LAUSD Superintendent Austin Beutner at Napa Elementary School. (Photo by Melissa Barales-Lopez)


A day alongside Superintendent Beutner

Napa Elementary School, 7:22 a.m. On his first day on the job, Los Angeles Unified School District superintendent Austin Beutner displayed an evident eagerness to learn. Asking questions that ranged from attendance rates to academic achievement to potential career options for young elementary students, Beutner gained a real life, comprehensive understanding of one of the…
<a href="" target="_self">Melissa Barales-Lopez</a>

Melissa Barales-Lopez

May 15, 2018

Napa Elementary School, 7:22 a.m.

On his first day on the job, Los Angeles Unified School District superintendent Austin Beutner displayed an evident eagerness to learn. Asking questions that ranged from attendance rates to academic achievement to potential career options for young elementary students, Beutner gained a real life, comprehensive understanding of one of the hundreds of schools inside the LAUSD district. Taking part in “breakfast in the classroom” inside of one Napa’s classrooms, Beutner actively engaged the young students in conversation about their favorite subjects, their dreams for the future, and their interest in learning. Inquisitive and reflective, Beutner has yet to state his plans for academic performance reform or additional educational campaigns during his tenure as superintendent but the day is still young.

Students led Beutner through an automotive monitoring system at Van Nuys High School. (Photo by Melissa Barales-Lopez)

Van Nuys High School, 9:23 a.m.

A warm welcome was in store for superintendent Beutner in Van Nuys as leading students in the JROTC, journalism and academic decathlon programs showcased their statewide and national achievements. Beutner received an exclusive look at Van Nuys’ automotive program, where teacher Joe Agruso proudly exhibited both his students and curriculum. Taking great pride in their various extracurricular programs, Van Nuys students and teachers alike collectively called for increased staff support and recognition, a call they hope new LAUSD superintendent Beutner can answer.


Cortines School of the Visual and Performing Arts, 10:47 a.m.

A unique LAUSD school for its sponsorship of the arts, VAPA was superintendent Beutner’s next school stop on his first day on the job. Students hosted dance recitals, showcased amazing artwork, and displayed their crafty pottery work to superintendent Beutner, an evident champion of the arts. With words of encouragement, he insisted that a group of students perform an impromptu video presentation, further highlighting  his support – and love – of the creative spirit and artistic ingenuity found inside so many LAUSD schools.


Maywood Academy for Enriched Studies School, 11:36 a.m.

Classroom visits, lunch line waiting and math tutoring defined the superintendent’s visit of Maywood Academy, the newest school in the LAUSD district. Enjoying a tasty meatball sub, Beutner sat alongside sixth grade students and took note of improvements that could be made. Suggestions included more enrichment program, more diversity in lunch menus, and increased campus supervision. Beutner further interacted with students and parents alike, taking photos with parent volunteers in Maywood’s lunch courtyard while simultaneously enjoying his wholesome lunch. Indeed, Beutner actively noted places for improvement while still connecting with the students around him.

Maywood students sit down to lunch with Beutner. (Photo by Melissa Barales-Lopez)

Boys Academic Leadership Academy, 12:52 p.m.

LAUSD’s new superintendent, Austin Beutner, was introduced to school pride and childhood ambition at Boys Academic Leadership Academy. Disclosing his desire to serve and provide everyone “the same opportunity”, Beutner invited the young male students to shout out their future goals, and answers ranged from “NBA player” to “doctor” to “architect”. Yet, all LAUSD students expressed a similar desire to help and improve their surrounding community, a mentality that aligns perfectly with the new superintendent’s ultimate mission.

Students at Boys Academic Leadership Academy meet with Beutner. (Photo by Melissa Barales-Lopez)

Grand View Boulevard Elementary School, 2:03 p.m.

Students walk Beutner through a science experiment. (Photo by Melissa Barales-Lopez)

An academic jewel of LAUSD, Grand View Boulevard Elementary School boasts the longest-running dual language program in all of the district, with over 25 years of dual language instruction. Superintendent Beutner immersed himself in one the school’s model multilingual 5th grade classes and proceeded to witness the unique learning style characteristic of the program. Welcoming Beutner in Spanish and English, students easily conversed with each other, illustrating an adequate level of understanding in both languages. Further still, superintendent Beutner witnessed an atypical, yet exemplary, form of teaching, a form indicative of LAUSD’s willingness to experiment with learning styles.

Narbonne High School, 3:05 p.m.

Superintendent Beutner took to the field to hit a couple of balls with Narbonne’s varsity baseball team. With a mix of hits and misses, Beutner’s success making contact with the baseball might be reflective of his future success as LAUSD superintendent. Moreover, Beutner later moved to the track to converse with Narbonne’s award-winning track and field team. Celebrating the team member’s athletic accomplishments, Beutner observed the presenting of league medals to the participating students. In praise of athletic ability, Beutner clapped for the talented, young students of LAUSD.

Beutner meets with the Narbonne baseball team. (Photo by Melissa Barales-Lopez)

Carnegie Middle School, 4:03 p.m.

Beutner poses with Carnegie Middle School’s Beyond the Bell students. (Photo by Melissa Barales-Lopez)

Visiting LAUSD’s after school program, Beyond the Bell, at Carnegie Middle School, superintendent Beutner observed the varying and numerous services the free program has to offer. From an informal dance performance to timed relay races to arts and crafts, Beutner directly witnessed the integral role Beyond the Bell plays on the daily lives of LAUSD students. Gifted with a paper mâché flower, made by Carnegie’s Beyond the Bell students, Beutner displayed appreciation – and a note-worthy smile – for the enrichment program.

Maxine Waters Employment Prep Center, 4:56 p.m.

Beutner speaks with Maxine Waters Employment Prep Center’s principal, Anna Madrid. (Photo by Melissa Barales-Lopez)

Beutner’s penultimate LAUSD school visit was an adult education center in the middle of south Los Angeles. Providing a plethora of services and classes to adult students, both student body representatives and administration warmly greeted the new superintendent and proudly showcased their stellar career and technical education program. A second opportunity for LAUSD students, Maxine Waters Employment Prep Center has seen its fair share of budget cuts in the past decade. Students and staff alike hope Beutner can address and mitigate this LAUSD financial issue.

Garfield High School, 6:05 p.m. 

Garfield High School: On his final stop, LAUSD superintendent, Austin Beutner, visited the “heart of East LA”, Garfield High School. Built on collaboration and student engagement, Garfield High School perfectly embodies the spirit of LAUSD, and served as a fitting capstone to Beutner’s first day. Welcoming Garfield’s class of 2022, Beutner related his first-day experience to that of the incoming students and further expressed his excitement for the years ahead. Signaling farewell to the Garfield student community, Beutner marked the beginning of a new chapter for over 600,000 LAUSD students.

Superintendent Beutner is joined by board member, Monica Garcia, local district east superintendent, Jose Huerta, and Garfield students on his final stop of the day. (Photo by Melissa Barales-Lopez)

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