First published in the Sept. 1 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.
Showing its appreciation for her leadership the past few years, the Governing Board of the La Cañada Unified School District unanimously approved an addendum to Superintendent Wendy Sinnette’s contract at Tuesday’s meeting, extending her employment through 2025 and giving her a bump in pay and benefits.
Sinnette, who is one of the longest tenured superintendents in Los Angeles County, will earn $297,329 this year, and her salary will increase to $306,248 in 2023-24 and $312,372 in 2024-2025.
The previous addendum to her contract that had been approved in July 2021 had Sinnette employed through 2024 with a base salary of $285,894 from 2021-2024.
“I 100% support the parameters of Wendy’s contract,” said Board Vice President Joe Radabaugh. “I think we’ve seen really firsthand the last couple of years through multiple lenses the value [she] brings to the district.”
The board’s estimation of Sinnette went up after she successfully navigated the district through the COVID-19 pandemic. Compared to other educational agencies in L.A. County, LCUSD was proactive and one of the first districts to bring back children in TK-2nd grade for limited in-person instruction. As soon as public health officials began allowing other grade levels to return to campuses, La Cañada Unified was quick to respond and welcomed back its older students.
“The last few years have been incredibly trying, and I know firsthand how hard you’ve worked,” Board member Josh Epstein said to the superintendent.
Despite the challenges brought on by the coronavirus, LCUSD has remained among the top-rated districts in the state. Earlier this year, Niche.com, a website that ranks schools and neighborhoods based on public data and user reviews, placed La Cañada third in California behind only Los Gatos-Saratoga Joint Union High School District and Palo Alto Unified — both of which are in Northern California. LCUSD was No. 38 in the nation and came out on top in the state rankings for districts with the best teachers.
President Dan Jeffries said he was thankful for Sinnette’s leadership and for helping many LCUSD students thrive despite trying times the past few years.
“I think that is something that comes all the way from the top down, and I think your leadership is something that we all, the community, benefit from,” Jeffries said.
Like a star athlete after a big game, Sinnette was thankful for the opportunity and credited her teammates for the success.
“I have an amazing team, from cabinet to leadership team to every single certificated staff person and every single classified staff person,” Sinnette said. “It’s a phenomenal school district. What also makes it so special is we have the best kids in the world and the partnership of our very committed and loving parents.”