Superintendent Message – March 27, 2018

  • Greetings Sweetwater staff, parents, students, and community members. As always, we welcome your attendance and participation in our board meeting.
  • LCAP_Goal_3_PPT.pdf
  • Q-4_Reso_4551_School_Safety.pdf
  • Reso_4552__School_Library_Month.pdf
  • Tonight the theme for my message is “choosing to be involved to make a difference in our community, our nation, our world!”
  • Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher hosted her 5th Annual Women & Girls of the Year Awards event. Sweetwater was well represented with current staff, students, alumni, and South Bay residents making a difference. Awardees include:
    • SY Adult School Principal Sheryl Sanchez
    • SUHI Teacher of the Year Sesha Haynes
    • SUHI Alumna/National School District Teacher Christina Sotelo Benson
    • SUHI Alumna/National City Councilwoman Alejandra Sotelo Solis
    • MoH Alumna/Director of Community Partnerships and Civic Engagement for the Advancement of New Americans Ismahan Abdullahi
    • SUHI Student Marielle Tellez-Castro
    • SYH Students Yalin Chavez & Isabel Garcia
    • Palomar Student Michelle Orozco
    • Granger Jr. Students Aracely & Yarely Duarte
  • March 31 is Cesar Chavez Day in California. Our district celebrated it last yesterday and last Thursday I attended a very inspiring Cesar Chavez scholarship breakfast sponsored by Southwestern Community College. Several students were awarded scholarships – all have very powerful stories of how they got to this point in their education. One student made a comment that resonated with me. She said, “It’s not what you have, it’s who you have in your life to support you is what matters most.
  • Cesar Chavez was an American labor leader and civil rights activist who, with Dolores Huerta, co-founded the National Farm Workers Association in 1962. Originally a Mexican American farm worker, Chavez became the best-known Latino American civil rights activist, and was strongly promoted by the American labor movement. His public-relations approach to unionism and aggressive, but nonviolent tactics made the farm workers’ struggle a moral cause with nationwide support. He is also famous for popularizing the slogan, “Sí, se puede.” Here are a few of his famous quotes:
    • “We cannot seek achievement for ourselves and forget about progress and prosperity for our community…Our ambitions must be broad enough to include the aspirations and needs of others, for their sakes and for our own.”
    • “Preservation of one’s culture does not require contempt or disrespect for other cultures.”
    • “History will judge societies and governments – and their institutions – not by how big they are or how well they serve the rich and the powerful, but by how effectively they respond to the needs of the poor and the helpless.”
  • The United Farm Workers story would not be complete without including the influence and leadership of co-founder Dolores Huerta. Huerta joined the Delano grape strike with the Filipino led Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee in 1965 and was the lead negotiator in the workers’ contract. She was the first Latina inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame in 1993. Where Cesar Chavez made “Sí, se puede” famous, Dolores Huerta is the originator of the phrase. She continues to be active in lobbying for laws to improve the lives of farm workers. Here are a few of her quotes:
    • “Every moment is an organizing opportunity, every person a potential activist, every minute a chance to change the world.”
    • “The great social justice changes in our country have happened when people came together, organized, and took direct action. It is this right that sustains and nurtures our democracy today. The civil rights movement, the labor movement, the women’s movement, and the equality movement for our LGBT brothers and sisters are all manifestations of these rights.”
    • “We can’t let people drive wedges between us…because there’s only one human race.”
  • And in that spirit, across the nation on March 24th, in 800 March for Our lives, we saw evidence of our youth speaking out, of sharing their voice on gun control and school safety. Their words are powerful…listen to a few of their quotes:
    • “We have a voice, too, and if our government can’t do it, we’ll do it.”
    • “Kids have big voices, even if they’re small. I just want to make a difference and help our whole nation understand that.”
    • “People believe that the youth of this country are insignificant…To those people that tell us that teenagers can’t do anything, I say that we were the only people that could have made this movement possible.”
    • “The March is not the climax of this movement, it is the beginning. If you think today is good, just wait for tomorrow.”
    • “This is more than just a march, this is more than just one day, one event, then moving on. This is a movement relying on the passion and persistence of its people.”
    • I am inspired by the youth of our community and the nation!
  • In closing, I want to share what’s written on the t-shirt I’m wearing tonight. It reads:

Science is Real

Black Lives Matter

No Human is Illegal

Love is Love

Women’s Rights Are Human Rights

Kindness is Everything

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