Superintendent Community Update

May 19, 2023

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Superintendent's Message

Dear JUHSD Community,

As we move into our final week of school, I'd like to take this moment to congratulate the JUHSD Class of 2023! Through all of the obstacles and challenges that life presented to you during these past four years, you made it! I wish you all the best in your future endeavors and please know you always have a home within this JUHSD community!

To the administrators, teachers, staff, and families who have supported the students in our amazing district, I thank you for being true partners to our academic community. Because of you, we are a district of excellence.

This school year, employees from across the district continued to support JUHSD's mission of embracing inclusion, valuing diversity, and educating ourselves in order to confront and dismantle systemic inequities to bring about a more just society. From district leadership and staff attending Dare to Lead and Courageous Conversations trainings and workshops, to site teachers being part of Grading for Equity and Ethnic Studies committees, I am truly proud of the work that has taken place this year to move this mission forward. As a district, we continue to grow in best practice to empower ALL students, with an intentional focus on those under-served, inadequately served, or disenfranchised by educational institutions and systems, eliminating disparities in educational outcomes. I look forward to continuing this profound work into the coming school year.

This will be the last Superintendent Community Update of the school year. Throughout the summer, please check our District's website, along with our social media channels (@juhsd1), for District announcements, updates, and back to school info for the 2023-2024 school year.

Have a restful summer vacation and I look forward to seeing our returning students and families in August!


Toni Presta



Student Advisory Council Honored

This past Monday, May 15, the District's Student Advisory Council was honored at a special JUHSD Board Meeting for their dedication to this organization for the 2022-2023 school year. A true voice of the students, the Student Advisory Council is student-lead board that interacts with the District's Board of Trustees during their monthly meetings, along with reporting district-related information to their respective school sites. JUHSD thanks the 2022-2023 Student Advisory Council for their time, dedication, and service to this academic community.
All About JUHSD Student Trustees

Congratulations, JUHSD Retirees!

During a special reception at the Serramonte Del Rey Galleria this past Tuesday, May 16, several JUHSD staff members attended one of their last official district events as a soon-to-be retirees. We, the JUHSD, thank them for their years of service to the students of this amazing academic community. As Mr. Fred Rogers once said, "Often when you think you're at the end of something, you're at the beginning of something else." Congratulations and please have a wonderful retirement!

Leontine (Lee) Fox, Adult Transition Program

Patricia Gammage, Oceana High

Carol Grey, Terra Nova

Janette Jimenez, District Office

John Lavine, Westmoor High

Yvonne Piccolotti, Terra Nova

Patricia Ramos, District Office

Tracy Thomas, Adult Transition Program

District Employees of the Year

Each year, staff nominate co-workers who they feel should be recognized as the Certificated Employee of the Year (the Martha Meade Educator of the Year), the Classified Employee of the year (the Sue Cook Classified Employee of the Year) and the Administrator of the Year (Mike Crilly Administrator of the Year Award).

At the May 16 Board Meeting, one classified and one certificated employee from each of our sites, as well as one outstanding administrator from our district, were recognized. To see a video slideshow honoring these standout employees, please click here.

Student Mural Project at SMCOE

Inside the San Mateo County Office of Education, a Student Mural Project is taking place. The mural in progress will depict the type of inclusive, welcoming community that San Mateo County students strive to create at every school in the county. This mural will honor recently retired Congresswoman Jackie Speier and San Mateo County Supervisor Don Horsley, for their unwavering support of the youth of San Mateo County and their leadership on behalf of safe and supportive schools and communities.

Artwork that has been submitted by high school students will be transformed into a cohesive painting in collaboration with muralist Pedro Rivas Lopez and we are THRILLED that our Jefferson High School students have been significant contributers!

Thanks to Jefferson High's art teacher, Alexandra MacDonald and congratulations to the following JHS students participating in this project: Louis Ebora, Brian Delaplaza, Breena Bustos, Aurellia Noverdi-Badarudin, Lee Rafael Abordo, Grace Wang, Oscar Rodriguez, Kevin Zhou, Charlynne Tungol, Samia Hernandez, Marilin Lopez, Rachel Abrego Magana, Ahmed Nasher, Alayham Alghaithi, Hatim Massar, Viviana Picazo, and Lian Claire Turla.

Photo: Superintendent Toni Presta and art teacher, Alexandra MacDonald, stand in front of the mural with JHS students, along with South San Francisco High School Superintendent Shawntera Moore and San Mateo County Office of Education Superintendent Nancy Magee on May 16. See more photos below!

Senior Signing Day at JHS

This past Friday, May 12, Jefferson High School administration and counseling team hosted a Senior Signing Day for the Class of 2023. During this special event, seniors who have signed on to commit to post high school plans were honored with certificates, balloons, and pennants from their soon-to-be colleges and organizations! Superintendent Toni Presta and Board Trustee Jerome Gallegos were in attendance to help award certificates. Congrats, JHS Seniors!

