Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, September 21, 2019

MVNews this week:  Page 8


Mountain Views-News Saturday, September 21, 2019 



ARCADIA-- Another year and another impressive 
Arcadia High showing in the National Merit 
Scholarship competition with 25 Arcadia High 
students named as 2020 National Merit Scholarship 
Semifinalists. Arcadia High is the leader of all 
Los Angeles County high schools with the most 
students named to this year’s semifinalist cohort.

While some high schools have less than a handful 
of students or no students accepted into the National 
Merit Scholarship program each year, over 
the past 26 years, Arcadia High has had an annual 
average of 20 students admitted into this prestigious 

Arcadia High’s 25 astute Apache semifinalists represent 
less than 1 percent of high school seniors 
across the nation who now have the opportunity 
to vie for a share of 7,600 scholarships that are collectively 
worth more than $31 million.

In order to qualify for entry into the National 
Merit Scholarship Corporation’s acclaimed academic 
competition, these Arcadia High students, 
during their junior year of high school, joined fellow 
11th-graders from nearly 21,000 high schools 
across the country in taking the 2018 Preliminary 
SAT/National Merit

Scholarship Qualifying Test. The highest-scoring 
students from each state serve as the pool of National 
Merit Scholarship semifinalists.

“I was surprised and ecstatic,” shared National 
Merit Semifinalist and Arcadia High senior Sandi 
Khine on her reaction to the announcement.

“While there is an element of luck involved,” explained 
Khine when asked what factors she believed 
played a role in her success on the PSAT, 
“in addition to a summer SAT course that I was 
fortunate to be able to take, the critical thinking, 
problem-solving, and time management skills 
that the PSAT required were well incorporatedin 
the classes I have taken at Arcadia High. Adding 
in the support and encouragement I received 
from teachers, staff, and advisors, I had the confidence 
to not worry about the result and to just put 
my best effort in.”

“Having started my career 15 years ago with Arcadia 
Unified as a principal for Arcadia High, it’s 
humbling to see our students’ continued success 
in this program,” said Arcadia Unified Superintendent 
Dr. David Vannasdall. “We are a district 
with one comprehensive high school, meaning 
that the success of our high school students is 
created years before they enter Arcadia High and 
continues when they become Apaches because 
ofthe vertical, collaborative efforts of our incredible 
team of staff, students, and families.”

Of the approximately 16,000 semifinalists, 15,000 
are anticipated to advance to the finalist phase 
of the program. In order to be considered for a 
finalist spot, semifinalists must complete an application, 
which includes providing an SAT score, 
essay, and letter of recommendation from a high 
school official. Students’ academic records, community 
service, participation in school activities, 
leadership roles, employment, and other awards 
and honors are also taken into account. Typically, 
over 95 percent of Arcadia High semifinalistscontinue 
on as finalists in this program. Scholarship 
winners will be announced in news releases beginning 
in April 2020.

Arcadia High School was recently ranked in the 
top 1 percent of best public high schools in the 
nation by . Its Class of 2018 saw a 100 
percent graduation rate. The Home of the Apaches 
has also been distinguished as a U.S. News and 
World Report Gold Medal School three times, 
an honor bestowed on less than 3 percent of the 
more than 19,000 schools in the country. Similarly, 
Newsweek named Arcadia High on its Top 
Public High Schools in America list. Arcadia High 
graduates are represented in every Ivy League 
schooland in top universities across the country. 
Likewise, for two consecutive years, the Arcadia 
Unified School District has been named on 
the College Board’s Annual AP ® District Honor 
Roll. For additional details on the National Merit 
Scholarship program, visit http://nationalmerit.
org , and for information about Arcadia HighSchool, 
visit .

Arcadia High School National Merit Scholarship 
Semifinalists: (Alphabetical order by last name)
Filbert Aung, Samuel D. Berkun, Jason M. Chan, 
Ryan Y. Chan, Albert Chang, Markis J. Cheng, 
Stephen X. Dai, Kenneth B. Hsu, David Ju, Sandi 
W. Khine, Robin Lee, William J. Lee, Kayli S. 
Mak, Ajay M. Manneth, Michael J. Shi, Michelle 
E. Tan, Wesley Tong, Evan T. Tsuji, Brandon Vo, 
Tingxuan Wang, Braden M. Wong, Anabell M.Xu, 
Elizabeth Y. Yeh, Andre Yeung, David X. Zhu.

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




In the first part of this series, we detailed how criminally minded 
individuals can take advantage of an overloaded court system 
and seize total control of seniors’ lives and financial assets by 
gaining court-ordered guardianship. Here we’ll dive deeper into 
how seniors and their adult children can use proactive estate 
planning to prevent this from happening.

