PUSD Young Musicians Shine at Festivals

Pasadena Unified All District Music Festival showcased performances by middle and high school musicians.

The two-day All-District Secondary Music Festivals brought together more than 1,000 6-12th grade students in bands, orchestras, and choirs from schools across the district recently. Demonstrating that performing and visual arts education is thriving in Pasadena, students awed audiences with their talent and creativity. Performances were conducted by Pasadena Unified School District music teachers and staff, with Lauren Buckley of the Pasadena Master Chorale serving as guest conductor.

Lauren Buckley of the Pasadena Master Chorale was guest conductor of
Pasadena Unified All-District Choral Festival.

Behind-the-Scenes Tours of Huntington Gardens

Kids at the Huntington Gardens

Pasadena Unified School District 2nd-graders are getting special behind-the-scenes access to orchards, nurseries and other areas of the Huntington Library and its gardens. Thanks to a unique partnership between the Huntington and the district’s Farm to School program, 2nd-grade field trips this spring focus on the seed-to-table cycle that is part of the district’s garden curriculum. The field trips bring to life classroom lessons on plant life cycles and the cultivation and harvesting of food. Students learn about edible gardens, herbs, orchards, and the connection between the land and farming.
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Marshall Seniors Picked as Scholar Candidates

Benjamin Burnette and Christian Tran, both seniors at Marshall Fundamental Secondary School, have been chosen as candidates for the 2017 U.S. Presidential Scholars program. Established in 1964, the program recognizes and honors some of the nation’s most distinguished graduating high school seniors. The program recognizes exceptional academic achievement, talent in the visual, creative and performing arts, and accomplishment in career and technical education fields. Each year, up to 161 students are named as Presidential Scholars, one of the nation’s highest honors for high school students. Semifinalists will be named in April, with finalists honored with medals at a recognition ceremony in Washington, D.C.

Taper Foundation Awards $50K Grant to Frostig

The S. Mark Taper Foundation awarded a $50,000 grant to Frostig Center to support its work to improve the lives of children and youth who have learning differences.
The Frostig Center operates a school that enrolls 125 students in grades 1-12 who have learning differences, such as dyslexia, ADHD and high-functioning autism. It also trains hundreds of public, private and parochial schoolteachers to better serve the struggling learner.
“The generous grant from the S. Mark Taper Foundation will help us help the children and teenagers who battle every day to overcome their learning challenges,” said Frostig Executive Director Dean Conklin. “I am grateful and proud that the foundation has chosen to partner with the Frostig Center.”
The Frostig Center is at 971 N. Altadena Drive, Pasadena; (626) 791-1255.

Poly Winter Formal

Photo by Carin Yates / OUTLOOK
Robyn Lee, Jesse Clem, Sophia Terrile, Claire Gershon and Gwen Hashimoto were among the Polytechnic School students who enjoyed a night of dancing at the school’s Winter Formal. See additional photos, page 21.

Mayfield Senior School Annual Benefit is March 4

Photo courtesy Mayfield Senior School
Mayfield Senior School volunteers preparing for the school’s annual benefit on March 4 include (front row, from left) Andrea Zaninovich Bland, Becky Sarni, Chelisa Vagim and Cheryl Smith. Back: Ruth Pasqualetto, Laurie Yockey, Rebecca Pottmeyer Reed, Ana Raptis, Karen Enzminger and Lisa Weithas.

Mayfield Senior School will be transformed into a Moroccan Marrakesh on Saturday evening, March 4, as hundreds gather for the school’s annual benefit. This mystical event will feature entertainment, dancing, auctions and more. The benefit is spearheaded by Chelisa Vagim, chair; Becky Sarni and Ruth Pasqualetto, auction chairs; Laurie Yockey and Andrea Zaninovich Bland, advertising chairs; Cheryl Smith, Rebecca Pottmeyer Reed and Lisa Weithas, decoration chairs.

Friends in Deed the Big Winner in High Point’s ‘Souper Bowl’

Nathan Edgar catches the attention of drivers as they pull up to the car line.

High Point Academy’s 3rd-graders served souped-up signs at the school’s car line recently to kick off their traditional “Souper Bowl” competition. Enthusiastic participants donated cans of hearty soups in the names of their favorite Super Bowl teams as they pulled up to the school. The 3rd-graders manned tables decorated with team banners for the Patriots and the Falcons. By the end of the morning, students had collected 47 cans in the name of the Patriots and 99 in the name of the Falcons.
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Poly Students Named in Presidential Scholar Program

Shalini Maya Haupt and Gwendolyn Hashimoto were named candidates in the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program.

Polytechnic School seniors Shalini Maya Haupt and Gwendolyn Hashimoto, have been named among 4,000 candidates in the 2017 U.S. Presidential Scholars Program. The candidates were selected from nearly 3.5 million students expected to graduate from U.S. high schools this year.
Scholars are selected on the basis of superior academic and artistic achievements, leadership qualities, strong character and involvement in community and school activities.
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Assistance League Celebrates VIP Middle Schoolers

Photo courtesy Ellen Close
Assistance League of Pasadena’s Very Important Performers include (in alphabetical order) Mark Araniva Ja’Von Black, James Canada (not pictured), Rosalie Cantero (not pictured), Kaiah Catanese, Hazelle Cortez, Kala Crenshaw, Josiah Cox, Maeiko Dorsey, Yasindu Gunawardena, Bernardo Huizar, Jasmine Martinez, Da’Mesha Moore, Thomas Pico, Justin Ramirez, Michelle Rodriguez-Badillo and Alfonso Sanchez, Ketsy Herrera Sanchez, Kassandra Serna, Joshua Tucker and Lily Valdez. ALP representatives are Michelle Chino, left, and Lorraine Schield.

Middle school students from Pasadena Unified School District schools were recently recognized for their achievements by the Assistance League of Pasadena at the “Very Important Performers” celebration. Each of the seven middle schools selected three students who demonstrated dramatic improvements in academics, attendance and citizenship. The goal of the VIP award is to provide encouragement to students who have chosen to get the most out of their middle school experience.
To learn more about the VIP program or Assistance League of Pasadena, visit pasadena.assistanceleague.org.

New Graduation Requirements at PUSD

To prepare Pasadena Unified high school students to excel in college and life, graduation requirements have changed and now include a senior year portfolio and 40 hours of community service or work-based learning.
Beginning with the class of 2019, all PUSD students must complete three requirements to graduate with a high school diploma:

1. 220 credits of coursework
2. 40 hours of community service or work-based learning
3. A graduate portfolio and defense

PUSD’s Parent University is offering informational sessions:

  •  Friday, Feb. 24, 10-11:30 a.m., Pasadena High School, 2925 E. Sierra Madre Blvd.
  •  Monday, Feb. 27, 6:30–8 p.m., Pasadena High School
  • Thursday, March 9, 6-7:30 p.m., Marshall Fundamental
    Secondary School, 990 N. Allen Ave.
  • Wednesday, March 15, 6-7:30 p.m., John Muir High School, 1905 N. Lincoln Ave.
  • Monday, April 24, 6-7:30 p.m., Blair School, 1201 S. Marengo Ave.