LCHS Seeks to Reintroduce Peer Counseling Class

Hoping to cultivate student wellness, school district officials recommended at Tuesday’s Governing Board meeting that the district reintroduce a peer counseling elective for the upcoming academic year.
“The goal here is to have a class which, in essence, trains schools in peer counseling skills for about three quarters and the last quarter [students will] begin to work with students,” said Jim Cartnal, the La Cañada Unified School District’s executive director of pupil and personnel programs and services. Continue reading “LCHS Seeks to Reintroduce Peer Counseling Class”

STEAM:CODERS Helps Put Kids on Track in Tech

OUTLOOK photo Camper Genesis Montgomery gets help from instructor Michael Dragomir.
OUTLOOK photo
Camper Genesis Montgomery gets help from instructor Michael Dragomir.

At a Norma Coombs Elementary School day camp recently, little hands and fingers flew over Chromebooks, with color puzzle pieces being dragged into place as the campers built a fictional, interactive story through the introductory Scratch coding program.
“You just have to play with it,” Michael Dragomir, a STEAM:CODERS summer camp teacher, told a 3rd-grader, who needed little encouragement as she did just that. She readjusted her headphones and dragged a different piece to see how that might change things up in her virtual-reality fiction, which happened to be a story about two girlfriends chatting in the park. Continue reading “STEAM:CODERS Helps Put Kids on Track in Tech”

Learning Works Gives Kids Last Shot at High School Diploma

Graduation day was just around the corner for about 70 seniors at Learning Works Charter School, but there were still projects and chapters to complete, papers to turn in, and the tense, palpable energy in the school’s “factory” room reflected as much.
Heads bent, papers spread out, pens and highlighters at the ready; it could have been a snapshot into any high school study hall before finals. But at this alternative Pasadena school for students in grades 9-12, the stakes are much higher. Continue reading “Learning Works Gives Kids Last Shot at High School Diploma”

LCHS Class of 2018 Is College Bound

Brent Kuszyk

By Brent Kuszyk
Special to The Outlook

One of the true highlights of serving on the LCUSD Governing Board is having the privilege of distributing diplomas to our graduating seniors each spring at graduation. Their sense of optimism and excitement is contagious.
The future looks very bright for our class of 2018 graduating seniors. This year our students will be disseminating around the country to 33 states as well as to South Korea and the United Kingdom. Of the 322 who reported matriculating to a college 202 (63%) will be attending institutions in the state of California. The second most popular destination is the state of Washington with 13 students headed to our northern neighbor. Among the students who will be attending two-year schools, Pasadena City College is the most common destination with 60 students. Continue reading “LCHS Class of 2018 Is College Bound”

PCY Principal Promoted to District Role

Debra Cradduck

Paradise Canyon Elementary School will have to share Debra Cradduck with the rest of La Cañada Unified School District after the school year ends.
The current PCY principal was appointed Tuesday to serve as the district’s executive director of personnel services, following the Governing Board’s unanimous approval.
“It’s pretty amazing, I’ve been here for eight years, so I’m definitely ready for a new challenge,” said Cradduck, a La Cañada High School graduate. “But I’m going to miss PCY.”

Cradduck’s new duties will include recruitment; coordinating assignments, promotions, leaves, transfers and retirements; managing evaluation programs; serving on the district’s negotiating team and much more. She’s scheduled to step into the new role at the close of the current school year, Superintendent Wendy Sinnette said. Continue reading “PCY Principal Promoted to District Role”

Leininger Honored for Service to City

Photo by Mirjam Swanson / OUTLOOK
Longtime La Cañada Flintridge resident and educator Mike Leininger encouraged his audience to find ways to give back as he was recognized by the Noon Kiwanis Club as La Cañadan of the Year on Wednesday at Descanso Gardens’ Van de Kamp Hall.

Mike Leininger challenged the 110 people who came to lunch Wednesday, including grandsons Jeff and Johnny, to get involved in their community, citing a saying he learned as a coach at Bellflower High School: “What you do will speak so loudly,” he said, “I can’t hear a word you’re saying.”
Leininger’s actions since moving to La Cañada Flintridge 30 years ago this month with his family have spoken volumes. Several accounts were shared by fellow community leaders during the Noon Kiwanis Club of La Cañada’s annual La Cañadan of the Year recognition luncheon at Descanso Gardens’ Van de Kamp Hall.
For 26 years, Leininger was a member of the La Cañada Unified School District, moving up the ranks as a La Cañada High School assistant principal, principal and then as LCUSD assistant superintendent. He earned his doctorate of education from the University of La Verne during that span and was known for hosting homecoming float building sessions in his front yard.
Continue reading “Leininger Honored for Service to City”

Clairbourn Headmaster to Step Down, But Never Away

Robert Nafie, Clairbourn School Headmaster
Robert Nafie, Clairbourn School Headmaster

Following nearly four decades as headmaster at Clairbourn School, Robert Nafie has seen a lot of changes in education and the way students dress, talk and even absorb information, but the children themselves have remained largely the same.
Along with their innate sense of wonder, imagination, joyfulness and innocence, he said, the children still all really want to succeed.
“Over the years, the kids from the ’70s and ’80s were vastly different than the kids today, the Pokémon era and all, but they all have those same elements. They all want to feel success,” said Nafie, whose life’s work has been to inspire and lead the children at Clairbourn School. Continue reading “Clairbourn Headmaster to Step Down, But Never Away”

LCHS Teacher Appointed to State Tech Advisory Panel

Photo courtesy Gayle Nicholls-Ali
La Cañada High School teacher Gayle Nicholls-Ali (left) joins Shauna Hawes of Valley View Middle School in Pleasant Hills, during the first session of the Computer Science Strategic Implementation Advisory Panel. The group is working to make recommendations on the implementation of the state’s K-12 computer science standards.

Ms. G, as the students at La Cañada High School know her, is now known statewide as a member of the Computer Science Strategic Implementation Advisory Panel.
Gayle Nicholls-Ali, whose duties at LCHS include career tech education, was appointed recently by Gov. Jerry Brown to join 14 like-minded experts on a panel charged with making recommendations on the implementation of K-12 computer science standards in California.

“The California economy is depending on us,” said Nicholls-Ali, who also is a curriculum writer and team leader at CTE Online, an online learning program that offers pathways and courses focused on career and technical education, in addition to working as an adjunct professor at Pacific Oaks College.
Continue reading “LCHS Teacher Appointed to State Tech Advisory Panel”