Superintendent’s Message

February 13, 2017

  • Welcome to our board meeting! The Board of Trustees and I truly appreciate your presence and input during our meetings. For the two years the Board has been in office, they have advocated and increased our transparency in all areas of the district. We hope you can see the difference in how agenda items are posted and in the level of detail provided on each item. If there are ever any questions regarding any item, a Cabinet level staff member’s name, email address, and phone contact are listed. Please feel free to contact us if you have questions or need further clarification or explanations. Thank you for joining us tonight!
  • Like most board meetings, I like to start my message with acknowledging the great work of our Sweetwater community.
    • Congratulations to Joe Heinz, Coordinator of Athletics, for our district. He received the Administrator of the Year by the High School Sports Association. We appreciate his work and leadership in both high school and middle school athletics.
    • SUHI teacher Art Lopez and SUHI student Aleyna Enriquez were selected to sit on a panel at the College Board’s Regional Forum to discuss the importance of broadening the participation of young women in Advanced Placement (AP) Computer Science Principles classes. Sweetwater is definitely a leader in increasing the number of AP Computer Science courses!
    • Congratulations to Yolanda Hernandez, Executive Assistant to Dr. Dianna Carberry, who has been selected as the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA) Region 18 Confidential Employee of the year!
  • One of our Board of Trustee’s major strengths is thoughtfully and deliberately providing opportunities to listen to all stakeholders. All stakeholders include staff, parents/families, community, and students. In fact, being inclusive of all stakeholders and all perspectives is one of their guiding principles as a governance team. It was with that idea – listening to stakeholders’ voice that we developed the concept of our State of the District event. Specifically, we created an agenda that put the focus on students, on putting students first!
  • I am overwhelmed with the success of our Inaugural State of the District event that was held this past Saturday morning. For those of you who weren’t able to make it, close to 600 students, staff, parents/family, and community members attended. We began the morning from 9:00am to 10:00am showcasing each of our schools, listening to an ELH String Quartet, and watching a video about our district. At 10am the program began with SYH Color Guard, the pledge led by MoH ASB President Nadia Ballesteros, National Anthem sung by Ruth Gonzalez (SOH), followed with a performance by Mariachi Azteca (MoH).
    • We deliberately planned every aspect of the agenda with our students front and center. Three current students and one former student addressed the audience, from their perspective, about what it means to put students first. Their messages were powerful, heartwarming, honest, hopeful, timely, passionate, and reflective. First to speak was our Student Board Representative, Xavier Balladaraz Serrena (SoH), followed by Mayra Sanchez who is an SDSU Compact Scholar (2013 MoH Grad). The two remaining speakers were Jor-Denay Collier (ELM 8th) and Adriana Ibañez (CPH Senior). There was a standing ovation for these courageous students who spoke from their heart!
    • The second hour of our event consisted of 120 middle and high schoolers who facilitated table discussions focused on our four LCAP goals. The questions each table discussed were: What can we do to improve math achievement? What can we do to improve school climate and culture? What can we do to increase parent/community engagement? What can we do to improve our systems?
    • We ended with a call to action sharing a link to our website for specific ways to support Sweetwater putting students first!
    • An event as big as this only happens with a team effort! Thank you principals for bringing all groups of stakeholders to your table and students/staff for your school showcase; Dr. Amy Illingworth, Heather Bolles, assistant principals and ASB advisors for training student representatives who facilitated the table discussion; Ceci de la Riva for organizing district office support staff at the registration tables and throughout the event; Nutritional Services for providing and serving food and refreshments; MoH/District custodial team for set-up and take-down; David Delacalzada and IT staff for technology support; Dr. Dan Winters for infusing technology in a fun and practical way recording LCAP discussion responses; Dr. Moises Aguirre for coordinating maintenance and operational support; Dr. Dianna Carberry for coordinating school showcase and school sign-ups; Dr. Tom Glover for helping us secure a donation from California Coast to purchase “I Support Sweetwater Putting Students First” T-shirts for parents and community members; Manny Rubio and the Grants & Communications Office for overall logistics and his staff live-streamed the event!
    • Finally, I want to thank our Board of Trustees for the confidence and support that encourages us to try new and innovative ways to engage our stakeholders!
  • A quote I recently found says it this way, “As we join our energy with those in the circle, we become part of something that is more powerful than the individuals within it. When we act as part of a community of service, we are reminded that we are not only assisting an individual or select group in the moment, but we are serving the greater good.”


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

Karen Janney, Ed.D.


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