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Paradise Canyon Elementary School principal appointed to district position

Paradise Canyon Elementary School principal appointed to district position
Paradise Canyon Elementary School students Cammie Hong, left, and Urja Parekh with Principal Debra Cradduck, took the top two spots in a districtwide spelling bee held Jan. 17. Cradduck has been appointed as the executive director of personnel services for the school district. (File Photo)

Debra Cradduck, principal of Paradise Canyon Elementary School, has been appointed as the executive director of personnel services for the school district, Supt. Wendy Sinnette announced Tuesday night. The school board unanimously approved the administrative reorganization and job description.

Cradduck has served in the district since 2010. Her appointment becomes effective after the close of this school year to allow for a smooth transition over the summer for the PCY school community, according to a press release issued by Sinnette after Tuesday night's meeting.

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"We are most fortunate to be able to retain her within the district with this promotion to the district-level as the lead administrator in charge of personnel," Sinnette said. "She will bring great strengths to the human resources department, which will benefit all of the school sites within the district."

According to Sinnette, Cradduck will lead the district's human resources department, but as an executive director, she will not serve on the superintendent's cabinet.

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"Her salary will be on the certified management salary schedule," Sinnette said in an email, later clarifying the amount would be $140,377.

A reorganization of the LCUSD administrative department was prompted due to the assistant superintendent of human resources position being unfilled for the 2017-18 school year after last June's retirement of Jeff Davis, whose salary was $153,704.

In other action, the board agreed Tuesday to continue the late school start time of 8:30 a.m. into the next school year. The districtwide implementation of the Challenge Success program in 2017 is widely seen as an improvement, according to the board's Late Start Oversight Committee, overseen by Jim Cartnal, executive director of pupil and personnel programs and services.

"With late start, the trend is increasing sleep," Cartnal said. "The students say that late start doesn't necessarily bring a ton more sleep, but it's a slower roll in the morning instead of the hustle and bustle. Parents say breakfast has returned as a family meal."

However, the softball team, wrestling team, girls water polo and students with early drop off are experiencing issues with the late start schedule, Cartnal added.

"We have a plan to make it better for them in the future," Cartnal said about the athletes.

Also on Tuesday, Sinnette announced the district has collected applications to form a task force on safety, security and student well-being. On March 20, the board launched the applications for the task force, and applications from parents, staff and students were due April 10. Seventy people applied, she reported, and 25 will comprise the committee.

"We're trying to have a representative sample of schools represented, as well as staff, students and parents," Sinnette said. "We're excited for this work to begin."

The committee's first meeting will be May 24.

Mark Evans, the school district's chief business and operations officer, announced the school district's credit rating was upgraded again by Moody's to Aa1.

"We're putting our best foot forward," Evans said about the school district budget and future spending heading into the summer. "Moody's maintained our rating. We'll maintain our work to get the [Measure LCF] bond rolling. There's lots of tasks of getting this in place."

In other LCUSD-related news, on the morning following the school board meeting U.S. News & World Report ranked La Cañada High School No. 39 in California and No. 249 in the nation.

Matt Sanderson is a contributing writer to Times Community News.

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