Welcome! Dust Devils

August 7, 2020

Principal's Message

Dear Dust Devil,

I could quote any number of world leaders, generals, writers, or social media gurus on a positive attitude. It was John Wooden quote that recently caught my eye, with its simple yet powerful message:

Things turn out the best for those who make the best of the way things turn out.

No one could have predicted COVID-19 and how much it would require us to bend, stretch, and adjust our daily lives.

Students like you have already demonstrated remarkable flexibility, not only in moving to virtual learning in the spring but in facing down significant health and family concerns brought on by the pandemic. Now is the time to make the best out of the way things are turning out.

On behalf of the Joan MacQueen Staff and the parents, grandparents, siblings, aunts, uncles, neighbors, former teachers, and countless others who are cheering you on, I want you to know that now, more than ever, we are committed to preparing you for high school and beyond.

As we plan for Fall, our staff are working diligently to present vibrant and engaging online courses. Our full range of academic, wellness and social support is accessible to you online, and we will resume in-person activities as soon as we are safely able to do so.

Your flexibility and attitude in navigating these short-term adjustments will bring you long-term gains. Dig in and don’t let your supporters down. It is a sign of strength to ask for assistance.

We are here for you.


Casey Currigan, Principal

Joan MacQueen Middle School

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Chromebook Pick-Up

If you need to check out a Chromebook for your child, we have two-days scheduled (Aug. 18 & 19 from 9:00 am - 12:00 pm) to distribute machines. New this year the district is sponsoring a low-cost insurance option.

Students and parents are responsible for district-owned technology property that is issued to them, just as they are for other district-owned items such as textbooks and other materials.

AUSD recognizes that there is a need to protect the investment by both the district and the student/parent. If the device is damaged, the district will repair or replace it, but students/parents will be responsible for the cost of those repairs or replaced devices. However, the liability on families/students can be reduced significantly by taking part in the district’s Chromebook Protection Plan program. For $25 (non-refundable) per year, per device, the Chromebook Protection Plan program will repair or replace the device one (1) time with no deductible.

The Protection Plan program covers accidental damage. It does NOT cover loss, theft, damage by flood/fire/intentional destruction. The district strongly recommends purchasing our Chromebook protection plan.

Student Schedules

This year student schedules have been a challenge. Mrs. Darcey (Formally Mrs. Sanders), Mrs. Smith, and I have been building and rebuilding student's schedules to meet the requirements for opening school normally, hybrid, and then for distance learning. We have landed on a schedule that provides the most flexibility regardless of what model of learning we are providing.

Every student will have a Learning Strategies (Homeroom) Class starting at 8:00 am daily. During that time teachers will work on three fundamental skills from which all other skills can be built:

  • Communication
  • Decision Making
  • Goal Setting

Their homeroom teacher will be in touch with them no later than August 19th.

All student schedules will go live on Parent Vue and Student Vue on August 19th. Passwords and login instructions will be sent out soon.


It has been a challenge to provide elective classes for students to complete online. Because of restrictions mandated by the COVID 19 pandemic we have had to cancel our music, theatre, and cooking classes. In lieu of those classes, the elective opportunities have been updated, and below are the options for each grade level.

New Dust Devils

Traci Valade (6th Grade Math & Science)

Mrs. Traci Valade has been an educator with the AUSD for over 25 years. She has been married to her husband, John, for 28 years and they have two wonderful kids, Jessica - 23 and Troy - 21. Currently, she has been honored with the title of Sixth grade Math and Science teacher at JMMS. Her teaching experience started with the Poway District, yet she is extremely proud to have been with the Alpine Union SD since 1994, in both fourth and fifth grades. Mrs. Valade's proudest moments at school are when students reflect back on their school year and know they have reached their goals and believe in themselves to move on. I am excited and looking forward to our school year together!

Kim Rose (7th Grade Spanish)

Hello, my name is Kimberley Rose, I’m originally from the Bay Area and just moved to San Diego. I am an outdoor enthusiast: I love hiking, backpacking, camping, and just anything outdoors really. This will be my seventh-year teaching. I truly love teaching; it brings me so much joy. I am very excited to meet everyone and please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

Irrma DeLuna (7th Grade Dual Immersion and Intro to Spanish)

I was born in Ameca, Jalisco, Mexico and I came to the United States when I was 6 months old. I'm an only child, and I attended Patrick Henry High School. After High School, I went to National University and graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration. Following that, I attained two Master's Degrees, one in Bilingual Education, and the second in Education Administration.

I enjoy spending time with my mother, visiting with my three wonderful boys and I am a happy grandparent to five wonderful children.

On any given day you can find me riding my Harley motorcycle, traveling down the road in my RV and/or dreaming of taking a trip to Mars. I’m a gypsy at heart and I’m always looking for a grand adventure. Genealogy is another one of my passions, I plan on discovering all the places, the history and the cultures that shaped me.

I'm looking forward to teaching 7th grade at Joan MacQueen Middle School. Please stop by room 407 and say “Hello”.

Sam Cummings (7th & 8th Grade Math)

Hello! I'm Sam Cummings, and I'm a native son of San Diego and graduate of SDSU with a degree in Mathematics and a SS Teaching Credential. I've been teaching for ten years, and I just got back from spending the last three years at the American School of Madrid in Spain. I'm really into endurance supports and burritos, and I'm a terrible singer and guitar player, but I like to anyway! I've always wanted to be a teacher, and there is nothing else I'd rather be doing. I look forward to an amazing -- and interesting -- start to the school year!