San Marino School Board Looking for Advisers

Calling all parents, alumni, educators and those generally interested in San Marino education.
The San Marino Unified School District is looking to fill a whopping eight vacancies on its Academic Advisory Committee, a volunteer arm the Board of Education uses to research and gauge public interest in new programs and changes to public education before taking recommendations.
“We’re always trying to say, ‘How can we do better?’” explained Gary McGuigan, the outgoing assistant superintendent of instructional services for SMUSD. “The board will certainly be asking this group, ‘What can we do?’”
The eventual eight appointees will join six other advisers for three school years, starting with the upcoming 2017-18 year. The AAC, which has spent more than a decade helping the board make educated policy and procedural decisions, had informal origins, according to McGuigan, but has transformed into an instrumental arm of SMUSD.
“It was really a high school-centered thing at the time,” he said. “So, the board, years ago, turned to the committee, gave them some issues and asked them to look into it for them. The board members have really come to value the input of this committee.”
The AAC will, in the forthcoming school year, focus on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education, homework policy and college/career readiness. McGuigan pointed out that San Marino High School’s increase of Advanced Placement courses and opening them to more students came at the recommendation of the AAC.
“Because of that effort, we directed the high school to offer more AP classes and it’s been a tremendous success,” he said.
AAC members must reside within SMUSD district lines, work for SMUSD or have children enrolled in SMUSD schools. The committee meets monthly or quarterly on Wednesdays at 7 p.m. and there may be various ad hoc committees formed within AAC.
Two Board of Education members, incoming SMHS Principal Issaic Gates and Assistant Principal Doug Berry also serve on the committee.
Those interested should fill out the online application at by 4 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 11, and submit it to For questions, also email that address. The board will tentatively select new appointees at its Tuesday, Sept. 12 meeting.

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