Photo courtesy Claudia BolesMany of Grad Night’s volunteers assisted this past Saturday to help work on the set. Front row, from left: Richard Boutin, John Dustin, Cynthia Ary, Alice Song Ulrich, Doris Cheung, Julie Wong Tam and Ping Lit. Second Row: Ann Ettinger, Angela Sze, Grace Navarrete, Bobbie Parwar, Nicolette Fuerst, Kim Sutherland and Bob French. Third Row: Rick Gute, Thomas Yee, Daryl Chan, Leslie Long, Pete Manning, Bernard Lim, Will Rose, Steve Talt and Leslie Ford. Back: Vincent Ary, Paul Callahan and Bob Horgan. There was perhaps no other development that signaled the gravity of the COVID-19 pandemic last year on a local level than the cancellation of San Marino High School’s annual Grad Night celebration. The district acknowledged the graduating class of 2020 in a drive-thru ceremony, which was delayed until July 31 and allowed for the graduate to leave their automobile for a few brief seconds in order to receive a ceremonial diploma and pose for a couple photos.Though it was organized with the most pomp and circumstance possible, community members have been pining for a return to their familiar celebration. Their diligence will pay off in two weeks when Grad Night returns in its familiar form…sort of. Modifications to keep the students safe from possible infection will include mandatory mask-wearing and holding all activities outdoors on the upper basketball courts under a “big top” tent, in concert with its “Circus” theme.
SMHS Principal Jason Kurtenbach U.S. News and World Report has ranked San Marino High School to be in the upper level of the nation’s public high schools, grading the school at a stellar 98.1 out of 100 in its annual evaluation.This grade slotted SMHS at No. 339 nationwide out of more than 17,000 high schools. In California, it was listed as the No. 46 out of nearly 1,700 evaluated, and it was the No. 17 high school in the Los Angeles metropolitan area. Nationally, it was ranked an impressive No. 90 in STEM high schools.“San Marino High School has not only persevered through the COVID-19 crisis, but in many ways, we have triumphed,” said SMHS principal Jason Kurtenbach. “We maintained high levels of attendance and performance with our students throughout school closure due to our faculty being able to expertly rise to the challenge of teaching and learning in a digital environment and our hybrid learning plan. Moreover, in an effort to support our students we added SAT and ACT tests to our offerings during school closure so that our students would not need to travel in order to take the exams, which are valuable for college applications.”In specific grading breakdowns, U.S. News rated SMHS as No. 433 nationally in its college readiness index, which is based on the number of students who took and passed at least one advanced placement, or AP exam; No. 331 in college curriculum breadth, which is based on how many students took or passed…
Photo courtesy San Marino Recreation DepartmentApproximately 600 participated in last Saturday’s Great San Marino Egg Hunt, which began here at Stoneman School. San Marino has hosted an egg hunt in some iteration for several decades, but the success of one held last Saturday might just change all that for good.Dubbed by the Recreation Department as “The Great San Marino Egg Hunt,” the event drew almost 600 participants. They cruised via automobile through town on the “bunny trail,” using a map to solve riddles and spot clues while searching for “Mr. and Mrs. Bunny” along the way.To sweeten the pot, Recreation Department staffers hid 10 “golden tickets” in eggs that were distributed at eight stops along the way.
Matthew Lee Based on an enthusiastic recommendation from Kristine Franco, a member of San Marino High School’s counseling staff, senior Matthew Lee was named the Rotary Club of San Marino’s student of the month for February.And for good reason. Lee has a glittering dossier, topped by his recent acknowledgement as a National Merit Finalist, thus remaining in the competition for some 7,600 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $30 million.The son of Yun (George) Li and Linda Jing Yang, Matthew is also the engineering president of Titanium Robotics team at SMHS and captain of the school’s math and science teams.For the past year, Lee has also operated a group called TitanHacks, where he manages sponsorships and event planning for a what are called “hackathons,” where programmers team up to create original projects. With the leftover funds, TitanHacks operates a weekly food drive with the First Baptist Church of Alhambra.
