Dear PUSD Employees, Families, and Community,

I hope you are having a productive and restful summer break. The PUSD team is busy preparing for the start of the school year so that our faculty, staff and schools will be ready to welcome students when the new school year begins on Aug. 12, 2019.

Although the start of each new school year is one of my favorite times because it is filled with optimism, hope and excitement, I will have to miss this special time with you this year since I am scheduled for a planned surgery in late July and will be on medical leave recuperating for several weeks.

Dr. David Verdugo, the former superintendent of Paramount Unified School District and a veteran leader who has served more than 43 years in K-12 education and mentored and coached aspiring superintendents across the country, will lend his experience and expertise in guiding PUSD until I return.

Dr. Verdugo’s leadership as interim superintendent will be invaluable as we resolve important issues facing our school district at one of the busiest times of the school year. He will support our Executive Leadership Team, which will be led by Chief Academic Officer Dr. Elizabeth Blanco.

I am so proud of our team and the thoughtful and caring way they are preparing to welcome students back to school.

My family and I truly appreciate your well wishes and kind thoughts during this time. I will see you soon!




A great way to set a positive example for your kids is to obey society’s rules.

While dropping off or picking up your kids at school, don’t stop or park in the red zones, in front of private driveways or on top of crosswalks. It’s a violation of the law.

If there are no spaces, park on the next block. By having kids walk a bit, it would also be a positive step toward reducing childhood obesity

Your kids will follow your example, but if that’s not enough incentive, the price of convenience is a $93 parking ticket.




Re: “Rejection Hurts: Replace that critical inner voice with one that has more supportive and positive opinions,” June 6

Ashley wrote to Patti Carmalt-Vener about her sadness, maybe depression, about her lack of an athletic scholarship, and, as always, Patti gave her excellent psychological advice. But, it seemed to me that Ashley needs practical advice and this is where I come in for Ashley and others in her position.

Ashley, the rejection is a blessing in disguise. This is not a disaster. Here’s some practical advice and options. First, decide what you plan to do after graduating from college. If you don’t know, maybe wait before going and get some real life experience. Then,

1. There are many great community colleges that you can attend for little or nothing. At the end of two years, you can transfer to a four-year college if you want. And you may be able to work part-time as well.

2. The job market right now is the best it has been in decades. Take advantage and try to find an entry-level job with a company that will pay for you to get a college degree while you gain experience.

3. If you can’t find a great company in your area, find a job and save like crazy. At the end of a year or two, when you apply to colleges, let them know that you could not afford college before, and you still can’t, although you have now saved money from working full time, and still dream of college if you can get financial aid.

4. Forget about having fun for a while. Prepare yourself for applying to college. Take practice SAT exams. Check out the free online Khan Academy and other online courses. Look into different careers. Do you know what you want to do? Many students who graduate from college are unemployable with student loans. Do some research so this doesn’t happen to you.

This has been a great learning experience for you. You concentrated on athletics, but you didn’t seem to have a career plan. Athletics are great, but if you want a job at the end of college, it’s tough going unless you are at the very top. Focus on a long term career plan, rather than just someone interested in an athletic scholarship.




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