May/June 2021 Edition
The 2020-21 school year has undoubtedly been one of the most memorable in Poway Unified history. We navigated many challenges and changes together, and along every step of the way, we served and supported our students to the best of our abilities during a global pandemic.
As I visit campuses this week for promotions and year-end activities, I experienced a sense of celebration and feelings of accomplishment (and relief) that we have made it this far. I know there were times during the year when it felt like there was more bad news than good. But do not lose sight of the fact that our teachers and staff provided extraordinary in-person and virtual learning experiences for all students when many school districts in our state struggled to or could not. Our students participated in on-campus athletics, extracurricular activities, clubs, and academic programs and passions. Our schools and District continue to be top-rated in our county and state, with National Blue Ribbon and California Distinguished Schools. Our students and staff were honored with countless awards for athletics, academics, and overall achievements in fields such as cybersecurity, robotics, performing arts, education, and more. Our parents and guardians were more involved than ever, attending meetings, fundraising, adjusting to changes, and providing input on so many decisions. Our community businesses and organizations, many of them struggling themselves, rallied around supporting our schools and students with donations, volunteers, and partnerships. Plus, we will end the year by hosting in-person promotion and graduation ceremonies for our students and their families.
Team PUSD, we made it! We persevered and pushed through, learning so much about ourselves along the way: we are resilient, we are determined, we are flexible, we are innovative and creative, and we rise to the challenge.
For some, this is the final year you will be a part of PUSD, whether as a retiree or graduate (or parent of a graduate). To our retirees - thank you for your decades of dedication. Please know that you have impacted our students and your colleagues in so many ways. I wish you all the best as you enjoy your hard-earned retirement. Get rest, pursue your passions, and enjoy your family and friends. To our graduates and their families - we hope you leave feeling prepared for the future. We want our students to make their unique mark on the world, and if possible, return to this community some day, as parents, employees, or community partners of PUSD.
Finally, I want to share how proud and humbled I am to continue to lead this extraordinary organization as your Superintendent. I joined Poway Unified in April 2017. Of course I had always heard about the accomplishments and excellence of PUSD. But after four years here, I can confidently say, this is, by far, THE BEST school district I have ever had the pleasure of serving.
I am SO excited and hopeful for what 2021-22 brings. We will be hard at work over the summer to ensure we are ready to welcome back staff and students for full in-person learning, as well as the other learning options we are offering, such as Connect Academy. I promise to keep our students and their needs at the forefront of our work, and with your help, we will continue to pursue the District’s vision of empowering world-class learners.
Have a wonderful summer break!
Marian Kim Phelps, Ed.D.
District News & Announcements
Help Us Celebrate Our Graduating and Promoting Students!
Project Fair & Share 2021
Ten $25 donations
will provide art, music, and PE materials and equipment
Ten $50 donations
will provide educational activities, competitions, and field trips
Ten $100 donations
will provide seating and shade structures for outdoor learning areas
COVID-19 Vaccine Clinics
Don't forget! If you or your child got your first vaccine at the May 28 and June 4 vaccination clinics at Mt. Carmel High School and Del Norte High School, you need to return for your second vaccine on Friday, June 25! Check your email next week for a reminder.
Now Hiring: Instructional Aides, AVID Tutors
- Additional Instructional Aides to join our Special Education Extended School Year July 7 - August 3. Positions are 4 hours daily. IAs work alongside Credentialed Teachers. Full and substitute positions open. Apply here.
- College students to fulfill tutor positions with our AVID program. This job is part-time, flexible with college schedules, available at multiple sites throughout the District, and will help PUSD students reach their full potential. Apply here.
Budget Basics Webinar: PUSD Business Support
New Student Enrollment: Applications Still Accepted
First-ever Virtual CTE Expo
Innovation Camp for PUSD Teachers: Enrollment Now Open
Achievements and Recognitions: Students, Staff, Schools & District
Nene & Ekene Okolo: Local Peacemakers
PUSD Robotics Wins Big at Regional FIRST Competition
Many robotics students and teams at high schools throughout Poway Unified School District recently won awards at the FIRST 2021 Greater San Diego Awards Show. Of note, the “Chairman’s Award” is the most prestigious award offered by FIRST Robotics. Additionally, PUSD students claimed three of the four available “Dean’s List Awards” for competitive grades. Awards include:
o Team Spyder 1622 (Poway High School): Chairman’s Award; Quality Award
o Team 3341 Option 16 (Westview High School): Chairman’s Award; FIRST Dean’s List Award to Ella Godun; FIRST Dean’s List Award to Rayyan Nasser
o Team 2658 Sigma Motion (Rancho Bernardo High School): Skills Competition Winner Award; Excellence in Engineering Award; Engineering Design Award; FIRST Dean’s List Award to John Chang
o Team Optix 3749 (Del Norte High School): FIRST Innovation Challenge Semi-Finalist Awards; Qualcomm Innovation Ambassador Grant
Students Tapping into Their "Super Powers"
Design39Campusmiddle schoolers came to be known as the “SuperPowers” team, stepping up to design an electives program and provide coaching for the Maker39 Faire when the pandemic threatened to cancel these popular programs at their school. Great job, Kiana, Tanay, Neil, Srijan, and Abigail!
