Our Fallen Warrior Marguerite LaMotte

lamotteMarguerite Poindexter LaMotte was born on July 17, 1933 in New Orleans, Louisiana the youngest of seven children, to Leon and Amy Poindexter.

She flourished in a segregated Louisiana school system and graduated from Xavier Preparatory High School and the YMCA Business College in New Orleans.

Her career in education began at age 18 when she was appointed director of Spaulding Business College in Baton Rouge. She took classes on a part-time basis at Southern University and was awarded a B.A. degree in Education, Summa Cum Laude in 1961. She completed her Master of Education Degree in 1965 from Louisiana State University.

LaMotte was the first African-American woman to serve as visiting professor, LSU Undergraduate School of Education.

When she relocated to Los Angeles in 1973 she described her first teaching assignment in the Special Education Department at Drew Junior High as one of the most rewarding of her life.

Successful promotional examinations led to her service as head counselor, Edison Junior High; assistant principal, Francis Polytechnic High School and in 1984 LaMotte was appointed principal of Horace Mann Junior High School. The tremendous improvement in students’ academic performance and social behavior was featured on several television programs including the Tom Brokaw NBC Nightly News.

In 1988 LaMotte was promoted to director of secondary instruction in Administrative Region C. She also served Region C as administrator of operations. With the District’s reconfiguration in 1991, she requested to return back to the schools, “back to the real action working directly with and positively changing the lives of the students.” She was assigned as principal of Washington Preparatory High School.

Under LaMotte’s direction Wash­ington Prep received Out­standing Accreditation Review by WASC for a maximum 6-year period. LaMotte credited the school’s staff with developing and producing an innovative school-wide study skills program which provides each student with a focused 2-day exposure to the basic study skills needed to be successful and productive. In addition the implementation of standards-based lessons, a continuing effort of all departments, placed Washington in the forefront with common lesson plans for curriculum mapping. LaMotte’s staff considered her the “founder” of the Theater Arts Academy at Wash­ington Prepara­tory High School.

lamotte-boardThe former teacher, counselor and principal was elected to serve District 1 of the LAUSD Board of Education in 2003. She was re-elected in 2007 and 2011. LaMotte represented a geographically and ethnically diverse area, including Palms, Mid-City, Baldwin Hills, Pico Union, Jefferson Park, Vermont Knolls, Gramercy Park, Exposition Park, North University Park, Gardena and much more.

She was a fighter on the Board of Education and often was forced to stand-alone among board members. She has left impossibly big shoes to fill, and not just because she stood a tall 6 feet, but because her commitment to quality education for all kids, equal opportunity and her unforgettably warm spirit was so passionately felt by so many.

(Excerpted and adapted from the LA Watts Times article)

Services for Marguerite Poindexter LaMotte

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Lying in Repose

Visitation Hours – Noon to 5 p.m.

Angelus Funeral Home 3875 S. Crenshaw Boulevard Los Angeles, CA 90008

Friday, December 20, 2013

Lying in Repose

Visitation Hours – 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Angelus Funeral Home 3875 S. Crenshaw Boulevard Los Angeles, CA 90008

Saturday, December 21, 2013 – 9 a.m.

Celebration of Life Services (for family and close friends)

Limited seating available

St. Brigid Catholic Church 5214 S. Western Avenue Los Angeles, CA 90062

Interment  – Immediately following services

Holy Cross Cemetery 5835 W. Slauson Avenue Culver City, CA 90230

Saturday, January 18, 2014 – 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.

Washington Prep School 10860 Denker Ave Los Angeles, CA 90047


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