Los Angeles Downtown News
photos from the barricades saveblake.com
Friday, July 23, 2010 4:03 PM PDT -- DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES - About 60 students, parents and teachers affiliated with Central Los Angeles High School No. 9, otherwise known as the High School for Visual and Performing Arts, gathered on July 19 outside the LAUSD headquarters on Beaudry Street to protest the recent removal of principal Suzanne Blake.
In its debut year, the $232 million school had ups and downs. While highlights included some drama students being invited to perform a play in Scotland next year, the school also initially missed a key accreditation from a state group (it later was accredited). Blake will be replaced by Luis Lopez, a move that parents and some teachers decried as political and unfair. “She’s the best boss I’ve ever had,” said Danny McDermott, who teaches technical theater at the school. McDermott credited Blake with fostering an atmosphere and life at the school that students adored. Blake was “very hands on,” said student Josh Bubar, who will be a senior next year. “She brought a lot of enthusiasm to the table at all times. She supported school spirit and things that are important for a newborn school.”