Sharing the Good News and Good Work of Students and Staff

August 2018 Edition

Superintendent's Message

Dear Team PUSD,

I am thrilled to be welcoming you all back for the 2018-19 school year. I hope you and your families had a wonderful summer.

I have been reflecting on how we as educators and a community can continue to achieve our mission of college and career readiness for all Poway Unified students. In my work this year with the District’s leadership team, school site administrators, staff, and teachers, we are focusing on creating conditions and culture to support world class learners.

I challenge you to start thinking about what that means in your own sphere of influence. As a parent, what can I do at home to best support my child’s learning? As a teacher, what are the conditions in the classroom that better support my students’ success? As a staff member, how can I create a culture on the playground, on the bus, in the cafeteria, in the office, where students feel welcomed, safe, and secure enough to learn and thrive? For each member of Team PUSD, how we implement conditions and culture may differ, but by working together toward a common goal, we can elevate our students’ educational experience, identify their strengths and passion, inspire and challenge them, and enable them to reach for greatness.

Let us start with a shared belief system that all students have the potential to succeed and WANT to succeed. But whether that success is realized may depend largely on the adults around them. That is why we are working so hard to build trust and communication with our stakeholders, raise our expectations of ourselves and our students, approach our work with a continuous improvement mindset, and be open to change as we collaborate and innovate to move our District forward.

In our short time together, I am proud to see the many positive changes and expanded programs being implemented throughout our schools and the District. We are launching a new Mandarin Immersion program, expanding the elementary Xploration program, adding innovation labs, adding CTE courses, and piloting our Voyager blended learning program. We have reduced the District’s debt liability and implemented processes, procedures, and policies to increase accountability. We have put into place additional safety measures, including security cameras and a districtwide facility assessment. We are engaging more stakeholders through our District committees such as technology, safety, and budget. But there is much more work to be done, and ultimately, we must always remember to keep our students at the forefront of all that we do.

We need to help all of our students reach for greatness through personalizable education. Our students are unique individuals, who are diverse and very talented. I want to close with a link to our fantastic Welcome Back music video that was created by our very own high school students. If you haven't already seen it, please take the time to watch it now:


PUSD is a place where we believe every student can succeed, a place where our kids can thrive and learn to be their best selves, a place where diversity is valued and dreams are achieved. This is us. Team PUSD!

Welcome back and have a wonderful school year!

Your Superintendent,

Marian Kim-Phelps, Ed.D.

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New Poway High Principal

I am also thrilled to welcome Richard Nash as Poway High's new Principal. He kicked off the first day of school with a fun rally. You can read more about Mr. Nash here and see a TV interview with him here.

PUSD Podcast Episode 10: New Principals

"PUSD Podcasts" is a monthly podcast, hosted by Director of Communications, Christine Paik. In this episode, Christine sits down with three of PUSD's new principals, Crystal Brownlee (Meadowbrook), Bryan Schultz (Del Norte), and Andrew Gergurich (Painted Rock) to discuss the excitement and challenges of taking on the job.

Poway Unified School District

PUSDPodcast Ep. 10 - New Principals: Crystal Brownlee, Bryan Schultz, Andrew Gergurich by Poway Unified School District

Student, School, and Staff Achievements

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CyberAegis Awarded Mayor's Trophy

Members of the cyber security team CyberAegis received the Mayor's Cup trophy from Kevin Faulconer! Read about how the student were recently invited to the State Capitol to share their knowledge with legislators.

Congratulations to Hannah Haggerty & Catalina Gonzalez

They won the Novice Sheep Showmanship and Senior Sheep Showmanship Awards at the Ramona Junior Fair!

Congratulations to Trevor Pierce (and Alpha)!

