Kent Taylor, superintendent of education in southern Kern County, was selected Wednesday to lead the Inglewood school district — the first major move by the state after its takeover of the financially troubled district.
Before his Kern County stint, Taylor worked as a teacher, principal, administrator and school board member in several Southern California districts, mostly in the San Bernardino area. He grew up in Inglewood and graduated from Inglewood High in 1982, facts he emphasized repeatedly during a Wednesday news conference.
The appointment is about "coming back to the community that I love, the community that produced me," he said, recalling several teachers who mentored him as a youngster. "This is a great district, a wonderful district, and we have great things happening here.... Do we need to figure out some fiscal things? Yes, we do. But I'm the guy who is going to come and work with everyone and listen to everyone.... We're going to continue to move forward."
The state took over in September, when Gov. Jerry Brown approved legislation granting $55 million in emergency loans to help the roughly 14,000-student district pay its bills. State control will continue until the district's finances solidify, a process that will probably take two to six years, according to state Supt. of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson.