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Thomas Starr King Middle School To Become ‘Green’ Magnet

The Los Angeles Unified School District on Friday has approved Thomas Starr King Middle School to start an environmental studies magnet program in the Fall 2011 semester. The program will focus on sustainability and environmental education, also designed to prepare students for careers in the Green Economy workforce.

As not just a community member, but a 1986 alumnus of Thomas Starr King Junior High School, I submitted a letter in late September to the Board of Education as part of a campaign spearheaded by the nonprofit group Friends Of King, which has been very active in recent years implementing physical and programmatic improvements to the school, through after-school programs, the building of a garden on the school grounds and their 2009 Big Sunday project, which turned their dilapidated ampitheater area in the campus into a beautiful, green open space. I was also one of the scores of volunteers who pitched in their time to build that in the span of an afternoon.

The real hero is Friends of King president Tomas O’Grady, who is also a board member of the Greater Griffith Park Neighborhood Council and was one of the planting coordinators at our “We Love Cahuenga Library” Big Sunday event this past May. O’Grady pushed for community support in the letter-writing campaign and successfully got the LAUSD to approve the Green Magnet program at no cost to the District. He said that the nonprofit will guarantee $30,000 to implement the new magnet program, which would help stem the mass exodus of students from traditional public schools into charter and private schools.  Also a parent of a King student, O’Grady reported that test scores went up from 638 to 737 this year.

Although I spent the most socially awkward years of my life at King, I did have some great memories there, and I’m still proud to be an alum. Much kudos to O’Grady and the Friends of King group, and best of luck to the school’s new Green magnet program!

1 comment to Thomas Starr King Middle School To Become ‘Green’ Magnet

  • Lucy

    Hurrah! This is simply amazing news. Thanks to the work of Tomas O’Grady, parents in the area are taking another look at King Middle School. Guess what? We like what we see!!! Congratulations to all the teachers, the principal, the community and thanks Mr. T. (O’Grady).

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