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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La Cañada Edges Claremont, Reaches Semifinals

Photo courtesy LCHS Athletics The La Cañada High School varsity girls’ tennis team is one win away from playing its first CIF Southern Section championship match since 1978. The squad, accompanied by head coach Will Moravec, includes Sonia Bhaskaran, Ashley Chun, Tsehay Driscoll, Eliana Hanna, Marlene Hess, Annabelle Kevakian, Kristy Kim, Stacey Kim, Anabel Massabki, Solenn Matuska, Sophia McKenzie, Artis Phillips, Sarah Pyne-Jaeger, Sophia Razavi, Natalie Son, Lisa Sun, Maya Urata, Maya Vasisht, Sydney Wang and Elise Wu.
Photo courtesy LCHS Athletics
The La Cañada High School varsity girls’ tennis team is one win away from playing its first CIF Southern Section championship match since 1978. The squad, accompanied by head coach Will Moravec, includes Sonia Bhaskaran, Ashley Chun, Tsehay Driscoll, Eliana Hanna, Marlene Hess, Annabelle Kevakian, Kristy Kim, Stacey Kim, Anabel Massabki, Solenn Matuska, Sophia McKenzie, Artis Phillips, Sarah Pyne-Jaeger, Sophia Razavi, Natalie Son, Lisa Sun, Maya Urata, Maya Vasisht, Sydney Wang and Elise Wu.

Longtime La Cañada High School varsity girls’ tennis coach Will Moravec finally had his wish granted this season, and it has certainly benefitted his program.
“The last couple of years, I’ve been hoping we’d be in Division 2,” Moravec said. “A lot of times, CIF puts us in Division 1 and that’s super tough for us. The timing was right, and we’re in Division 2 with two hotshot freshman girls who really gave us depth this year.”
The added depth and placement in Division 2 allowed the Spartans to make an impressive postseason run, reaching the CIF Southern Section Division 2 semifinals following a 10-8 victory over Claremont on Monday.
La Cañada traveled to Long Beach on Wednesday to take on Poly in a semifinal match. Should the Spartans come away with a victory, they would advance to the final match against the winner of the other semifinal match between Aliso Niguel of Aliso Viejo and Chino Hills Ayala.
The Spartans have not played a CIF-SS championship match in 40 years. They finished as runners-up against Corona del Mar in 1978 and won the Division 3A crown in 1977 by defeating San Marino.
“The margins are getting smaller,” Moravec said. “The matches are going to be a lot closer and it’s going to be tight. There were a ton of 9-9 and 10-8 matches in first few rounds. That shows that CIF is doing a good job of making parity. You have to be on the top of your game. There’s no time for a bad day. Hopefully our girls will be ready and play great. They played great on Monday.”
The Spartans opened the playoff tournament with a 14-4 victory over Los Angeles Brentwood and followed that with an upset win over No. 2-seeded Redlands, which finished the regular season unbeaten.
The Division 2 championship match will be played at the Claremont Club this Friday, Nov. 9, at 11 a.m.