District welcomes new LCHS administrators, approves contract to lobby for better state funding


La Cañada Unified officials welcomed to the district on Tuesday seasoned educators Jonathan Lyons and Dr. Kip Glazer, who will assume assistant principal roles at La Cañada High School in 2017-18, and confirmed LCUSD’s commitment to a coalition dedicated to increasing state school funding.

The two incoming administrators were introduced to the school community in a regular meeting of LCUSD’s Governing Board, which unanimously approved their hiring. Lyons, who comes from El Rancho High School in Pico Rivera, took on the position of assistant principal of curriculum instruction starting Wednesday, while Glazer, a Seoul, South Korea, native who speaks fluent Korean will replace Mary Hazlett as LCHS’s assistant principal of athletics, activities and discipline starting Aug. 1.

“We are delighted to have both candidates here,” Supt. Wendy Sinnette said in her recommendation of the two. “We look forward to the new team that we’ll see at LCHS, and we can guarantee you the support of the governing board and the cabinet to hopefully ensure your success and to make you feel welcome.”

Lyons, 43, earned his bachelor’s degree in communications from CSU San Bernardino and later went on to get a master’s degree in educational leadership from Cal Poly Pomona. He began his education career as a U.S. history teacher at Pasadena High School in 1997. Promoted to assistant principal there, he went on to serve in the same capacity at Bonita and Gabrielino high schools. He was most recently the principal of El Rancho High School. He lives in San Dimas with wife Heather and three sons.

He fills the vacancy left by former LCHS Associate Principal Jim Cartnal, who was appointed in June to the newly created position of executive director of pupil and personnel programs and services at an annual salary of $132,062. According to district figures, Lyons will enter the position earning an annual, 12-month salary of $128,391.

“I’m ecstatic to be joining the district,” said Lyons, who did not speak at Tuesday’s meeting but commented for a district release issued Monday. “I look forward to getting to know everyone and to getting to work on how we can best serve our students and families in fulfilling their goals and aspirations.”

Glazer, 45, became an English and social studies teacher at Independence High School in the Santa Maria Joint Union High School District in 2003 and spent three years there before accepting a similar position with the Kern High School District.

There, she worked as an English and social studies teacher at Independence High School for three years before being hired as a districtwide instructional technology coach and eventually a dean of students at the district’s Frontier High School. In addition to her teaching positions, Glazer has also taught college courses as an adjunct professor at Jersey City University and CSU Bakersfield.

She earned her bachelor’s degree in political science at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and went on to earn a master’s of education degree in curriculum and instruction from Chapman University and her doctorate in education from Pepperdine University in the field of learning technologies.

Glazer has adult two sons with husband Fabian — both enrolled at West Point — and currently lives in Bakersfield.

When she starts on Aug. 1, she will earn a 12-month salary of $116,430, according to figures provided by the district, the same amount Hazlett would have earned in 2017-18 if she’d remained in the position.

“I truly believe that education is a community effort, and I’m very excited to be joining the outstanding learning community at La Cañada High School,” Glazer said in the district’s release.

Board Member Ellen Multari said Tuesday she was excited by the arrival of the new hires.

“This is a huge opportunity for us, not only to hire two great individuals to [partner] with but bringing you together as part of a team,” she added. “I think it’s going to be a very great year.”

Also Tuesday, board members voted to enter into a contract with five other area school districts to secure the services of Sacramento-based consultant Capitol Advisors to lobby state lawmakers on behalf of the Coalition For Base Funding Fairness.

The coalition — comprising LCUSD, Manhattan Beach, South Pasadena, San Marino, Arcadia and Redondo Beach unified school districts — aims to increase the amount of base funding given to school districts through the state’s Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) mechanism.

LCFF provides an across-the-board base grant per student, with additional funding given to districts with high numbers of low-income, English learner and foster students. LCUSD and other coalition districts have maintained that the formula unfairly shortchanges districts without such populations.

According to the contract, the coalition will pay Capitol Advisors a total of $60,000 per year to “engage a statewide effort to focus on the imperative for revisiting the base funding levels” provided to school districts by the state.

Multari said in an email Wednesday LCUSD’s share works out to about $6,612 per year, but that the district will be terminating a prior lobbyist’s contract entered into during its involvement with the 5 Star Coalition, at a net increase to the budget of about $2,000 to $3,000 annually.

“We’re approaching this from the philosophy that we need to raise all boats,” Sinnette said Tuesday. “Every school district in the state is underfunded, and we really need to look at an adequate base funding model.”

A full report on the goals and objectives of the coalition will be presented to the LCUSD Governing Board at its next regular meeting, set for Aug. 3.

Twitter: @SaraCardine