New School Year Starts for CCUSD, Interim Superintendent Keller

“The foot traffic here is just fantastic, I’m sure that’s what happens when you have so many schools so close to each other,” Interim CCUSD Superintendent Dr. Steven Keller spoke off the cuff while shaking hands and greeting staff and students. “The people walking and biking sure know how to get to school.” 

It was all new and very much the same; the first day of the new school year for CCUSD on Wednesday, August 23, 2023. The school complex on Elenda where Culver City High School sits next to Culver City Middle School, with Farragut Elementary right around the corner creates a crush of traffic twice a day. 

Interim Superintendent Dr. Keller, who had just come to the district last week, was eager to learn. School Board members Triston Ezidore, Bran Guerrero and Stephanie Loredo were all on hand as well.

The morning included far more than students hurrying to school – a performance by the marching band, accompanied by flags and cheerleaders, and the kind of flying stunt work that would make a gymnast proud. Dr. Tony Spano, the band’s director and leader of the Academy of Visual and Performing Arts was happy with the standards that serenaded the incoming students. “First day, everyone sounds great,” he said. 

Loredo was draped in school swag, promoting the CCMS Panthers, the CCHS Centaurs and several grade school mascots as well. “I just know we are all going to have a great school year!”

Guerrero was there not just as a board member, but also as a parent, sending his student in for their senior year. “We did some college touring over the summer,” he said, “I think the weather was as persuasive as the choice of campus.” 

Dr. Keller, who stepped in as Interim Superintendent just last week, was looking forward to finding out more about how CCUSD was moving forward, and what observations he might be handing off to his successor once the district settled on a permanent hire. “This is a terrific campus, I have to say, there’s a lot of school in this space.” 

Ezidore, who was a student on the campus just two years ago, was struck by how different it all seemed from the other side. “Did we have all this ceremony and I just didn’t see it back then? I know I’m in a different place, but this seems very different.” 

Students conferring with their friends, bent over phones and class schedules, could easily miss out on all the opening day entertainment. 

Bells rang, hallways cleared, and the marching band trooped off to their next gig – algebra.

Judith Martin-Straw

The Actors' Gang