Superintendent’s Message

November 14, 2016

En Español 


  • Welcome to our only board meeting in November! Typically, we schedule two meetings a month; however, with the week off at Thanksgiving, the time limits the number of meetings. For your information, there will only be one meeting in December as well.
  • Congratulations to Mr. Nick Segura and Mr. Kevin Pike who were re-elected as SUHSD Trustees! They will be sworn in for their new 4-year term at the December meeting.
  • Measure CC that determines the SUHSD board term limit was approved with 84% of the voters. This measure means that any person elected as a Board Member and begins that service after December 1, 2016, would be eligible to serve up to two terms of office as an SUHSD Board Member. Our own Board of Trustees placed this measure on the ballot. That act alone speaks volumes to the board’s emphasis on transparency and deep concern for the organizational health of our district.
  • On November 3, 2016, at the 18th Annual Induction Dinner of the San Diego Hall of Champions, two additional Sweetwater staff were selected as High School Coaching Legends. Coaches are selected based upon exemplary records and standing in the community as well as having demonstrated outstanding performance and sportsmanship on the courts, in the pools, and on the field of play. This year’s awardees include recently retired teacher Ian Cumming whose 41 year teaching and coaching career included Track & Field and Cross Country Coach at Hilltop High School – 18 years, 10 years at BVH, and 13 years at ORH. Coach Cumming’s track teams won 14 girls and boys league titles in 35 years and 19 boys and 15 girls league titles in his 40 years coaching X-Country. At Hilltop, his teams won CIF twice. The second awardee has been a Hilltop High School teacher/coach since 1975 – Nancy Accerio. Coach Accerio has coached basketball, volleyball, and softball at both the JV and Varsity levels. In 2001, she became HH’s Athletic Director, a position she still holds today. Her softball teams from 1993-96 won 34 consecutive league games and during her softball coaching career, her teams won 14 league championships, 2 times CIF runner-up and 3 CIF banners. Her overall coaching record is 568 wins, 245 losses. In 1996, Coach Accerio was chosen as State Softball Coach of the Year. Congratulation and thank you both Coach Cumming and Coach Accerio for the thousands of scholar athletes you have positively impacted over your combined 80+ years of service!
  • The other facts I learned from attending the Induction Dinner that evening was the number of other teachers/administrators/coaches who have been recognized by the San Diego Hall of Champions. Sweetwater has 7 awardees as members of the Bob Brietbard Meritorious Achievement Award since 2003 and now 23 members of the San Diego County High School Coaching Legends since 1999. We cannot underscore nor underestimate the positive impact our athletic programs have contributed to the growth of our students.
  • I’m on an email list for SDSU’s College of Education’s newsletter. The recent edition highlighted three Compact Scholars as the first to receive a R.I.S.E Scholarship. Remember RISE stands for Return and Inspire to become a Sweetwater Educator. Last spring when we launched this new collaborative initiative with SDSU, we created a scholarship program. The three recipients are Stephanie Balvaneda (CVH), Denise Engberg (ORH), and Valeria Guerrero (HH). Once they successfully complete their 5th year of study, including education classes and student teaching in Sweetwater, we will guarantee their employment as teachers in our district – a true coming home for these Sweetwater alumni.

“The RISE Program provides tangible evidence of our community’s commitment to work together to support young people — all the way from K-12 educational programs, into high-quality collegiate experiences, and into productive careers,” said COE Dean Joseph F. Johnson, Jr. “I am especially thrilled that the community has begun contributing to scholarships for the RISE program.  Even with the prospect of a guaranteed teaching job, it is difficult for students and families to find resources for a year of tuition after completion of a bachelor’s degree…I hope that more individuals recognize that they can make an important investment in the success of our community by contributing to the RISE Scholarship.” If you click on the link, you will be directed to the RISE giving form.

  • As we approach the Thanksgiving holiday, I want to take this opportunity to publicly announce offers of gratitude:
    • I am grateful for our Board of Trustees who work together as a team and who model the true and sincere intent of listening to all stakeholders while making decisions in the best interest of each student.
    • I am grateful for our students who bring such rich backgrounds and knowledge to their educational experiences. Whether we’re discussing CTE, athletics, VAPA, college prep, or your socio-emotional well-being, we value your involvement in making us stronger as a district.
    • I am grateful for our classified employees who work tirelessly to support the teaching and learning in our schools and from the district office.
    • I am grateful for our parents and community members who support Sweetwater in putting students first.
    • I am grateful for our counselors who seek to understand students and families in ways that encourage their achievement and emotional health.
    • I am grateful for our teachers and nurses who strive to make each student feel valued and cared for in order to motivate and inspire each student’s learning success.
    • I am grateful for our administrators for leading in ways that promote purposeful collaboration and a positive transformational culture.
    • I am grateful for my colleagues on Cabinet (for whom I have the greatest respect) who together promote, with best intentions, successful teaching and learning, safe/healthy/equitable learning environments, leadership development at all levels of our district, fiscal solvency, positive and transparent communication and relationships with all stakeholders, aligned technology, needs and goal-driven accountability, and human capital appreciation.
  • Every single one of us matters – tremendously! Our very existence affects numerous people in abundant ways. Our district simply could not exist as it does right now, if you, or any one of us, were not it. When we all gain awareness of how much our life really does matter, new sources of energy can emerge and our sense of connection with those around us is renewed.
  • We absolutely are stronger when we work together! And, each individual does matter!
  • So, as you move closer to the holiday of thanksgiving, I encourage you to share, with those with whom you live and work, the reasons why you are grateful they are a part of your life.
  • Click here for information about the 2016 Holiday Drive

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

Karen Janney, Ed.D.


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