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.

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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Superintendent Sinnette’s Contract Extended 4 Years

Likening her to basketball great Michael Jordan, the five members of the La Cañada Unified School District Governing Board heaped praise on Superintendent Wendy Sinnette at Tuesday’s meeting before voting unanimously to extend her contract for four years.
She is to earn $255,800 annually through July 31, 2021.
Previously, the board agreed to increase Sinnette’s minimum annual base salary from $185,000 to $225,800 for the 2015-16 school year, $240,800 in 2016-17 and $250,800 for 2017-18. Her base salary when she took over for retiring Superintendent Jim Stratton in 2011 was $161,000.
“Wendy continues to deliver an exceptional level of leadership,” board member Ellen Multari said. “There isn’t a day that goes by when your core values don’t shine through — your mantra, ‘What’s best for the students?’ is just emblazoned in my mind.”
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