The Board of Education held a regularly scheduled public meeting on May 14, 2019, during which it made many decisions, including approving a resolution to borrow TRAN funds for cash flow purposes. To listen to the entire meeting, please
for the audio.
Board Approves Dr. Jeff Wilson as SMUSD's 14th Superintendent
It was an important night for the Board of Education, the District and the San Marino community on Tuesday, May 14, 2019, when the Board approved Dr. Jeff Wilson as the 14th superintendent to lead the SMUSD forward with the goal of providing the best education for San Marino students.
Before introducing Dr. Wilson, the Board thanked many people, including all community members who engaged in the comprehensive search process, from meeting with the search firm consultants in individual and group meetings, to attending the two Town Hall meetings, to responding to the online survey, and to providing Public Comment and private comments to Board members. The community input was essential, instructive and considered by the Board throughout the search process.
The Board thanked Loren Kleinrock for stepping in as interim superintendent on short notice, helping provide stability during some difficult times, and helping keep the District on track. The Board also thanked District administrators, District Office staff, teachers and other certificated staff, and classified staff for working so hard this past year. Despite losing their superintendent at the beginning of the school year and then only having a part-time superintendent the rest of the year, District employees stepped up, with many taking on extra duties, and continued to provide excellent support and educational opportunities for our students.
Last, but not least, the Board thanked Dr. Wilson for applying for the superintendent position. Dr. Wilson comes to San Marino with several degrees and 25 years of experience as an educator and administrator. He has been a teacher, assistant principal and principal in the middle school setting. Most recently, he has served for five years as Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services in Arcadia Unified School District. He is very familiar with San Marino Unified and the San Marino community, as well as with the needs and expectations of a high performing school district.
Dr. Wilson brings great experience and professional skills to the District, and, according to Arcadia Unified employees, he also brings a passion for education and students, a strong work ethic, visibility on school campuses and at school events, and accessibility to all stakeholders.
Dr. Wilson spoke briefly and expressed his appreciation and enthusiasm about his new position. (Click here to listen to the audio of the meeting and his remarks starting at 31m:18s.)
Although Dr. Wilson will not officially begin his duties in San Marino until July 1, he is already thinking about how he can make this District the best that it can be. He has attended several PTA meetings and a San Marino Schools Foundation meeting to start learning all he can about our volunteers and community.
Today, the Board hosted a "meet and greet" for District Office employees to have an opportunity to meet Dr. Wilson. Dr. Wilson then briefly visited each school site to see them in action before the end of the school year.
The Board will be working with Dr. Wilson in the weeks to come to identify other opportunities for the community to meet Dr. Wilson. Keep an eye out for him in the Fourth of July Parade!
Three District Employees are Thanked During Retirement Celebration
On May 14, 2019, the District, Board and San Marino Teachers Association hosted a celebration recognizing the contribution of three employees who are retiring this year: Mr. Mike Hobbie, Mrs. Suzanne Hobbie, and Mrs. Jerri Su. After declining another retirement celebration, Interim Superintendent Loren Kleinrock served as Emcee of the event.
San Marino Teachers Association President Jessica Bulgin and San Marino High School Principal Issaic Gates spoke eloquently about the Hobbies' many contributions to SMHS students' academic and athletic lives, as well as to the San Marino High School community, since Coach Hobbie arrived in 2011 as Head Football Coach and Mrs. Hobbie started in 2013 as a science teacher.
The Hobbies thanked the District and San Marino communities for the fond memories and wonderful relationships they developed during their time here. "We would like to thank all the District personnel that had a hand in our arrival and to those that have so strongly supported us. Our San Marino experience will never leave us nor fade, as it has been such a wonderful experience that will be forever indelibly linked to our lives. From the bottom of our hearts we want to thank the District, the school, the students, the parents and the community for eight years of wonderful memories."
California State Employees Association President Marguerite Lindsay and Valentine Elementary School Principal Colleen Shields spoke highly of the third honoree, Mrs. Jerri Su. Mrs. Su served as an Instructional Assistant and Noon Duty Aide at Valentine for over 20 years, starting when her youngest son was in third grade. Mrs. Su is known for her heart for children and her ability to soothe students' "owies" during noontime play.
