May 4, 2015
Dear Stockton Unified Teachers,
I wanted to take a moment during National Teacher Appreciation Week to reach out and tell you how much we appreciate all you do for the students of SUSD. We know your challenges, in and out of the classroom, have never been greater- testing, accountability, Common Core, the diversity in the students you serve, and harnessing an array of new digital tools to personalize and improve instruction. It seems silly to designate just one week a year to articulate our appreciation for you; you deserve so much more. To me there is no greater profession than teaching. The hard work you do deserves to be honored every day of the year.
Despite these many challenges, you are lucky in your choice of profession. The reason you went into teaching is to make a difference in children's lives and to convey a love of learning. You have chosen to spend each and every day helping your students discover themselves and the world. This is precious, invaluable work.
Beyond curriculum, technology, or community partnerships, teachers are the single most important factor in a student's learning. You are the spark that ignites a student's mind, their passion and even heart.
I recognize that our teachers, again this year, were asked to do more with less, and as always you stepped up to the plate and got the job done. I am so proud of you and all of the work you have done this year.
I can't believe we are almost at the end of another school year, but we are here, and I am honored to work for you as your interim superintendent.
So as we begin Teacher Appreciation Week, once again I want to say thank you. I appreciate you every day and know how hard you work. SUSD has great teachers, great principals, great school staffs and especially great students. Have a great week and know how much you are valued and appreciated.
The 37th Annual SUSD Kennedy Games saw 1,100 students and their families celebrate athleticism and sportsmanship as well as international good will Saturday at the San Joaquin Delta College Track and Field facility.
This year 31 teams competed in the opening parade, featuring every school representing a different country, and a series of competitions, including relays, soccer kicks, the long jump, ball throw and 400-meter runs. Cleveland Elementary School, representing Cambodia, took first place in the parade for their wonderful costumes and Cambodian dance routines.
Pittman Elementary took overall first place for the competitions among 5th-6th graders, followed by Commodore Stockton Skills, Hong Kingston-Valenzuela and El Dorado. The overall winners for the 7th-8th grade competition were Langston Hughes, Commodore Stockton Skills, Bush and Marshall.
Hundreds of parents and school staff cheered the competitors on from all sides of the track and this year there were terrific times and showings. Among the countries represented: the United States, Mexico, Costa Rica, India, Spain, France, Canada, Nigeria, Switzerland, England and Sweden.
The Kennedy Games are one of SUSD’s biggest events and are modeled after Olympic competitions and named for former President John F. Kennedy.
Congratulations to all our athletes! Great games and great sportsmanship!
Edison High School has been named a national AVID demonstration school, meaning the Edison Advancement Via Individual Determination program will be a showcase of best practices for promoting a college bound student body in a student population where few parents went to college themselves.
The school was reviewed by state and national AVID teams prior to receiving the organization’s top honor. Fewer than 2 percent of schools across the country are chosen as demonstration sites. Edison’s program, designed to move students from families without college backgrounds into advanced education, has been a huge success.
Hundreds of SUSD sixth, seventh and eighth graders packed the Spanos Center at the University of the Pacific last week for a student leadership summit to talk about ways to continue to make schools happier places of learning for ALL students.
Students from throughout the district participated in the Peer Leaders Uniting Students day-long workshop led by PLUS director John Vandenburgh, SUSD coordinator Jillian Glende and education services director Reyes Gauna. Superintendent Julie Penn was a featured speaker, getting the nearly 900 students to their feet in a rousing chorus of support for the power of student inclusion and leadership.