PUSD Director of Child Welfare, Attendance and Safety Named

Experienced Administrator to Head Department Responsible for Reducing Dropouts and Suspensions

Published : Wednesday, August 15, 2012 | 10:52 PM

Pasadena Unified SchoolDistrict (PUSD) Superintendent Jon R. Gundry today announced the promotion of Eric Sahakian as the director of the district’s Department of Child Welfare, Attendance and Safety (CWAS). Established in 2008, CWAS coordinates school and community services to support students and help remove social and emotional barriers to academic achievement. As a result of the efforts of CWAS, PUSD’s dropout rate has been reduced by more than 50 percent since 2008.

“Eric’s experience in alternative education and his background in counseling makes him the ideal candidate for this leadership position,” said Superintendent Gundry.

Sahakian was appointed principalin 2011 of Rose City High School, PUSD’s alternative high school. Previously Sahakian served as principal of Loma Alta Elementary (now closed) from 2009-2011. He joined PUSD from the Los Angeles County Office of Education (LACOE), where he was a program coordinator. He has also served as assistant principal, head counselor and teacher in the Glendale Unified School District. He will continue to assist at Rose City High School until his successor is named. The search for a new principal at Rose City will begin immediately.

“I am committed to facilitating our district initiatives such as reducing dropout and suspension rates while providing behavioral support systems that promote achievement for all students,” said Sahakian. “I am eager to build on the substantial efforts set forth by the CWAS team.”

CWAS is responsible for managing attendance, student discipline, campus safety and the delivery of intervention and rehabilitative services for students who are at risk of failing in school. As director, Sahakian will coordinate school success teams and PUSD’s school attendance review board and implement the High School Graduation grant and other initiatives to reduce dropout rates. He will also oversee the implementation of the district’s response to intervention initiative.

Sahakian earned a bachelor’s degree from California State University, Northridge, a master’s degree inpsychology with credentials in pupil personnel services and preliminary administrative services fromCalifornia State University, Los Angeles (CSULA) and is currently a doctoral candidate at CSULA.

Sahakian replaces Sonia Rodarte, who has accepted a position with the Santa Ana Unified School District. “I am grateful for Sonia’s work and leadership in developing sustainable systems that support the academic achievement of all students,” said Gundry. “I wish her continued success in her new endeavor.” Sahakian will work with Rodarte in the next month to ensure a smooth transition.

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