HMS Breaks Ground on New Athletic Complex

Alex Cherniss
Alex Cherniss

At long last, the Barth Athletic Complex has broken ground at Huntington Middle School.
Barring unforeseen circumstances, HMS and city residents will have their new gym and multipurpose athletic facility by August 2019. The facility is named for the generous $3.5 million donation from locals Andy and Avery Barth, who later added another $2 million dedicated to debt service payments. Continue reading “HMS Breaks Ground on New Athletic Complex”

Administrator Hired for ‘Dream Job’ at SMHS

Days after the San Marino Unified School District Board of Education had unanimously voted to hire Issaic Gates as the new principal for San Marino High School it hadn’t yet sunk in, he said.

Issaic Gates
Issaic Gates

“I’m still pinching myself,” he said. “I really, really am. San Marino is really a dream job. It’s such an opportunity.”
Gates, who holds a doctorate in education from USC, officially takes the helm on July 1 and will leave behind Los Alamitos High School, where he has served as an assistant principal for the last five years. He and his family live in Duarte.
“When you get the opportunity to work 15 minutes from home, it’s like finding a shortcut to work,” he said. Continue reading “Administrator Hired for ‘Dream Job’ at SMHS”

San Marino Boys, Girls Win Rio Hondo League Crowns

The San Marino High School boys’ and girls’ swimming teams defeated South Pasadena and won the Rio Hondo League regular season titles. The teams, guided by Casey Holcomb and Mark Barr, include Agatha Augustynski, Sarah Broderick, Tzu-Yi Chan, Ellie Chen, Jasmine Chen, Kevin Chen, Rebecca Chen, Claire Chiu, Kyle Day, Jan Estandarte, Caitlin Hernandez, Matthew Hoo, Adrian Huang, Taylor Hughes, Zephanie Koh, Water Lam, Devin Lee, Megan Lien, Jill Lin, Maxwell Lin, Tristan Lin, Kyle Mauser, Jordan Ng, Alicia Ogawa, Nicholas Oo, Kurtis Tsai, Patrick Tulaphorn, John Van, Kalissa Villaluna, Ashley Wang, Serena Wang, Darren Wong, Kyle Wong, Preston Wong and Taylor Yang.

The San Marino High School varsity boys’ and girls’ swimming teams defeated visiting rival South Pasadena last week to claim the regular season Rio Hondo League championships for the second consecutive year.
The boys, guided by head coach Casey Holcomb, concluded the regular season defeating the Tigers, 121-49, and a perfect 9-0 record, including a 5-0 record against Rio Hondo League opponents.
The girls, guided by head coach Mark Barr, dominated the Rio Hondo League meet against South Pasadena with a 109-59 win. The Titans (6-3 overall record) finished league play with a perfect 5-0 record.
Both teams will compete in the Rio Hondo League finals at the Rose Bowl Aquatic Center this Friday, May 5, at noon.

Signing Day at San Marino High School

San Marino High School standouts Jadyn Torres, Tommy Hannan, Alessio Brunochelli, Kyle Day and Mason Chiu signed letters of intent last Friday and committed to continue their athletic careers at the collegiate level. Torres, who was an All-CIF basketball player this year, will attend Luther College in Iowa; Tommy Hannan will play baseball at MIT; Alessio Brunochelli, an All-CIF water polo athlete, will be going to Loyola; Kyle Day will swim at NYU; and Mark Chiu will continue to golf at Claremont McKenna College.

Groundbreaking for Athletic Complex Set for June

The San Marino Unified School District will break ground on its long-awaited Barth Athletic Complex at a ceremony scheduled for 4 p.m. on Monday, June 5.
The ceremony will be at the track and field behind the currently existing gym building at Huntington Middle School. The athletic complex will replace that building to give HMS its first true multipurpose athletic facility.
The $14 million project has garnered substantial donations from residents, most prominently an initial $3.5 million offering from the Barth family, who earned naming rights for the sum. They later pitched in another $2 million toward the project’s debt service if SMUSD does not pay off its financing by 2021.
The Sloan family added a half-million-dollar donation. The Barger family kicked in a $250,000 donation. Other donations include $50,000 from the Weiss family, $50,000 from the William Hurt Foundation and $25,000 from the Fletcher Jones Foundation on behalf of Pat Haden.
SMUSD has committed $2 million of its own money to the project and anticipates it will use $1.5 million in developer’s fees to pay toward debt service.
The ceremony is expected to last about an hour.

Local Scout Partners With Villa Esperanza Services

Eagle Scout Timothy Wong completed a landscaping project for Villa Esperanza at two of its group homes.

Timothy Wong of Boy Scout Troop 359 completed a garden and landscaping volunteer project for Villa Esperanza Services’ Adult Residential Program as part of his Eagle Scout Service Project. The project supports adults and seniors with intellectual/developmental disabilities living in Villa Esperanza’s group homes.
Wong installed drought-resistant plants at two Villa group homes after months of careful planning. “I had to figure out what to do, where to do it, find volunteers to help me, fundraise enough money to meet my needs, and plan a date and time to do my project,” Wong said.
Wong’s project has brought color and variety to the front lawns of the Wagner and Wynn homes, where residents can contribute to the care of their new plants, and incorporate fresh tomatoes, Brussels sprouts and broccoli into their meal preparation.

Volunteers interested in supporting Villa’s programs may contact volunteer coordinator Katherine Evans at

Girl Scouts Make ‘Whatchamacallits’ at SWAPS Workshop

San Marino Girl Scout Troop 15121 Cadettes hosted a SWAPS-making workshop at the Hill-Harbison House recently. More than 50 San Marino Girl Scouts from various troops were in attendance. The Scouts enjoyed teaching and learning how to make the traditional Girl Scout craft called SWAPS, which means “Special Whatchamacallits Affectionately Pinned Somewhere.” Girl Scout SWAPS are made to be traded later with other troops at various Girl Scout events.

Continue reading “Girl Scouts Make ‘Whatchamacallits’ at SWAPS Workshop”

Student Takeover at Carver

Photo courtesy Amy Morris
Carver Elementary School student Hera Sun served as principal of her school for a day last week. Following in the footsteps of Principal Michael Lin, her predecessor and successor, Sun made her rounds to classrooms and announced extra recess for her peers that day.