LCUSD Settlements With Ex-Principals Stir Mixed Parent Response

La Cañada High School students are beginning an academic year’s second half without Principal Ian McFeat for the first time since 2013 as a result of six-figure legal settlements involving him, the school district and his wife, Christine Castillo, a former La Cañada Elementary School principal.
McFeat, who was hired as principal in July 2012, became the La Cañada Unified School District’s executive director of student services on Dec. 10, a move that district officials had said was a promotion. Later, it was revealed that he and Castillo had signed settlement agreements on Dec. 4 that stemmed from a Castillo lawsuit and determined his employment is terminated effective June 30.

OUTLOOK photo
Ian McFeat, former La Cañada High School principal, and Christine Castillo, an ex-La Cañada Elementary School principal, agreed in December to separate six-figure settlements from LCUSD.

Since The Outlook reported last month that McFeat has left and details of the settlement have been disseminated, the community has engaged in spirited discussion — in particular on a closed Facebook page, with more than 100 comments on the topic. Some parents have said they are glad the lawsuit has ended, albeit with questions regarding the cost and divided opinion over the unforeseen changes in leadership. In several Facebook posts, writers voiced displeasure that LCUSD had settled at all in a case that they said was bogus and declared that the hiring process for McFeat and Castillo had been flawed from the beginning.
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Former LCE Principal Asks to Dismiss Suit Against District

Christine Castillo
Christine Castillo

A former La Cañada Elementary School principal who had filed a lawsuit against the school district for alleged sexual discrimination and intentional and negligent infliction of emotional stress has requested a dismissal of the case.
A clerk in Los Angeles County Superior Court said that the request for dismissal in effect ends the civil case. Continue reading “Former LCE Principal Asks to Dismiss Suit Against District”

A Look Back at 2017’s Top Stories in LCF

It was a busy year in La Cañada Flintridge. Residents came together to mourn losses and celebrate victories, they made their voices heard at the polls and in public hearings, they made history in real estate and sports, and, at La Cañada High School, students were instructed to try to get a little more sleep.
Here are the 17 most important local stories of 2017:

1. LCF Loses Dave Spence
Dave Spence suffered a fatal heart attack at his home May 16. The devoted city councilman and six-time mayor was 80.
In March, he’d been re-elected for a seventh term as a member of the City Council, on which he’d served since 1992: “In my opinion, La Cañada Flintridge is one of the greatest cities in this state,” Spence said during his last campaign.

Photos by Mirjam Swanson / OUTLOOK
Mayor Michael Davitt speaks at the funeral of longtime City Councilman Dave Spence in May at La Cañada Presbyterian Church.

Continue reading “A Look Back at 2017’s Top Stories in LCF”

Ex-LCE Principal Amends Lawsuit

Christine Castillo
Christine Castillo

Christine Castillo, the former La Cañada Elementary School principal, has amended her lawsuit against La Cañada Unified School District to include wrongful termination, her attorney Ben Meiselas said Wednesday.
Late last year, Castillo filed suit against the district, alleging that officials discriminated against her by subjecting her to unfair treatment that included demotion and reassignment when she told them she was pregnant shortly after being hired in 2012. Continue reading “Ex-LCE Principal Amends Lawsuit”

Ex-LCE Principal’s Lawyer Offers Details; Seeks Apology

Christine Castillo visited a classroom with daughter Alissa soon after she was born.
Photo courtesy Christine Castillo.
Christine Castillo visited a classroom with daughter Alissa soon after she was born.

An attorney for former La Cañada Elementary School principal Christine Castillo suggested there could be a “happy ending” to his client’s lawsuit charging La Cañada Unified School District with gender discrimination.
“A happy ending is the school district apologizes,” said Ben Meiselas, an attorney handling Castillo’s suit along with Mark Geragos, of the Los Angeles-based firm Geragos & Geragos. Castillo is seeking unspecified damages in the suit. Continue reading “Ex-LCE Principal’s Lawyer Offers Details; Seeks Apology”

Former Principal Sues LCUSD for Discrimination

OUTLOOK file photo Christine Castillo, who served as La Cañada Elementary School’s principal from July 2012 until June 2015, is suing the La Cañada Unified School District for pregnancy discrimination.
OUTLOOK file photo
Christine Castillo, who served as La Cañada Elementary School’s principal from July 2012 until June 2015, is suing the La Cañada Unified School District for pregnancy discrimination.

Former La Cañada Elementary School principal Christine Castillo has retained high-profile attorney Mark Geragos and is suing La Cañada Unified School District, alleging sex discrimination as well as intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress.
In a complaint filed Wednesday, Dec. 28, the former principal alleged she was discriminated against, demoted and put on indefinite leave because Superintendent Wendy Sinnette was unhappy that Castillo informed her she was pregnant a month after accepting the principal position in July 2012. Continue reading “Former Principal Sues LCUSD for Discrimination”