McKenna heads to August 12 run-off election with the strong backing of fellow educators
George McKenna, who with 45% of the vote nearly outright won the June 3 special election to replace deceased LAUSD District 1 Board Member Marguerite LaMotte, has received the endorsement of four former competitors: educators Sherlett Hendy-Newbill, Rachel C. Johnson and Hattie B. McFrazier and former LAUSD Board Member Genethia Hudley-Hayes. A run-off election will be held on August 12 between McKenna and second-place finisher Alex Johnson.
“I am honored to be endorsed by these accomplished women who have been committed to improving the educational outcomes for the children of Los Angeles,” said McKenna. “Each has a track record within the LAUSD as a teacher and/or board member and they are aware of the issues involved in the day-to day operations of classrooms and school sites. We all share a passion for working for the best interests of our students. I am proud to have their support.”
Former District 1 Board Member Hudley-Hayes said, “George McKenna has the history and the track record of working on behalf of students, particularly poor students of color. I know he will be an independent voice on the School Board for students, parents and citizens. He will work with administrators, parents and students to create the conditions so that all schools effectively educate all students, particularly schools that have been left out.”
Hattie McFrazier, who spent 31 years with LAUSD, first as a teacher and later as a Pupil Services and Attendance Counselor, said, of the two candidates remaining in the race, “George McKenna is the one with the knowledge and experience to move the district forward. His focus would be on education and not politics. He owes nothing to anyone, so he can concentrate on education and not politics. His interest lies in providing a quality education for our students. I believe he is the best candidate for District 1 at this time.”
A teacher at Dorsey H.S. since 1998 and third-place finisher Sherlett Hendy-Newbill, said, “George McKenna's experience in the Greater Los Angeles education arena was the determining factor in my decision to endorse him.” As a member of the School Board, “he will add to and enhance the outstanding legacy left by the Honorable Marguerite LaMotte and build a strong foundation for all children attending public schools in Los Angeles."
With more than 50 years of experience, McKenna has served at all levels of the educational ladder, including classroom mathematics teacher, principal and local district superintendent within LAUSD. Additionally, he has served as Superintendent of the Inglewood USD, Deputy Director of the Compton USD and Assistant Superintendent of Secondary Schools of the Pasadena USD. In addition to serving on numerous education committees, he is currently an educational consultant, providing professional development and support to school districts and community organizations throughout the country.
George McKenna has been recognized locally, nationally and internationally, for his work in transforming schools, improving student performance and increasing community interest and involvement within local schools. With more than 400 citations, he has been profiled in national publications, including Time, People and Ebony magazines; television shows, including “Nightline” and “The Oprah Winfrey Show;” and numerous newspapers, including The Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times and The Christian Science Monitor. His success in transforming South Central Los Angeles’ Washington Preparatory High School has been documented in print as well as film, including, “The George McKenna Story,” starring Denzel Washington and a documentary, entitled, “Chaos to Calm,” produced by the California State Attorney General’s Office.