Superintendent Sinnette’s Contract Extended 4 Years

Likening her to basketball great Michael Jordan, the five members of the La Cañada Unified School District Governing Board heaped praise on Superintendent Wendy Sinnette at Tuesday’s meeting before voting unanimously to extend her contract for four years.
She is to earn $255,800 annually through July 31, 2021.
Previously, the board agreed to increase Sinnette’s minimum annual base salary from $185,000 to $225,800 for the 2015-16 school year, $240,800 in 2016-17 and $250,800 for 2017-18. Her base salary when she took over for retiring Superintendent Jim Stratton in 2011 was $161,000.
“Wendy continues to deliver an exceptional level of leadership,” board member Ellen Multari said. “There isn’t a day that goes by when your core values don’t shine through — your mantra, ‘What’s best for the students?’ is just emblazoned in my mind.”
Continue reading “Superintendent Sinnette’s Contract Extended 4 Years”

Talented Spartans Seek First League Championship Since 2012

Photo courtesy Eric Danielson
La Cañada has a depth it has not had in years, making the Spartans one of the top contenders for the Rio Hondo League title.

In his third year at the helm of the La Cañada High School varsity girls’ volleyball program, head coach Chris Sullivan has the kind of team any coach would envision.
“We returned 11 players from last year’s team, so that really helps,” said Sullivan. “The experience they gained last year was definitely valuable. We have a lot of depth, and I’m really excited about this season. We’ve had some great wins so far. We’re already leaps and bounds better than when we started in the summer.”
Sullivan returns nearly every player and has the perfect balance of experience and young talent with a roster that includes five seniors, three juniors, six sophomores and two freshmen.
The best part of about this team is that players are interchangeable. Sullivan has never had this kind of depth before, and he said he was confident in playing anyone on the roster.
Continue reading “Talented Spartans Seek First League Championship Since 2012”

Flintridge Prep Scraps Parking Lot Plan After Neighborhood Chats

At an informal, amicable meeting with a few neighbors last week, Flintridge Prep indicated that it planned to exclude the proposed 40,000-square foot parking structure from its campus improvement plans, which were re-submitted to the city this week without that parking structure.
The two-story parking garage was the most significant of the plan’s modifications, several of which were presented to the seven neighbors who showed up to chat with Headmaster Peter Bachmann and architects on the evening of Wednesday, Aug. 23, in the school’s Norris Auditorium.
It was the third and final such dialogue hosted by Prep, conversations that stemmed from an hours-long Planning Commission meeting on June 27. Residents packed the council chambers that night and stayed past midnight sharing concerns about the school’s proposal, which initially included construction of 62,790-square feet of new floor area over a 10-year period.
Commission Chair Rick Gunter ended that meeting by suggesting the private school invite neighbors over to talk about those issues. So Flintridge Prep did.
Although only seven residents showed up to each of the meetings — including a couple of people who attended each one — those who participated found them productive.
Continue reading “Flintridge Prep Scraps Parking Lot Plan After Neighborhood Chats”

Experts Give Tips on Avoiding Sports Injuries at USC-VHH

Photo by Mirjam Swanson / OUTLOOK
Dr. Alexander Weber, a sports medicine specialist with the Keck School of Medicine of USC, offers insight on hip and knee injuries to coaches, trainers and athletic directors at Saturday’s inaugural Coaches Clinic at USC Verdugo Hills Hospital.

In a wide-ranging, rapid-fire study session, coaches, trainers and administrators attending USC Verdugo Hills’ first annual Coaches Clinic on Saturday learned tips and tactics for keeping their athletes healthy.
A diverse, attentive audience of about 30 — including representatives from La Cañada High School and Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy — listened to nine experts give presentations jam-packed with good advice, healthy reminders and new information about the latest research.
It was the latest community outreach effort from USC-VHH, which also has offered free seminars about men’s health, aging and suicide.
“We have a commitment to meet the varied health needs of the community we serve,” USC-VHH CEO Keith Hobbs said.
Continue reading “Experts Give Tips on Avoiding Sports Injuries at USC-VHH”

Lighted Window Preschool Hosts Sensory Integration

Lighted Window Preschool is hosting a parent talk series about sensory integration and how it can impact behavior on Sept. 12 at 6:30 p.m. at the preschool.
The discussion, led by occupational therapist Jamie Chaves, will address what sensory integration is and how it can impact emotional regulation and development.
“Sensory information pervades our lives; how our clothes feel, what the air smells like, what the radio is playing, how we navigate a busy room, how we sit upright in a chair, what our food tastes like, how bright the sun seems … to name a few. How do our brains make sense of this constant bombardment of information?” LWP said in its statement. “Discovering the answers to these questions will open a world of understanding for your child and his/her behaviors so you can support your child in the best way possible.”
The discussion costs $20 to the general public, $10 to LWP alumni and is free to LWP families. Tickets may be purchased at LWP is located at 1200 Foothill Blvd.

