Who would want to be principle of a predominately black gang ridden South Los Angeles High School? George McKenna did; he is a courageous, young black man who wants to change this school into a proud educational institution. McKenna was a very intelligent man, he worked very hard in pursuing what was right, and above all he wants to make a difference in the community.
How do you go about changing a school that's been bad for so long? You have to be smart and you have to have a plan. George McKenna had both. The principle can't make the students work, they have to want it on their own. Convincing the students and their parents that an education is most important wasn't easy. I thought one example of George's intelligence was the ways he made the school safer by his attempts to limit gang activities. He put his own life at risk. Thus causing honor students like Student Council President Cynthia Byers to want to return. Although, change will not happen overnight, it takes time, and McKenna never gave up.
Mr. McKenna pushed for educational plans for continuity, he pushed for classrooms open for parent visitation, and a dress code. He wanted to limit gang activities on campus, make every student committed to learn. George wanted a better graduation rate, he wanted to reduce the 30% daily absentee rate. Mr. McKenna never gave up, he worked tirelessly in helping this school. Ethan Jackson was a gang leader and George knew it, however, he still made an effort to convert E.J. into a student by helping him become more literate. Also, helping E.J., is helping fix the gang dominated community. George was all about helping the community in any way he could.
To establish positive public relations within the community, McKenna enlists the aid of parents and students to distribute buttons with the motto, "We are family." Scholarship opportunities help lure-back former honor students who had opted to bus from their neighborhood...
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