Michelle King was named this week as the Los Angeles Unified District’s first Black female superintendent. King has worked her entire career for the district and is a product of the school system as well.
King, 54, was a long shot to secure the job despite her credentials and long standing with LASUD. The district made a nationwide push for an outside hire, with names such as Obama Cabinet member and HUD Secretary Julian Castro and U.S. Rep. Xavier Becerra mentioned as potentials.
The district, the second-largest in the country, has been troubled for some time, thus the focus on bringing in a fresh perspective. But one potential hire from the East Coast turned down the job, saying that the LASUD was a “total mess.”
While King wasn’t the district’s first choice, she managed to convince the hiring committee that she was the best person for the job. Coupled with her loyalty to the district and familiarity with the system, the former high school principal landed the historic hire.
In a statement, King said she viewed herself as a trailblazer and named Attorney General Loretta Lynch, late Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm and pioneering astronaut Mae Jemison as her inspirations.