It was just a year ago that for the first time in its 163-year history, the Los Angeles Unified School District selected an African American woman—Michelle King to serve as the new superintendent. Last week, King announced that she was stepping down.
“I have had the honor of serving as the superintendent of L.A. Unified for two years, although I have been challenged by medical issues for the last several months,” King said in a statement. “During this time, I have been undergoing treatment for cancer. Now, with the progression of my illness, I have made the incredibly difficult decision to retire by June 30. Until then, I will remain on medical leave.
“I am very thankful for the outpouring of support I have received from the entire L.A. Unified family, our community partners and my colleagues across the nation, King continued. “As I aggressively fight this illness, I ask that you continue to keep me in your thoughts and prayers.”
King, 55, graduated from UCLA with a biology degree and holds a master’s degree in administration from Pepperdine University. The veteran educator—who has been on medical leave since September—has worked at L.A. Unified since 1978 when she started as a student aide.