First published in the Feb. 9 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.
Parents, board members, donors and even architects gathered at the information resource center to celebrate the new College and Career Center at La Cañada High School in a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Feb. 2.
“Whether you are a student trying to find your path and fit into life or a parent trying to help your child navigate the often-intimidating world of college and career prep, this center is a resource for both of you,” said La Cañada Unified School District Board President Joe Radabaugh.
Guests were able to explore the center, filled with posters detailing resources and colorful, collaborative spaces for students to utilize.
Counselor Lisa Chung noted how thrilled she is that the center has finally come to fruition. Hired back in July for the project, she met with LCHS Principal Jim Cartnal on a weekly basis to make the vision of the center come to life.
“It feels like a roller coaster. It’s been nonstop,” said Chung, adding that “It was a one-woman show for a while” until her partner in crime, Kelly Proctor, came on board as the College and Career coordinator.
Just two weeks ago, Proctor and Chung began putting up the finishing touches around the center.
“I think the biggest thing [is] that the students are excited about it,” said Proctor, noting they are ready to get motivated at the space.
As Radabaugh was saying a few words, he thanked LCUSD Vice President Josh Epstein for his instrumental role in helping make the center happen.
It was only two years ago when Epstein was running for a vacant School Board seat. Part of his campaign involved listening to parents about what they wanted to see for their students. This is when the idea of a College and Career Center was born, and after he was elected, Epstein approached LCUSD Superintendent Wendy Sinnette about it. After working out some logistics, Epstein started gathering support to help fund the project. In the end, the center was funded by the La Cañada Flintridge Educational Foundation, community doners and bond dollars.
“This, to me, just represents everything that is great about the district and our community,” Epstein told the crowd last week.
Cartnal then gave his heartfelt remarks to the guests.
“Here, [students] will find that special match that will launch them on a path that perhaps they would not have known had we not built this facility,” said Cartnal, explaining the motto for the college and career center.
One of the center’s goals is to educate students that there is not just one path to success.
This motto that the center promotes plays into one of Proctor’s goals as well, which is “to help a student realize that it is about them and not about what the colleges are looking for.”