‘Hidden Figures’ Inspires Female STEM Students

Photo courtesy Katelyn Biesiadecki Katelyn Biesiadecki, Taleen Sarkissian, Hannah Chew and Charlotte Strasburg were among the 50 LCHS students who attended a special screening of “Hidden Figures” last week at USC.
Photo courtesy Katelyn Biesiadecki
Katelyn Biesiadecki, Taleen Sarkissian, Hannah Chew and Charlotte Strasburg were among the 50 LCHS students who attended a special screening of “Hidden Figures” last week at USC.

Last week, about 10,000 public high school students from throughout L.A. County — including 50 from La Cañada High School — filled USC’s Galen Center for a history lesson unlike any they’ve ever had before.
They were invited by the L.A. Promise Fund, a nonprofit focused on preparing L.A. students for the future, for a mass screening of “Hidden Figures.”
And almost the entire audience, gathered to watch the movie about African-American women who helped NASA achieve some of its greatest achievements, was female.
“It was like watching a football game,” said Gayle Nichols-Ali, a computer science and visual arts teacher at LCHS. “Your team won every time the girls won.” Continue reading “‘Hidden Figures’ Inspires Female STEM Students”

Speaker Urges Parents to Challenge Success

OUTLOOK photo In her address to La Cañada Unified School District families Tuesday, Denise Pope warned about the problems associated with lack of sleep for high school students.
OUTLOOK photo
In her address to La Cañada Unified School District families Tuesday, Denise Pope warned about the problems associated with lack of sleep for high school students.

Standing before a full La Cañada High School auditorium, Denise Pope asked the parents and teachers to take 20 seconds and write on a piece of paper how they define “success.”
One said happiness. Another said freedom. One said “the ability to sleep at night” and, of course, there was one man who facetiously said “Ferrari,” which elicited laughter.
Pope, a Stanford University researcher, said that in her experience, too many students seriously give the Ferrari answer, equating success with money. She said she believes this is rooted in overvaluing quantitative measures of success and leaving the development of adolescents to the sidelines.
“Success is not a straight line,” she said. “Success is a squiggly path.” Continue reading “Speaker Urges Parents to Challenge Success”

School Campus Improvement Plan Gets Plentiful Feedback

Lindsay Hayward, one of the project designers overseeing the development of La Cañada Unified School District’s building facilities master plan, said she’s never had more early-stage community feedback than on this project.
“Anywhere we left a blank where anyone could fill in an answer, I’ve never received so much input in any district that we’ve worked in,” Hayward told the Governing Board during Tuesday’s meeting. “And it was all fantastic. Whether or not it applied to the question at hand, it was all helpful information.” Continue reading “School Campus Improvement Plan Gets Plentiful Feedback”

LCUSD Board President Upbeat on School Upgrades

OUTLOOK photos In his role as a Governing Board member, Dan Jeffries visited Pam Daniger’s transitional kindergarten class last year. Daniger’s effort teaching Jeffries’ youngest daughter in 2012 inspired him to run for the board, he said.
OUTLOOK photos
In his role as a Governing Board member, Dan Jeffries visited Pam Daniger’s transitional kindergarten class last year. Daniger’s effort teaching Jeffries’ youngest daughter in 2012 inspired him to run for the board, he said.

Dan Jeffries is shy by nature, he says. But he was so inspired by the exceptional effort he witnessed from his children’s teachers that he found himself knocking on strangers’ doors in almost every LCF block during his 2013 campaign for a seat on the La Cañada Unified School District Governing Board.
“Even those families who no longer have kids in the schools know a lot and care a lot about the schools,” said Jeffries, a prosecutor for the city of Los Angeles and the board’s current president. Continue reading “LCUSD Board President Upbeat on School Upgrades”

Former Principal Sues LCUSD for Discrimination

OUTLOOK file photo Christine Castillo, who served as La Cañada Elementary School’s principal from July 2012 until June 2015, is suing the La Cañada Unified School District for pregnancy discrimination.
OUTLOOK file photo
Christine Castillo, who served as La Cañada Elementary School’s principal from July 2012 until June 2015, is suing the La Cañada Unified School District for pregnancy discrimination.

Former La Cañada Elementary School principal Christine Castillo has retained high-profile attorney Mark Geragos and is suing La Cañada Unified School District, alleging sex discrimination as well as intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress.
In a complaint filed Wednesday, Dec. 28, the former principal alleged she was discriminated against, demoted and put on indefinite leave because Superintendent Wendy Sinnette was unhappy that Castillo informed her she was pregnant a month after accepting the principal position in July 2012. Continue reading “Former Principal Sues LCUSD for Discrimination”

LCUSD Board’s Sagal Passes Baton to Jeffries

After a year that included a hard-fought negotiation over teacher salaries and an increased investment in music education, outgoing La Cañada Unified School District Governing Board President David Sagal passed the gavel to Dan Jeffries at Tuesday’s board meeting.
Like Sagal and fellow board member Kaitzer Puglia, Jeffries was elected to the board in 2013. After serving as vice president this past year, his fellow board members unanimously voted to name him president for the first time.
They also unanimously elected Puglia as vice president and tabbed Brent Kuszyk, who joined the board in 2015, as clerk.
LCUSD Superintendent Wendy Sinnette thanked Sagal for his leadership over the past year, when representatives for the district and its teachers spent more than 90 hours at the negotiating table before finally reaching a deal a couple of days before summer vacation. The agreement bumped teachers’ lifetime earnings to third among the five districts with which it was compared during negotiations.
Continue reading “LCUSD Board’s Sagal Passes Baton to Jeffries”