The official start of the 2013 CA. School Board Association’s “Annual Education Conference and Trade Show” began with sad news. Long time educator and veteran member of the Los Angeles Unified School Board (LAUSD), Marguerite Poindexter LaMotte had died while attending the conference. LaMotte has served on the school board since 2003, representing Board District 1 and was serving her third term.
She was a tireless advocate for children, and was vocal on a number of education-related issues, including “equal access for all children” and “education as a civil right.” An experienced educator, she served as a teacher, counselor, principal and administrator with LAUSD for more than 25 years prior to her election. LaMotte earned a B.A. degree from Southern University and a M.Ed. from Louisiana State University, where she was also the first African-American woman to serve as a visiting professor in the undergraduate school of education. She also served as President of the Los Angeles Council of Black Administrators (COBA); Los Angeles Chapter; President of the Assault on Illiteracy Program and a volunteer and member of numerous community and civic organizations.
This writer had the honor and privilege of working with her as Chair of the Black Parent Union, and she opened up her field office for our parent group to meet, as well as Education Is A Civil Right, Western Regional Council on Educating Black Children, Los Angeles County Alliance of Black School Educators, Sankofa Education Alliance, and other education groups. LaMotte was 80 years old, and in her final day of life she was doing what she so passionately loved to do “representing and fighting for her babies” as she would often say.
Education advocates near and far will truly miss her; however she would want those of us still here, to carry on with the mission, to provide education equality for all. Rest in peace Ms. LaMotte, as soldiers we will faithfully continue the mission.