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In annual address, Supt. Deasy tells school leaders to keep calm and teach on

Supt. John Deasy addresses school leaders during the annual LAUSD Administrators' Meeting on Aug. 8, 2013
Supt. John Deasy addresses school leaders during the annual LAUSD Administrators' Meeting on Aug. 8, 2013 .
Jed Kim

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Judging by his annual address to administrators on Thursday, if there's one thing the superintendent of the nation's second-largest school district wants to see next year, it's calm.

"If we focused every second on what would the new tests say, or how are we going to transition from tests that are about to go away to a new testing system, we've missed the boat," John Deasy said to a crowd of  about 1,500 Los Angeles Unified School District principals, assistant principals and district administrators at the Hollywood High School auditorium. 

They were gathered for the Superintendent's Annual Administrator's Meeting, a time when the district's head typically lays out his plans for the upcoming school year. 

Deasy touched briefly on a number of topics that educators would face when school begins next week, including rolling out the new national curriculum called the Common Core. But he was short on details on how he intended to accomplish his long list of goals, which include 100 percent graduation and attendance rates.

He did take a moment to deny reports that he's less than thrilled that the Board of Education selected Richard Vladovic as its president this coming term.

"I and this administration can't wait to work with this Board of Education," Deasy said.

The gathering had a festival atmosphere. Before it started, attendees snacked while listening to jazz performances by district high school students. Inside the auditorium, more musical performances followed. As did a video and speeches by high ranking public officials. 

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti lauded the district's iPad initiative and told the crowd he would work to make broadband Internet connections available to all families.  

"My number one Sacramento priority has nothing to do with city government," Garcetti said. "It has to do with school funding, getting that number to go up every year." 

But the morning's hit speech didn't come from Garcetti or Deasy. It came from Nelson Henriquez, 11, who addressed the audience in English, Spanish and Mandarin. 

“I can speak not one, not two, but three languages," Henriquez said, "because of my studies at City Terrace Elementary Dual language immersion program."