PTAs Detail Big Donations on Volunteer Hours, Money

The final PTA Council report for the 2018-19 school year indicates the network contributed nearly $860,000 and more than 157,000 volunteer hours to the San Marino Unified School District throughout the year.
The SMUSD Board of Education accepted the report at its meeting last week, during which outgoing PTA Council President Christina Pink highlighted the work of each school’s organization before yielding the floor for individual presentations by the schools’ outgoing presidents. Continue reading “PTAs Detail Big Donations on Volunteer Hours, Money”

New Superintendent Plans to Hit the Ground Running

Jeff Wilson
Photo by Zane Hill / OUTLOOK
Jeff Wilson speaks before the school board for the first time after being approved as San Marino Unified School District’s new superintendent last week.

Addressing the San Marino Unified School District Board of Education for the first time, Jeff Wilson said he looks forward to the opportunity to “make you guys my true family” when he formally takes over as the district’s superintendent on July 1.
“You are my new family, like it or not,” he quipped, speaking at the school board’s meeting last week, “and I can’t wait to get started.”
Wilson, whose selection by the school board was announced May 3, with the appointment made formal with a contract approval on May 14, will become SMUSD’s 14th superintendent when the next
school year begins. He comes by way of Arcadia Unified School District, where he served as an assistant superintendent since 2014. Continue reading “New Superintendent Plans to Hit the Ground Running”

Schools Foundation Looks for Finishing Kick in Fundraising Race

James Lau and Chris Maling
Photo by Zane Hill / OUTLOOK
James Lau, executive director of the San Marino Schools Foundation, and Chris Maling, the foundation’s board president, have pushed for a 100% participation rate among community residents in giving to the nonprofit, which financially assists the San Marino Unified School District.

The more things change, the more they stay the same, as the adage goes.
The San Marino Schools Foundation, which tabbed James Lau as its interim executive director about a year ago, decided to continue to rely on him to run the nonprofit organization for the foreseeable future. The foundation board’s leadership will change in July, going from Chris Maling to Erin Bilvado. The San Marino Unified School District, the foundation’s beneficiary, recently hired a new superintendent, Jeff Wilson, to take over the district after his predecessor departed in August. Continue reading “Schools Foundation Looks for Finishing Kick in Fundraising Race”

School Board Picks Arcadia Administrator as New Superintendent

Jeff  Wilson
Jeff Wilson

The San Marino Unified School District’s new superintendent, who faces formal approval by the school board next week, won’t have to change his daily commute much once he starts work.
After the final round of closed-session interviews and discussion, the board last week decided on Jeff Wilson, the assistant superintendent of educational services for the Arcadia Unified School District, as its next top executive, pending a background check and contract negotiations. According to the district, Wilson is slated to be SMUSD’s 14th superintendent since 1918. Continue reading “School Board Picks Arcadia Administrator as New Superintendent”

For PTSA Leader, SMHS Commencement Brings a Finality

Emily Boutin will soon pick up her diploma from San Marino High School, following in the footsteps of her mother, Ann, a member of the class of 1979.
Photo by Zane Hill / OUTLOOK
Emily Boutin will soon pick up her diploma from San Marino High School, following in the footsteps of her mother, Ann, a member of the class of 1979.

For Ann Boutin, the impending graduation of daughter Emily represents a full-circle journey 40 years in the making.
Boutin, this year’s San Marino High School PTSA president, was in her daughter’s shoes four decades ago, approaching graduation along with the rest of SMHS’ class of 1979. At the helm of PTSA, she now gets to watch her fourth and youngest child walk the stage this year.
“I think I’ve been at the high school way more than four years,” quipped Emily Boutin, who was preceded at SMHS by two older siblings; the eldest attended a private school. “I feel like I’m ending it on a good note.”
Ann Boutin, who went on to study home economics at UC Davis after graduating from SMHS before earning her law degree from the University of the Pacific’s McGeorge School of Law in 1987, returned to the area and lived briefly in Pasadena, where she practiced estate law. After marrying, she and her husband moved to their current home in San Marino to start their family, at which point Boutin put work aside to be a full-time mom. Continue reading “For PTSA Leader, SMHS Commencement Brings a Finality”

