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

MVNews this week:  Page 7



 Mountain Views News Saturday, March 26, 2011 



A familiar face and outstanding leader plans to retire By Susan Henderson

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:

Sierra Madre School principal Gayle 
Bluemel will be leaving at the end of 
this school year. This sad news was announced 
to parents earlier this week. 

 Many parents immediately began passing 
the word via email and facebook. 
One parent summed it up best, “My sadness 
is for our loss of a truly remarkable 
Administrator who has not only upheld 
the highest of standards for excellence at 
our school but also found a way to interweave 
the arts into the fabric of our 
school culture. I also celebrate with her 
the myriad of possibilities she has ahead 
of her as she enters the next phase of her 
abundantly full life.”

 Bluemel, who tendered her official resignation 
on March 22, 2011, has been 
with the Pasadena Unified School District 
for 38 years. She has been at Sierra 
Madre School since 1990. When Bluemel 
first came to SMS she worked as a 
1st grade teach and worked her way to 
the top becoming principal of both the 
Upper and Lower Campuses in 2006. 
Sierra Madre School teaches children 
from Kindergarten through 8th grade 
and has two campuses that serve almost 
1,000 students.


 Sierra Madre School during Bluemel’s 
tenure as Principal, has maintained 
steadily improving and very high Academic 
Performance Index (API) scores. 
The score, on a scale of 200 to 1,000, 
annually measures the academic performance 
and progress of individual 
schools in California. The state has set 
800 as the API score that schools should 
strive to meet. For the 2009-2010 school 
year, SMS has an API of 898, the highest 
in the PUSD.

Of her retirement, 
PUSD Superintendent 
Edwin Diaz 
says, “Gayle consistently 
ensures the 
delivery of powerful 
instruction in every 
classroom, and always 
puts students 
first; she has built 
an incredible team 
with the staff at 
both schools, and is 
engaged with parents 
at all times. 
The fruits of her labor 
are evident in 
continually rising 
test and API scores, 
awards, and accolades 
from all stakeholders. 
She will be 
sorely missed by the 
Sierra Madre school 
family and the entire 
PUSD community.”

 Known not only for her comittment 
to students and the fact that she made 
communicating with the parents a priority, 
Bluemel was also a ‘participating 
leader’. She could be seen every month 
accompanying students at their “Spotlight 
Assemblies”, playing the piano and 
often directing the musical selections. 
Recently, she played for the 3rd grade 
students at Sierra Madre’s first citywide 
State of the City Address. She also supported 
school and community fundraising 
activities with her band, “The 
Late Bloomers”.

Those who have had the opportunity to 
see Gayle in action know that she has 
some pretty big shoes to fill. According 
to the Superintendent’s office, the selection 
process has not been completely 
defined yet. However, Diaz office has 
said, “our practice when filling principal 
positions has been to involve the community 
in identifying the desired characteristics 
of the new principal and serving 
on interview panels to ensure that 
the principal is a good fit for the school 

Bluemel’s departure along with that of 
Superintendent Diaz will surely present 
a new challenge for the PUSD in the 
coming school year.

Principal Bluemel at the SMS School Auction last year, 
interacting with the community. 

Photo courtesy


 Last week on March 17, St. Patrick’s Day, I celebrated my 
seventeenth birthday. I was bombarded at school with cookies, 
brownies and cupcakes from friends and fellow classmates who 
were all sporting the festive green attire. Three days prior, it 
was my friend Kyle’s birthday, Pi day (3-14), and he received 
the same treatment as me. Not to say that other kids aren’t as loved or remembered as us, but for some reason it seems that 
people who have birthdays on or near holidays seem more celebrated. I personally am horrible at remembering birthdays. 
I don’t mean it to offend anyone, I just am. I try, but for some reason, certain dates just don’t stick in my mind like others. I 
can remember my older stepsister Melissa’s because she shares a birthday with Dr. Seuss and Bon Jovi, but not my younger 
stepsister’s whose is in early October. 

 It was interesting when I discovered this about myself because I am usually a perceptive person; the first to notice a new 
haircut or pair of shoes. Why then can I not remember the day someone was born – the celebration of their existence unless 
it’s near a holiday? I think it is partially because in my subconscious I get excited when people have “holiday birthdays” like 
me, and therefore I put a post-it in my mental calendar. I also think it’s because not many people are born on a holiday, or 
near a holiday, so when it is their birthday I have a sort of reminder to celebrate. 

 I don’t mean to be a party-pooper or rain on anyone’s birthday parade; I’m just not good with dates or birthdays. So for 
all I you I bid you a Happy Birthday!

Looking Into The Life Of A Teenager

 By Meaghan Allen

Senator Huff to Host Education 
Reform Summit

Summit to Focus on Reforms That Best Serve 
California Students

Senator Bob Huff (R-Diamond 
Bar) will host an Education Reform 
Summit next Thursday, 
March 31st on the Citrus College 
Campus in Glendora. The Summit, 
which will feature a number 
of guest speakers, will focus on 
education options and reforms 
that best serve the needs of California 

The Education Reform Summit 
will be held at the Louis E. Zellers 
for Innovation Community Room 
Cl 159, on the campus of Citrus 
College at 1000 Foothill Blvd. in 
Glendora. The summit will run 
from 6:00-8:00 PM. Members 
of the public are encouraged to 

“I believe in and promote reforms 
that serve the best interests and 
needs of California schoolchildren,” 
said Senator Huff. “That’s 
why I’ve introduced education 
measures this year to reform 
teacher tenure and increase transparency 
when it comes to how our 
school districts use California tax 

The Education Reform Summit 
will feature a number of guest 
speakers. They include Los Angeles 
Unified School District 
(LAUSD) Superintendent John 
Deasy, who will serve as the Keynote 
Speaker. Other guests include 
former State Senator Gloria 
Romero, Citrus College President 
Dr. Geraldine Perri and Riverside 
Unified School District Superintendent 
Dr. Rick Miller.

“This summit is open to students, 
parents of students and all others 
interested in the future of education 
in California,” said Senator 
Huff. “There will be a roundtable 
discussion of education options 
and reforms that will include 
questions from the audience.”

To RSVP for the Education Reform 
Summit, please contact Senator 
Huff’s District Office at (909) 



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.




The PUSD Board of 
Education invites 
applications for the 
9-member Charter 
Task Force that will 
study changing the 
selection method 
for Members of the 
Board of Education 
from the current at-
large method of election 
to district-based 
elections. Task Force 
applications are due 
on April 15. Information 
and applications 
are attached, 
and also available at