Superintendent’s Message – November 13, 2017

  • Welcome everyone to our first live streamed Board Meeting! This is another demonstration of transparency on behalf of our board of trustees.
  • As we approach the Thanksgiving holiday, we are reminded about all the people and reasons for which to be grateful! Tonight, my message will be sharing why I am grateful to be a part of the Sweetwater Union High School District family!
    • We have amazing, talented, and caring students. Here’s what I mean:
      1. Our students have been swept up in the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) movement. Middle and high school students are collaborating in innovative ways that program robots to accomplish a task or mission. Whether it’s FIRST LEGO or VEX robotics competitions, every day students create, think, and demonstrate their knowledge and application of learning. Competitions take place all year long!
      2. Last weekend, several schools designed and built catapults to project pumpkins in a competition for distance in the “Game of Throws.” CPM, ELM, EHA, HM, MOM, MOH, NCM, PAL, SOM students, with support from their teachers and administrators, showed how they get it done!
      3. Fall high school student athletes have been practicing and performing in football, field hockey, boys water polo, girls volleyball, girls tennis, boys/girls cross country, girls golf. Here are the season’s results:  SYH – South Bay League (SBL) Water Polo Champions; CVH –  SBL Girls Volleyball; OLH – Mesa League Girls Volleyball Champs; ELH – Metro League Field Hockey Champs; HH – SBL Football Champs; ORH – Mesa League Football Champs; MoH – Pacific League Football Champs; ELH – Girls Mesa League Girls Tennis Champs; CVH – SBL Girls Tennis Champs; SUHI – SBL Girls Golf Champs. Congratulations to all!
      4. Middle school sports league has attracted hundreds of students across our district, along with middle schoolers from Chula Vista ESD and South Bay Union SD. You could catch them every weekend at OLH competing in softball, baseball, football, and cross country. And the league winners are: ELM – Metro Baseball Champs; MoM – South Bay Softball Champs; ELM – Metro Cross Country Champs; RDR – Metro Football Champs; RDR – Metro Cross Country Champs! Congratulations Middle Schoolers!
      5. Perhaps you saw on Channel 10 News what one of our students did on Halloween. A young man was out trick or treating. He walked up to a porch where there was a bowl with a sign that read, “Please take one.” The problem was there was no candy left in the bowl. So, with no one looking, Lawrence Malot – OLH student, took candy out of his bag and left it in the bowl for other trick or treaters. The owners of the house had a video camera on the porch. His generous act became a viral video. Great role model and act of kindness!
    • We have amazing, talented, and caring staff! Here’s a few examples:
      1. Each day and every weekend there are thousands of students participating in curricular and co-curricular activities and events. This doesn’t happen without dedicated staff who coach, advise, sponsor, and support our students. This above and beyond effort is acknowledged, noticed, and much appreciated! Thank you staff!
      2. Last weekend two large events occurred on two of our campuses: the CABE Mini Parent Conference was held at ORH and HH hosted the Fall San Diego Computer Using Educators Conference. Again, staff who help organize and execute these conferences are too many to name, but are known by those who attended. Did I mention our staff are amazing, talented, and caring??
      3. One of our SUHSD staff members, Valerie Ruiz, has been raising our awareness and participation rates with Unified Sports. Because of her passion, persistence, and powerful personality, our district recently received notification from the Special Olympics on becoming Southern California’s very first Unified Champion School District! This is a tribute to the many staff and students who volunteer to make this opportunity happen for our students with special needs. Almost all our high schools participate and now some of our middle schools have begun! True evidence that we are an inclusive community!
      4. One of our former Sweetwater staff members was just recognized by The San Diego Hall of Champions as an inductee as a High School Coaching Legend. Congratulations Lori Morris! Coach Morris started her 20-year run as head coach of the Montgomery Lady Aztecs Basketball program in 1987. She coached her teams to 7 Conference Championships while also earning 2 CIFSDS Division II runner-up awards. Coach Morris was Union-Tribune Coach of the Year in 1997, CIF Coach of the Year in 1998 & 2007 and earned the High School Sports Association Head Coach’s Award in 2006. Currently Coach Morris is an assistant coach at the University of Texas, El Paso. We are so proud she joined several of our other Sweetwater Coaching Legends!
    • We have amazing, talented, and caring community members in Sweetwater. There are those in the audience who get involved in making Sweetwater a better place by sharing your perspective and your ideas. Thank you! Sometimes it’s hard to hear, but please know we are listening. I want to recognize our community partners who volunteered to participate in the development of our mission and beliefs: partners from CVESD, SBUSD, NSD, and SWCC.
    • These are just a few examples of the people and reasons why I am grateful and it gives me hope to be working here in Sweetwater!
  • In this season of thankfulness, I am reminded how Sweetwater students, staff, and community make a difference! I want to finish my message with a Robert Kennedy quote that describes what can happen when we join together with collective effort and energy:
    • “Few will have the greatness to bend history itself, but each of us can work to change a small portion of events. It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a person stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, they send forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.”
  • Finally, let’s also remember this time of year brings fatigue. Hard work deserves rest and respite. After this week, we get a week to spend with friends and family. Then we are in the final stretch (three weeks) until the end of semester 1. It’s always the right time to support and encourage one another!  
  • LCAP Goal 4 PPT Nov 2017 – PDF
  • Holiday Drive 2017 Flyer – PDF

Let’s keep working together to be Sweetwater Strong!