PUSD Update

January 17, 2022

Message from the Superintendent

Dear PUSD Community,

Despite bleak news of the rapid spread of the Omicron variant and the challenges that come with it, I do have some good news and positive thoughts to share with you this week. Our students continue to prove time and again how much they can accomplish in the midst of a pandemic and our employees astound me every day with the ability to adapt to whatever challenges come their way.


PUSD students are keeping the legacy of Dr. King alive with their inspired words and amazing works of art. Winners were announced today in the annual Essay and Art/Poster Contest organized by the Pasadena MLK Community Coalition. All entries had to reflect on this year’s theme: At a Crossroads – Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community?

The Coalition has sponsored the contest for the past 34 years and it's one of the highlights of the MLK Day celebration. Even though this year’s gathering was virtual, it was a touching tribute to the visionary leader who worked tirelessly for equal rights, better jobs, higher wages, decent housing, the right to vote, civil liberties, and quality education for all.

2022 PUSD MLK Coalition Message


Congratulations to three PUSD high school seniors who have each been selected to receive a four-year full-tuition scholarship! They are among 90 students in the Los Angeles area to receive the prestigious Posse Leadership Scholarship this year from a pool of 2,200 nominees.

Travis Delgado, Marshall Fundamental

Travis Delgado began his PUSD education at Don Benito Elementary and joined Marshall Fundamental in sixth grade. He has been a member of the Principal’s Honor Roll throughout high school and has earned a 4.2 GPA. He’s a member of the National Honor Society, the Asian Club, the Student for Environmental Awareness Club, and the Associated Student Body. An outstanding varsity athlete, Travis was named defensive basketball player of the year in 11th grade and Most Valuable Player for his baseball team. Travis will attend the University of Wisconsin at Madison, where he plans to major in Mechanical Engineering. He is among 40 Marshall Fundamental graduates awarded a Posse Scholarship in the past 16 years.

Gabrielle Muna, Blair High School

Gabrielle Muna is in the International Baccalaureate programme at Blair High School. She will earn four International Baccalaureate certificates and has completed two dual enrollment classes that will earn her college credit. A native of Guam, Gabrielle says life has taught her to adapt, learn from, and love every phase of life. In the future, she hopes to give back to the communities that have molded her. Gabrielle will attend Tulane University where she plans to major in Psychology and/or Philosophy. Her goal is to earn a Ph.D. in Psychology and become a counseling therapist.

Ella Uriu, John Muir Early College Magnet High School

Ella Uriu is part of the Engineering and Environmental Science Academy at John Muir Early College Magnet High School. She has earned 32 college credits through the Early College Program at John Muir. She is a founding member of the LGBTQ+/Straight Alliance Club and the water polo team. She is also part of the PUSD Think Tank and a Teen Ambassador with the USC Pacific Asia Museum. She is Drum Major for the John Muir Mighty Mustang Marching Band and for PUSD’s All-Star Band that participated in the 2022 Tournament of Roses Parade. A student leader, she says the All-Star Band is a “symbol of unity in a city that has a history of division.” She will attend Bucknell University, majoring in education, and hopes to return to California and teach at John Muir High School.


PUSD employees have been working overtime to help our community get vaccinated, boosted and tested for COVID-19. Since the start of the school year in August, PUSD has conducted over 73,000 PCR tests through our robust PUSD testing program. That includes over 2,400 conducted during Winter break alone. All students can access weekly tests at mobile testing clinics at each school, in addition to weekly testing clinics at the PUSD Education Center, available since August. Over the next week, we will also be distributing more than 15,000 no-cost, at-home COVID-19 antigen tests provided by the California Department of Public Health. All TK-12 students will receive one rapid antigen testing kit to conduct surveillance testing at home. The goal of the PUSD Take Home Antigen Test Program is to reduce the risk of transmission by receiving immediate results and preventing students from attending school while positive for COVID-19.

Stay healthy and have a great week!


Brian McDonald, Ed.D.



Getting the vaccine will help protect our students and employees. COVID-19 vaccines are available for everyone ages 5 and over. Get the COVID-19 vaccine to keep our community safe! www.pusd.us/vaccine

#VaccinatePasadena #PUSDproud @CityOfPasadena