Heading Down the Home Stretch of the School Year

By Brian McDonald
PUSD superintendent

Brian McDonald

Gov. Newsom released the state’s revised May budget proposal for 2020-21 that seeks to avoid permanent cuts to public education while dealing with the impact that the COVID-19 crisis has had on the state’s economy. For PUSD this means that instead of facing a projected $35 million in reduction in state funding, we now estimate a $15 million reduction in state funding. We are examining in detail the revised budget and will continue to advocate on behalf of our students and educators in the coming weeks. Budgets are a reflection of values, and we are asking the state and federal governments to show their commitment to students and the future of this country.
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CIS Academy Teacher Nominated for Prestigious Educator Award

The coronavirus pandemic has forced many educators to pivot in their teaching methods and be even more creative in reaching and supporting students. In the midst of what has been a chaotic experience for many, the Pasadena Unified School District has announced some news that shines a light on the unwavering commitment that CIS Academy teacher, Gareth Siegel, displays every day. For his efforts, Siegel has been nominated for the esteemed Claes Nobel Educator of Distinction award.
This prestigious honor is “in recognition of your impact as an educator, leader and role model,” according to the National Society of High School Scholars (NSHSS).
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Maranatha High School Using 3D Printers to Help Combat Coronavirus

Photo courtesy Maranatha
Maranatha High School teacher Miguel Almena is utilizing a lab at the school to create quality filtration masks to help healthcare workers in their fight against COVID-19.

Maranatha High School has embarked on a project to help in the fight against COVID-19, as the school’s TILE (Technology Integration Learning Environment) Lab, under the direction of Maranatha faculty member Miguel Almena, is utilizing its 3D printers to create reusable protective face masks for medical professionals who are facing critical shortages of necessary protective gear.
Almena learned of one such need first-hand from a friend of his wife who is a nurse at Kaiser Hospital in Downey. She shared that they were facing a shortage of protective face masks and requested Maranatha’s help with 3D printing of about 80 high-filtration masks.
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Westridge Dean Dies After Contracting COVID-19

Carol van Zalingen

Carol van Zalingen, Westridge’s Lower and Middle School dean of student support, died on Tuesday morning, April 14, from complications related to COVID–19. She passed away just after 4 a.m. at Huntington Memorial Hospital, Westridge officials said.
According to the school, van Zalingen joined Westridge in 2008 as the 8th-grade English teacher and in 2015 transitioned to the role of dean of Lower and Middle School student support.
“This latter role combined her exquisite talent as an educator and her seemingly bottomless capacity for empathy and caring,” a Westridge statement said. “In the classroom she was known to connect in a very special way with each of her students. Her colleagues described her as ‘a safe space for students and adults.’ She was known as gentle and wise, always reaching out to help others in a supportive and non-judgmental manner. She never wanted a light shined in her direction, but her ability to listen, be present, and hold time and space for students and friends was uncanny. And Carol was a master at helping girls progress along a path to being independent learners and finding and following a positive personal narrative.
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Pasadena Unified School District Details Proactive Response to Coronavirus

Brian McDonald

The unprecedented impact of the coronavirus has warranted an equally unprecedented response, and the Pasadena Unified School District is proud to be on the forefront of educational and institutional leadership during this time.
We have worked hard to prepare, act quickly in response to a fluid and ever-changing situation, and to bring together resources to ensure that teachers in the district have the support they need to teach effectively. We have also made sure that children have the tools they need to continue to learn and thrive with as little interruption as possible.

Here’s how it all happened:

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Prep, Poly, Westridge Ranked Among Top County High Schools

A trio of Pasadena-area high schools scored in the top five among private schools in Los Angeles County, while eight San Gabriel Valley campuses were ranked among the top 20 Catholic schools by the review website Niche.com.
Out of the 2019 top private high schools in the county, Flintridge Prep of La Cañada Flintridge won the No. 2 spot, Polytechnic School came in at No. 3, and Westridge School garnered No. 5. By comparison, under the 2018 ranking for all of Southern California, Polytechnic ranked fourth, Flint­ridge Prep fifth and Westridge seventh.


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St. Francis Edges Saugus, 17-13

Photo courtesy Eric Danielson
Darius Perrantes completed 10 of 26 passes for 152 yards in the Golden Knights’ 17-13 victory over Saugus.

The St. Francis varsity football team came away with a 17-13 victory in a back-and-forth affair against visiting Saugus last Friday.
The Golden Knights (2-2 overall record) found themselves trailing 7-0 in the first quarter following two turnovers, including a controversial fumble recovery that was ruled a lateral by the officiating crew.
Senior quarterback Darius Perrantes, who completed 10 of 26 for 152 yards, was held scoreless until the 10:27 mark in the second quarter when kicker Jake Smith put the home squad on the board with a 38-yard field goal.
St. Francis got into a rhythm offensively and took a 10-7 lead following a 2-yard touchdown run from Max Garrison with 4:04 remaining in the second quarter.
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Minutemen Win Big in Homecoming Game, 62-0

Photo courtesy David Thomas
Isaac Fields caught four touchdown passes and helped Maranatha clobber visiting Maywood CES of Los Angeles, 62-0, last Friday.

The Maranatha High School varsity football team turned in a flawless performance in its homecoming game and cruised to a 62-0 victory over Maywood CES of Los Angeles last Friday.
The Minutemen (3-2 overall record) had plenty of highlights, the biggest one coming from wide receiver Isaac Fields. The junior caught a screen pass and scored from 23 yards out by hurdling over a defender and stiff-arming another two en route to the end zone. Fields finished with four scores in the contest, including a 97-yard touchdown reception with only 2 seconds remaining in the first half.
Junior quarterback Enrique Garza had an efficient game, completing eight of nine passes for 300 yards and seven touchdowns. Zack McClendon was one of his favorite targets with three receiving touchdowns.
On defense, Zachary Hall forced a fumble and senior Ethan Zhou recovered the football. Junior Jacob Moreno was solid on special teams with 104 return yards and a touchdown on a punt return in the first half.
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Boys & Girls Club Lends Love, Training to Shelter Dogs

Photo courtesy Boys & Girls Club A Boys & Girls Club member displays his dog-training skills at an obstacle course with a shelter dog named Dodger. The K9 Youth Alliance nonprofit provides the dogs for students to train in a vocational program.
Photo courtesy Boys & Girls Club
A Boys & Girls Club member displays his dog-training skills at an obstacle course with a shelter dog named Dodger. The K9 Youth Alliance nonprofit provides the dogs for students to train in a vocational program.

After 80 years of delivering tried-and-true programs to local youth, the Boys & Girls Club of Pasadena has recently hit another home run program for its members, one that is particularly hard to resist: helping shelter dogs.
The collaboration with the K9 Youth Alliance nonprofit is “kids helping dogs helping kids,” a program to connect teens with furry friends from Los Angeles Animal Services. They establish a working, loving relationship with shelter dogs through an intense, three-week vocational training program. Continue reading “Boys & Girls Club Lends Love, Training to Shelter Dogs”