Superintendent’s Message

Board Meeting August 13, 2018

  • Welcome to our board meeting! Thank you for joining us tonight!Dr. Jannery
  • You know I prefer to begin my message with student and staff achievements and accomplishments:
    • In two separate Sunday Union Tribune newspapers, six Community Journalism Scholars were highlighted. According to the UT article, “Over the summer, six high school students from throughout the county were selected to work at the San Diego UT under an annual program designed to help young people learn about media careers and journalism. These students were chosen from dozens of applicants. In addition to their work experiences in the program, these Scholars were paired with mentors from the UT newsroom. Using various technologies, the students produced their own written, photographic, and video stories.”
      • Two of the six students selected were from Sweetwater. Danielle Hernandez, June graduate from ELH, will attend UCSD this fall with a major of psychology. Vanessa Castellon, June graduate from ORH, wants to double major in English/Business at SDSU. Great experiences for both students – you can find their projects here.
      • An added bonus is one student is chosen to receive a $5,000 scholarship – this year’s winner is Danielle Hernandez – ELH! Congratulations to Danielle, her family, and her teachers!
    • Standing ovation to teacher Mari Venturino, MVA, who just published/edited her second book! Both are titled, “Fueled by Coffee & Love.” Both include “real stories by real teachers!” Mari Venturino is a sixth year teacher who wants to inspire her students and her educator colleagues, both teachers and administrators. Her first book is a collection of 53 stories from all over the world on themes like ‘Why I Teach’, ‘Best Day Ever’, ‘Every Day is an Adventure’, and ‘Making an Impact’. One Sweetwater staff member told their story in the first book – Dr. Amy Illingworth, entitled, “Appreciation Matters.” In her second book, there are 33 stories with six Sweetwater staff contributors: Louise Williamson (HH) – “How to be a Happy Teacher,”Armando Leon (MVA) – “Helping Students to be the ‘First’,” Dr. Rick Cooke (ELM) – “The Power of High Expectations,” Whitney Stangel (MVA) –“Finding His Beat,” Melissa Rains (CPM) – “Ethics of Caring,” Ashley Prevo (Student Teacher BVH/CPM) – “Making Mistakes 101.” In the foreword of her second book she writes, “Being a teacher is not an easy job. We pour our hearts souls (and often a good chunk of our paychecks) into our classrooms. Each day brings new joys, laughter, and occasionally heartbreak. Each and every student that walks through our doors deserves individual love and attention. Through these stories, you’ll see the power of teachers impacting students’ lives, and students changing teachers’ lives.”  Thank you Mari Venturino for inspiring all who are fueled by coffee & love! You’re making a positive difference!
    • Congratulations to Nikki Chigas, TOSA for Equity & Culture, for being nominated as a LifeChanger of the Year – this award goes to K-12 employees who are making a difference in the lives of students. Good Luck!
    • Kudos to Coordinator of Athletics Joe Heinz for organizing our inaugural SUHSD All Coaches Meeting on Saturday, August 4, 2018. Approximately 700 Sweetwater Coaches, principals, assistant principals of activities, and athletic directors attended a general session and workshops on topics such as working with your student athletes outside their season of sport, middle school sports, coaching mentors, Unified Sports, concussion protocol, athletics & safety, injury clinics, fundraising & donations, appropriate boundaries, and athletic facilities. There is no other district, especially our size, that provides this kind of thoughtful planning and professional development. Gold medal achievement!
    • Speaking of athletics, we just found out last week that Olympian Girls Track & Field are sole CIF Champions! Congratulations Coach Michael Adkins!
    • Tomorrow we start meeting with School Leadership Teams (SLT). For the past two years we have been exploring the attributes and elements of quality instruction and the role of Professional Learning Communities. We are staying the course with our instructional focus – Effective first instruction that leads to student engagement and mastery through the lens of equity and culture. And, based upon every school’s input, we have identified Sweetwater’s Essential Elements of Effective First Instruction. Here it is as a graphic:
      • A little over a year ago we started an employee recognition initiative called Sweetwater Stars. Anyone can nominate a Sweetwater employee for being at their best! This has been a huge success. In just over a year over 1200 stars have been awarded. Employees have been recognized by students, parents, community members and other employees. For those of you who have taken the time to nominate someone, thank you and keep them coming! For those of you caught doing or being your best, we applaud your efforts! The Sweetwater Stars program wants to highlight those that shine. If you know someone that needs to be recognized, click here!
  • Finally, over the past three years we have emphasized that relationships matter, collaboration matters, words matter, and each person matters. The African Proverb “If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together” was one of our themes; We are Better and Stronger Together was another theme; None of us is as smart as all of us, and none of us can do this alone was the theme we communicated last year. This year’s theme that I already shared with all ASB Officers and Commissioners is T.E.A.M. Typically, TEAM has been known to be the acronym for Together Everyone Achieves More. The Sweetwater version of TEAM is a theme we have been emphasizing since we revised our LCAP goals. Like the other annual themes, we make bookmarks to reinforce the message – so, T.E.A.M. stands for Together Everyone Always Matters!
  • Hispanic_Heritage_Resolution 4571 – PDF
  • WestEd Report-Silent Recession – PDF
  • Let’s continue to build relationships one person at a time!

Let’s keep working together in Putting Students First!

T.E.A.M. Together Everyone Always Matters

Thank you for the opportunity to serve and support each of you!

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