In a break with school district tradition, Assistant Principal Norman Isaacs of Millikan Middle School was named the new principal of the Sherman Oaks school Tuesday night.
District officials, who had previously said that such an in-school promotion was unlikely, bowed to vocal parents who have spent weeks lobbying on Isaacs' behalf with a petition drive and repeated phone calls.
"I'm really happy," said Isaacs, 51, who had admitted to feeling overlooked during his 11 years at the 1,500-student campus. "I've tried to be patient, and it's finally paid off."
Parents had expressed frustration at the frequent leadership changes at the campus, which has had four principals in the past six years. Since principal Gladi Adams retired in 1989, three others have left Millikan after serving less than a year and a half. Two retired and a third was promoted to a district post.
"I feel elated because people are being heard," said Bobbie Shaw Chance, a parents who was one of Isaacs' strongest supporters.
"Everybody is going to win from this," she said. "The kids get great leadership. Dr. Isaacs gets the position he's entitled to. And the politicians look good because they're doing the right thing."
District officials had called an in-school promotion unlikely, saying they were reluctant to keep an administrator at one school for an extended period and that other candidates are also deserving of becoming a principal.
A similar petition drive backing Isaacs in 1993 failed to win the post for him.