Guest Commentary: Superintendent Looks Back on School Year PDF  | Print |  E-mail
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Thursday, 14 July 2011 15:14

By Superintendent Cindy M. Cathey

Special to the Times

As I write this article, staff, students and families are looking forward to a much-deserved summer break.

This is a time when I reflect back on the hard work and accomplishments during the 2010-2011 school year.  First our seniors:  178  earned more than $620,000 in scholarships, 94%  plan to continue their education by attending 7 University of California campuses, more than 9 State University campuses, and private universities including Carnegie Mellon, Vassar, Pepperdine, New York University.  Many plan to attend our local community colleges as well.

More students graduated than ever before from our Adult School and from Lincoln Alternative High School.  Eight of our graduates will be entering four branches of the military.  Their accomplishments are something for our whole community to be proud of.

While our instructional program is extremely important to us, we also recognize that addressing the needs of the whole child is equally important.  We developed new counseling support programs this past year.  Our after school programs are thriving.  And, our parent training classes are over-flowing.  Because of its focus on physical activity, Jefferson Elementary School is one of nine finalists in the state in the running for a new fitness center.

Katy McCarthy, 2nd grade teacher at Washington Elementary School was one of 85 teachers in the nation to receive the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics teaching.  We also recognized the following individuals for their contributions to our schools:  Heather DiMaggio – Teacher of the Year; Shirley Harvey – Classified Employee of the Year; Alex Harp – Administrator of the Year, and Jeni and Jerry Engler – Volunteers of the Year.

Two celebrations this past school year were the long awaited grand opening of the Fred T. Korematsu Campus and the Arts Education Center, with the high school spring musical gracing the stage in April. These two elegant state-of-the art buildings are not only beautiful, they are providing our students with a rich learning environment and enhanced programming.

One division that will not get a chance to rest this summer is Facilities and Construction, as work continues on bond projects. This summer, Measure B modernization projects underway include restroom renovations at Bancroft and Muir Middle Schools and Roosevelt and Wilson Elementary Schools; classroom painting and new lighting at Bancroft, Roosevelt and Wilson, and San Leandro High School.

Extensive work will continue through the summer on the Career Technical Education Center at San Leandro High School.

One of our biggest highlight of the year occurred in November when San Leandro voters passed Measure M with a 62.75% vote. Measure M will help us achieve our goal of educating the whole child by supporting healthy, active living for students and the entire community by addressing critical sports facilities throughout the district.

Important projects include renovating Burrell Field, building a new SLHS Swim Center and a new track at Muir Middle School, creating walking paths and par courses at the elementary schools, Bancroft Middle School and Lincoln High School.

Yes, this past year had much to celebrate. I thank you for the opportunity to serve as your Superintendent for the San Leandro Public Schools.

We will be hard at work preparing for the opening of school on Wednesday, August 24, 2011.  Have a safe and happy summer break.



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