Longtime public schools supporters Ellen and Anthony Portantino will be among those feted at a special breakfast event Feb. 22 in Arcadia as this year's La Cañada Unified School District Golden Apple Award recipients. The award is considered one of the highest honors that can be bestowed by the Assn. of California School Administrators.
The Portantinos were selected for the honor by the LCUSD administration, according to a statement released Tuesday by Supt. Wendy Sinnette.
"Individually and as a team, Ellen and Anthony are two of La Cañada Unified School District's most valuable resources. Because their volunteerism extends from the school site, to the District and to the community at large, all of our LCUSD families benefit from their tireless work and numerous contributions," Sinnette's statement said.
The couple's two daughters, Sofia and Isabella ("Bella"), are products of LCUSD, both having started their educations at La Cañada Elementary School. Sofia is a graduate of La Cañada High, where her sister is now a freshman.
Ellen Portantino, director of Global Themed Entertainment at Warner Bros. Consumer Products, has on taken numerous leadership positions in their schools' PTAs throughout the years and has been previously honored with Founders Day awards. She has also been involved as a member of the Music Parents Assn. and served on the Choral Parents' Assn. Choir Board for the past three years. Ellen leads Bella's Girl Scout Troop.
Anthony Portantino, recently elected to the state Senate, is a former mayor of this city who served on the LCF City/School Joint Use Committee. He has also worked with the PTA to spearhead traffic improvements at all La Cañada campuses. He was a member of the successful 2014 Measure LC Parcel Tax Committee. He has served on the LCUSD Child Care Round Table Committee, the LCHS 7/8 Home Tour Committee and has emceed the LCE PTA Halloween Haunt for nearly 20 years. He's been a member of the Music Parents Assn., Choral Parents Assn., the PTAs at his daughters' schools and the LCHS Spartan Boosters. Like his wife, he is a past recipient of PTA Founders Day awards.
The couple met at Albright College in Reading, Pa., and have been married for nearly 27 years.
Carol Cormaci, email@example.com