Mrs. Su explained how much Valentine means to her: "It is not just a place to work, it is like my family...the children at Valentine became like my own children. It is a joy and privilege to be with them every single day." She continued, "When I retire at the end of this school year, I'll cherish all the fond memories and certainly will miss all of you."
The Board thanks the Hobbies and Mrs. Su for their dedication and service to San Marino students and wishes them a very happy retirement!
Academics Advisory Committee Recommends Dual Enrollment
Academics Advisory Committee Chair Michiko Lee and Executive Director of Curriculum and Instruction Jason Kurtenbach made a presentation to the Board about the work of the Dual Enrollment Focus Group during the 2018-19 school year. They discussed the potential benefits about offering dual enrollment with Pasadena City College, such as students' ability to earn college credit and take courses not offered at SMHS. They also mentioned possible concerns, such as the impact on student wellness when students feel compelled to add another college-level class to their course load.
After a year of research and discussion, the Dual Enrollment Focus Group recommended that the Board enter into a Memorandum of Understanding with Pasadena City College and determine which course or courses will be offered to SMHS students. The Board asked that Mr. Kurtenbach arrange for PCC to make a presentation to the Board and answer questions before the Board considers the MOU.
The AAC will continue reporting on the findings and recommendations of other focus groups at upcoming Board meetings on May 28 and June 11.
The Board thanks the following AAC members for their time and expertise while working on the Dual Enrollment Focus Group: Leticia Aranda,
Jennifer Chuang, Sheila Doan, Merrily Dunlap, Jason Kurtenbach, Michiko Lee, Jessica Peak, Meredith Sommers, and Rafael Ventura III.
Board Requests More Information on Volunteer Work Projects on District School Sites
Assistant Superintendent of Business Services Julie Boucher made a presentation to the Board about volunteer work projects on District school sites. She explained that from time to time, students and/or adult volunteers request to donate their time and talents to perform work projects to benefit the District, such as Eagle Scout projects, Gold Award projects, or beautification projects. In the past, some of those projects, while well intentioned, resulted in additional costs or required additional efforts when the project was not completed in a satisfactory manner.
Mrs. Boucher explained that there are many obstacles to approving volunteer work projects due to compliance requirements under various state and federal laws, such as the Division of State Architect that requires plan approval and inspection for certain projects. Other obstacles include laws pertaining to minors, liability issues, insurance requirements, and collective bargaining requirements. Many times there may be funding issues, such as future expenditures necessary to maintain the donated services, materials or equipment.
The Board expressed its desire to make it as easy as possible for the community to donate its time and resources where possible to the District, while at the same time ensuring that the projects do not violate any laws/agreements or create liability and/or future expenditures of District monies. Mrs. Boucher will develop a Volunteer Project Request form, consider possible volunteer projects that would be suitable and meet the needs of the District, and provide an update to the Board at a future meeting.
Facility Advisory Committee Update
The Facilities Advisory Committee (FAC) met again on May 9th. They completed their review of the school sites' major deferred maintenance needs. Principal Colleen Shields provided valuable insight on Valentine Elementary School's deferred maintenance and capital project needs. The FAC will meet with the other school site principals at their future meetings.
Mr. Jim Fahey, Director of Maintenance and Operations, discussed various facilities reports that are prepared, the recent evaluation of facilities fees, and the proposed plan to seek approval to adjust fees to cover the District's actual and increasing costs.
The next FAC meeting, which is open to the public, is May 23, 2019 at 7:00 p.m. at the District Office.
To view the FAC's agendas and minutes, as well as the District's various facilities reports, click here:
Facilities Advisory Committee Info
. For more information on the FAC and its upcoming meeting schedule, please contact the District Office at 626-299-7000.
The District and the San Marino Teachers Association continued to engage in collective bargaining all day on Wednesday, May 15, 2019. The parties will meet again and exchange counter proposals on Monday, May 20.
The next School Board meeting will be May 28, 2019, at 7:30 p.m. in the District Board room.