Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, February 26, 2011

MVNews this week:  Page 8



 Mountain Views News Saturday, February 26, 2011 



Surprise Announcement Shocks Community

By Susan Henderson

Just weeks before the election that will 
add at least two new faces to the Pasadena 
Unified School Districts Board of 
Education, Superintendent Edwin Diaz 
announced his resignation, effective in 

 The announcement stated, “The position 
of Superintendent requires an unmatched 
commitment of time, energy 
and passion in order to adequately serve 
students, staff and community – a commitment 
I’ve enthusiastically embraced 
during the past four years,” Diaz stated. 
“After much deliberation and meaningful 
discussions with my family, I find at 
this stage of my life and career I want 
to pursue a more balanced and healthy 

 In a one on one interview with Diaz 
just days after his announcement, Diaz 
said he looked forward to returning to 
his home of Gilroy in Northern California 
and taking a good look at what he 
wants to do next. He ruled out taking 
on another demanding position such as 
his job with PUSD.

 Are We Better Off Than We Were?


 One of the reasons that many in the 
community are saddened by news of Diaz’s 
departure is because of the progress 
that has been made during his tenure. 
In his resignation notice, he highlighted 
a number of his accomplishments since 
taking the reigns in 2007:

 Student achievement has soared by 
52 points on the state’s Academic Performance 
Index over the past three 
years, surpassing the state’s rate of 

 More PUSD schools have joined the 
“800 Club,” of schools that are considered 
high performing. A comprehensive 
and collaborative strategy 
incorporating drop-out prevention 
and intervention programs for at-risk 
students has increased PUSD’s graduation 

 Enhanced investment in the use of 
data to drive instruction and decision 
making, and stronger organizational 
systems, PUSD has improved its effectiveness 
and accountability and 
established credibility with a broad 
range of external partners. 

 Lead a major reorganization of the 
district’s facilities division, and the 
development of the district’s Facilities 
Master Plan. 

 Completed 90 percent of projected 
on time and under budget that were 
authorized by voters 
via Measure 
TT in 2009.

 He is also responsible 
for implementing 
creative secondary 
school reforms 
including the reorganization 
one of the district’s 
most challenged 
schools, John Muir 
High School.

 Diaz’s leadership also 
resulted in a new centralized 
service structure 
that reduced 
costs by more than $2 
million. He has been 
a leader in developing 
with the business 
community through 
partnerships with 
businesses like 
Hewlett Packard, the 
Irvine Foundation, 
the Webster Foundation, 
the Ford Foundation, 
and the Pasadena 

Says Diaz, “All of 
these things are a 
work in progress that the community 
must continue and improve upon. I will 
do whatever I can during the transition 
to help make that happen.” His willingness 
to assure a smooth transition is one 
reason his resignation will not take effect 
until the end of the school year.

Impact On School Board Race

 Speculation is widespread as to what 
affect, if any, Diaz’s announcement will 
have on the election to bring new members 
to the Board of Education. While 
several voters indicated that it would 
have no impact on their decision, there 
is speculation that with Diaz leaving, 
there may be increased voter turnout 
since the new board will have to select 
the next Superintendent.

Grateful To The Community

One thing that Diaz wants everyone to 
know is how grateful he is to the PUSD 
community. “It takes the whole community 
working together” in order for 
the district to continue making progress. 
Much of the credit for the community 
working together the last four 
years is the direct result of Diaz leadership. 
When he came to the district in 
2007, he walked into a hornets nest of 
controversy, a community that was disappointed 
with the state of the district 
and many administrators and teachers 
that were hoping that new leadership 
would bring about change. And change 
is what he delivered.

Diaz isn’t certain what he will do next, 
but he knows it will be in public education 
on a limited basis. In addition 
to named Administrator of the Year by 
the Association of California School 
Administrators (ACSA) in Region XV, 
he won numerous awards and accolades 
for his work in public education. In 
2009, he was selected as a Distinguished 
Educator by the California State University 
of Los Angeles; in 2008, he was 
awarded the LULAC Educator of the 
Year award. 

A native of Gilroy, California, Diaz was 
the first in his family to attend college. 
He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology 
from California State University, 
Chico and a Masters of Arts in Education 
from San Jose State University.

Alverno High School

200 N. Michillinda Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024

(626) 355-3463 Head of School: Ann M. Gillick 

E-mail address:

Arcadia High School

180 Campus Drive Arcadia, CA 91007

Phone: (626) 821-8370, Principal: David L. Vannasdall

Arroyo Pacific Academy

41 W. Santa Clara St. Arcadia, Ca, 

(626) 294-0661 Principal: Phil Clarke

E-mail address:

Barnhart School

240 W. Colorado Blvd Arcadia, Ca. 91007

(626) 446-5588 Head of School: Joanne Testa Cross

Kindergarten - 8th grade


Bethany Christian School

93 N. Baldwin Ave. Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024

(626) 355-3527 Principal: James Lugenbuehl

E-mail address:

Carden of the Foothills School

429 Wildrose Avenue, Monrovia, CA 91016 626/358-9414 
626/358-5164 fax

The Gooden School

192 N. Baldwin Ave. Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024

(626) 355-2410 Head of School: Patty Patano


High Point Academy

1720 Kinneloa Canyon Road

Pasadena, Ca. 91107 626-798-8989


LaSalle High School

3880 E. Sierra Madre Blvd. Pasadena, Ca. 

(626) 351-8951 


Monrovia High School

325 East Huntington Drive, Monrovia, CA 91016 

(626) 471-2000, 


Norma Coombs Alternative School

2600 Paloma St. Pasadena, Ca. 91107

(626) 798-0759 Principal: Dr. Vanessa Watkins 

E-mail address:

