Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, September 7, 2019

MVNews this week:  Page 8


Mountain Views-News Saturday, September 7, 2019 


ARCADIA-- Arcadia Unified history teacher Karalee Nakatsuka recently made her own history. Of the 
tens of thousands of history teachers throughout California, Nakatsuka, who teaches at First Avenue 
Middle School, was named the 2019 California History Teacher of the Year and top ten finalist for 
the National History Teacher of the Year award by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. 

There was standing room only in First Avenue Middle School’s auditorium on Friday, Sept. 6, as 
Nakatsuka’s students, family, friends, and colleagues gathered to celebrate Nakatsuka for a ceremony 
in recognition of her esteemed accomplishment. Bouncing off the walls were roars of applause and 
cheers of support from a sea of green that filled the seats (Nakatsuka’s favorite color and a color that 
represents her passion for frogs and frog-tastic puns). 

“My mission as a U.S. History teacher is to educate the whole child by making history come alive so 
students learn the lessons of the past in order to inform the decisions of today and plan and prepare 
for tomorrow,” said Nakatsuka while reflecting on this esteemed distinction in an award ceremony 
in her honor on Friday, Sept. 6 in First Avenue Middle School’s auditorium which was bursting at 
its seams with. “In my classroom, my goal is to establish a climate and a culture that encourages my 
students to be critical thinkers, effective collaborators, life-long learners and empathetic, informed 
citizens who care and contribute to society.” 

The ceremony stage saw Arcadia Unified’s Board of Education members and Superintendent Dr. 
David Vannasdall as well as First Avenue Middle School Principal Dr. Semeen Issa, Arcadia Mayor 
April Verlato, and Gilder Lehrman Institute representative Jack Bareilles gathered together to share 
words, certificates, and other congratulatory tokens to celebrate Nakatsuka’s commitment to her 
students, colleagues, and profession. 

“Ms. Nakatsuka teaches important historical concepts in meaningful ways, opening the door for 
students to understand and engage with history and paving the way for rich conversation and 
interaction with the subject matter,” shared Jack Bareilles, Gilder Lehrman Institute Representative, 
who made a trek all the way from Humboldt County to Arcadia to present Nakatsuka with her official 
certificate of recognition. 

Nakatsuka has been an educator in Arcadia Unified since 1990. She earned a B.A. in American Studies 
at Occidental College and has a Social Studies Credential and Master of Education degree from the 
University of California, Los Angeles. 

In conjunction with Nakatsuka’s recognition, First Avenue Middle School will receive a $1,000 
honorarium as well as a core archive of American history books and Gilder Lehrman educational 

The Gilder Lehrman Institute’s History Teacher of the Year Award program seeks to illuminate the 
crucial importance of history education by honoring exceptional American history teachers from 
elementary school through high school. The award honors one K-12 teacher from each state, the 
District of Columbia, Department of Defense schools and US Territories. Nakatsuka has advanced 
as a top ten finalist from the pool of state winners being considered for the National History Teacher 
of the Year Award. A national winner will be named in a couple of weeks Bareilles said during his 

The institute’s National History Teacher of the Year will be presented with his or her recognition 
in New York City, scheduled for Oct. 2, 2019, and will be presented by John Avlon, Senior Political 
Analyst and anchor at CNN. In alignment with the prestige of the program, past ceremony presenters 
include the Honorable Sandra Day O’Connor, Good Morning America ‘s Robin Roberts, First Lady 
Laura Bush, former US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, and former New York City Mayor 
Michael Bloomberg. 

Acclaimed teachers like Nakatsuka exemplify why Arcadia Unified was recently named in the top 
1% of school districts with the best teachers in America, California, and Los Angeles by 
In correlation, Arcadia Unified was also named by Niche as being in the top 1% of the best school 
districts in America, California, and Los Angeles. For more about the Gilder Lehrman Institute, visit and for more information on the Arcadia Unified School District, visit .


Alverno Heights Academy

200 N. Michillinda Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024

(626) 355-3463 Head of School: Julia V. Fanara

E-mail address:

Arcadia High School

180 Campus Drive Arcadia, CA 91007

Phone: (626) 821-8370, Principal: Brent Forsee

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: Ethan Williamson

Kindergarten - 8th grade


Bethany Christian School

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

(626) 355-3527 

Preschool-TK-8th Grade

Principal: Dr. William Walner

website: www.

