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NEWS
By Carol Cormaci | November 23, 2011
Something has been nagging us in our newsroom for the past several weeks as the controversy unfolded involving the La Cañada High School math teacher accused of uttering at least one ethnic slur, and engaging in other questionable teaching practices, unfolded, for some years. Since the story broke, we've heard loudly from parents and students who know the teacher, Gabrielle Leko. She has received words of support from some and castigation from others. But there's been a deafening silence from district teachers and administrators, regardless of how many times our reporters have reached out. And not just on this issue, but on just about any other school-related matter that has reared its head.
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NEWS
November 23, 2011
I am a graduate of La Cañada High School (1997) and a former student of Gabrielle Leko. A friend of mine sent me an article regarding Leko's inappropriate comments to students in her class. I read that her inappropriate comments were characterized as “banter.” I hesitate to publicly disparage any person's work, but it's a different story when kids are involved. LCHS is, and was, a great school with great teachers. Leko is an exception. I recall Leko's inappropriate behavior during pre-calculus.
NEWS
November 18, 2011
A La Cañada High School math teacher has been ordered to participate in sensitivity and diversity training following complaints that she used sexist and racist comments in her classroom, including calling a student “Jew boy.” The allegations against Gabrielle Leko have roiled the tightly knit community, with parents lining up to criticize officials' handling of the allegations against her during the most recent board meeting Tuesday. As the district's formal response circulated via email, some stakeholders said they remain deeply unsatisfied.
NEWS
By Daniel Siegal and Megan O'Neil daniel.siegal@latimes.com, megan.oneil@latimes.com | November 12, 2011
Concerned about teacher retaliation, local property values and their own standing in the community, numerous La Cañada Flintridge parents say they are reluctant to openly criticize practices in the La Cañada Unified School District. The issue - below the surface for years, and perhaps decades, parents and community members say - came to a head last month. It did so after a complaint against La Cañada High math teacher Gabrielle Leko, filed by La Cañada Unified School Board Member Cindy Wilcox, became public.
NEWS
October 26, 2011
As a former grateful advanced placement calculus student of Gabrielle Leko's, I was concerned to read of the allegations made of one of my favorite high school teachers, and heartbroken that LCHS might lose her. In light of the upcoming school board election, the press has been focused on our district's inability to identify and address weak teaching. Gabrielle Leko was one of the finest and fairest teachers I had during my time at LCHS. Seven years later I can still remember her system vividly; from the daily quizzes that tested our mastery of the prior day's lesson and homework, to the care she took in grading tests and showing us step-by-step where we had gone wrong, to the giant happy face beside your grade when you got an A. Leko demanded discipline and taught structured organization skills that would serve me well when I headed off to college, where no one was looking over your shoulder to be sure you kept your notes, assignments and tests in order.
NEWS
October 19, 2011
I am the former chairman of the La Cañada School Site Council, former representative to the La Cañada Unified Curriculum Council, and a La Cañada High School graduate. I was recently informed of a complaint filed against Gabrielle Leko regarding actions taken during the 2010-2011 school year. Cynthia Wilcox has insinuated that Leko is both anti-Semitic and sexist toward the female members of her class. As a former student of Leko's AP Calculus BC class during the school year in question, I can assure you these claims are unfounded and false.
NEWS
By Megan O'Neil, megan.oneil@latimes.com | October 19, 2011
A complaint filed against a local high school math teacher has sent shock waves through La Cañada Flintridge, with some students rallying in her defense and all four school board candidates criticizing the public nature of the accusation. La Cañada school board member Cindy Wilcox filed a formal complaint in June alleging that La Cañada High School math teacher Gabrielle Leko addressed a ninth-grade geometry student as “Jew boy,” and that she regularly discriminated against female students, among other offenses.
NEWS
By Megan O'Neil, megan.oneil@latimes.com | October 18, 2011
Flashpoint issues including high school math scores, teacher collaboration days and declining enrollment dominated a La Cañada Unified School Board candidates' forum, the first in a charged election season that has largely unfolded on social networking sites and in the editorial pages of local newspapers. The four candidates - incumbent Jeanne Broberg and challengers Ernest Koeppen, Ellen Multari and Andrew “AJ” Blumenfeld - drew about 250 people to the La Cañada High School auditorium Monday night, more than twice the attendance of a 2009 forum that featured six people running for three seats.
NEWS
By Megan O'Neil, megan.oneil@latimes.com | October 16, 2011
A member of the La Cañada Flintridge school board is calling for the ouster of a La Cañada High School math teacher who allegedly addressed a ninth-grade geometry student as “Jew boy” and otherwise angered parents. School board member Cindy Wilcox said she filed a formal complaint - as a member of the public - against teacher Gabrielle Leko in June, saying the complaint was based on numerous verbal grievances she received about Leko from school families. None of those families were willing to go on record with a complaint, she said.
NEWS
By Megan O'Neil, megan.oneil@latimes.com | October 14, 2011
La Cañada school board member Cindy Wilcox is calling for La Cañada High School math teacher Gabrielle Leko to be fired, alleging, among other things, that she addressed a ninth grade geometry student as “Jew boy.” Wilcox said she filed a formal complaint - as a member of the public - against the high school teacher in June, adding that it was based on numerous verbal grievances she received from school families about Leko. None of those families were willing to go on record with a complaint themselves, she said.  “When I talked to the families and said 'would you please file a complaint,' their response is, 'She teaches all the high level classes…We are going to see her again, and furthermore the siblings are likely to see her again.
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