School Parcel Tax Renewed, Saving Some Teachers’ Jobs

The San Marino Unified School District got its parcel tax renewal last week, as 1,805 of 2,612 ballots submitted by voters supported the tax that has been collected by the district since 1991.
The tax — $366.40 per year per parcel — will continue to fund the salaries and benefits of 14 teachers and support staff members for the next six years. It is expected to generate about $1.6 million annually for that purpose. Continue reading “School Parcel Tax Renewed, Saving Some Teachers’ Jobs”

School Board Outlines Ideal Superintendent

It’s superintendent season, and the San Marino Unified School District Board of Education has an idea of the kind of executive it would like to lead its small, high-achieving district.
With a rough outline of an ideal candidate, hiring consultants Mike Escalante and James Guerra will begin crafting the job description and pitch with which they hope to attract a handful of strong applicants from which the board can ultimately make a hire. Board members spent much of their meeting last week summarizing what they want to the consultants. Continue reading “School Board Outlines Ideal Superintendent”

Stamp of Approval? Mailed Votes Due in School Tax Election

It’s time for another election in San Marino, as residents are tasked with mailing in their ballots asking whether to renew a six-year parcel tax on behalf of the San Marino Unified School District.
On the ballot is the proposed renewal of Measure R, a $366.40-per-parcel tax on San Marino properties that is expected to generate about $1.6 million annually to fund 13 full-time positions for SMUSD and an additional part-time position. This parcel tax was last renewed in 2013 and has been in effect since 1991. Continue reading “Stamp of Approval? Mailed Votes Due in School Tax Election”

School Board to Start Superintendent Hunt

Photo by Zane Hill / OUTLOOK Nam Jack, moments after her San Marino Unified School District Board of Education term ended, volunteered to campaign for the renewal of a district parcel tax at last week’s meeting.
Photo by Zane Hill / OUTLOOK
Nam Jack, moments after her
San Marino Unified School District Board of Education term ended, volunteered to campaign for the renewal of a district parcel tax
at last week’s meeting.

The newly rearranged San Marino Unified School District Board of Education appears ready to start moving on hiring a new superintendent for the district, with the first step likely to be the appointment of a subcommittee to determine which search firm to hire.
Officials are looking toward hiring the school system’s new leader before summer, the better to court the strongest candidates for the job. Linda de la Torre, the assistant superintendent who handles human resources for the district, said that the board will need to play catch-up in that regard and that she’s confident in its ability to do so. Continue reading “School Board to Start Superintendent Hunt”

Watchdog Disputes Costs of SMUSD Public Records Release

Interim Superintendent Loren Kleinrock characterized his release of financial expenses in response to a series of public records requests by a local watchdog as a matter of transparency and accountability, but the man who sought the records said it was an attempt to chill others like him from digging into San Marino Unified School District business. Continue reading “Watchdog Disputes Costs of SMUSD Public Records Release”

School Board Election Winners Aim to Respond to Voters’ Mood

Unless provisional votes and mail-in ballots make a herculean impact on last week’s election results, residents of the San Marino Unified School District will have four more years with C. Joseph Chang and Shelley Ryan on the board of education, along with rookie Corey Barberie.
Chang pulled out a particularly resounding victory on Nov. 6, with 2,204 ballots propelling him well atop the list of seven candidates vying for three seats and sending him to his fifth and self-imposed final term on the school board. Continue reading “School Board Election Winners Aim to Respond to Voters’ Mood”

Report: Barth Athletics Complex on Schedule, Within Budget

Photo courtesy Gerald Schober A report on the progress of construction of Barth Athletics Complex, shown here, was presented at the San Marino Unified School District Board of Education meeting this week.
Photo courtesy Gerald Schober
A report on the progress of construction of Barth Athletics Complex, shown here, was presented at the San Marino Unified School District Board of Education meeting this week.

Having now awarded a contract for roof installation, the San Marino Unified School District Board of Education this week finished lining up all the builders it needs for the Barth Athletics Complex’s construction.
Barring unforeseen hiccups, the facility remains on schedule to be opened to Huntington Middle School students at the start of the 2019-20 school year. The school board, at its meeting Tuesday, received a project update that coincided with its awarding of the final contract. Continue reading “Report: Barth Athletics Complex on Schedule, Within Budget”

School Board Incumbents Grab Early Lead

Despite spirited competition for the three available seats, early returns in the San Marino Unified School District Board of Education election appeared to point toward continuity, as incumbents C. Joseph Chang and Shelley Ryan had the leading two spots in a partial count of precincts Tuesday night.
With early voting tabulated along with ballots in two of the seven precincts, Chang had 1,336 votes as of The Outlook’s press deadline this week, followed by Ryan’s 988 votes. Newcomer Corey Barberie checked in at third with 877 votes. Continue reading “School Board Incumbents Grab Early Lead”

School Parcel Tax Renewal Placed on February Ballot

With the election for the renewal of one of the San Marino Unified School District’s parcel taxes officially set, the onus is now on community members to promote — or discourage — bringing it back for another six years.
Parents of SMUSD students traditionally spearhead cam-paigns for tax renewals and other measures, with school officials and Board of Education members limited to discussing information about the ballot item without weighing in on its merits. Even the campaigners must volunteer entirely on their own. Continue reading “School Parcel Tax Renewal Placed on February Ballot”