Though their institutions are located approximately two miles apart, San Marino High School Principal Jason Kurtenbach and Daryl Topalian, his counterpart at Huntington Middle School, had an identical message last Thursday morning. “It is great to see the kids again,” said Kurtenbach, as students completed the requisite temperature screening and filed into SMHS.
Abby Geng, an 8th grader at Huntington Middle School, recently earned some extra money teaching a virtual cooking class. Abby and her parents consulted on the matter and agreed the funds would best be used “for something special.” The result — a $200 donation to the San Marino Police Department, to the pleasant surprise of San Marino Police Chief John Incontro.
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.
San Marino’s Grace Navarro has advanced to the semifinal round of the Los Angeles Music Center’s annual Spotlight program, thus remaining in contention for more than $100,000 in scholarships. Navarro, a junior at Los Angeles County High School for the Arts (LACHSA), is majoring in classical voice in the school’s opera company and vocal department. She attended Valentine Elementary and Huntington Middle schools before spending a year at Maranatha, then it was on to LACHSA. “This is an incredibly unique school and it has given me so many opportunities,” said Navarro. “I love all of my peers, friends and teachers at LACHSA because we are like-minded people and inspire one another to strive for citizen artistry. I really couldn’t ask for a better high school experience. By far, my favorite part about LACHSA is the confidence it instills in me. My teachers always encourage me to believe in what I am doing.” Navarro also studies piano, music theory and acting. After LACHSA, she plans on taking a gap year before applying to conservatory.
As dedicated volunteers, working intimately at each of our San Marino School sites, we are devastated at the failure of Measure E. Despite PTA and community efforts to support the Measure E campaign, it failed to pass by 120 votes. On March 9, the School Board voted to eliminate 41.2 positions throughout San Marino Schools. We are heartbroken for our students, teachers and staff.
As with most life-changing events, Julie Anding can recall one particular anniversary with pinpoint accuracy.
“December 27, 2017,” exclaimed Anding, without hesitation. “I was in Utah for Christmas and my mom and I were going to grab some lunch.”
Unlike memories of other landmark events — a marriage proposal, or finding out you were admitted to your dream school or landed that once-in-a-lifetime job — this is one date Anding would much rather forget.
“We took a one-floor elevator ride in the lodge and immediately after I stepped out of the elevator, I turned and looked at her and said, ‘I feel really weird, like I’m on a boat or something,’” Anding recalled recently. “That was my onset.”
She was spot-on in identifying the symptoms and also the very complex name for what was happening to her. It’s called mal de debarquement, a French word that means, literally, “illness of disembarkment,” a neurological condition that typically takes place following a cruise, plane trip or other event that includes sustained motion. While many feel similar effects for a short period of time, Anding’s lasted much longer — in fact, to this very day.
Measure E, the parcel tax that raises $4 million annually for schools within the boundaries of the San Marino Unified School District, had fallen behind the pace needed for victory following an initial ballot count that was taken after polls closed on Tuesday evening at 8 p.m.
At The Tribune’s press deadline, Measure E had received 1,850 yes votes (62.82%) with 1,095 votes in opposition, or 37.18%. The parcel tax required two-thirds approval by the more than 10,400 registered voters who live within the boundaries of the school district to pass.
That tally included all votes that were received by day’s end Tuesday either via mail or in-person drop-off since the election began.
Citing what he referred to as a strong recommendation from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, Superintendent Jeff Wilson announced last week that the San Marino Unified School District has suspended all in-person services through January.
The action includes athletic programs at San Marino High School, small special education cohorts at Valentine and Carver elementary schools and Huntington Middle School, and the Right At School day-care program.
Speaking on a video on the district’s website, Wilson referenced Dr. Robert Gilchick of the public health department, who presented “staggering new data of the current surge of COVID-19 cases” to educators as grounds for the decision.
“Some of the data includes a new record number of deaths on Wednesday, Jan. 6,” said Wilson, a day that saw a then-record of 258 deaths and more than 11,000 new cases reported. “When you include that to where we were in May, when we were getting 700 to 800 reported, that’s quite a shift,” said Wilson. “All of the projections nationwide say that the surge is only going to get worse through January.”
United States Navy Capt. David Guluzian, a native of San Marino, assumed command of Amphibious Squadron SIX on July 20, thus earning the nautical title of commodore. The six warships include USS Wasp (LHD 1), USS Kearsarge (LHD 3), USS Arlington (LPD 24), USS Whidbey (LSD 41), USS Fort McHenry (LSD 43) and USS Gunston Hall (LSD 44). Commodore Guluzian is also the commander of the Kearsarge Amphibious Ready Group, consisting of Kearsarge, Arlington, Gunston Hall and the 2/2 Marine Expeditionary Unit. Together, it comprises a total force of three warships, dozens of fixed and rotary wing aircraft, multiple landing craft, and more than 4,500 sailors and Marines. The Kearsarge Amphibious Ready Group is scheduled to depart on a seven-month deployment in the spring of 2022.
Dave Guluzian attended Carver Elementary School, Huntington Middle School and San Marino High School, where he was a member of the graduating class of 1986. He graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1991 with a bachelor’s degree in physics and was accepted into the Navy Nuclear Propulsion Program as a surface warfare officer. He has served on eight
Huntington Middle School’s biggest fundraiser of the year, the Halloween-themed Hauntington Breakfast, has had to make modifications — a familiar situation for much-anticipated events in the day of COVID-19.
Due to the campus’ closure amid the pandemic, the HMS PTA has decided that in lieu of the in-person annual pancake breakfast, it will sell do-it-yourself pancake meal kits for families. The kits will include dry pancake mix, Jones Coffee beans, breakfast syrup, orange juice, chocolate chips and fruit.
Each kit has enough food for about four people and will come in a specially made HMS cooler bag and include a custom HMS pancake whisk.
The entire community is welcome to participate and kits sell for $50. Participants are encouraged to make their pancakes on the morning of Saturday, Oct. 24, and post pictures of their pancake creations on the @hauntingtonbreakfast Instagram site. Prizes are available for the best pancake creations.
There will also be a Halloween house decorating contest and a costume contest as well. Co-chairs Cathy Newton, Jennifer Kang and Jennifer Park have also created a unique “Nightmare Before