It’s important to note that any adult could face court-ordered 
guardianship if they become incapacitated by illness or injury, so 
it’s critical that every person over age 18—not just seniors—put 
these planning vehicles in place to prepare for a potential incapacity.

Keep your family out of court and out of conflict

Outside of the potential for abuse by professional guardians, if you become incapacitated and your 
family is forced into court seeking guardianship, your family is likely to endure a costly, drawn 
out, and emotionally taxing ordeal. Not only will the legal fees and court costs drain your estate 
and possibly delay your medical treatment, but if your loved ones disagree over who’s best suited 
to serve as your guardian, it could cause bitter conflict that could unnecessarily tear your family 
apart and open the door to potential abuse. 

Planning for incapacity

The potential turmoil and expense, or even risk of abuse, from a court-ordered guardianship can 
be easily avoided through proactive estate planning. Upon your incapacity, an effective plan would 
give the individual, or individuals, of your choice immediate authority to make your medical, 
financial, and legal decisions, without the need for court intervention. What’s more, the plan can 
provide clear guidance about your wishes, so there’s no mistake about how these crucial decisions 
should be made during your incapacity.

There are a variety of planning tools available to grant this decision-making authority, 
but a will is not one of them. A will only goes into effect upon your death, and even 
then, it simply governs how your assets should be divided. To this end, a will does 
nothing to keep your family out of court and out of conflict in the event of your 
incapacity—nor does it help you avoid the potential for abuse by professional guardians.

Your incapacity plan shouldn’t be just a single document. It should include a variety of planning 
tools, including some, or all, of the following:

. Healthcare power of attorney: An advanced directive that grants an individual of your 
choice the immediate legal authority to make decisions about your medical treatment in the event 
of your incapacity.
. Living will: An advanced directive that provides specific guidance about how your medical 
decisions should be made during your incapacity.
. Durable financial power of attorney: A planning document that grants an individual 
of your choice the immediate authority to make decisions related to the management of your 
financial and legal interests.
. Revocable living trust: A planning document that immediately transfers control of all 
assets held by the trust to a person of your choosing to be used for your benefit in the event of your 
incapacity. The trust can include legally binding instructions for how your care should be managed 
and even spell out specific conditions that must be met for you to be deemed incapacitated.
. Family/friends meeting: Even more important than all of the documents we’ve listed here, 
the very best protection for you and the people you love is to ensure everyone is on the same 
page. As part of our planning process, we’ll walk the people impacted by your plan through a 
meeting that explains to them the plans you’ve made, why you’ve made them, and what to do 
when something happens to you. With a team of people who love you, watching out for you and 
what matters most, the risk of abuse from a professional guardian is low.

Don’t wait to put your plan in place

It’s vital to understand that these planning documents must be created well before you become 
incapacitated. You must be able to clearly express your wishes and consent for these planning 
strategies to be valid, as even slight levels of dementia or confusion could get them thrown out of court. 
Not to mention, an unforeseen illness or injury could strike at any time, at any age, so don’t wait 
to get your incapacity plan taken care of.

Finally, it’s crucial that you regularly review and update these planning tools to keep pace with life 
changes, including changes in your assets or the nature of your relationships. If any of the individuals 
you’ve named becomes unable or unwilling to serve for whatever reason, you’ll need to revise your plan. 

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.


Time for college-bound seniors to fill out the FAFSA

 High school seniors planning to attend college or technical school next fall should fill out the Free 
Application for Federal Student Aid, also called the FAFSA, as soon as possible beginning Oct. 1, according 

The information on the FAFSA determines if students qualify for federal grants and stu-dent loans. It 
is also required to apply for state grants and scholarships. In addition, many colleges use the information 
to award their own grants and scholarships.

The FAFSA asks for information about income, assets and expenses. A formula set by Congress determines 
eligibility for federal and state aid. If the student is considered a de-pendent under federal 
guidelines, both the student and parents must provide financial in-formation. Nearly all students going 
directly to college from high school are considered dependent.

Some student aid programs have limited money and provide funds on a first-come, first-served basis, 
so it is important to submit the FAFSA as soon as possible.

Even if they don’t think they’ll qualify for financial aid, students should submit the FAFSA. They may 
be surprised because student aid rules change all the time.

KHEAA is a public, non-profit agency established in 1966 to improve students’ access to college. It 
provides information about financial aid and financial literacy at no cost to stu-dents and parents.

KHEAA also helps colleges manage their student loan default rates and verify information submitted 
on the FAFSA. For more information about those services, visit

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