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.
“We’ve seen her grow over the past several years and not only be attuned to the site’s needs, but grow in her capacity as an administrator,” Sinnette said.
Cradduck has served as PCY’s principal for the past eight years, during which time she’s been a regular presence in bargaining sessions with teachers.
“I love finding new talent; that’s a passion of mine,” Cradduck said. “And I’ve participated in district negotiating teams since my second year here, which I’ve found really rewarding. So I’m looking forward to continuing with that, too, and getting a little deeper behind the scenes.”
GETTING TO THE GAME
The Governing Board voted 4-0 to approve a revision to the board policy that will permit parents and guardians of LCHS students to transport their students and other parents’ students to and from school-related events — with written permission at least 24 hours in advance. The deadline is intended to avoid a cancellation fee if a bus isn’t needed. (Vice President Brent Kuszyk was not in attendance to vote.)
Athletic team schedules perpetuated the change, which will allow parents more freedom to drive students to and from sporting events. Mandating that student-athletes use only team bus transportation often means they’re forced to spend hours waiting for a junior varsity or varsity team’s game to finish, or, if they participate in a more individualized sport, spending hours at a site but only competing for a short amount of time, Dean of Athletics Kristina Kalb explained at a previous board meeting.
Governing Board President Kaitzer Puglia embraced the new policy, but she suggested the board revisit it next year. “Just to see how things are going, and how parents are feeling and coaches are feeling,” she said. “To see if teams are supporting each other and cheering each other on. We want to make sure no student is left out and team camaraderie is strong.”
Assistant Principal Kip Glazer said she surveyed administrators and coaches about their transportation preferences, per the request of Governing Board members, and received a variety of responses. LCHS 7/8 officials do not want parents to drive students to off-campus school events, nor do band teachers, who had concerns about transporting instruments in addition to student-musicians.
SAFETY AND SECURITY
The district’s just-formed Safety, Security and Student Well-Being Task Force will meet for the first time from 5:30-7 p.m. on Thursday, May 24, in the board meeting room, Sinnette said.
The task force grew from discussions spurred by the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, as well as drug-related events at LCHS that resulted in arrests and medical emergencies.
Its members, who will include students, faculty and parents from each of the district’s schools, will be asked to consider a range of topics, board members agreed.
“This is not just physical safety and building walls,” board member Ellen Multari said. “It’s really important that the entire community be aware that this is multi-pronged. It’s also emotional well-being, it is traffic patterns. There are so many responsibilities we have in terms of protecting our students and maintaining their health and well-being.”
Because board members made the task force a Governing Board committee, all of its meetings will be open to the public. Input is encouraged, Puglia said.
NEW COURSES, BOOKS
The Governing Board approved a new science course, Physics 1 P Advanced, as well as LC Math 4, the final course in LCHS’s college preparatory pathway.
Board members also OK’d the adoption of the LC Math 4 textbook, “PreCalculus,” from Glencoe-McGraw Hill, and the adoption of the Spanish language text, “Descubre,” from Vista Higher Learning.