Dear District Families, Faculty and Staff:
It is truly an honor to be welcoming you back to school as the new Superintendent of Sequoia Union High School District. Each new school year holds the hope of new and exciting beginnings. Each school year’s opening is like the christening of a new ship. Like sailors and adventurers, we wish for calm seas, wind at our backs and that our ship and crew will carry our passengers safely and proudly toward fantastic horizons. As graduation ceremonies commemorate our proud student successes, the start of a new school year shall celebrate what each and every one of us do in Sequoia to change the lives of the promising youth who step onto our campuses and into our classrooms. I am thrilled to be joining a school system and community that shares a deep commitment to the success of every student. Educating all students is our fundamental purpose — it is why we exist.
To this end, Sequoia’s instructional initiatives continue to include a deep dive into the Common Core, teaching our students how to think, analyze and problem solve . The results of our concerted implementation efforts are yielding strong gains as this year's District Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) percentile of students meeting or exceeding standards rose in English Language Arts and mathematics. Moreover, I’m happy to report that our phase 2 bond projects are moving forward as scheduled with the exciting openings of new classroom wings at all 4 comprehensive sites. Additionally, we are looking forward to transitioning students to our new Redwood High School campus in the spring of 2018 and anxiously anticipating the grand opening of our newest SUHSD high school, TIDE Academy (Technology, Innovation, Design and Engineering), in the fall of 2019. As I welcome you to a new school year, our District’s guiding principles have been on my mind. They are grounded in Equity, Environment and Teaching and filled with mighty words: challenge, passion, discovery, and intellectual curiosity. Key charges that will drive us this year include:
These guiding principles are the essence of Sequoia’s core values as a school district and all of those employed by SUHSD, a workforce of nearly 1000 strong, perform in some way to make this mission a reality. Equally compelling is the fact that the success of all students is dependent on a commitment to each other. This commitment involves engaging regularly with parents, community leaders, business partners, local organizations and our dedicated staff to ensure every student is safe, healthy, engaged, supported, educated, and challenged. As we embark on this journey together, I am going to be working diligently to foster a transparent and collaborative environment for our students, staff members, families and community to build on past successes and propel us forward to new possibilities together.
Achieving a mission so noble means we must give a great deal of ourselves. A mentor of mine when I was a young English teacher talked a lot about Head, Heart and Hustle. She asked each student and staff member to bring their Head to think well, ask thoughtful questions, read to learn, analyze and collaborate with others; their Heart because intellectual power means little without the ability to share compassion and understanding, to look out for others and to be kind; and, their Hustle because life is often challenging and requires perseverance to remain optimistic and determined.