Local Basketball Star Wins Player of the Year Award

Andre Henry was one of 14 basketball players to earn the prestigious John R. Wooden award.

The legend of La Cañada Flintridge resident Andre Henry continues to grow as the recent St. Francis High School graduate earned one of the most prestigious high school basketball awards.
The UC Irvine-bound standout is now associated with an honor named for another legend after being selected as the John R. Wooden CIF Southern Section Division II Player of the Year last Friday. Other notable winners include Chatsworth Sierra Canyon’s Ziaire Williams, who committed to play at Stanford, and Lakewood Mayfair’s Josh Christopher, who will continue his career at Arizona State. Both were considered five-star recruits.
“I feel like I was recognized with future pros,” he said. “Those guys are future NBA players. I would say it is one of the biggest highlights of my high school career.
“Honestly, this is huge for me. I just feel like all the hard work I put in finally paid off and I got the recognition. It’s a huge honor to have my name in the same sentence as [John Wooden]. Some would argue he’s the greatest coach ever in any sport. It’s a dream come true. I’m truly speechless.
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LCUSD’s Plan for Reopening Takes Shape

After three hours of discourse and public comments on Tuesday, the La Cañada Unified School District’s plan for reopening started to come into focus for all grade levels.
Though no final decisions were made, the district’s governing board agreed with Superintendent Wendy Sinnette’s suggestions to continue developing a possible on-campus plan for transitional kindergarten through 6th grade and an improved distance learning model for grades 7-12.
The 2020-21 school year is scheduled to begin on Monday, Aug. 17, and the board is expected to make a decision regarding instruction in the fall during a special meeting on Tuesday, July 21, at 11:30 a.m. The district will have multiple plans in place to be ready for any scenario in a world with COVID-19.
Board President Joe Radabaugh, who worked with the reopening committee for secondary schools, said he wants to be sure they “can pivot between opening and closing [campuses], depending on the situation. Can we do it quickly? If we start online, can we move to in-person or hybrid? We have to figure out those models.
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LCUSD Changes Course, Will Appoint New Board Member

A temporary position on the La Cañada Unified School District Governing Board is up for grabs after the four-member panel voted in favor of appointing one of 10 applicants who had previously interviewed for the position, reversing its June 17 decision to leave the seat vacant and allow voters to choose a new member in the November election.
“To me, the decision not to fill was the best outcome at that time,” board President Joe Radabaugh said during Tuesday’s virtual meeting in an effort to clarify what transpired during the previous session. “I did have regrets that we surprised applicants and others with the decision.
“But [after the meeting], I listened to feedback from the community. I know people didn’t have the full story. I realize fair points were being made. In closing, we value the trust and support of the community. Because of that, we felt it was important to agendize this item for more discussion and allow folks to weigh in.”
Most people who commented Tuesday expressed a preference for appointing a temporary board member. The position would still be permanently filled in the November election.
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School Officials Introduce Initial Reopening Plans

Photo courtesy LCUSD
Superintendent Wendy Sinnette provided a photo showing how a classroom may look in the coming school year, in accordance with social distancing guidelines.

The La Cañada Unified School District’s plan to reopen schools is becoming clearer despite the uncertainty that lies ahead because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Superintendent Wendy Sinnette previewed plans from the reopening committee — consisting of district board members, staff members, educators and parents — and addressed concerns from stakeholders during a virtual LCUSD Governing Board meeting on Tuesday.
More details of the committee’s plans will be presented at a meeting on July 14 so that the board can approve them. Sinnette preferred to show a plan early to allow parents and personnel to better prepare for the 2020-21 school year scheduled to begin on Aug. 17.
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Flintridge Prep Introduces New Mascot: the Wolves

The times are changing, and so is the mascot at Flintridge Preparatory School.
A school community-wide email sent by Prep Headmaster Peter Bachmann announced that the new mascot, the Wolves, will replace the Rebels starting July 1.
The decision to change mascots was made as a board resolution in January, and was the culmination of what the email said were “many meaningful and spirited discussions across campus over several years.” The process included the appointment of a multi-constituency mascot committee and a board oversight committee.
“We have recognized the controversial nature of our former mascot and have sought an adequate solution for years,” said Nicole Trevor, Prep’s director of communications. “It is worth noting that in 2014, the school also considered changing the mascot completely, but ultimately the school decided to rebrand instead.”
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Morikawa Eager to Get Pro Sports Back on Course

Photo courtesy PGA Tour
Golf professional Collin Morikawa, who graduated from La Cañada High School in 2015, plans on competing in the PGA Tour’s first tournament since March, which is scheduled for June 11.

