Governing Board Leader Sets Challenges, Goals for 2019

Brent Kuszyk
Brent Kuszyk

Brent Kuszyk may have only recently been selected to become the La Cañada Unified School District board president, but he’s no stranger to the governing board and boasts a long list of previous volunteer experience from other community roles.
Since joining the board in 2015, he has served on a number of panels including the Bond Oversight Committee, the Parcel Tax Oversight Committee, the Joint-Use Committee, the NGSS (for Next Generation Science) Committee and many others. He was unanimously selected as board president on Dec. 13, having served the previous year as vice president. Continue reading “Governing Board Leader Sets Challenges, Goals for 2019”

LCUSD Board OKs Settlement With Ex-Principals, Dives Into Pool Plans

The La Cañada Unified School District Governing Board on Tuesday night unanimously ratified settlements worth more than $500,000 involving former principals Christine Castillo and Ian McFeat.
Board members did not discuss the issue before or after the vote, but local resident David Haxton rose to object after the settlements were approved in open session that they were not truly “confidential,” as they were revealed to newspapers. The Outlook reported on them after making a public records request. Continue reading “LCUSD Board OKs Settlement With Ex-Principals, Dives Into Pool Plans”

LCUSD Settlements With Ex-Principals Stir Mixed Parent Response

La Cañada High School students are beginning an academic year’s second half without Principal Ian McFeat for the first time since 2013 as a result of six-figure legal settlements involving him, the school district and his wife, Christine Castillo, a former La Cañada Elementary School principal.
McFeat, who was hired as principal in July 2012, became the La Cañada Unified School District’s executive director of student services on Dec. 10, a move that district officials had said was a promotion. Later, it was revealed that he and Castillo had signed settlement agreements on Dec. 4 that stemmed from a Castillo lawsuit and determined his employment is terminated effective June 30.

OUTLOOK photo
Ian McFeat, former La Cañada High School principal, and Christine Castillo, an ex-La Cañada Elementary School principal, agreed in December to separate six-figure settlements from LCUSD.

Since The Outlook reported last month that McFeat has left and details of the settlement have been disseminated, the community has engaged in spirited discussion — in particular on a closed Facebook page, with more than 100 comments on the topic. Some parents have said they are glad the lawsuit has ended, albeit with questions regarding the cost and divided opinion over the unforeseen changes in leadership. In several Facebook posts, writers voiced displeasure that LCUSD had settled at all in a case that they said was bogus and declared that the hiring process for McFeat and Castillo had been flawed from the beginning.
Continue reading “LCUSD Settlements With Ex-Principals Stir Mixed Parent Response”

County Committee Continues to Study Sagebrush Transfer Proposal

Supporters of a transfer of La Cañada Flintridge’s Sagebrush area into the local school district were on hand Wednesday when the Los Angeles County Committee on School District Organization took up the issue, which appeared to remain far from a resolution.
Sagebrush, located in the LCF’s western-most corner, is part of the Glendale Unified School District. Continue reading “County Committee Continues to Study Sagebrush Transfer Proposal”

Former LCE Principal Asks to Dismiss Suit Against District

Christine Castillo
Christine Castillo

A former La Cañada Elementary School principal who had filed a lawsuit against the school district for alleged sexual discrimination and intentional and negligent infliction of emotional stress has requested a dismissal of the case.
A clerk in Los Angeles County Superior Court said that the request for dismissal in effect ends the civil case. Continue reading “Former LCE Principal Asks to Dismiss Suit Against District”

School Board Chooses Kuszyk as President

Photo courtesy LCUSD Brent Kuszyk
Photo courtesy LCUSD
Brent Kuszyk

La Cañada Unified School District Governing Board members have chosen their new leaders for the next year, electing Brent Kuszyk as president, Joe Radabaugh as vice president and Ellen Multari as clerk.
The changes were made at the board’s meeting last week and became effective immediately. Kuszyk, who has served on the board for three years, later said in an email his goal is for the district to continue offering an outstanding education to students and to work to continually improve their outcomes. Continue reading “School Board Chooses Kuszyk as President”

LCHS’ McFeat Moves to District Post, Cartnal Named Interim Principal

OUTLOOK file photo Ian McFeat was recently promoted to executive director of student services for the La Cañada Unified School District and Jim Cartnal was named interim La Cañada High School principal.
OUTLOOK file photo
Ian McFeat was recently promoted to executive director of student services for the La Cañada Unified School District and Jim Cartnal was named interim La Cañada High School principal.

La Cañada High School Principal Ian McFeat has been promoted to executive director of student services for the La Cañada Unified School District after expressing a long-term interest in a district-level position.
“He’s articulated that,” said LCUSD Superintendent Wendy Sinnette in a telephone interview on Tuesday. McFeat, who has been the LCHS principal since 2012, had asserted he could perform well in the executive director role, she said.
At the same time, the district appointed Jim Cartnal to be the interim LCHS principal and oversee the duties of the three assistant principals there. He is slated to take over the principal position on a permanent basis after an interim period. Cartnal had been serving as executive director for pupil programs and services at the district. Continue reading “LCHS’ McFeat Moves to District Post, Cartnal Named Interim Principal”

School District Leader Foresees Further Sagebrush Turmoil

La Cañada Unified School District Superintendent Wendy Sinnette has expressed doubt that a petition to transfer the Sagebrush territory — located in La Cañada Flintridge’s western-most corner — into the school district will be granted, and said the long-running controversy surrounding the matter is likely to continue, even if the effort succeeds. Continue reading “School District Leader Foresees Further Sagebrush Turmoil”