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2/13 School Board Summary

Former band director Gordan Norman presents mementos & stories

Former GHS band director Gordan Norman, who founded Bandorama, was invited to speak about his legacy. “Gordie” Norman told stories of the Tartan band and pageantry gaining national recognition in the late ‘70s and spending $900 at an ice cream shop for the entire band. Norman says “Glendora is my love.”

Norman presented mementos from his time as director, including a All-Western Band Review Sweepstakes trophy, pictures of Rose Parade performances, articles written about the band, a bell from Switzerland, and diploma and medals from Geneva.

He reminisced on the band’s 1971 trip to Switzerland, in which the Tartan band and pageantry took three separate planes to play in festivals with the Soviet Union Army band. They slept in bomb shelters, army barracks, and gymnasiums.

Seven former students were also in attendance, including Gary Laughlin (‘73) and Debbie Plumley (‘74). Laughlin recounted the lasting impact the program had on his life. Plumley expressed how Norman “transformed the lives of so many of us” and says “we were a part of something truly amazing.” Linda Bergslein thanked Norman and the late Jean Thompson Bradley for the fruitful traditions and foundation they laid for the Glendora Tartan band and pageantry.

Updates from school board members

Gary Clifford: Mr. Clifford shared the Soroptimist International “DREAM IT, BE IT” program, which has registration that is now open for junior and senior high school girls at GHS. The free career, education, and support conference is designed to assist with planning for college and career readiness. This event takes place on Saturday, March 18th from 8:30-3:30 PM at the American Legion Hall in Glendora. The deadline to register for the event is Friday, March 10th. For more information, please email Shannon Lancaster at

Monica Garcia: Mrs. Garcia shared how the GUSD Professional Development Day went for herself and all GUSD staff members. Staff heard a keynote speech from Carley Posey, a mother of two children who were inside Sandy Hook Elementary school in the 2012 school shooting. Posey spoke on the importance of community preparedness on behalf of the “I Love U Guys” Foundation, which trains students and educators on the Standard Response Protocol and Standard Reunification Method. All GUSD staff members received this training last Monday.

Paul Lopez: Mr. Lopez celebrated the accomplishments of GHS winter sports, including GHS’ wrestlers Marquize Brown, Samantha Sachs, Jackson Evans, and Maddie Rouse moving on to Masters in the following weeks. Sachs and Brown have since moved on to become state qualifiers.

Robin Merkeley: Whitcomb high school’s PTSA’s Ladies Night Out has sold out. Merkeley shared her excitement about hosting the ceremony after the lockdown put a pause on the annual event. April 28th also marks the Food for Thought Event fundraiser event for the Glendora Education Foundation.

Elizabeth Reuter: Reuter thanked Glendora’s Police department for attending the GUSD professional development day with staff members. She emphasized the importance of a partnership with GPD and hopes this relationship offers peace of mind for students, parents, and district employees.

Updates from the superintendent Dominic DiGarzia: DiGarzia followed Reuter in thanking the Glendora Police Department for their cooperation in campus safety. He emphasized the importance of the entire GUSD staff being aware of the updated Standard Response Protocol. DiGrazia shared that students will be watching a Fentanyl awareness/prevention video soon. Lastly, DiGrazia shared an update on the ethnic studies community committee, which met on January 24th to review the board’s policy on curriculum. Teams of teachers and students across school grades have been formed and will be meeting in the next few months to take in feedback and ideas.

Interim GHS Principal Jamie Norrell and staff present changes in the 2023-2024 GHS course handbook:

How these changes are made: Department chairs sit with their departments each October to review each course description to make sure they are meeting the standards that are being taught and address instructional needs. Feedback on additions and deletions is then brought to the leadership team before final edits are made and sent to educational services.


AP Precalculus is a new course introduced by College Board, and Math Strategies for Success (MSS) is a course being designed as a math intervention.

Career Technical Education- The Arts, Media, and Entertainment pathway will be reinstated with the courses of Video Production and Advanced Video Production. The Aviation pathway will be introduced with the courses of Fundamentals of Aviation, and Aviation Pilot Ground.

Deletions: CISCO, Integrated C/D Algebraic Concepts, Life Skills Class SAI

*Courses are deleted because of low student interest/need or the purpose of the course being effectively fulfilled in other ways on campus.

Comments from the school board:

Monica Garcia: Garcia voiced concerns about the potential outdatedness of the CCP (College & Career Planning) course. She asked GHS administration if the current relevancy of the coursework might be reviewed or updated, as well as if the summer school course could be made more flexible considering a large portion of it is done online.

Mrs. Norell responded that instructors are always looking for feedback to improve the course, especially with common concerns over whether ninth grade is too young for a college/career readiness course to be useful. She reported that they could look into improving flexibility of the summer CCP course.

Gary Clifford: Clifford expressed enthusiastic approval of the Aviation pathway, considering it a productive way to help the Glendora community stand out.


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