Odyssey Charter School

725 W. Altadena Dr. Altadena, Ca. 91001

(626) 229-0993 Head of School: Lauren O’Neill


Pasadena High School

2925 E. Sierra Madre Blvd. Pasadena, Ca. 

(626) 798-8901 Principal: Dr. Derick Evans


Pasadena Unified School District

351 S. Hudson Ave. Pasadena, Ca. 91109

(626) 795-6981 website:

St. Rita Catholic School

322 N. Baldwin Ave. Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024

(626) 355-9028 website:

Sierra Madre Elementary School

141 W. Highland Ave, Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024

(626) 355-1428 Principal: Gayle Bluemel


Sierra Madre Middle School 

160 N. Canon Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024

(626) 836-2947 Principal: Gayle Bluemel

Contact person: Garrett Newsom, Asst. Principal

E-mail address:

Walden School

74 S San Gabriel Blvd

Pasadena, CA 91107 (626) 792-6166

Weizmann Day School

1434 N. Altadena Dr. Pasadena, Ca. 91107

(626) 797-0204

Lisa Feldman: Head of School

Wilson Middle School

300 S. Madre St. Pasadena, Ca. 91107

(626) 449-7390 Principal: Ruth Esseln

E-mail address:

Pasadena Unified School District

351 S. Hudson Ave., Pasadena, Ca. 91109

(626) 795-6981 Website:

Superintendent Diaz, who was recently named Administrator 
of the Year by the Association of California School 
Administrators (ACSA) in Region XV. 

 He also cultivated important relationships with the business 
community. Below he shares a moment with community 
leader Bill Podley. MVNews Photo Archives

Looking Into The Life Of A Teenager

 By Meaghan Allen


By Meaghan Allen

 My mom lives in Wyoming. She has lived there since I 
was in sixth grade, and every year since then I have spent 
half of my summer and one major holiday with her. This 
past President’s Day I went to Casper to visit, missing three 
days of school in the process. I was fine at first, but a slight 
panic began to set in as I discovered that her internet is 
inconsistent, her Microsoft Office doesn’t work, and my 
deadlines began to creep closer. I tried to take deep breaths 
and calm myself down, but to no avail. After a small panic 
attack, I stared out my window, wishing for a miracle. And 
then something happened. It began to snow.

 For all of you Gilmore Girl fans out there, I, like Lorelai 
Gilmore, love the snow. It is one of my favorite things on this 
earth and makes me feel warm and calm. Every time I visit 
my mom in the winter it snows. Two Christmases ago it was 
supposed to be in the fifties, but instead we got eight inches 
of soft, beautiful snow. This trip, we weren’t supposed to get 
any snow because the storm was supposed to go around 
us, but as I looked outside my bedroom window, I saw tiny 
flakes drifting down from the sky, twirling and dancing 
in the slight breeze. I ran outside and smiled towards the 
heavens, as a sense of contentment spread through my body 
as a sign of gratitude for this gift. All of my worries seemed 
to melt away like the flakes will as the weather gets warmer, 
and I felt as though I could truly breathe. The clean air 
seemed to cleanse my mind and soul, and as I walked inside 
I felt a wave of confidence overcome me. 



Applications Accepted February 28-March 4 for Limited Spots 
in College & Career Pathways and Spanish/Mandarin Chinese 
Dual Language Immersion Programs 

The Pasadena Unified School District (PUSD) announced that it 
will accept student applications for its Signature Programs that 
offer themed or specialized instruction for elementary and high 
school students during a second priority open enrollment application 
period from February 28-March 4, 2011. 

A limited number of spots remain available for students who 
wish to attend one of the District’s Signature Programs but do 
not reside in the attendance area for that school. The two Signature 
Programs are:

• College & Career Pathways at PUSD high schools that 
offer a college preparatory curriculum with specialized course 
study in the following areas: 

o Health Careers 

o Creative Arts, Media & Design 

o Information & Technology 

o Engineering and Environmental Science 

o Business and Entrepreneurship 

o Arts, Entertainment and Media

• Dual Language Immersion, starting in Kindergarten, 
where students learn core academic subjects in English and another 

o Spanish at San Rafael Elementary 

o Mandarin Chinese at Field Elementary

The 2011-2012 Open Enrollment second priority application period 
for PUSD Signature Programs begins Monday, February 28 
and will end Friday, March 4, 2011 at 5 p.m. Applications are 
accepted online at 

Families who need internet access or help completing the online 
application can visit PUSD’s District’s Welcome Center, located 
in Room 121, 351 South Hudson, Pasadena. Computers and assistance 
are available Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. 
To contact the Welcome Center-Office of Permits, call 626-396-
3600, extension 88340.

Students must reside within the areas served by PUSD: Altadena, 
Pasadena and Sierra Madre. Students applying for Pathways 
must be current 8th graders or current 9th graders who do not 
reside in the attendance area of the Pathway they are choosing. 
Students applying for Dual Language Immersion Programs must 
enter Kindergarten in Fall 2011 and be 5 years old on or before 
December 2, 2011. Students accepted into a signature program 
are granted a permit which will not be renewed if the student 
declines to remain in the program.

Mountain Views News 80 W Sierra Madre Blvd. No. 327 Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024 Office: 626.355.2737 Fax: 626.609.3285 Email: Website: