School Board Candidates State Their Cases at Forum

Photo by Zane Hill / OUTLOOK School board candidates Jane Chon, Mike Killackey, C. Joseph Chang, Corey Barberie, Shelley Ryan, John Gabriel and Steven Sommers spent two hours answering questions at a voter forum Monday evening.
Photo by Zane Hill / OUTLOOK
School board candidates Jane Chon, Mike Killackey, C. Joseph Chang, Corey Barberie, Shelley Ryan, John Gabriel and Steven Sommers spent two hours answering questions at a voter forum Monday evening.

The seven candidates for the local school board made the most of a two-hour forum at which they stated their cases for election while a large audience listened Monday evening, when the San Marino City Club hosted them at Huntington Middle School.
Voters will have to narrow their choices to three candidates by Election Day on Tuesday, Nov. 6. Continue reading “School Board Candidates State Their Cases at Forum”

School Board Candidate Thinks Long Term

Steven Sommers
Steven Sommers

Seeking to help usher San Marino Unified School District into “a new era,” educator and philanthropist Steven Sommers aims to join the district’s Board of Education by way of November’s election.
Sommers, a vice president and senior philanthropic specialist for Wells Fargo’s Private Bank, said a variety of issues motivated him to join the pool of candidates, including enhancing school safety, continuing educational excellence, improving financial sustainability and repairing what he views as the eroded trust between the district and its stakeholders. He and his wife have three — soon, four — children at Carver Elementary School.
Continue reading “School Board Candidate Thinks Long Term”

Kleinrock Fills Role of SMUSD Interim Superintendent

Loren Kleinrock
Loren Kleinrock

Loren Kleinrock, a familiar face in the San Marino Unified School District for decades, was tabbed as interim superintendent by the Board of Education this week.
Kleinrock, who served as superintendent from 2011-2014, will take the place of his own successor, Alex Cherniss, who submitted his resignation in August after accepting the superintendent position at Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified School District.
Most recently a temporary assistant principal at San Marino High School, Kleinrock has worked in a variety of teaching, coaching and administrative roles with SMUSD since 1975. Continue reading “Kleinrock Fills Role of SMUSD Interim Superintendent”

School Board Candidate Touts Education Experience

Jane Chon
Jane Chon

Jane Chon said she aims to make the best use of her background in education policy if she is elected to the San Marino Unified School District Board of Education in November. A resident of San Marino for a decade, Chon said having twin sons at San Marino High School, a daughter at Huntington Middle School and a preschooler at a private school has given her a wide-ranging perspective on education here and feels she can contribute better because of it.
“If you look at all of my children, you’ll see that they are all in different stages of their lives and they’re very different people,” she said in a recent phone interview. “There’s a very big range of experiences within our own schools, and I think that’s a very small example of what’s going on in our school district. Continue reading “School Board Candidate Touts Education Experience”

School Board Likes Feb. 26 for Tax Renewal Election

The San Marino Unified School District has settled on Feb. 26 as the date for an election to decide whether to renew a parcel tax used to pay for a variety of faculty and staff members.
The Board of Education unanimously voted on that date, suggested by board member Chris Norgaard, at its meeting last week. The board’s next step will be to adopt a resolution formally calling the election no later than Nov. 30; state law requires that elections be called at least 88 days prior to their date. Continue reading “School Board Likes Feb. 26 for Tax Renewal Election”

Superintendent, Settlement Top SMUSD Leaders’ Concerns

Although the San Marino Unified School District Board of Education did not reach a decision last week on its next step regarding the soon-to-be-open superintendent job, it was poised to take another closed-session crack at it during a meeting this week.
In another matter taking place behind closed doors, district officials also continue to hammer out a settlement agreement in a lawsuit they are facing.
The board was scheduled to meet in closed session starting at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 5, after The Outlook’s press deadline. It previously met in closed session after its regular meeting Aug. 28, although no decisions were made. Continue reading “Superintendent, Settlement Top SMUSD Leaders’ Concerns”

Settlement Conference Planned in Norgaard Dispute

Lawyers for a variety of San Marino Unified School District officials and the school board member who is suing them plan to meet for a settlement conference this month, a development that delayed a special school board meeting in which the plaintiff faced possible censure from his colleagues.
In addition, counsel for the defense filed a motion this week indicating its plans to request the dismissal of the lawsuit at a Sept. 6 hearing, citing what it says are shortcomings in the allegations. Continue reading “Settlement Conference Planned in Norgaard Dispute”

Gates Makes Strides in First Year at SMHS

Photo courtesy Terry Fouché San Marino High School Principal Issaic Gates sited this photograph, taken during his first commencement at the school, as his favorite picture from his first year as the school’s principal.
Photo courtesy Terry Fouché
San Marino High School Principal Issaic Gates sited this photograph, taken during his first commencement at the school, as his favorite picture from his first year as the school’s principal.

About a year ago, Issaic Gates compared being hired as the new principal for San Marino High School to being given the keys to mom and dad’s car, specifically a Mercedes-Benz. Continue reading “Gates Makes Strides in First Year at SMHS”

School Officials, Norgaard Spar Over Restraining Order Request

Attorneys for San Marino school board member Chris Norgaard said this week that a statement filed in court by Superintendent Alex Cherniss is a public smear against the longtime official and also disputed an assertion that Norgaard’s application for a restraining order was untimely.
Norgaard’s request for a temporary restraining order — the second he has filed this month in federal court, after an earlier application was rejected — seeks to allow Norgaard to take part in meetings with the four other school board members to evaluate Cherniss’ job performance, even though Norgaard is now suing all of them for alleged defamation and violations of his civil rights. Continue reading “School Officials, Norgaard Spar Over Restraining Order Request”