Superintendent Michelle King

LOS ANGELES (CNS) – The Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education has finalized a contract with newly chosen Superintendent Michelle King.

The board reviewed the contract behind closed doors then unanimously approved it in open session on Tuesday, Jan 12. King then received a standing ovation from the board and audience members.

The pact sets King’s salary at $350,000 a year, and the contract runs through June 30, 2018. It also provides King a district-owned car and driver.

King, 54, was announced Monday as the board’s choice to succeed Ramon Cortines as superintendent. She has been with the district for 31 years as a teacher and administrator. She is the first woman to lead the district in more than 80 years and the first black woman to ever lead the nation’s second-largest school district.

According to the district, King attended Century Park and Windsor Hills elementary schools and Palms Junior High School. She graduated from Palisades High School and attended UCLA.

She began her teaching career at Porter Middle School in Granada Hills, teaching math and science, before becoming the math, science and aerospace coordinator at Wright Middle School in Westchester.

She later served as assistant principal and principal at Hamilton High School in Castle Heights on L.A.’s Westside.

She served as Cortines’ chief of staff during his previous

administration, then as a deputy under Superintendent John Deasy and again under Cortines following Deasy’s departure.

“What a historic moment this is,” LAUSD board President Steven Zimmer said Monday. “A daughter of our city, a student and graduate of LAUSD, a teacher from our schools, a principal from our system, a leader of our community will now take the helm with us together to lead this district, our schools and our community for breakthroughs in public education for the students that need us the most.”

King said as the first black woman to lead the district, she wants to “inspire students of all races and backgrounds to pursue their dreams by demonstrating what is possible in L.A. Unified.”

“I am honored and proud to be selected as the superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District,” King said. “I again want to thank the Board of Education for their confidence and support in allowing me to lead the students, employees and families of this incredible district.”

She said she plans to expand efforts to engage parents, LAUSD unions and other stakeholders to take an active effort in moving the district forward and “create new pathways for all students and give them the tools they need to succeed.”

Cortines retired from day-to-day operations of the district in December and officially stepped aside Jan. 2. The board has been conducting a search for a replacement since August, with King serving as the interim leader of the district since Cortines stepped aside.