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La Cañada PTA Council highlights standout school programs, installs 2019-20 officers

In their last meeting of the 2018-19 school year Monday, La Cañada PTA Council members announced next year’s officer selections and highlighted some of the more popular and innovative programs captivating kids across La Cañada Unified’s school campuses.

The annual celebration brought LCUSD’s Governing Board room to vivid life as children demonstrated their musical chops, engineering capabilities and willingness to be compassionately present for peers — all skills which have been fostered and enriched in school programs throughout the year.

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Paradise Canyon Elementary School second-graders shared their wishes for the future in a series of short essays they wrote and published into a book, “When I Grow Up,” as part of Kristine Babish’s computer class.

“When I grow up, I want to be an FBI agent,” Oliver Koelzer read aloud Monday, referencing his wrestling skills with the deftness of a job applicant. “I know I will be a great FBI agent because I am brave.”

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La Cañada Elementary School Principal Emily Blaney invited 50 budding musicians to the front of the room to play Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” on plastic recorders, part of a Recorder Karate class led by music teacher Mike Davis. Parents did their own recording, reaching out their cellphones to take videos of the performance.

Palm Crest third-graders showed off robots they created as part of the STEM-focused LEGO WeDo program, which combines building skills with light software and engineering principles as kids operate creations remotely using their iPads. The program was made possible thanks to PTA support, said Principal Karen Hurley.

Detailing a rigorous schedule of math-related competitions was the focus of a small cohort of La Cañada High School 7/8 students who bonded over their devotion to the subject, while members of a new one-on-one peer support class begun this year at the 9-12 grade level shared how their training helped them grow as individuals.

“A lot of us came into this class not really knowing what to expect,” LCHS freshman Niki Samudrala told teachers and parents. “Throughout this year, I’ve seen myself grow and become a more empathetic and compassionate person, and I really believe that’s due to this class.”

Afterward, La Cañada PTA Council President Lisa Dick announced the group’s incoming officers for 2019-20, along with the new officers selected by each school-site PTA, welcoming new members to an exciting school year ahead.

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