With most of the country following stay-at-home ordinances for more than two months, people are looking for some semblance of normalcy and professional golfer Collin Morikawa is ready to deliver it.
The PGA Tour is scheduled to restart its season with the Charles Schwab Challenge in Fort Worth, Texas, on June 11, and the La Cañada High School graduate will be one of more than 120 golfers to compete in the tournament.
“I’ll be there at Colonial [Country Club],” said Morikawa, who was a member of the LCHS class of 2015. “We have the opportunity to be one of the first [athletes] back.”
Professional golfers were assured that PGA Tour officials would adhere to strict health guidelines such as having no fans present and providing extra space for athletes and caddies when they travel.
“Things to keep in mind as we go through all of this is it’s really a layered approach that we’ve taken, and the heart of it is social distancing,” Tour Senior Vice President and Chief of Operations Tyler Dennis recently told reporters in a conference call. “ … We’re excited about how the PGA Tour can play a role here in the world’s return, if you will, enjoying things we love and doing so in a responsible manner.”
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Multari Leaves LCUSD Board After Nearly Nine Years

Ellen Multari

Governing board members of the La Cañada Unified School District paid tribute to their vice president during the most recent meeting, Ellen Multari’s last before her resignation.
Multari resigned May 20 because she will no longer be a resident of the district, Superintendent Wendy Sinnette explained during the recent virtual meeting. Multari and her family will be moving to the Palos Verdes Peninsula.
Unable to wish her goodbye in person due to the countywide “Safer at Home” order, Multari’s fellow board members played a brief video tribute they had made, which featured well-wishes from current and former members. They also announced that they were gifting her a telescope to send her off.
Sinnette has worked with Multari, a graduate of Stanford University who moved to LCF in 2007, since the latter was elected to the board in November 2011— just a few months after Sinnette became superintendent.
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Teachers Salute LCHS Class of 2020

Photo by Erin Rodick / Outlook Valley Sun

La Cañada High School senior Matthew Baker (center) was among class of 2020 members honored by teachers Susan Moore, Mike Kauffman and Mark Ewoldwen as they picked up their caps and gowns last week. Faculty, staff and teachers created posters with words of encouragement and congratulations as the kids and parents created a car line to pick up the ceremonial outfits. On Wednesday, June 3, pending the county’s approval, a car parade for Spartan graduates will start in the Flintridge Prep parking lot and end at the LCHS parking lot.

District Fields Complaints About Palm Crest Project

Illustration courtesy LPA
A rendering of modernization plans for Palm Crest Elementary School shows the proposed two-story building that some neighbors have criticized.

The governing board of the La Cañada Unified School District has directed the designers of a Palm Crest Elementary modernization project to investigate making changes to the plan after its proposed two-story building attracted criticism from nearby residents.
The $31.7 million project is aimed at remodeling Palm Crest by building a new parking lot, increasing playground areas, modernizing classrooms and replacing some of the school’s portable buildings with the new two-story structure.
However, many residents on nearby Solliden Lane expressed concern that the building would intrude on their privacy and stick out over fences and trees. Some also believed that the design’s color palette clashed with the look of the neighborhood.
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LCUSD Seeks to Celebrate Seniors Despite School Closures

Though cautioning that the future remains unknown, the La Cañada Unified School District Governing Board said recently it is planning a car parade on Wednesday, June 3, to celebrate graduating seniors from La Cañada High School in the midst of unprecedented pandemic measures.
Superintendent Wendy Sinnette said the district has been working with Los Angeles County to determine if it can hold the parade, which is looking likely to be approved. After the district initially decided the celebration could not take place under county coronavirus health orders, some of the “Safer at Home” guidelines were relaxed, and the board learned it could submit an event plan to Supervisor Kathryn Barger, who would then relay it to the county Department of Public Health for consideration.
During the school board’s virtual meeting on May 19, Sinnette emphasized that, while she is hopeful, the event will not be held without approval from the county. The celebration is not a replacement for the seniors’ postponed graduation at Spartan Stadium. LCHS Principal Jim Cartnal said he has asked families to hold July 31, Nov. 24 and Dec. 22 as potential, in-person graduation dates.
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