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      (Photo – ColoradoBlvd.net)

      News from throughout the Pasadena Unified School District.

      By News Desk

      Pasadena Unified Student to Gain Seat on PUSD Board

      PUSD’s Student Think Tank (STT) will soon be conducting a search for high school students (outside their STT group) to bring a student voice to the PUSD Board of Education.

      Over the summer, students including Olivia Barrios, Sophia Chou, Mya Hernandez, Maude Windsor, and Gabrielle Trujillo delivered a detailed plan to create a student seat on the School Board. The Board has now approved the plan allowing a student council member to sit on the board and cast a predetermined preferential vote on behalf of all students on the six high school campuses.

      The Think Tank came up with the proposal to create a council, composed of six students (one junior from each high school) and an assembly, composed of 24 peer-elected students. The STT members who developed the program will not be eligible to join the assembly or council but will be managing the process. The goal is to have students join the PUSD Board by the end of 2023.

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      men on horses performing for students


      Hermanos Bañuelos Entertains Pasadena Students

      Whoa, what a show!

      The Hermanos Bañuelos Charro Team put on a terrific show for the PUSD community and students from Pasadena Adult Living Skills (PALS), CIS Academy, and Willard Elementary at the Wilson Middle School field last week. Dr. Marc Rodriguez, who runs the PALS program, says some of his students have never seen horses or this type of performance before. The Charro performers and their careful treatment of the animals illustrate PALS’ core values: teamwork, respect, integrity, and love. Hermanos Bañuelos have been in the Rose Parade 14 times and are scheduled to perform again on January 1, 2024.

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      PUSD Youth Town Hall

       The PUSD community is invited to join an important conversation about substance use and opioid overdose prevention. Middle and high school students, parents, and caregivers are invited to join this important conversation about substance use, fentanyl, Naloxone/Narcan, and how to keep you and your friends safe.

      In Person: October 24, 2023, 6:00  – 7:30 pm, in the PUSD Board Room.

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      a furnished room with nice lighting and bean bags and rugs

      McKinley School Wellness Room (Photo – PUSD)

      Wellness Rooms Bring Serenity to Students at Pasadena Unified

      Wellness rooms are bringing a sense of calm to kids across the Pasadena Unified School District.

      “A campus wellness room staffed with a qualified, caring wellness teacher creates an immediate response to students’ social-emotional needs,” said Dr. Julianne Reynoso, PUSD’s Assistant Superintendent, Student Wellness and Support Services. “These rooms invite students to relax for a short time and reflect on how to improve school interactions.”

      While PUSD has provided wellness professionals at all sites for years, previously, calm rooms were also used for discipline – the current spaces are not. No one gets “in trouble” in the wellness room. Some PUSD students are still experiencing after-effects of the pandemic such as anxiety, frustration, food and housing insecurities, and grief.

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      PUSD Welcomes New Leaders!

      Dr. Jen Alcazar, the new Director of Human Resources, joined the Pasadena Unified School District from the Walnut Valley Unified School District. Alcazar served as principal, assistant principal, science teacher, and technology coach in the Santa Ana and Walnut Valley school districts. She also facilitated professional learning for secondary math and science teachers at University of California, Irvine. Alcazar has a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology, a Master of Arts degree in Curriculum and Instruction, and a Doctorate of Education in STEM Leadership.

      Michael Bell, Ed.D., has been appointed principal of Rose City High School. Dr. Bell is a product of PUSD schools and began his career as a math teacher in the district. He was principal of Focus Point Academy. Bell earned a bachelor’s degree from Tuskegee University, a master’s degree from California State University, Los Angeles, and a Doctorate from Bradley University. Bell succeeds Brian Stanley, who has served as Principal of Rose City High School since 2015.

      Mr. Brian Stanley accepted a position as Principal of Twilight Adult School and Child Welfare and Attendance as well as Youth in Foster Care, where he will serve students across the Pasadena Unified School District. Stanley has done tremendous work with the students, staff, and educational partners of Rose City, as a teacher, dean, and assistant principal. Under his leadership, Rose City was named a California Model Continuation High School.

      Dr. Dana Hill is the new principal of Altadena Arts Magnet. She succeeds Dr. Benita Scheckel who has accepted a position in a neighboring school district. Dr. Hill has served as assistant principal on both Eliot and Altadena’s campuses. She joined Altadena Elementary in 2015 and was on the team that successfully wrote the arts magnet grant that fueled the school’s programs and growth. Hill is a graduate of California State University, Los Angeles, University of Phoenix, and Pepperdine University where she earned her doctorate.

      To support Eliot Arts Magnet until a new principal is named, Penny Fraumeni, a highly-respected retired principal with previous arts experience, will serve as interim. Fraumeni was named National Principal of the Year in 2018, California Distinguished Principal in 2011, and is a former member of the Board of Education of the Hacienda La Puente Unified School District. She was the founding principal of Fairgrove Academy in La Puente, California, and led its transformation into an arts magnet school.

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