School Board Zeroes In on Superintendent Finalist

The San Marino Unified School District Board of Education awaits contract negotiations and a successful background check before it announces its presumptive hire to be the district’s next superintendent.
The board reached its decision in a closed session meeting Monday evening, according to board President Lisa Link, and expects to announce the new superintendent’s name and background by the end of the week. Districts customarily withhold the names of applicants from public record in the interest of protecting the applicants’ desires from their present employers, often neighboring school districts. Continue reading “School Board Zeroes In on Superintendent Finalist”

Titans Take Their New Football Coach From College Ranks

Justin Mesa
Justin Mesa

San Marino High School’s search for a new football coach came to an end recently as Principal Issaic Gates announced the hiring of Justin Mesa.
Mesa accepted the position on Wednesday, April 17, ending a nearly three-month hunt for the successor to former head coach Mike Hobbie, who resigned from the position and announced his retirement on Jan. 23.
“Coach Mesa is a rare find as a high school coach, with his knowledge of the Xs and Os and having learned it at the highest levels of college football,” Gates said. “His relationship skills with recruiting kids and his experiences in coaching high school football makes him refined, and I think we’re lucky in San Marino that he wants to be the coach here.” Continue reading “Titans Take Their New Football Coach From College Ranks”

Receiving a Charge From Leadership Retreat, Teens Thank Rotary

Photo by Zane Hill / OUTLOOK Glover Talt,  Ava Slocum, Calvin Yan and Richelle Chow recently spoke to the Rotary Club of San Marino about their experiences at the Rotary Youth Leadership Award retreat they attended on behalf of the club. Talt and Slocum attend San Marino High School, and Yan and Chow study at Southwestern Academy.
Photo by Zane Hill / OUTLOOK
Glover Talt, Ava Slocum, Calvin Yan and Richelle Chow recently spoke to the Rotary Club of San Marino about their experiences at the Rotary Youth Leadership Award retreat they attended on behalf of the club. Talt and Slocum attend San Marino High School, and Yan and Chow study at Southwestern Academy.

To hear its beneficiaries talk, the Rotary Club of San Marino’s investment in sending a group of enterprising area high school students to its annual district leadership retreat was well worth it.
The club heard last week from four of 14 Rotary Youth Leadership Award recipients whose trip to the recent retreat held in Running Springs was financed by the club and its South Pasadena counterpart. The 14 represented San Marino High School, Southwestern Academy and St. Francis High School. Continue reading “Receiving a Charge From Leadership Retreat, Teens Thank Rotary”

Rotary Club Enjoys Business Plan Competition

Photo by Zane Hill / Outlook San Marino High School students Kristin Yam, Melvin Adams, Leo Li, Charisse Chow, Carson Giles and Nigel Landon competed last week in Rotary Club of San Marino’s annual business plan competition, taking several minutes to pitch their entrepreneurial proposals to the club.
Photo by Zane Hill / Outlook
San Marino High School students Kristin Yam, Melvin Adams, Leo Li, Charisse Chow, Carson Giles and Nigel Landon competed last week in Rotary Club of San Marino’s annual business plan competition, taking several minutes to pitch their entrepreneurial proposals to the club.

A pitch for mechanical pencil rental stations operated through a mobile application earned first-place attention from Rotary Club of San Marino’s panel of judges for the organization’s annual business plan competitions.
San Marino High School students Nigel Landon and Carson Giles now prepare to take their pitch — titled “Jot” — to the larger business plan competition on Thursday, April 18, at Huntington Middle School; they’ll be joined by their SMHS peers Charisse Chow and Leo Li, whose pitch for an on-the-go durable makeup line “Drip Cosmetics” took second place last week. The top two winners from South Pasadena High School and Arcadia High School will compete with them there. Continue reading “Rotary Club Enjoys Business Plan Competition”

44 Candidates Apply for School District Superintendent Position

As of last Thursday’s deadline, 44 have applied to be San Marino Unified School District’s next superintendent, nearly double the 25 who applied for the position when it was last posted about five years ago.
Those 44 applicants represent 12 states, giving a “great mix of California and national candidates,” according to Mike Escalante, one of the men hired to conduct the search. Escalante, along with colleague James Guerra, plans to present those applications and their video interviews to the SMUSD Board of Education in closed session on Tuesday, after which the board is expected to narrow down its top candidates. Continue reading “44 Candidates Apply for School District Superintendent Position”