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About Dr. George J. McKenna III

Dr. George J. McKenna III, is Vice President of the Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education, representing District 1. He was first elected to the board in a special election on August 12, 2014, to serve the remainder of an unexpired term caused by the death of former Board Member Marguerite P. LaMotte. Dr. McKenna ran unopposed and won re-election in the primary election on March 3, 2015. His term runs until June 2020. 

McKenna grew up in New Orleans, Louisiana. He began teaching in the Los Angeles Unified School District in 1962. He later became principal of the George Washington Preparatory High School in 1979. At the time McKenna took the position, the school was failing and had problems with gang violence, drug dealing and gun fights, but under his reforms, the school eventually became an institution with an attendance waiting list and with nearly 80 percent of its students going on to college. His reforms at George Washington Preparatory High School were copied across the country. A story of McKenna's turnaround of Washington Prep was made into a movie called The George McKenna Story, which starred Denzel Washington playing the role of George McKenna.

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