A Glendale Unified administrator has been tapped for the top job at another school district.
Katherine Fundukian Thorossian — whose first role at Glendale Unified was as the first Armenian principal of Glendale High in 2005 — stepped down on Monday as assistant superintendent of educational services to take the helm at Monrovia Unified.
Fundukian Thorossian said she was "devastated" to be leaving her colleagues in Glendale, but was looking forward to getting to know Monrovia's community and schools.
"The thing that Monrovia and Glendale have in common is commitment and faith in the school system…They are such a warm, welcoming community. It helps soften the blow of leaving a good one," she said.
After serving as principal of Glendale High, she became assistant superintendent in 2008 and most recently laid out a two-year plan to train educators on implementing new state learning standards.
"I'm excited about the system we've created," she said. "If there's anything I'm proud of I'm leaving behind, it's leaving that."
Fundukian Thorossian is the second Glendale Unified administrator in recent months to take a high position at another school district. In March, former deputy superintendent John Garcia left to lead Downey Unified.
In Monrovia, which has 6,000 students and a $48-million budget, Fundukian Thorossian impressed the district with her fundamental understanding of educational issues, said school board vice president Alex Zucco.
"Not everybody can break down the complexity of education, especially education funding, and make it easily accessible to any parent group or any stakeholder group," she said, adding, "As far as I can tell, she's jumped right in."
Glendale Unified Supt. Dick Sheehan said he was excited for her new role.
"Kathy leaves us in a great spot to move forward," he said.
On Monday, Glendale Unified announced that Lynn Marso would replace Fundukian Thorossian.
Marso comes with 28 years of experience in Glendale Unified, including stints as assistant principal of Edison Elementary and principal of Marshall Elementary and Roosevelt Middle School. She was most recently the director of human resources for the district.
Follow Kelly Corrigan on Twitter: @kellymcorrigan.
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