City News Service

Flags Flown at Half Staff in Honor of Former LAUSD Superintendent Michelle King

What to Know

  • Former LAUSD Superintendent Michelle King died Saturday of cancer at age 57.
  • She became LAUSD superintendent in January 2016.
  • In September of the following year she went on medical leave, then announced in January 2018 that she had cancer.

All flags in the Los Angeles Unified School District will be flown at half-staff until Wednesday in honor of former district Superintendent Michelle King, who died of cancer Saturday at the age of 57, LAUSD Superintendent Austin Beutner announced Monday.

"Dr. King was a Los Angeles Unified student who found her passion in education and dedicated her life to making sure others received a great education," Beutner said in a statement. "We at Los Angeles Unified, and all in our community, are grateful for her leadership and commitment. And on behalf of the many, many students, teachers, and administrators whose lives she helped make better, thank you."

King became LAUSD superintendent in January 2016. In September of the following year she went on medical leave, then announced in January 2018 that she had cancer and would not be returning to her job. King did not specify the type of cancer for which she was being treated.

"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," she said in 2018. "As I aggressively fight this illness, I ask that you continue to keep me in your thoughts and prayers."

Members of the district's Board of Education issued a joint statement over the weekend thanking King "for 33 years as an exemplary educator, inspirational role model and steadfast leader."

United Teachers Los Angeles said her death is "a terrible loss—for her family, for her community, and for the Los Angeles Unified School District.

"King made education her life's work, and she was devoted to upholding a public school system that serves all students. As the first African-American woman to be LAUSD superintendent, she blazed a trail for our future. Our condolences to her family and to those whose lives she touched during her long career."

King earned a doctorate in May from the USC Rossier School of Education. She had a bachelor's degree in biology from UCLA and a master's degree in administration from Pepperdine University.

She was educated in LAUSD schools, attending Century Park and Windsor Hills elementary schools, Palms Junior High School and Palisades High School.

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