New hires welcomed at CUSD Board meeting

CUSD Superintendent Jim Elsasser greets Claremont High students Angelique Wisher, left, and Katie Ray, at Tuesday’s board meeting. The pair were recognized for their award-winning entries in the 2024 Directing Change film contest. Courier photo/Andrew Alonzo

By Andrew Alonzo |

New faces

Claremont Unified School District’s Board of Education unanimously approved the hiring of three new employees at its June 6 meeting: Geoffrey Smith, Melissa Samson, and Christina Teneriello. The trio join the district effective July 1.

Smith is the new principal at Condit Elementary, replacing the school’s longtime chief Christine Malally, who has taken a job with Bonita Unified. Smith currently serves as principal of Mable Paine Elementary in Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District.

Samson was greenlit for the assistant principal position at El Roble Intermediate School. Like Smith, Samson is coming from PYLUSD, where she serves as a district administrator of student services.

Teneriello was approved as a board certified behavior analyst and will join CUSD from Etiwanda Unified School District, where she currently serves in the same capacity.

High marks and kudos

Claremont High sophomores Xin Lu and Joy Cheng who placed first and third, respectively, in the California Department of Education Armenian Legislative Caucus Foundation’s visual arts contest, were recognized by the board.

Thirty-three CHS students received high marks from the district for their contributions to the 2024 Directing Change Program and Film Contest. Of note in the contest for the Tri-City region was “Piecing It Together” by Angelique Wiesner, Hudson Colvin, and Sebastien Brusselle, which took first in the region’s mental health category and was a statewide finalist in the same group; Eli Myers and Lindsey Olivo’s “First Step” took second in the region’s mental health category; and Naomi Flowers and Nora Campbell’s video, “I Can,” took second in the region’s suicide prevention category. In the contest’s regional visual arts categories, sophomore Xin Lu’s “Musical Connection” won first for November’s 2023 prompt, music and mental health; and freshman Jolean Feng’s “Whenever & Wherever” and “Alienated,” both took second in the February 2024 prompt, you are never a bother, and first in the December 2023/January 2024 prompt, what I wish my parent(s) knew, respectively.

Claremont Unified School District Health Services Coordinator and El Roble Intermediate School nurse Alicia King, center, was presented with CUSD’s You Are the Commitment award during the June 6 Board of Education meeting. Courier photo/Andrew Alonzo

Also recognized was graduating CHS senior Ryan Dunfee, who recently committed to United States Military Academy to play football and major in business management.

This year’s CUSD Student Board of Education members Abigail Kupetz, a CHS senior, and John Ramirez, a San Antonio High senior, were given certificates for their service.

CUSD Health Services Coordinator and El Roble Intermediate School nurse Alicia King picked up the district’s “You Are the Commitment” award, given annually to a CUSD employee who brings “The CUSD Commitment into daily action,” according to the agenda.

Local graduate student gets project approval

Claremont Graduate University student Joseph Santhosh’s research proposal, “Augmented Fotonovela to mitigate Health consequences among adolescents resulting from Social Media Addiction,” passed with four ayes. (Board member Kathy Archer was absent.)

“The primary objective of this study is to develop a practical solution designed to assist teenage adolescents in creating awareness and mitigating the challenges posed by Social Media Addiction (SMA) and its associated health consequences,” read Santhosh’s project’s proposal. “The aim to design, build, and test an artifact/application (‘app’) drawing from the concepts of ‘novellas,’ which integrates the various dimensions of the framework by engaging with adolescents, creating awareness of SMA induced health consequences.”

The study pool will include CHS students.

Other news

In other news, Assistant Superintendent, Educational Services Julie Olesniewicz recommended the following classes be added at CHS: dance, dance II, digital arts II, advanced placement pre-calculus, ethnic studies, and world language Spanish 1A. Additionally, the following special education courses were renamed: ES: math readiness to ES: math foundations, and ES: math foundations to ES: math readiness II. In other changes, starting next school year, students must complete a broadcasting course to finish their career and technical education in the visual and performing arts pathway.

El Roble added a new elective for next year called Panther ambassadors, which will help students develop leadership skills.

There were no changes to San Antonio High courses.

A brief public comment period and board hearing were held for item 15.01, which brought back resolution 19 from the May 16 meeting regarding a proposed levy of assessments for fiscal year of 2024-2025 within the Claremont Unified School District Recreation Assessment District. The resolution was adopted, confirming a diagram and assessments.

Ahead of the consent calendar’s 4-0 ratification, President Bob Fass pulled item 17.07, liability claim #2411826 rejection, asking if it’s standard practice for the district to have to reject a claim in order for a claimant to be able to process the claim through the district’s insurance carrier. Following a “yes” confirmation by Dinah Felix, Assistant Superintendent, Business Services it was approved unanimously.

The consent calendar is attached to the June 6 agenda, viewable at Click “board of education” at the top of the page, then “board meeting agenda/live stream.” Select the June 6 meeting option and the following “agenda” tab at the top of the page.

No reportable action was taken in the earlier closed session meeting, and the May 16 meeting minutes were adopted.

The next Board of Education meeting is set for Thursday, June 20. A 3 p.m. board workshop will take place ahead of the 6 p.m. public forum.


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