August 2018 Superintendent Letter to Families

August 2018

Dear Families:

As we begin a new school year, it is a good time to reflect upon the successes of the past year, and also look to the future.

Our mission is to work as a team to help every student succeed, and keep the promise of public education alive for each student to achieve his/her dreams in this demanding and rapidly changing 21st Century world.

There are many indicators of progress in these efforts, over the last year. Some of them include:

  • Administration of over 600 College Board Advanced Placement (AP) examinations.
  • Scholarship totals earned by the high school Class of 2018 in excess of $8,100,000, a new all-time high!
  • Beginning construction, selecting a school principal, and creating attendance boundaries for Wrightson Ridge K-8 School, our newest school, scheduled to open in January 2019.
  • Successful initiation of the iCats professional training program, in partnership with the University of Arizona. Approximately twenty (20) preservice professional colleagues will be student teaching in our SUSD schools this fall!
  • Initiation of a new Career and Technical Education (CTE) program in heavy equipment operations. This program provides industry-certified credentials and supports workforce needs in our entire region. The first twenty (20) students have successfully completed the program.
  • Expansion of safety initiatives, including the expansion of our collaborative School Resource Officer (SRO) program with the Town of Sahuarita, to include two full-time police officers.
  • Further implementation of our innovative concussion management program, including collaboration with physicians from SPARCC, and further formalization of return to play and academics, field support, and possible research collaboration. Over the summer, we’ve collaborated to deliver low-cost physical examinations to over 240 of our students!
  • Multiple state championships and recognitions in our programs, including softball, music, civics, baseball, yearbook, NJROTC, CTE, student council, and dance. Our PAC Dance Team is currently being featured in the national television program, America’s Got Talent.
  • Expansion of educational programs, including elementary Mandarin Chinese language program, and high school internship elective program.

As we start the 2018-19 school year, there are new and promising next steps, and indicators of further progress and success. They include:

  • Adoption, professional development, and implementation of a new K-12 mathematics program at all schools.
  • Implementation of a new Computer Science AP course sequence, leading to industry rated certifications.
  • The Board is calling an election for renewal of the Maintenance and Operations override, which supports fine arts, athletics, physical education, school guidance counselors, NJROTC, and school safety personnel.
  • Completing construction of Wrightson Ridge K-8 School, opening our new school, and beginning the construction process to replace the portable buildings on the Main Campus.
  • Collaborating with Pima County to build a brand new, permanent Public Library, on the Main Campus of our School District. This will be a wonderful community and educational resource for all of us.
  • In alignment with Board goals, initiating further research and study sessions about important topics, such as effective practices pertaining to school safety, technology planning, and student services programming models.


By relentlessly keeping our focus on our vision of excellence, and mission of working as a team to help every student succeed, we will continue making progress, overcoming obstacles, and achieving positive outcomes in this important and noble work. I look forward to seeing you around campus! Together, we’ll continue to make a difference!



Valenzuela signature

Manuel O. Valenzuela, Ed.D.