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Innovative Lennox Schools Chief to Retire After 20 Years

For 20 years, Lennox School District Supt. Kenneth L. Moffett has dedicated himself to proving that all kids can learn.

But after two decades at the helm of six elementary schools, where 92% of students enter the schools speaking only Spanish and more than 25% of the population lives below the poverty line, Moffett plans to retire.

“I still love what I do so I figured it would be a good time to go,” Moffett, 61, said. “It makes more sense to go out when I like what I’m doing and can feel good about what I have accomplished.”

An affable educator who started in the Inglewood Unified District as a fifth-grade teacher 39 years ago, Moffett is credited with turning Lennox into a textbook example of how students living in poverty can become successful if they are given a chance.

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Moffett started a bilingual education program nearly 20 years ago that pushes students to learn how to read, write and speak in English and Spanish by eighth grade. More than 90% of teachers in the district are bilingual and conduct classes in both languages.

In addition to placing a strong emphasis on language skills, Moffett also implemented a nationally recognized discipline program where students are taught rules and face consequences when those rules are broken.

For his efforts, Moffett received the 1994 National Superintendent of the Year Award. According to the California Assn. of School Administrators, he is the only superintendent in the state to receive the distinction.

“He’s always been a man of great vision who is always looking to the future,” said JoAnn Isken, principal of Jefferson Elementary School and the first person Moffett hired when he arrived in the district. “The legacy he will leave behind is in the training he gave to make this district what it is.”


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