Titan Marching Band Wins Again

Photo courteys SMHS
Bandmates show off their trophies from Oct. 21, when the San Marino High School Titan Marching Band took first place at the West Ranch Field Tournament, a competition sponsored by the Southern California Schools Band & Orchestra Association. The band competed at 4A-division level against six other Southern California high schools at Valencia High School. Percussion placed third and the Color Guard placed fourth in this highly competitive division. The band will compete next Saturday, Nov. 4, at Los Altos High School in Hacienda Heights. It also will perform its award-winning show “Coexist” at halftime of the last scheduled home game of the football season on Friday, Oct. 27, against Monrovia High School.

SMUSD Retains State Testing Crown

For the third straight year, San Marino Unified School District produced the highest percentage of students meeting or exceeding the state-administered CAASPP, the district announced this week.
With 90% of students meeting or exceeding standards in the English language arts tests and 86% doing so for the math tests, SMUSD’s average of 88% led all unified school districts in California this year. Immediately following were Piedmont Unified School District with an 85% average and La Cañada Unified School District, also with an 85% average. Continue reading “SMUSD Retains State Testing Crown”

HMS Orchestra Story Hits Right Notes on Screen

Photo by Zane Hill / OUTLOOK Georg Eittinger speaks to the audience before the screening of his documentary on Huntington Middle School’s orchestra program.
Photo by Zane Hill / OUTLOOK
Georg Eittinger speaks to the audience before the screening of his documentary on Huntington Middle School’s orchestra program.

Huntington Middle School faculty, students and parents take a lot of pride in their school’s orchestra. That was perfectly reflected by a documentary created and showcased Friday by two enthusiastic parents.
Georg Eittinger, a master violin maker and restorer, and his wife, Ann, spent the better part of the last year shadowing and documenting HMS orchestra students in their classes, concerts and competitions. They screened the finished product, complete with interviews with students, parents and faculty, last week in the courtyard outside of the Hans Weisshaar’s store that the Eittingers own on Huntington Drive. Continue reading “HMS Orchestra Story Hits Right Notes on Screen”

SMUSD Welcomes Many New Faces to the Faculty

Photo by Staci Moraza / OUTLOOK San Marino Unified School District administrators and principals welcomed the new SMUSD staff at a luncheon last week, including (front row, from left) Kailin Duan, Valentine Principal Colleen Shields, Nickie Oh, Shauna Matsuda, Serafina Palazzolo, Crystal Shin and Assistant Superintendent Linda de la Torre. Second row: Bob Judge, Aileen Hsu, Polly Liu, Kyla Nako, Michelle Harris and new SMHS Principal Issaic Gates. Third row: Stacey Bender, Breanna McGuire, Denny Bui and Jazmin Avedo. Back: Zachary Quiggle, Kris Good, Superintendent Alex Cherniss, HMS Principal Jason Kurtenbach, Carver Principal Michael Lin and Steve Brown. See additional photos, page 12.
Photo by Staci Moraza / OUTLOOK
San Marino Unified School District administrators and principals welcomed the new SMUSD staff at a luncheon last week, including (front row, from left) Kailin Duan, Valentine Principal Colleen Shields, Nickie Oh, Shauna Matsuda, Serafina Palazzolo, Crystal Shin and Assistant Superintendent Linda de la Torre. Second row: Bob Judge, Aileen Hsu, Polly Liu, Kyla Nako, Michelle Harris and new SMHS Principal Issaic Gates. Third row: Stacey Bender, Breanna McGuire, Denny Bui and Jazmin Avedo. Back: Zachary Quiggle, Kris Good, Superintendent Alex Cherniss, HMS Principal Jason Kurtenbach, Carver Principal Michael Lin and Steve Brown. See additional photos, page 12.

San Marino Unified School District began this school year with nearly 20 new or promoted faculty members, including a new principal at San Marino High School.
The new hires include a variety of teachers as well as school psychologists and counselors, a speech pathologist, a district-wide school nurse and a new band director at SMHS. Continue reading “SMUSD Welcomes Many New Faces to the Faculty”

Avramovich Makes Upward Jump in Young Life

Photo by Raymond Quan / OUTLOOK Dave Avramovich, the new Greater Los Angeles regional director for Young Life, has spent much of the last decade as the organization’s San Marino area director and also moonlighting as a football and baseball assistant coach at San Marino High School.
Photo by Raymond Quan / OUTLOOK
Dave Avramovich, the new Greater Los Angeles regional director for Young Life, has spent much of the last decade as the organization’s San Marino area director and also moonlighting as a football and baseball assistant coach at San Marino High School.

Dave Avramovich is looking for himself, to use a phrase.
More than a decade after taking on the duties of the San Marino Area director for the nondenominational Christian-based nonprofit Young Life, Avramovich becomes the regional director for the Greater Los Angeles area on Aug. 1. Among his many tasks to get acclimated to the new job are finding his replacement. Continue reading “Avramovich Makes Upward Jump in Young Life”

Carver Principal Eases Into 2nd-Year Niche

Photo courtesy Michael Lin Carver Elementary School Principal Michael Lin, shown here climbing the Half Dome in Yosemite National Park, says he gets his best ideas about education while hiking and backpacking.
Photo courtesy Michael Lin
Carver Elementary School Principal Michael Lin, shown here climbing the Half Dome in Yosemite National Park, says he gets his best ideas about education while hiking and backpacking.

This time last year, Michael Lin was preparing for the dawn of his first year as a principal at Carver Elementary School.
As the former assistant principal at Huntington Middle School, Lin bore a familiarity with San Marino Unified School District that lent itself advantages in the transition. In the heat of summer vacation, Lin indicated that planning for his second year as principal feels routine at this point.
“You know, it passed by very quickly,” he said. “It was a very fast 12 months. I love it. It’s phenomenal. I have an amazing staff and very supportive parents.
“It was mainly getting to know the folks at Carver, the culture and traditions,” Lin added. “I had to build relationships with the faculty and staff. By the end of this year, I felt like I was here the whole time.”
It was late June when Lin interviewed for this story, and he did so by calling from the office phone at Carver. He said being at school in the height of summer isn’t unusual for him and he tends to find time to stop by in between his hiking, backpacking or camping. Continue reading “Carver Principal Eases Into 2nd-Year Niche”

SMHS Principal Retires With Mountains of Memories

If Mary Johnson is reading this story, she is likely doing so while enjoying the last of her days in the San Marino High School principal’s office, an office that serves almost as a personal dome inside the world of a modern high school.
Roomy and decorated, the office, with its tinted windows and situated essentially at the crossroads for the campus’ various buildings, has allowed Johnson the ability to observe any of the 1,200 or so students under her watch daily for the past three years. A door even allows quick access into that world, whether to begin an impulsive journey or to acquiesce to the demands of students who pressed their face to the window to peer through the tinting.
“When I’m having a particularly bad day or facing a difficult task, all I have to do is look up,” Johnson said. “It sort of rights my ship and restores my perspective.” Continue reading “SMHS Principal Retires With Mountains of Memories”

San Marino School Board Looking for Advisers

Calling all parents, alumni, educators and those generally interested in San Marino education.
The San Marino Unified School District is looking to fill a whopping eight vacancies on its Academic Advisory Committee, a volunteer arm the Board of Education uses to research and gauge public interest in new programs and changes to public education before taking recommendations. Continue reading “San Marino School Board Looking for Advisers”