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”

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”

Property Owners May Give Verizon Tower Relocation Options

Four property owners along Huntington Drive are apparently willing to discuss the possibility of allowing Verizon to install cellphone signal devices to their buildings, Planning and Building Director Aldo Cervantes reported last week.
Cervantes, who was updating the City Council on the matter, did not name those owners or which properties. He said those four owners were among a total of nine whose properties were identified by Verizon as feasible locations. Continue reading “Property Owners May Give Verizon Tower Relocation Options”

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.

School Board Agrees to Cut Back 6 SMUSD Positions

Facing a less than ideal state funding future, the San Marino Unified School District Board of Education approved a recommendation Monday to eliminate six staff positions to reduce expenses next year.
Sixty percent of those cuts are in administrative roles, including the assistant superintendent of instructional services, according to Superintendent Alex Cherniss. Five total employees, one of whom handles two part-time responsibilities, will be affected. Continue reading “School Board Agrees to Cut Back 6 SMUSD Positions”

School Board Agrees on Athletic Complex Financing

A 2015 rendering illustrates what the Barth Athletic Complex at Huntington Middle School will look like.
A 2015 rendering illustrates what the Barth Athletic Complex at Huntington Middle School will look like.

Barring unforeseen complications, the San Marino Unified School District will make good on its plan to break ground this summer on an expansive and long-desired multipurpose athletic complex at Huntington Middle School.
SMUSD’s Board of Education voted unanimously on the financing agreement at its Feb. 14 meeting, the third time it took up discussion on the matter. It had twice continued the vote for the purposes of making sure each member and the community had a chance to familiarize themselves with the details. Continue reading “School Board Agrees on Athletic Complex Financing”