Jim Folsom Jim Folsom, who retired in December from the Huntington Library, Art Gallery and Botanical Gardens after a long and award-winning career, will be the featured speaker at San Marino City Club’s meeting on Tuesday, April 20, at 6:30 p.m.Folsom was the Telleen/Jorgensen Director of the Botanical Gardens at the Huntington Library. He joined the Huntington staff in 1984, serving as assistant curator before becoming director in 1987. As director of the Huntington’s gardens, he oversaw more than a dozen thematic gardens covering 120 acres of the 207-acre grounds.He served as a visionary and project head for the development of new gardens and botanical facilities and restoration of historic gardens and maintenance. He dedicated much of his efforts at the Huntington to education programs that increase public interest and understanding of the science, culture, and history of plants and gardens.
The San Marino school board has been busy with the work of getting students back to school.Earlier this week, they took the first step in hopes of keeping all campuses open and avoiding dramatic employee cuts.At a special meeting Monday night, the board voted 5-0 to take another crack at passing Measure E, a $968 per parcel education tax, which will now go before voters at a June 29 special election. The parcel tax — which generates approximately $4.1 million per year — was defeated by voters on March 2 because it did narrowly missed receiving the required two-thirds majority.
The city expects to hire an engineering consultant to assist in developing plans for Metro-backed traffic improvement projects this year, with the bill to be covered by the transportation agency.Although the City Council has not formally committed to the endeavor, it signaled tacit approval at last week’s council meeting, where the body informally went over potential capital construction projects for the forthcoming fiscal year. In a straw vote, the council asked to have a more detailed report on the proposal included in the formal budget process. It was estimated that the consulting service would cost around $95,000.
Photo by Mitch Lehman / TRIBUNEMark Langill, the Los Angeles Dodgers’ team historian, addressed the Rotary Club of San Marino last Thursday and brought with him a vintage ticket stub. He was born on opening day of a season the Los Angeles Dodgers ended up winning the World Series.More than a half-century later, he can still remember the section, row and number of his first seat in Dodger Stadium, so it shouldn’t come as a complete surprise that Mark Langill wound up as the club’s team historian.So with the 2021 season days away, Langill was recruited to virtually address the Rotary Club of San Marino last Thursday afternoon to get members in the mood for some baseball.He was introduced as the Dodgers’ “Answer Man,” and Langill had plenty of them, including this supposed response to a question posed by Rotarian Barbara Bice, who introduced Langill.“Don’t hit the ball very well in Little League and you will be well on your way,” Langill allegedly said when asked how he secured his job.Langill began his address by posing an explanation to America’s fascination with baseball and, specifically, Opening Day.
Photo by Mitch Lehman / TRIBUNEDr. Steve Park was the San Marino City Club’s keynote speaker for its March meeting. During his keynote address for the City Club’s March meeting, San Marino resident Dr. Steve Park provided an overview of his life which includes service as a United States Navy medical officer and career as a hospitalist.In retrospect, an argument could be made that the subject of memory retention would have also sufficed, as Park’s is apparently as sound as the proverbial steel trap.So is former San Marino educator Loren Kleinrock’s, Park’s former assistant principal during his days at San Marino High School and offensive coordinator for the Titan football team, for which Park was a record-setting wide receiver.In vivid detail, Park recalled Kleinrock busting him for going to a buddy’s house for lunch even though he was not yet a privileged senior. Kleinrock, meanwhile, recalled one time Park didn’t perfectly execute one of his pass patterns. That these transgressions took place almost 30 years ago was incidental and only seemed to heighten the mutual respect that exists between them to this day.
Barely a week old, San Marino’s new service to the public is also one of its most treasured.That’s according to Fire Chief Mario Rueda in explaining the SMFD’s mobile vaccination for homebound (age 65-and-older) population program, which is operated in cooperation with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.