FOUNDER: Girls Academic Leadership Academy was founded by Dr. Elizabeth Hicks, the lead writer on the GALA school design, which was unanimously approved by the LAUSD Board of Education. She fought to bring an all-girls PUBLIC school model to LAUSD for over 3 years and her passion for providing a world class STEM education for girls led her to the creation of GALA.
WHY GALA?: In 2012, GALA was just a vision - a dream to provide an outstanding college preparatory education for exceptional young women regardless of their economic circumstances - an all-girls public school. Today, GALA girls have the opportunity to not only become trailblazers in the STEM fields, but also to develop into self-confident young women and strong leaders in any field they wish to pursue. The all-girls environment fosters academic excellence and intellectual curiosity.
In LAUSD, girls in elementary school score better in math and science than the male students. In middle school, the scores in the STEM fields go down for girls. In High school, the AP calculus, chemistry, physics classes are primarily made up of boys. Ms. Hicks wanted to provide a school that insures all girls are supported and nurtured to be successful in these courses. The research also shows that girls excel in collaborative and cooperative environments and GALA encourages and gears learning toward collaborative ideas.
April 14, 2015: LAUSD School Board approves GALA.
May, 2016: GALA offices opened on the LA High Campus
August 10, 11, 12: GALA's first New Student Orientation
August 12, 2016: GALA's Opening Day Ribbon Cutting Celebration and Press Day
August 16, 2016: GALA's First Instructional Day (6th & 9th Grades)
August 15, 2017: GALA's 2nd Year Begins (6th, 7th, 9th, 10th Grades)
March 13, 2018: GALA added to its name to honor former superintendent, Michelle King. The school board approved the name officially as - Girls Academic Leadership Academy: Michelle King School of Science Technology, Engineering, and Math
May 14, 2018: GALA receives 3-year WASC accreditation, the top number for a start-up school.
August 14, 2018: GALA's 3rd Year Begins (6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th Grades)
August 20, 2019: GALA is full SPAN (6th-12th Grades)
June 2020: GALA's first 9th-12th grade graduating class
June 2023: GALA's first 6th-12th grade graduating class
GRAND OPENING CELEBRATION, RIBBON CUTTING, AND PRESS DAY
On August 12, 2016, 500 people gathered to celebrate the Opening of GALA. Guests included: LAUSD administrators, school board members, educators, community leaders, staff, parents, students, friends, family, and the Press.
Opening Day Speakers:
Liz Hicks, Principal
Michelle King, LAUSD Superintendent
Holly Mitchell, Senator, 30th District
Dr. George McKenna III, LAUSD Board Member, District 1
Steve Zimmer, President of LAUSD Board
Cheryl Hildreth, Local District West Superintendent
Sebastian Ridley Thomas, Assembly Member, District 54
Dr. Ann McElaney-Johnson, Mount Saint Mary's University
Amy Elanie Wakeland, First Lady of Los Angeles
GALA was created with the support, mentorship, and trust of hundreds of people: political leaders, LAUSD administrators, the School Board, city officials, community members, friends, teachers, parents, and the GALA girls - all of whom came together to make the GALA dream a reality.
GALA CAMPUS TRANSFORMATION
GALA was transformed over the course of a year thanks to LAUSD, staff, parents, students, and our generous corporate and community sponsors. As we grow, we continue to make improvements to our campus so check back for more GALA campus pictures.