Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent Michelle King in the classroom. Photo: Los Angeles Unified School District

Los Angeles schools Superintendent Michelle King is recuperating from surgery and has appointed a subordinate to run the school system in her stead.

She told senior staff in an email over the weekend that Associate Superintendent Vivian Ekchian would serve as acting superintendent “for the remainder of my absence,” the Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday.

The district has not discussed King’s medical problems, but some insiders said she injured herself in an accident while on vacation with her family, according to The Times. Whatever the details, she was apparently suffering from severe leg pain, which ultimately required surgery, district sources told the newspaper.

King, 56, had begun using a cane at work and then just stayed at home, directing the district via phone and email. The Times reported.

She hasn’t attended a board meeting since Sept. 12, the district confirmed. Her last day in the office was Sept. 15, and when she’ll return is not clear.

“Unexpectedly, my doctor informed me that I am not yet released to return to work, due to my continued need to recover from my medical procedure,” King wrote to her senior staff, according to The Times. “The doctor will reassess my progress at the end of this month.”

King, who attended L.A. Unified schools, became superintendent in January 2016, having worked for the district for three decades, starting as a teacher. She is the first African American woman to hold the superintendent’s job.

—City News Service

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