After a difficult search process, a veteran Los Angeles principal who later started a local charter school has been chosen the newest leader of the downtown visual and performing arts high school.
Norman Isaacs, 67, was not the first or second choice of Los Angeles Unified School District officials, but he has long been viewed as a leader within and outside the school system for his role in developing and managing arts programs.
"The challenge was extremely exciting," said Isaacs, who is exiting formal retirement and will set aside his six-hour-a-day workouts for an upcoming triathlon. "I really wanted to make certain this school works. I want to do whatever it takes."
The job of leading the $232-million downtown arts high school, which just started its third year, has proved a revolving door. This summer, a school committee considered more than 30 candidates; its top choices were two educators from outside the system who'd been recruited by billionaire philanthropist Eli Broad.
But Kim Bruno, from New York City, accepted and then changed her mind. Then, last week, Rory Pullens, who heads the performing arts high school in Washington, D.C., did an about face too.