Sophomore Ex at OHS

Oceana High's annual Sophomore Exhibition Night was held on Wednesday, May 17 in the school's cafeteria to an enthusiastic crowd of Grade 10 students, their families, and staff. The Sophomore Ex showcases two years of learning through their usage of writing and social studies skills, research, and presentation. The focus of this project is on current human rights issues happening outside of the United States. To learn more about the the Sophomore Ex, click here.

JHS Student Blogs With KQED

As part KQED's Youth Takeover Program that featured the work and talents of Jefferson High School digital arts 2 media students under the guidance of JHS teacher Cristina Lewis, one student's story was recently published as part of a new education blog for KQED. John Canals' story, The Art of Strategy: Mastering the Game of Chess, is now part of an end-of-year media project posted to the KQED website, showcasing his podcast, along with the work from 11 other bay area students. To read and listen to John's podcast, click here. Way to go, John and the JHS digital media arts program!

South Korean Educators Visit Adult School

This past Wednesday, May 17, Jefferson Adult Education hosted a delegation of South Korean educators from an organization called KEDI (Korean Educational Development Institute). While in the Bay Area, they visited the adult education facilities in San Mateo County, primarily, JUHSD and South San Francisco Unified High School District, to better inform their efforts at developing similar programs. Prior to their observations, they met with Adult School Programs Principal Mark Beshirs in the Serramonte Del Rey Galleria for a brief mixer. An enjoyable time was had by all in attendance and members from KEDI were grateful for JUHSD's hospitality.
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CTE Student Opportunities

Hey, JUHSD CTE 9th, 10th, and 11th graders! Check out these paid work-based learning summer programs opportunities through YEEE! summer empowerment, entrepreneurship, and employment program. For more information on this exciting summer program, click here, along with watching the video posted below, showcasing the work of current JUHSD students with their names being featured in the end credits!

Interested in being part of the District's CTE Program next school year? Contact program coordinators Denise Shreve or Anne Carew.

"This is Our Time" North County Anthem

Staff Spotlight - Ty Hayes, JHS

When an amazing opportunity is presented to Ty Hayes, she takes it! Ty, a JHS campus supervisor and district van driver, recently took part in the Marina Corps Educators Workshop program held at their Camp Pendleton Recruitment Depot in San Diego.

Through this program, Ty gained a firsthand glimpse of life as a Marine Corps solider. The Educators Workshop program provides selected educators, coaches, directors and influential community members with an experiential opportunity to see how the Marine Corps transforms young men and women into Marines. It also provides attendees with current information regarding Marine Corps training practices, military job skills, service opportunities, military lifestyle, and educational benefits available to Marines.

When asked about her taking part in this opportunity, Ty said, "This experience was over the top leaving a positive mental impact! I, along with 35 educators from Northern California, were given the chance to challenge ourselves, while learning what it means to have a stronger sense of focus. After going through this program, I understand my own father, who was a Marine, so much more. I conquered my personal fear of heights and repelled down a 60 foot rope. I now feel fearless to do it again."

Way to go, Ty! You make JHS and JUHSD proud. To learn more about the Marine Corps Educators Workshop program, click here.

Summer Resources from District Wellness

Summer vacation is a time to rest and recharge! Take advantage of emotional health resources and supports from the District's Wellness Team by visiting their webpage, including a flyer on Summer 2023 Wellness Resources.

Photo: The JUHSD Wellness Staff celebrate the end of a challenging, yet successful school year while on a supervision hike: Sunny Zhang (TN/OHS), Dr. Michelle Fortuado-Kewin (District Office - Supervisor), Harpreet Sangha (OHS), Tasha Kramer-Melenick (JHS), Michael Fung (WHS), Vincent Adraneda (JHS), Marisa Pearce (TNHS), and Noah Marsh (TNHS).

Let's Go Thornton!

During the months of April and May 2023, the San Francisco Giants will offer a special ticket deal for anyone associated with JUHSD (students, family, staff) for seats located in the stadium's view reserve and bleacher sections for only $10 a ticket with $5 of that ticket being donated to Thornton High School! Click on this link to purchase your ticket today! Make sure to use the promo code ThorntonHS and THS thanks you for your support!

Click on the below images for summer programs, events, and more!

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JUHSD's Equity Statement

As a district, we embrace inclusion, value diversity, and educate ourselves in order to confront and dismantle systemic inequities to bring about a more just society. JUHSD commits to engaging, educating, and empowering ALL students, with an intentional focus on those under-served, inadequately served, or disenfranchised by educational institutions and systems, eliminating disparities in educational outcomes.

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