 2014
By Danny Bakewell Jr.
While there are several qualified candidates running to fill the vacated seat of Marguerite LaMotte, the choice for who is the best and most qualified to fill the seat is the man who has dedicated his entire life to the service of our kids and our community; George McKenna. The other candidates for the District 1 seat include a former school board member, several educators, and a finalist from Donald Trump’s “The Apprentice.” However, with the overwhelming issues facing the students of District 1, the candidate who clearly stands out, and is far more qualified than any of the other candidates is former principal and district administrator George McKenna.
As a teacher, principal and superintendent, George has a history of unapologetically standing up for the rights of our children to receive a quality education. Now as he seeks election to the school board, he brings forward to the children of our community over 50 years of experience and a true understanding of the issues that the children and parents of the district face within the inner workings of LAUSD.
The truancy, alarming drop-out rate and inequity of resources which plagues District 1 at an almost epidemic rate is but a small glimpse into the issues which face our community. George McKenna who has worked as an administrator in Los Angeles, Inglewood, Compton and Pasadena is uniquely qualified to address these issues and demand results. His experience and proven track record as a principal at Washington Prep is but a small demonstration of his effectiveness and unwillingness to except low performance as the norm in a school. He required both the students and the parents to participate in the recovery of the school, which ultimately became one of the highest performing schools in LAUSD despite the fact that its students lived in one of the most economically deprived portions of the city.
The winner of this race will replace longtime board member Marguerite Poindexter LaMotte, who passed away at the end of 2013 and will serve out the last year of LaMotte’s term, which ends in 2015.
George McKenna can lead District #1, where the student population is largely low-income and minority. He is the only candidate in this election who can bring consensus and an alliance with the other members of the school board for this district. McKenna has worked with the other members over the years and is a respected leader in the education community both locally and nationally. McKenna also has worked closely with the school board unions and is the only candidate running who can immediately “hit the ground running” to institute the drastic changes necessary to begin the long and arduous process of repairing the long suffering district.
George McKenna has no alliance with other political factions within our community; he is not seen as a representative for other political leaders or an advocate for education reformists. He is known as an independent thinker whose core supporters are community members who have seen first-hand George McKenna’s commitment to improving the quality of the education for our children.
McKenna says that one of his primary missions is to help create a school board which functions in partnership with another; a school board that will always work in the best interest of all of LAUSD and will have the ability to separate their personal and political opinions from the need to do what is right for the children.
McKenna also has a proven track record and relationships at the state level and will be able to work with local elected officials to help bring new and much needed monies from Sacramento down to the students of District 1.
Every candidate running to represent District 1 brings certain strengths and weaknesses to the seat, but the choice is clear that GEORGE MCKENNA is the only candidate running who has all of the tools and qualifications necessary to represent District 1. For these reasons and many more, The L.A. Watts Times is PROUD to endorse George McKenna for District #1 School Board Representative.
VOTE FOR GEORGE MCKENNA FOR SCHOOL BOARD – DISTRICT 1 ON JUNE 3, 2014