The Fire Behind SMUSD

by Stacy Travisano
Carver Elementary Teacher
The Olympic Torch is a symbol of spirit, knowledge, friendship, tolerance, and hope. The Torch Relay expresses the handing down of the symbolic fire from generation to generation. You see, that’s what San Marino Unified feels like. The passing down of tradition, knowledge, and hope from one generation to the next. 

Our four schools are not just buildings. Our four schools are places that students, families and staff call home. Teachers don’t come to school just to teach. We come to build a generation of learners, includers and encouragers. This is more than just a job or career, we come to mold and shape the students of tomorrow. Starting with our Kindergarteners, those teachers start with the core values of a strong sense of academics mixed with a passion for building character and a determination to make this world a better place. Those students are then sent on up to the next grade, similar to the Olympic torch. With each grade the torch gets brighter, and the light gets stronger. As teachers, we don’t see our year as being “the best year ever” we see each set of students as part of the journey of a passing the torch toward a brighter future, our time to help make that light brighter…and then we send them on to the next teacher to do their part to motivate, encourage and inspire.  

By pushing the core values of Academics, Arts, and Athletics, this helps to produce well rounded students who will go out and make their own imprint on the world around them. These students are Olympic medalists, Fulbright scholars and world changers because of the academic foundation they receive in San Marino. As educators, we are all running our own individual medley, which thus becomes part of the great marathon of raising bright and capable students. 

The flame of educating our students is passed from one grade to the next, from teacher to teacher, from student to student… and can’t be extinguished. WE are San Marino!


SMUSD is Family

by Courtney Meier
Carver Elementary Teacher
If you spend enough time in the San Marino Unified School District, you start finding family connections.  So many parents went to San Marino schools and are now raising their kids in the community.  Just today, I saw the father of a current student, and he was wearing his 1988 5th grade shirt from Valentine!  Some of our teachers went to school here too.  And a number of my students tell me that their parents, aunts, uncles, and even grandparents attended Carver, or one of our other schools.

When you start teaching here, you become part of that family.  And if you stick around long enough, you start making your own connections.  I taught long-time teacher Karla Domier’s son, and years later, she taught my son.  One of my 4th grade students grew up to be a teacher at Carver, and today she is my colleague.  Longtime friends at the middle and high school are now teaching my own kids.  

This is why I arrived at Carver as a student teacher and have not left. This is why my husband and I are sending our two sons to school here.  The Carver family, and the San Marino schools community as a whole, is where we want to be.  We love being part of the family. 

San Marino Strong

by Christina Chu
Carver Teacher and Alumna
As a San Marino alumna, I have many fond memories as a student. Learning English as a second language, my teachers at Carver taught me many American traditions and a love for my country. HMS instilled a strong sense of camaraderie as the two elementary schools became one middle school. At SMHS, I explored many interests including volleyball, basketball, marching band, calculus, biology, dance, chemistry, and physics. The varied strengths and passions of my teachers shaped my character, heart, and mind. I’m proud to be among this generation of San Marino teachers. Our diversity is our strength. Each member is essential. Let’s preserve and protect the core that shapes the future of our community!

Coach Mikey McNamee

by Jose Caire
San Marino High School
I walked through our SMHS hallways today. I so miss our students and our vibrant campus life. It had been a while since I had walked toward the baseball field. It was wonderful to discover this sign today. Coach Mikey McNamee was the best. I was honored to work with him for many years. I miss him and his many life lessons. There was no better Titan than him. He was a proud member of our SMTA association. He also served as a negotiator for many years. Thank you, Coach McNamee for all you gave to us. McNamee Field stands strong. We proudly honor your legacy.

May be an image of outdoors and text that says 'M SCROU McNamee Field CIF Champs 1977, 1984, 1990, 1992, 1995 TITAN BASEBALL'