In recent weeks, while the school board deliberated over the controversial firing and re-hiring of former Sumner Elementary School Principal Frank D’Emilio, verbal fireworks and big crowds were a common sight.
The exception to this rule was the board’s rejection of a petition for a new charter school. The author of that petition, Lynette Lucas, took a moment to address on its actions regarding the proposed Embracing the Whole Child Arts and Technology Academy.
After 29 years with the Claremont Unified School District, Chaparral Elementary School teacher Karen Corrette has been named Teacher of the Year. The only surprising thing about the honor, say her colleagues, is that it didn’t happen sooner.
“She’s someone who should have gotten this years and years ago,” said fellow Chaparral teacher Leanna Prokop.
Former Sumner Elementary School principal Frank D’Emilio kisses his wife Catherine at a special meeting of the CUSD Board of Education Wednesday in Claremont. The board voted unanimously to rescind their earlier decision to terminate Mr. D’Emilio offering him a position as a teacher with the district. This puts an end to a turbulent time for the district and Mr. D'Emilio, who admitted wrongdoing, but had tremendous community support. See our complete updated story.
When Oakmont Elementary School office manager Rosie Bister was told a colleague would be receiving the Classified Employee of the Year award, she brought flowers to the school board meeting.
Ms. Bister was embarrassed to be already holding a bouquet when her own name was called at the Thursday, May 17 gathering, recognizing her contributions among CUSDs non-teaching employees. The gesture, though, is indicative of her style.
Each month, the students of Mountain View Elementary School learn about a core value crucial to becoming well-rounded individuals. Throughout the month of May, the focus was on “confidence.”
It has been emphasized largely in conjunction with state testing, but the word also applies to the generosity shown by 22 students who donated hair at the Locks of Love event held at the school on Monday, May 21. The take added up to a veritable Rapunzel's worth of tresses—more than 32 feet—that will be used to make hairpieces for underprivileged kids who have lost their hair and need a boost of confidence.
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.