Happy New Year! And, welcome to the second half of the 2018-19 school year. These days historically present an opportunity to reflect upon the past year, and also to set goals for the future.
The past year has been strongly successful in many ways. This week, we proudly opened Wrightson Ridge School and welcomed the first group of about 450 K-5 students. Our academic, athletic, CTE, and fine arts programs have shined brightly, including achievements in college scholarships, State athletic, and fine arts championships, and National accolades in dance and NJROTC. We’ve adopted a new mathematics program, aligned with 21st Century learning standards. We proudly shared in the professional training and the graduation of our first class of iCats from the University of Arizona. Four of them have been hired by the District to begin their professional careers in SUSD. A member of our faculty, Ben Lebovitz, was a finalist for AZ Teacher of the Year, and one of our professional counselors, Candice Alvarez, was named Arizona’s School Counselor of the Year. Finally, the Sahuarita community strongly passed Proposition 471 and approved the continuation of our local maintenance and operations override. These achievements all symbolize the special culture that defines our community and brings us together in support of finding common ground, working cooperatively, and striving together to make our community the best that it can be.
As we head to the spring semester, we will continuously keep pressing forward toward excellence in service to students and the community. First, the next phase of the 2016 Bond Program is the replacement of the old portables on the Main Campus with brand new, permanent structures. This will begin right away and is expected to be completed by the beginning of the fall semester 2019. Second, we are in process of a program adoption for social studies, thus providing students with the most current and meaningful resources possible. We’re also working on multiple continuous improvements, quality focused systems and program development initiatives. These include structures in some of our special education programs, school safety systems, a comprehensive technology integration plan, and solar energy project.
In summary, I’m very grateful for a successful first half of the school year and look forward to working together in pursuit of excellence in service to our students in 2019. Together, we will continue to make a difference!
Manuel O. Valenzuela, Ed.D.