Claremont Unified School District faculty, staff, teachers, students and parents are all relieved that the 2012 California Standards Tests (CST) have come to a close after months of preparation and 6 days of testing over the last 2 weeks. At Oakmont Outdoor School, however, everyone involved gnashed their teeth and tore their hair out a little less this year, thanks to the “CST Fairies” who flitted from class to class offering support, encouragement and treats to the test-takers.
According to the terms of his contract, signed at last week’s school board meeting, incoming Claremont Unified School District Superintendent James Elsasser, EdD will be paid $218,000 per year.
His paycheck is higher than that of his predecessor, Terry Nichols, notes CUSD board president Jeff Stark. However, because certain benefits were taken out of the current contract, the overall package is in line with past superintendents.
Heavy-hitting news like the presentation of the Classified Staff Member and Teacher of the Year awards, which went to Oakmont office manager Rosie Bister and Chapparal kindergarten and first grade teacher Karen Corrette, respectively, was overshadowed by the D’Emilio controversy.
So was the instatement of Jim Elsasser, EdD as the new superintendent of the Claremont Unified School District.
Near the start of her address to Pitzer College graduates on Sunday, May 13, Angela Davis (world-famous political activist, author and educator) shared a quote that was surprisingly pessimistic for a commencement speech.
Ms. Davis, who studied French during her undergraduate years at Brandeis University, recalled an observation by the French philosopher Simone de Beauvoir. “If you live long enough, you'll see that every victory turns into a defeat.”
Noting the words are a bit dark for a graduation ceremony, she asked the newly minted Pitzer alums to instead ponder the opposite. “If you live long enough, you’ll see that every defeat turns into a victory.”
Claremont McKenna President Pamela Gann will be stepping down from her post following completion of the 2012-2013 academic year, she announced in an email sent to members of the CMC community on Tuesday, May 15.
Ms. Gann, the 4th president of the 66-year-old college, took her place at the helm of CMC in 1999. In her email, she said that next year, when the Campaign for Claremont McKenna wraps up, it seemed like an appropriate time for her to step down.
Shortly after coming to Claremont at age 10, Jill Zavidowsky started keeping a journal. Now, at 57, a suitcase in her Claremont home holds more than 50 journals in safekeeping, ready for moments when she feels like examining her former self.
“Sometimes I go back and see what was really going on in my life,” she said. “I look for threads of similarities, which I do find. One thing I found is that I was always a seeker.”
Ms. Zavidowsky’s seeking has taken her down many paths, a lot of them influenced by her open-minded, philosophical, “early hippie/late bohemian” parents, she said.
I am proud to serve as the board president to the Claremont Unified School District and, as the 2011-2012 school year comes to a close, I reflect on the many accomplishments that have occurred in the district over this school year.
Our first priority is always our students. Under the guidance of our Past President Dr. Beth Bingham and our Superintendent Dr. Gloria Johnston, we developed and adopted a strategic plan that will guide the district’s focus on individual student success for the next several years.
Every day, the staff of Sumner Elementary School cultivates the potential of students on the diverse Sumner/Danbury campus. It's little wonder that Sumner has been selected as a 2012 California Distinguished School.
The award, which goes to only 3 percent of the state'??s schools, recognizes those that demonstrate "??educational excellence for all students and progress in narrowing the achievement gap."
CUSD has awarded the contract to renovate the Claremont High School Theatre to Paul C. Miller Construction, with work expected to begin soon after classes end this June. The news, 3 years in the making, was greeted with applause at the Thursday, May 3 meeting of the Claremont Unified School District Board of Education.
Each day, the kids of Danbury Elementary School, many who live with multiple disabilities, face overwhelming obstacles. On Monday they, like Joseph Huerta, above, enthusiastically took on another challenge, a 25-foot adaptive rock-climbing wall brought to the campus by Mark Wellman, an acclaimed author, filmmaker and motivational speaker.
As 12-year-old Ivy Adalpe scaled the epoxy-and-concrete tower with the help of support ropes and a belay modified with a pull-up bar, her enthusiasm was obvious.
"I'm very high now," she told the array of teachers and students watching below.
Among her disabilities, Ivy is blind and has trouble hearing, so it was impressive to see her ascend, foothold by foothold, to the summit of her climb.
Very soon, our town is going to feel less populated with the upcoming exodus of hundreds of college students. Many are not only reaching the end of the academic year, they are wrapping up their entire collegiate experience and saying farewell to the campus, the city, the friends, the professors and the tests and term papers that have dominated their lives over the last several years.
The Claremont Unified School District board of education met in closed session Thursday night to discuss the search for a new superintendent. A public comment period was provided, however, no community members attended the meeting to present comments to the board.
According to Bill Diedrich of Dave Long & Associates, the district has 33 applications from the pool of candidates provided by the search firm. Of the 33 applicants, 3 are from out of state.
Who: Scott LaFleur joined the staff of Claremont’s Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden as its director of horticulture in March. Coming to Claremont from the east coast, he previously worked at the New England Wild Flower Society, the oldest plant conservation organization in the US.
“It’s always been a dream of mine to work here at Rancho Santa Ana. I’ve always been in love with California and with Rancho, and now I can experience it, immerse myself in it. It’s like a dream come true,” Mr. LaFleur said.
Foothill Country Day School students are embracing character-building through the school's interfaith chapel program, which is teaching students to focus on global awareness rather than the particulars of any one religion.
At the private K-8 school, a variety of interfaith topics and presentations are helping students and teachers alike to cultivate open-mindedness and a well-rounded spiritual education.
"Chapel time is about everyday community gathering. It's a fantastic time to celebrate each other, and we work hard to strike a good balance," said Head of School Mike Silva.