SMUSD Shout Out!

September 2022

Big picture

A Note From Our Superintendent

Hello Saddle Mountain community. The 2022-2023 school year is now in full swing and we have gotten off to a good and smooth start. I have had the opportunity to spend time at each of our schools this month and I was struck by the care and dedication our teachers exhibited in each and every classroom I visited. I was also impressed by how respectful and welcoming our students are. I was fortunate enough to receive several fist bumps from students and even a few hugs from kindergarten and 1st grade students. I look forward to spending more time in our classrooms to see our teachers and students in action.

September is also a month where we take time to recognize our dedicated teachers. September 22 is Legendary Teacher Day and it is designed to recognize a teacher that made significant impact. We have all had teachers make a difference, either in our lives or in the lives of our children. This is an opportunity to acknowledge them! To submit an online recognition for your Legendary Teacher, complete a tribute at Honorees can include current and/or retired teachers. The deadline for tributes to be considered for the Legendary Teacher Day recognition is September 22, 2022. The District will receive notification of Legendary Teachers by September 28, 2022

Dr. Mike Winters

SMUSD Superintendent

Big picture

Saddle Mountain Unified School District Increases Teacher and Staff Salaries

Saddle Mountain Unified School District Governing Board met and approved salary adjustments for the 2022-2023 school year, effectively immediately. The increases reflect an ongoing effort to provide the most competitive compensation to District employees, according to Superintendent Dr. Mike Winters.

The following were approved by the Board:

· Minimum wage increased 10%, effective immediately

· Bus driver wages (actively hiring) start at $25 per hour, one of the highest starting wages for this position locally

· Base starting salary for certified teachers is now $45,000 (up from $40K)

· All other District employees receive an additional salary increase of 2.5% in addition to the previous increase of another 2.5% (5% total increase).

“I am pleased that our District was able to increase compensation for staff and faculty, but this is just the beginning of the work needed to reflect what is needed to pay our staff what they are worth. More than 70% of our budget goes directly back to the classrooms where it’s needed to most help support our students,” said Superintendent Dr. Mike Winters.

Affordable Connectivity Program Helping Households Connect

The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) is a new federal benefit to help households pay for high-speed internet and devices. You qualify if someone in your household participates in at least one of these programs:

  • Free and reduced school lunch
  • WIC (Women, Infants, and Children) or SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program)
  • Medicaid, SSI (Supplemental Security Income), Federal Public Housing Assistance
  • Lifeline and more

You also qualify if your household’s annual income is below:

  • $36,620 for a family of two
  • $46,060 for a family of three
  • $55,500 for a family of four

You do not need to be a citizen or have a Social Security number to qualify for this program.

Learn more and enroll at: If you have questions, call the ACP Support Center hotline (877) 384-2575.

You can also find a flyer below with more details (bottom of this newsletter).

Be a Part of the Saddle Mountain USD Family!

Are you following us on Social Media?

Click here to find out what's happening at your schools!

What We Believe


Educate all students to become responsible, college-and-career-ready community members.


Everyone learns, every day.


SMUSD has a commitment to…

· Accountability

· Being trustworthy

· Caring

· Taking initiative

· Being respectful

· Believing all children are capable of success. No exceptions.