Business Superintendent Resigns LCUSD Job

by Ralph Saenz

Dave Banis, who served as the La Cañada Unified School District's superintendent of business services for nearly two-and-a-half years, has resigned his position.

Banis, who was absent from Tuesday's meeting of the LCUSD Governing Board, which was held at the temporary meeting site at Foothills School, had been scheduled to present several business-related items to the board that were on the evening's agenda.

Although he wasn't at the meeting, one of the items on the consent section of the agenda pertained to him. The board, with no comment, approved a contract to rehire John Kramar as the assistant superintendent of business services for a period of six months.

Kramar previous served in the same position on an interim basis from October 2001 to April 2002. Ironically, Banis replaced him.

Before coming to the LCUSD, Banis had been with the Pasadena Unified School District for 27 years. His final job with the PUSD was director of consolidated funding, which called for him to oversee federal aided funding to assist the needs of students.

According to a Valley Sun article, Banis told the local school board after it hired him that "I am very excited, this is a great opportunity. I am looking forward to working with the La Cañada school board and the community."

Banis, who was making $119,000 a year with Pasadena, took a pay cut of $4,000 to come to work for the LCUSD.

Following Tuesday's meeting, LCUSD Superintendent Sue Leabo said Banis, who was hired in April 2002, is on vacation and will return for a couple of days next week. She said she was "not completely surprised" that Banis resigned. She said she didn't know why he quit nor where he was going next. "Kramar is a retired superintendent. He will start on Aug. 2 and his contract will be for six months until we find a replacement," Leabo said.

LCUSD Governing Board President Andy Beattie said he doesn't comment on personnel matters, but did want to thank Banis for his work with the school district and wish him well in his next endeavors.

During a relatively short meeting, the board spent most of its time discussing a proposed board policy involving the naming of a school, building, room, area or facility after a person or organization.

A first reading on the policy was given at the meeting with a second reading to follow at the Aug. 10 meeting of the board.

In her enrollment update to the board, Leabo said there were "very few differences" from what she had shared with the board at the last meeting. "I will have an update for you in August," she said.

The board approved two textbooks for the fall. The first is "Responsible Driving" for the ninth grade drivers education course and the other is "Calculus, Brief Edition, Seventh Edition" for calculus classes.

In addition, the board gave the OK for two books, "The Fall" by Albert Camus and "A Burnout Case" by Graham Greene, to be added to the AP English 3-4 reading selections.

Three La Cañada High sports activities were approved by the board. Permission was given for the pep squad to attend the "USA" Cheerleading Camp at UC Irvine from Aug. 5 to 8; and the water polo team to attend the Menlo Varsity Water Polo Tournament in Atherton on Sept. 17 and 18 and the Bellarmine Frosh/Soph Invitational Water Polo Tournament in San Jose on Oct. 8 and 9. The participants will pay for all costs.

The board accepted a bid from Solid Waste Recycling and Disposal to cover the 2004-2005 school year. Solid Waste, which has been providing the district's waste disposal for several years, will charge $1,348.28 per month including city permit, fees or an annual charge of $16,179.36 including city permit fees, for its services.

The next meeting of the LCUSD Governing Board will take place at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 10 in Room 41 at Foothills School, 4490 Cornishon Ave.

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