Denzell Perry elected president of Compton school board

By Emilie St. John

Contributing Writer

COMPTON — Denzell Perry has been elected by his colleagues on the Compton school board as the new board president for the next year.

“Assuming the role of president of the Board of Trustees for the Compton Unified School District is more than an honor, it’s a responsibility I embrace with my heart and soul,” Perry said. “For me, it’s about serving as a steadfast beacon for our youth, illuminating their paths towards a future defined not by their circumstances, but by their resilience and ambition. 

“I stand with them, for them, and because of them, committed to fostering an education system that champions potential, cultivates dreams, and cherishes the promise that every student in Compton holds within.”

Board member Micah Ali, who has also served as board president, said he looks forward to Perry excelling in the role as he is also a lifelong Compton resident and understands the unique challenges students face.

“I am excited to witness Denzell Perry’s road to being named president,” Ali said. “He is a lifelong resident of Compton. He is a young Black man built on the firm foundation of this incredible community, a product of our award-winning school district, having graduated from Dominguez High School with honors just a decade ago.

“As the youngest member of the board, he brings a unique perspective and an important relevance when it comes to the student experience. He is a mentor and role model, a living embodiment of the potential that lies within each Compton scholar.”

Board member Satra Zurita is also pleased with the board’s choice for president.

“Denzell [Perry] is passionate about supporting students in Compton and his commitment is solidified by our vote,” Zurita said. “He understands our district as a former student and will bring forth ideas that the board looks forward to supporting.”

When Perry was elected to the school board of Trustees, he was one of the youngest elected Black officials in the state. He will be the youngest person to serve as school board president to serve in the history of the district.

The Compton school board consists of seven members who are elected by districts, To be eligible for election, members must reside in the area in which they are running for election. Voters elect the seven members on a staggered basis, so that every two years voters elect either three or four members.

The board then elects its officers at each July board meeting for a yearly term.

Perry succeeds Charles Davis, who served as board president between 2022 and 2023.

Emilie St. John is a freelance journalist covering the areas of Carson, Compton, Inglewood and Willowbrook. Send tips to her at

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