Clairbourn School

8400 Huntington Drive

San Gabriel, CA 91775

Phone: 626-286-3108 ext. 172

FAX: 626-286-1528


Foothill Oaks Academy

822 E. Bradbourne Ave., Duarte, CA 91010

(626) 301-9809

Principal: Nancy Lopez

Frostig School

971 N. Altadena Drive Pasadena, CA 91107

(626) 791-1255

Head of School: Jenny Janetzke


The Gooden School

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

(626) 355-2410 

Head of School, Jo-Anne Woolner


High Point Academy

1720 Kinneloa Canyon Road 

Pasadena, Ca. 91107 

Head of School: Gary Stern 626-798-8989


La Salle College Preparatory

3880 E. Sierra Madre Blvd. Pasadena, Ca. 

(626) 351-8951 website:

Principal Mrs. Courtney Kassakhian

Monrovia High School

325 East Huntington Drive, Monrovia, CA 91016 

(626) 471-2800 Principal Darvin Jackson


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) 396-5880 Principal: Roberto Hernandez


St. Rita Catholic School

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

Principal Joan Harabedian (626) 355-9028 


Sierra Madre Elementary School

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

(626) 355-1428 Principal: Lindsay Lewis

E-mail address:

Sierra Madre Middle School 

160 N. Canon Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024

(626) 836-2947 Principal: Garrett Newsom

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) 396-3600 Website:

Arcadia Unified School District

234 Campus Dr., Arcadia, Ca. 91007

(626) 821-8300 Website:

Monrovia Unified School District

325 E. Huntington Dr., Monrovia, Ca. 91016

(626) 471-2000 


Duarte Unified School District

1620 Huntington Dr., Duarte, Ca. 91010



Arcadia Christian School

1900 S. Santa Anita Avenue Arcadia, CA 91006

Preschool - and TK - 8th Grade



Principal: Cindy Harmon




Now that same-gender couples can legally marry in all 50 states, 
more Americans than ever before are enjoying the rights and 
benefits that come with marriage. Estate planning is one arena 
where these new rights and benefits are readily apparent.

While the planning vehicles available to same-gender and opposite-
gender married couples are generally the same, there are a few unique 
considerations those in same-gender marriages should be aware 
of. Here are three of the most important things to keep in mind.
Relying solely on a will is risky: For several reasons, putting a trust in place—rather than relying solely 
on will—is a good planning strategy for nearly everyone. Upon the death of one spouse, a will is required 
to go through the often long, costly, and conflict-ridden court process known as probate. However, 
assets passed through a trust go directly to the named beneficiaries without the need for probate.
What’s more, a trust works in cases of both your death and incapacity, while a will only goes into 
effect upon death. Given this, it’s usually best for those in any marriage to create trust based plans.

Don’t neglect to plan for incapacity: Estate planning is not just about planning for your 
death; it’s also about planning for your potential incapacity. Should you be incapacitated 
by illness or injury, it’s not guaranteed that your spouse would have the ultimate 
legal authority to make key decisions about your medical treatment and finances.
Absent a plan for incapacity, it’s left to the court to appoint the person who will make these decisions for 
you. Though spouses are typically given priority, this isn’t always the case, especially if unsupportive 
family members challenge the issue in court. To ensure your spouse has the authority to make decisions 
for you, you must grant him or her medical power of attorney and financial power of attorney. 
Medical power of attorney gives your spouse the authority to make health-care decisions for you if 
you’re incapacitated and unable to do so yourself. By the same token, financial power of attorney gives 
your spouse the authority to manage your financial affairs. And be sure to also create a living will, so that 
your spouse will know exactly how you want your medical care managed in the event of your incapacity.

Ensure parental rights are protected: While the biological parent of a child in a same-gender 
marriage is of course automatically granted parental rights, the non-biological spouse/parent still 
faces a number of legal complications. Because the Supreme Court has yet to rule on the parental 
rights of non-biological spouses/parents in a same-gender marriage, there is a tangled, often-
contradictory, web of state laws governing such rights.

To ensure the full rights of a non-biological parent, you may want to consider second-parent 
adoption. But, by using a variety of unique planning strategies, your Personal Family Lawyer 
can provide non-biological, same-gender parents with nearly all parental rights without 
going through adoption. Using our Kids Protection Plan®, couples can name the non-
biological parent as the child’s legal guardian, both for the short-term and the long-term, 
while confidentially excluding anyone the biological parent thinks may challenge their wishes. 

Dedicated to empowering your family, building your wealth 
and defining your legacy,

A local attorney and father, Marc Garlett is on a mission to help 
parents protect what they love

most. His office is located at 55 Auburn Avenue, Sierra Madre, 
CA 91024. Schedule an appointment to sit down and talk about 
ensuring a legacy of love and financial security for your family by calling 626.355.4000 or visit for more information.


USC Trojan Affiliates invites the community to attend its second 
annual USC Merchandise Pop Up Sale on Saturday, October 5, 2019 at 
929 Buena Vista Street, South Pasadena, from 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. 

A wide assortment of merchandise will be available at very discounted 
prices. There will be clothing, items for the home and garden, and 
collectibles available. 

 For further information contact Aleta Blanc at

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