From her Obituary: “Marguerite was the baby of a family of seven children born to Leon and Amy Poindexter of New Orleans, LA. She flourished in a segregated Louisiana school system and graduated from Xavier Preparatory High School and the YMCA Business College in New Orleans. At age 18 she was appointed Director of Spaulding Business College in Baton Rouge. She took classes on a part-time basis at Southern University and was awarded the BA degree in Education, Summa Cum Laude in 1961. She completed her Master of Education Degree in 1965 from Louisiana State University. She was the first African-American woman to serve as Visiting Professor LSU Undergraduate School of Education.”
Ms. LaMotte arrived in Los Angeles in 1973 and began working at Drew Junior High where her passionate focus on turning failing students around to scholastic success put her on the promotional fast track. By 1991 she was Principal at Washington Preparatory High.
From her website: “Under her direction, Washington Prep received an Outstanding Accreditation Review by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges for a maximum 6-year period. She credits staff with developing an innovative Study Skills Program for school-wide success. In addition a standards-based lesson guide was produced, which placed Washington Prep in the forefront of schools using common lesson plans and curriculum mapping.“
In 2003 Ms. LaMotte was elected to the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) to represent District 1 where she became a staunch supporter of the teacher’s union and public schools and a critic of the growing Charter School movement.
“LaMotte, whose death was reported by The Times on Thursday afternoon, will be missed as a fierce champion of directing more resources to the largely black and Latino students within the district she represented. She understood the community well, though she differed sharply with the reform movement about the best ways to help that community.” - Karin Klein from the OP-Ed of the Los Angeles Times.
LaMotte served as President of the Los Angeles Council of Black Administrators (COBA); President of the L.A. Chapter of Southern University Alumni, Los Angeles Chapter; President of the Assault on Illiteracy Program and as a volunteer and member of numerous community and civic organizations. She was an active member of her church and leaves behind two children and four grandchildren.
Established in August of 2008 by writer, artist Dianne V. Lawrence, The Neighborhood News covers the events, people, history, politics and historic architecture of communities throughout the Mid-City and West Adams area in Los Angeles Council District 10.