PUSD Home to More National Merit Scholars
Three PUSD Fourth Graders win Poway Water Poster Contest
Three Poway Unified School District fourth grade students achieved top places in the City of Poway’s annual Water Poster contest. Each depicted why they love water, how they conserve it, and how they encourage others to do the same. They will have their artwork entered for a chance to be this year's North County Water Agency Calendar cover. The contest was open to all fourth graders at Poway schools:
- First Place: Rozelle DeBeer (Chaparral Elementary School)
- Second Place: Chloe Holwill (Chaparral Elementary School)
- Third Place: Jocelyn Roy (Valley Elementary School)
Poway Titan to represent U.S. in International Wrestling Champs
Brock Bobzien, a Junior at Poway High School, has earned a spot on the USA Wrestling Team for the World Cadet Championships in Budapest, Hungary this July To qualify, Brock won the World Team Trials in the Greco-Roman division and placed 2nd in Freestyle. We wish you good luck, Brock! Read more about the journey here.
Mesa Verde Student to Represent U.S. in Pan American Championship
An exciting story: Megan Chu, a 7th grader at Mesa Verde Middle (2nd from left), is a rhythmic gymnast with Emerald City Rhythmic Gymnastics. Recently, Megan placed first all-around at the junior level in a national qualifying competition and will now go on to represent the United States at the Junior Pan American championships in Guatemala She is now ranked #1 in the U.S. for her age bracket!
Read more from USA Gymnastics about her accomplishment: http://bit.ly/pusd-megan
Westview Junior Takes Third in International Science Fair
"GradGenie" Earns Westview Junior First Place in National Competition
APSM also honored 18 members of Team PUSD with the 2021 Special Achievement Award in Support of Student Learning: Marie Galaz, Susan Graham, Kimberlie Rens, Aaron Little, Tish Bates, Michele Wilson-Manos, Brooke Snow, Laura Crow, Nicole Anschick, Flora Biglaryan, Lilian Yorba, Areli Caballero, Lisa Surita, Michel Tune, Gregg Gracey, Steven Gregg, Veronica Ephraim, Dean Likiardopoulos.
Celebrating 2021 California Distinguished School: BMMS
Girl Scouts Go for the Gold
Poway Unified students were well-represented at the Girl Scout Gold Awards, the organization's highest honor. A Gold Award Girl Scout is a high school Girl Scout who works to address an issue she’s passionate about in a way that produces meaningful and lasting change on a local, national, and/or global level. Among those honored include:
- Shruti Chari, Del Norte HS
- Maddie Engblom, Rancho Bernardo HS
- Chloe McGee, Del Norte HS
Fun Photos and Videos
Bob Lutticken Named Top Teacher Search Finalist
Turtleback Teacher Surprised by Helpful Honda Dealers
Teacher Appreciation Week
Valley Elementary Comic Con
Del Norte's Custom Culture Contest Submission
Girl Scouts Donate to Youth in Transition
Poway Senior to attend MIT for Exceptional Math Skills
Turtleback Terrapin Trot
Poway FFA End-of-Year Celebration
Thank You, PTOs and Foundations!
Peer Ambassadors' Farewell
Pictured to the right: Titan Ambassadors at Garden Road
Poway CTE Auto Program
Grab&Go Laundry Event for Youth in Transition
Our CCC is making a significant, positive difference in the lives of our students and families experiencing homelessness, and we thank them for their dedication. Want to donate? Click here to read more: https://www.powayusd.com/.../Learning.../Youth-In-Transition
Celebrations and Resolutions
Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month
GENupPUSD students, led by 2021-22 Student Board member Winnie Xu, compiled this list of resources for their fellow students, educators, and families to support the #AAPI community for this month and beyond.
From mental health resources to education and literature recommendations for children and young adults, the site is extremely helpful and comprehensive, and we are happy to share it with you. https://aapiresourcespusd.carrd.co/
National School Lunch Hero Day
Another heartwarming gift from #PowayUnified students to local #healthcareheroes. From Monterey Ridge ES on Instagram: "Even under these masks, you can see the smiles that our Monarchs have put on these hard working nurses! Way to go Monarchs and thanks to Ms. Yeatts for coordinating such a great idea."