HomeBlocksFront-GridWenn Says Goodbye to La Cañada School District

Wenn Says Goodbye to La Cañada School District

After 18 years of service at the La Cañada Unified School District, Anais Wenn, associate superintendent of educational services, is saying farewell.
The room filled at the June 4 LCUSD meeting with supporters, friends and family members who came to say their goodbyes and shared kind words to Wenn.
“I want to say thank you to every single one of you that made it this evening to be here,” said Wenn, who is moving to Oak Park Unified School District in Ventura County to assume the role of superintendent on July 1.
Wenn joined the district nearly two decades ago and served as the principal of Palm Crest Elementary School for four years, before becoming the La Cañada High School 7/8 principal. She eventually obtained the role of associate superintendent of educational services for the district.
At the June 4 meeting, Wenn reflected on her early years at the district, arriving in La Cañada Flintridge at 34 years old with a 2-year-old child in her arm.
“I would do it all over again if I had to,” she added.
Although there have been many times of stress, Wenn expressed her gratitude for the overwhelming support she received through the years.
“I also want to thank every teacher that has influenced my children,” Wenn said. “Many of you are still in their lives. Thank you so much. You mean the world to them, and to me, and I don’t forget the things people do for me. I’m forever in debt.”
Superintendent Wendy Sinnette spoke about Wenn and her time at the district, highlighting her commitment to students and dedication to relationships with parents and LCUSD staff. Sinnette said Wenn was, “a godsend to curriculum and instruction and all things ED services in our district.”
“She has guided our district to excellence. She is a leader, a listener, a great colleague and a dear friend, and she’s always a champion for students,” added Sinnette as she teared up. “She is amazing, and she will continue that tradition as the superintendent of Oak Park.
“Anais, we send you away with all of our love embracing you. You will always have a home here, and you are our dear friend. Please stay in touch because we will miss you every day, but we know great things are ahead of you.”
School board members also provided their remarks. President Josh Epstein, who first met Wenn as a parent when both of their kids were in preschool, said he felt a connection with her from the beginning after she welcomed his family to the district.
“I’ve always felt so thankful for the fact that I could come to you with questions, and to get help,” he said. “You understand the district, you understand our community, you understand our students and you’re a tremendous resource. You’re going to be incredibly missed.”
Board member Dan Jeffries said it’s been a pleasure to work with Wenn during his 11 years on the board and praised her for her professionalism.
“You’ve always known exactly what to say,” he said. “You’ve always been able to put us on exactly the right path when we’re searching for some sort of an answer to whatever the question is. But beyond that, you’ve always been a great team player. I’ve seen you over the years protecting and assisting your team members by stepping up and taking whatever is necessary in terms of criticism or critiques and taking it to heart and listening to what people have to say.”
Board member Joe Radabaugh also expressed his deepest gratitude for Wenn’s dedication and commitment to the district.
“I’ve been impressed over the years with you, not only in your educational expertise, but your pragmatic approach to executing policy and your unwavering student first approach to achieving best in class results,” Radabaugh said. “You’ve been a key enabler to so much that is great about our district. While we are sad to see you go, we are incredibly grateful for the time we’ve had together and the knowledge and wisdom you’ve shared. Know that your legacy will live on, and your influence will be felt for years to come.”
Meeting Wenn 22 years ago as teachers for the Glendale Unified School District, board Clerk Octavia Thuss has overseen Wenn for a long time and couldn’t be more proud of her.
“She is the consummate professional, she has a wonderful sense of humor, and, boy, they really are lucky to have you,” said Thuss. “Thank you for everything. It’s weird to think of LCUSD without Anais. It’s just a very odd feeling. Best of luck, and I’m sure it’s going to be an awesome adventure.”
The district gifted Wenn an engraved crystal vase filled with her favorite treat: dark chocolate.
Wenn thanked the board for getting her to where she is today.
“You have been that constant support, entrusting me with our student’s education … and I can’t say thank you enough,” Wenn said.
She concluded by thanking the board cabinet — some of her closest friends.
“It’s very different when you have been together for so long and [eventually] going to a new place is always hard,” Wenn said as she became emotional. “In my 33 years, I have only been in two districts: 15 years for Glendale and 18 for La Cañada.”
Wenn added: “Thank you so much for everything you have done for me and my family. I love you all.”
Wenn now shifts gears to Ventura County. She was hired by Oak Park’s Board of Education out of a competitive pool of 27 applications.
“Mrs. Wenn’s experience, qualifications, and values aligned powerfully with the district’s mission and core values,” said Denise Helfstein, president of the OPUSD board in a press release. “Her educational leadership and dedication to student academic success for all students are impressive.”

First published in the June 13 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.


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