SMUSD Bans Future Cell Towers

In a step forward for many San Marino parents and residents, the San Marino Unified School District Board of Education formally banned the future construction of cellphone signal towers on district property.
Although the resolution approved by the board at last week’s meeting does not force the removal of the two towers — the subject of regular objection by community stakeholders — on school district property, it will comfort those aggrieved by prohibiting them in the future. Continue reading “SMUSD Bans Future Cell Towers”

SMUSD Expands Kurtenbach’s Role

Photo by Zane Hill / OUTLOOK Huntington Middle School Principal Jason Kurtenbach, speaking with students on campus last week, is being promoted to San Marino Unified School District’s executive director of curriculum and development.
Photo by Zane Hill / OUTLOOK
Huntington Middle School Principal Jason Kurtenbach, speaking with students on campus last week, is being promoted to San Marino Unified School District’s executive director of curriculum and development.

Jason Kurtenbach will graduate as principal of Huntington Middle School this year, joining the San Marino Unified School District administrative cabinet as its executive director of curriculum and development.
The promotion, made official at last week’s Board of Education meeting, creates the third principal vacancy in three years for SMUSD. Kurtenbach is finishing his fifth year at HMS. Continue reading “SMUSD Expands Kurtenbach’s Role”

‘More of Less’ Author to Speak April 19

If you find yourself spending an inordinate amount of time cleaning up a storage area or straightening up your home, you can learn about downsizing from a guy who was doing just that 10 years ago.
Partnership for Awareness is bringing in author Joshua Becker for two speaking sessions on Thursday, April 19 — first at noon in the San Marino Unified School District board room and second at 7 p.m. in the Huntington Middle School auditorium. Becker is the author of the bestselling “The More of Less: Finding the Life You Want Under Everything You Own.” Continue reading “‘More of Less’ Author to Speak April 19”

SMUSD Board Talks Up $148 Million Bond

Photo by Zane Hill / OUTLOOK Local resident Zillah Tobiano is among many audience members at a recent Board of Education meeting who expressed concerns regarding a bond election being considered by San Marino Unified School District.
Photo by Zane Hill / OUTLOOK
Local resident Zillah Tobiano is among many audience members at a recent Board of Education meeting who expressed concerns regarding a bond election being considered by San Marino Unified School District.

The San Marino Unified School District Board of Education had its first reading of a resolution calling for a bond election last week, but it may have a hill to climb to convince at least 55% of voters to approve the measure once it reaches a ballot box.
Opinions varied among the standing room-only audience — some were all-in on the measure and others wanted nothing to do with it — but the consensus appeared to be that most were unsure how they felt amid concerns about the scale of the proposed bonds and the perceived suddenness of the measure. Continue reading “SMUSD Board Talks Up $148 Million Bond”

School Facilities Needs May Push Bond Approval

With a facilities needs assessment to bolster the case, a bond proposition was scheduled to go before the San Marino Unified School District Board of Education on Tuesday, which if approved would call an election for June 5 for residents to make the ultimate decision.
A second reading of the item could be as early as Feb. 13, unless the board makes substantial changes after its first reading. The proposed bond amount stood at $148 million as of press time this week and Superintendent Alex Cherniss was confident the need for the funding had been soundly presented at Tuesday’s meeting. Continue reading “School Facilities Needs May Push Bond Approval”

SMHS Principal Settles Into Fast Lane

Issaic Gates greets students at San Marino High School during lunch last week. Gates is settling into his role as principal of the school after being hired this year.
Issaic Gates greets students at San Marino High School during lunch last week. Gates is settling into his role as principal of the school after being hired this year.

At eight weeks into the school year, Issaic Gates looks — and said he feels — more relaxed as the new principal of San Marino High School.
“It’s a different feeling than ‘Before Week 1,’” he said, mentally revisiting his first ‘first day’ at SMHS. “Before Week 1, you get the job and you’re just excited. I imagine it’s the mature version of ‘getting the car,’ but you’re getting your mom or dad’s car. Not a Yaris or a Corolla. A Mercedes or something. And the one thing you don’t want to do is wreck it. Then you start driving it and you get comfortable. You’ve touched the leather before.” Continue reading “SMHS Principal Settles Into Fast Lane”

SMUSD Lauds Its Education Scores

With the formal release of the state’s CAASPP scores, San Marino Unified School District brought its four principals out for a press conference extolling the success of their students.
Superintendent Alex Cherniss, in introducing the principals, credited the district’s students for taking advantage of being in what is routinely one of the best ranked unified school districts in the state. He characterized SMUSD as the four principals being head coaches to his general manager, each with their own sports team. Continue reading “SMUSD Lauds Its Education Scores”

LCUSD Scores 3rd Statewide in Student Assessment Testing

In something of a photo finish, La Cañada Unified School District placed third in the most recent statewide CAASPP scoring, released this week by the California Department of Education.
“We were very pleased with the performance and appreciative of all of our staff’s hard work to make sure the scores are so strong,” Superintendent Wendy Sinnette said. Continue reading “LCUSD Scores 3rd Statewide in Student Assessment Testing”