The administration at La Cañada High School is back at full strength entering the 2017-18 school year with the hiring of two new assistant principals
Jonathan Lyons will take over as the assistant principal of curriculum and instruction, stepping in for Jim Cartnal, who was promoted to executive director of pupil and personnel programs and services. Kip Glazer will serve as assistant principal of athletics, activities and discipline, replacing Mary Hazlett, who resigned to take a position at Agoura High School.
La Cañada Unified School District Superintendent Wendy Sinnette took “a moment to brag” about the new hires at Tuesday’s Governing Board meeting. With Lyons and Glazer in the audience, Sinnette offered highlights of their respective resumes:
Glazer, who was born in Seoul and speaks fluent Korean, has 15 years of experience in public schools. She was a high school English and social studies teacher in Santa Maria Joint Union School District and at Independence High School. She also served as the district-wide instructional technology coach and dean of students at Frontier High School in the Kern High School District.
In addition to a master’s degree in education, Glazer earned her doctorate in learning technologies from Pepperdine. With her husband, Fabian, LCHS’s new head of discipline (as well as athletics and activities) has two sons, Gabriel and Spencer, who are enrolled at West Point.
Lyons has worked in public education for 20 years. He started his career teaching U.S. history at Pasadena High School, where he was promoted to assistant principal. He also served as assistant principal at Bonita High School and Gabrielino High School and, last year, as principal at El Rancho High School.
He earned a master’s degree in educational leadership from Cal Poly Pomona. He and his wife, Heather, have three sons: 7-year-old Kellan and 11-year-olds Andrew and Aiden, the latter of whom led the Pledge of Allegiance in commanding fashion at Tuesday’s meeting.
“I am very excited about the hirings,” board member Ellen Multari said. “It’s a unique opportunity for us to bring you in together as part of a team … we found two people who are going to work well with the existing administration, and I think it’s going to be a very great year. I’m excited for your success.”
SAGAL WON’T SEEK RE-ELECTION
David Sagal said he will not seek to serve a second term on the Governing Board in November, when his seat will be one of three that will be open. Candidates could begin filing papers to run Monday.
An attorney and executive for Warner Bros., Sagal joined the board in 2013 with Dan Jeffries and Kaitzer Puglia, whose terms also are set to expire later this year. He served as board president in 2015, and oversaw a contentious labor negotiation with the district’s teachers.
“I’ve given it a lot of thought and don’t think I’m running again,” said Sagal, whose youngest son will graduate from LCHS in the spring, the third of Sagal’s children to go through the school. “I think there will be some great candidates. As much as I love this, I figured without a kid in the district, I would not keep going.”
LCUSD JOINS COALITION
Sinnette and Multari offered a sneak peak of the developing six-district coalition — the Coalition for Base Funding Fairness — that plans to work with the Capitol Advisors Group to lobby state legislators to revisit the base funding levels.
LCUSD is joining Manhattan Beach, South Pasadena, Arcadia, Redondo Beach and San Marino school districts in the effort, which, according to the agreement, seeks to ensure “resources necessary to provide all students with an excellent education.”
Because it is awarded minimal supplemental and concentration grant monies, LCUSD is among the lowest-funded districts in the state.
“We’re approaching it from the philosophy that we need to raise all boats,” Sinnette said.
“We will begin several years of work to really make our voices heard in Sacramento and around the state that more money is needed.”
More details about the coalition are expected to be discussed at the Aug. 3 Governing Board meeting.
As Chief Technology Officer Jamie Lewsadder offered the board a state-of-technology address, its members marveled at how much progress has been made in a few years.
“Five years ago, we had desktop PCs that were older than the 7th-grade students using them,” Jeffries said.
“We had a Wi-Fi system that was hardly ever used, with most people just trying to figure out how to log in.”
Now, he said, more than 1,500 devices a day will be connected to Wi-Fi and, for the first time this school year, more than half of the district’s students will have a device with them at all times in class.
“Kids have video games and social media, our kids know the technology,” Jeffries said. “What they’re being taught is how to use that technology to their advantage in the classroom.”
More than 145 teachers completed tech training this summer, when there also were upgrades to the wireless network access points and aged phone and voicemail systems across the district, Lewsadder said.
Students will return to a new single sign-in system called Classlink that is expected to save time and reduce frustration. And those at Paradise Canyon Elementary School can expect a computer lab remodel soon.
A team of students also spent two weeks of their vacation developing an app that will deliver announcements, Lewsadder said.
“They have a new app called Spartan Connect and they plan to publish it to the Apple store,” said Lewsadder, who indicated that it could replace the morning announcements.
“It’s phenomenal, I hope we can get it up and running,” said Jeffries, who was pleased that the app featured text that was large enough to be considered “parent size.”