LCUSD Assistant Superintendent Departs for Ventura

Jeff Davis

La Cañada Unified School District will lose its assistant superintendent of human resources when Jeff Davis starts a new job with the Ventura County School District next month.
Beginning Sept. 1, Davis will serve as the assistant superintendent of certificated human resources with the much larger district whose student population exceeds 17,000. Davis, who lives in Thousand Oaks, also will cut his current hourlong commute in half.
During his two years with LCSUD, Davis helped broker a hard-fought deal with the La Cañada Teachers Association. During the 2015-16 school year, Davis was at the table for 90-plus hours of negotiations before the district and LCTA reached an agreement that sufficiently closed the gap between the compensation earned by LCUSD’s teachers and those at similar high-performing districts.
Continue reading “LCUSD Assistant Superintendent Departs for Ventura”

Solar Eclipse Dazes Young Gazers

Through freshman George Kamar’s pair of special safety glasses, Monday’s solar eclipse looked “a little like Pac-Man.”
It reminded senior Anthony Khalil of “a doughnut about to be eaten.”

Seventh-grader Irina Penanen described it as “the sun, with a slice out of it.”
In sync with campuses across the nation, students at La Cañada High School covered their eyes with “eclipse glasses” — 250 of which were donated by Jet Propulsion Laboratory — and peered skyward as the morning cooled slightly and its light gradually dimmed as the moon’s shadow grew on the Earth.

Freshman George Kamar said Monday’s solar eclipse looked “like Pac-Man.”

Continue reading “Solar Eclipse Dazes Young Gazers”

Website Gives LCUSD Schools ‘A+’ in Academics; ‘C’ in Food

How successful are La Cañada Unified School District’s schools? Let count the ways.


The website that publishes K-12 annual rankings again listed LCUSD among the top in many categories in its most recent survey data, which seeks to quantify academic and student life by using information from the U.S. Department of Education along with test scores, college data and ratings collected from Niche users.
As a district, LCUSD ranks 182nd out of 10,574 districts in America and is No. 3 of 59 districts in L.A. County, according to Niche.
Continue reading “Website Gives LCUSD Schools ‘A+’ in Academics; ‘C’ in Food”

Five Candidates File to Run for School Board

Five candidates filed paperwork before Wednesday’s deadline to run for the three La Cañada Unified School District seats that will be open in the Nov. 7 election.
The candidates include newcomers Joshua Gottheim, Joe Radabaugh and Christopher Salvo, as well as incumbents Dan Jeffries and Kaitzer Puglia. Current board member David Sagal said he did not plan to run for a second term at a meeting last month.
Gottheim, a land use attorney, filed papers with the L.A. County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk on Wednesday, as did Salvo, an aerospace engineering manager. Radabaugh, who is currently on the La Cañada Flintridge Educational Foundation’s board, filed Tuesday.
Jeffries, a prosecutor with the L.A. City Attorney’s office and the board’s current president, is finishing his first, four-year term, as is Puglia. A professor at Pasadena City College, she is currently the board’s vice president.

Kiwanis Continues to Support LCUSD

The Kiwanis Club of La Cañada hosted representatives of the La Cañada Unified School District last week at lunch, where 19 new teachers and three new administrators were introduced at the service club’s annual “Apple for the Teacher” event.
Keeping with the Kiwanis international motto, “serving the children of the world,” the club not only offered new hires a warm welcome but handed over a $1,500 check to help fund scholarships for the annual 5th-grade trip to Pennsylvania’s Valley Forge.

Kiwanis Club President Mike Leininger hands a check to Paradise Canyon Elementary School Principal Debra Cradduck, Paradise Canyon Elementary’s Karen Hurley and La Cañada Elementary’s Emily Blaney during last week’s “Apple for the Teacher” luncheon at Descanso Gardens. The club’s $1,500 donation will help support the district’s annual Valley Forge trip.

Continue reading “Kiwanis Continues to Support LCUSD”