Awarded Grand Champion Market Steer and Novice Beef Showmanship at the Ramona Junior Fair!
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National Youth Arts Awards

Brava to Bernardo Heights Middle School’s Olive Benito who was awarded “Outstanding Supporting Performance” (Junior Division) in the 13th Annual National Youth Arts (NYA) Awards for her role as Rafiki in The Lion King, Jr. Olive received her award at the NYA ceremony on July 16, at the Lawrence Family Jewish Community Center in La Jolla.

Summer Music Camp

Creston Marien, a member of Twin Peaks' advanced orchestra, fractured his arm in May and asked to have his cast set so he could continue to play with his broken arm and violin in school orchestra! There will be an upcoming article in the national publication "Strings Magazine" about his injury, recovery and participation in the Mark O'Connor Summer Music Camp in North Carolina, along with his teacher Ulli Reiner.

iVIE Student Film Awards

Congratulations to each of our iVIE Student Film Award winners Anderian Sawa (category Global Village) and Xena Butler (category News Program), both from Meadowbrook Middle School, and Nepal Arslan (category Documentary) and Noelle Betz (category Zero Waste), both from Rancho Bernardo High School.

Documentary: “PHILLIP BRUCE” Nepal Arslan from Rancho Bernardo High School
Global Village: “CHALDEAN” Anderian Sawa from Meadowbrook Middle School.
News Program: “THE WALKOUT” Xena Butler from Meadowbrook Middle School.
Zero Waste: “FOOD WASTE” Noelle Betz from Rancho Bernardo High School.

The Media Arts Center San Diego held its 17th annual iVIE Student Film Awards and Festival recently. The main purpose of iVIE (Innovative Video in Education) is to encourage students to use video production as a project-based learning tool. Since 2001, iVIE has become a major video competition with hundreds of submissions judged by media professionals and educators. Categories include all grade levels. Visit www.ivieawards.org.
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Record-Breaking Hiring Season

A big shout out to our Personnel Support Services department who celebrated a record-breaking hiring season that started last Spring, and is still going strong with over 300 new hires, including over 170 new teachers joining #TeamPUSD!

Back to School Photo Gallery

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For many more of your #PUSDBacktoSchool photos along with some fun first day festivities, click here:

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Administrators Get Back to Work!

We think it’s safe to say that #PowayUnified administrators are excited to get back to work after two days of leadership training. They are ready to inspire and move our schools, staff, and students forward for the 2018-19 school year. #TeamPUSD

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ASB Change Makers

PUSD ASB classes learning about being change makers and working to better our school culture. Thanks to Mt. Carmel and @caslfan for hosting. We can’t wait for a great year!
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New Student Leadership

Student Board Member Jake Schwartz (2nd from Rt) with 2018-19 ASB Presidents. Read more about how Jake is working to represent student voice in this news article.
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Building Bridges

Building Bridges was the theme of the Extended Student Services (ESS) Leadership Retreat.
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Westwood Energy Bus

Westwood Elementary Staff kicked off the year with a team photo: "hop on board the energy bus as we welcome back our community!"
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Alarm Clock Pep Rally

The KUSI Prep Pigskin Report covered Mt. Carmel High School's morning pep rally and the Red Sea was out in force!! Watch the segment here.
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PTA Dad's Club

The PTA Dad's Club at Garden Road ES held their annual pancake breakfast for students and families. Thank you Mainstream Restaurant for your food donation!
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X-ploration Day

Painted Rock students enjoy the expanded X-ploration program, bringing fun curriculum and activities to elementary schools across PUSD.
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Popsicle Day

3rd graders at Monterey Ridge Elementary School enjoying Popsicle Day!

Poway Unified School District

The Poway Unified School District is located in northern San Diego County, California. PUSD operates 25 elementary schools (K-5), one elementary & middle school combination (TK-8th), six middle schools (6-8), one continuation high school, five comprehensive high schools (9-12), and one adult school. 24 schools are located in the city of San Diego; 11 schools in the city of Poway; and 3 in the County of San Diego. The District serves approximately 36,000 students and is the third largest school district in the county.