Cub Scout Girls Ready to Run With the Pack

Photo courtesy Nancy Ko
Photo courtesy Nancy Ko

They didn’t have a den number, but that didn’t stop the newest members of Pasadena Cub Scout Pack 4 from recording a first at the recent Golden Nugget weekend campout at Camp Cherry Valley on Catalina Island last month.
Theirs was the first girls’ den to attend the campout, sending seven of its 16 Valentine Elementary School girls to the three-day event. Just weeks earlier, they had joined the formerly boys-only pack, which is now coed after Boy Scouts of America decided last year to admit girls. Continue reading “Cub Scout Girls Ready to Run With the Pack”

School Board Considers New Ideas on Campus Safety

An updated security assess-ment presented recently to th suggested ways of funneling campus visitors into a single controlled entry point to mitigate potential threats to students and faculty.
The board did not make any decisions regarding the recommendations, but it will include its updated information in an overall facilities needs assessment. Hal Sibley, vice president of the consulting firm gkkworks, made the presentation to the board at its Sept. 25 meeting. Continue reading “School Board Considers New Ideas on Campus Safety”

School Board President Seeks to Continue Her Work

Shelley Ryan
Shelley Ryan

She’s capping her first term on the San Marino Unified School District Board of Education by serving as its president, but Shelley Ryan hopes to bring her perspective as an educator to the table for another term in this year’s election.
Ryan said she wants to continue improving the district’s offerings to students, using the momentum from the past several years of accomplishments, not least the continuation of SMUSD’s No. 1 ranking in the state’s annual academic evaluations of school districts. Course innovation — such as collaborative efforts with the Huntington Library and Caltech — are key developments, Ryan said. Continue reading “School Board President Seeks to Continue Her Work”

SMUSD Aces Test Again: No. 1 in State Evaluations

The news is pleasing but probably not surprising: San Marino Unified School District has retained its position atop the state Department of Education’s annual academic evaluations, making it the No. 1 public school district in California for nearly two decades.
The evaluations, known as the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress, were publicly released this week. In a separate statement, SMUSD officials noted that this was the fourth year the district had the top overall CAASPP scores and that for 15 years prior to CAASPP, it also placed first in whatever evaluations the state had used. Continue reading “SMUSD Aces Test Again: No. 1 in State Evaluations”

Titans Remain Perfect in League, Off to Best Start in 12 Years

Photo courtesy Eric Danielson
Hanna Wang has been a standout setter for San Marino this season.

The San Marino High School varsity girls’ volleyball team rallied from a two-game deficit and edged defending Rio Hondo League champion La Cañada in five sets, 19-25, 23-25, 25-19, 25-23, 15-7, at the LCHS Hotchkin Family Gymnasium last Thursday.
With the win, the Titans (15-5 overall record) took sole possession of first place with a perfect 4-0 record in the Rio Hondo League standings.
“I would attribute it to their work ethic,” said SMHS head coach Joseph Rios. “As far as attendance goes, this is the best attendance I’ve had at practice. These girls are showing up and doing the work. Also, I think it’s just chemistry. Things are a lot better with the girls and they’re a lot friendlier. They stay positive.”
Continue reading “Titans Remain Perfect in League, Off to Best Start in 12 Years”

San Marino Scores Big Win Over League Rival

Photo courtesy San Marino High School
The Titans defeated Rio Hondo League rival La Cañada last week and won the First Serve Tennis Tournament on Saturday. The winning squad includes head coach Melwin Pereira (front row, from left) Camdyn Wu, Rakel Ang, Katie Kirkendall and Kayla Chen. Middle: Anna Moller, Alyssa Luff and Elaine Wu. Back: Caitlin Mguyen and Grace Carter.

With only one player who consistently plays tournaments and is ranked in her age group, San Marino varsity girls’ tennis coach Melwin Pereira was unsure if his team could compete with the Rio Hondo League this season.
“Just look at La Cañada,” Pereira said. “They have two freshmen who are four stars. You can’t compare this season. I don’t have those players. My freshmen don’t play in tournaments and are unranked.”
The team’s chemistry and resiliency made up for its lack of experience last Thursday as San Marino defeated Rio Hondo League rival La Cañada on the road, 11-7.
Continue reading “San Marino Scores Big Win Over League Rival”

SMUSD Finds Its Niche High in Rankings Again

The San Marino Unified School District continues to reap superlatives, with the community research website placing the school system and its individual campuses at or near the top of their categories in Los Angeles County this year.

The district — which has long received glowing assessments from the state — and each of its four schools earned A+ grades this year from the website. In appraising districts, Niche combines standardized evaluation metrics with data concerning academic and other offerings and demographics and also considers student and parent reviews to determine its grades. Food, extracurricular activities, academic resources and student diversity are among data points considered.
In L.A. County, the district shines. Carver Elementary School is ranked as the top elementary school in the county, while Huntington Middle School took the crown as the No. 1 middle school.

Continue reading “SMUSD Finds Its Niche High in Rankings Again”

San Marino Ready to Surprise League Opponents

Taylor Suetsugu is one of the more experienced players on the roster, which includes two freshmen and two sophomores.

The San Marino High School program graduated 10 of its 12 players from last year’s roster, making this season a difficult one to predict for everyone, even head coach Robert Zirovich.
Despite not knowing what to expect, Zirovich is enjoying a group that includes two freshmen and two sophomores.
“The exciting thing is I don’t know what this group’s potential is yet,” said Zirovich, who is in his fourth season with the Titans. “I know it’s big, but the question is how fast are we going to learn and improve? We lost 10 of 12 players from last year. That’s a big deal, but we’re completely reworking things and I’m very excited.”
Continue reading “San Marino Ready to Surprise League Opponents”

San Marino’s DuNah Awarded CIF-SS Champions for Character

Photo courtesy Eric Danielson
The CIF Southern Section announced San Marino High School senior Sierra DuNah as a recipient of the Champions for Character Award on Monday.

San Marino High School softball standout Sierra DuNah was one of 14 athletes to earn the CIF Southern Section Champions for Character award.
“We are so proud of her,” said SMHS Athletic Director David Irie. “I actually had her in class this summer and know her as a student. She’s the kind of kid you want to have in your school. She is hardworking and dedicated, which is everything you want in a student.”
Athletes, coaches administrators, officials, athletic trainers and media members who demonstrate “six pillars of character” —trustworthiness, responsibility, respect, fairness, caring and citizenship — will be honored at The Grand in Long Beach.
Former San Marino Athletic Director Nicholas Sale nominated DuNah and will be attending the ceremony.
Continue reading “San Marino’s DuNah Awarded CIF-SS Champions for Character”

Board of Education Hopeful Cites Budgeting Skills

John Gabriel
John Gabriel

Wanting to bring what he said is his “good, strong track record of conservative but effective spending techniques” to the table, John Gabriel is vying for a seat on the San Marino Unified School District Board of Education in November’s election.
A business turnaround consultant for a firm that works internationally, Gabriel said he believes his skills there, as well as those earned as a noncommissioned officer and paramedic in the U.S. Army, would translate effectively on the board and add to the diverse skill set already there.
Continue reading “Board of Education Hopeful Cites Budgeting Skills”