Third Street Principal Daniel Kim moves to new job with LAUSD

| October 27, 2022 | 0 Comments

Principal Daniel Kim, who has helmed Third Street Elementary School for the past six years, moved to an upper level administration position within the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) in mid-September. Helen Lee, former assistant principal, assumed his position as principal on Sept. 19.

Third Street Elementary, Hancock Park’s LAUSD neighborhood school situated at June and Third Streets, has been an institution in the neighborhood for years. The school will celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2024. Storied principals, including Suzie Oh, have been fixtures among the community; Mr. Kim was no exception.

PRINCIPAL KIM high-fives students at school.

Arrived in 2016
Beginning his tenure in 2016, Kim came to the position of principal with a background as an educator. His philosophy from day one was to “instill within children a love for learning and a love for one another.” The mantra was well received by a tight-knit community of families and staff, and Kim found the group welcoming and supportive. “I felt blessed to be joining such a distinguished and dynamic community and felt fortunate that I could add to its already incredible legacy,” said Kim.

New programs
Over the course of his six-year term, Kim oversaw many changes and helped implement a myriad of programs. Highlights include: increased enrollment (during a time when LAUSD has seen declining enrollment); 85.5 percent of students meeting or exceeding standards on the SBAC (Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium) tests, making Third Street one of the highest academically performing schools in LAUSD; the addition of a gifted magnet program for grades three through five; and Third Street becoming one of the first schools in LAUSD to pilot the “Making Caring Common” program conceived by Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education (about which KTLA ran a segment).


Pandemic response
Perhaps the most indelible moment for Kim (and everyone else) over the past few years was the COVID-19 pandemic. The disturbance wreaked havoc on the school system at large, but Kim felt proud of Third Street’s response under his leadership.

“COVID-19 upended the way we were accustomed to educating our children,” Kim said, “but it also forced us to adapt, and I’m proud of the way our teachers reinvented themselves and their methods to support and engage our students through distance learning.” He went on to say, “I’m equally proud of our families for the way they came together and blessed our school with their grace, patience and support.”

The school will miss Kim, especially on school spirit days, noted one parent.

“Mr. Kim was always game to get in on the action during our school spirit days and fundraiser events,” said Liz Budd, a Third Street mom and School Spirit Chair on the PTA. “He’s been drenched by more than a few water balloons all in the name of good fun or raising money for the school.”

By Ren Stoppani Brown
5th Grade

Happy fall from Third Street School! Anyone interested in enrolling their kids in Third Street can come to a Prospective Parent Orientation and Tour on Fri., Nov. 4, at 9:15 a.m. Meet in the auditorium, take a tour of the school and get all questions answered. All visitors must be registered at:

The 5th grade just came back from a wonderful three-day field trip to Point Fermin Outdoor Education Center. We hiked, went to the aquarium, hung out with friends and saw amazing views. The counselors were fun and funny. In spring of next year, there will be another field trip to AstroCamp.

The big news at Third Street is that we have a new principal, Helen Lee. She had been the assistant principal at Third Street. I wanted to know her better, so I asked her some questions.

Interview with Helen Lee
Q: What do you like about Third Street School?
A: I love everything about Third Street: the parents, amazing teachers and staff, and great kids. Without their help, I couldn’t run the school. This is my second home where I spend most of my time.
Q: What are some ideas that you want to work on?
A: I want to continue working on providing professional development to teachers to improve instruction: Cognitive Guided Instruction (CGI), Writer’s Workshop and Making Caring Common (MCC). MCC is a program for teachers to teach and guide students to be more kind to each other and to be responsible for their actions. In addition, I’m also working on improving attendance and recognizing, on a monthly basis, those who make the effort to come to school.
Q: Do you want to change anything about Third Street School?
A: For a long-term goal, I want to work on the beautification of the library: new paint and carpet, new furniture, and books. My wish is to align it in time for Third Street School’s 100th anniversary in 2024.

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