Sharing the Good News and Good Work of Students and Staff

February 2017 Edition

Welcome back from February break! I hope you had some time to relax and regroup as we gear up for a busy Spring. A lot of exciting things are happening across the District. Enjoy this latest edition of the TeamPUSD Newsletter, and catch up on all the good news. Submissions are always welcome: cpaik@powayusd.com


Christine Paik, Director of Communications

Welcome to PUSD's New Superintendent

The Board of Education has selected Dr. Marian Kim-Phelps as our next Superintendent. Dr. Kim-Phelps, currently the Westminster School District Superintendent, will officially become the new Superintendent for PUSD on March 7th when her contract is approved by the Board. “Dr. Kim-Phelps is an incredibly accomplished Superintendent. She has outstanding credentials and brings the experience and vision needed to lead the District and embrace the community. We are very excited to have her as our next Superintendent,” announced Board President Michelle O’Connor-Ratcliff. Read more about Dr. Kim-Phelps here.

Student, School, and Staff Achievements

Northrop Grumman Internship

The following 35 high school seniors were selected as interns in Northrop Grumman’s High School Involvement Internship Program. The 8-week program gives aspiring engineers the chance to experience hands-on, on-the-job experiences in STEM careers and provides internship credit.

Del Norte High School

Roman Cresto, Aimee Han, Seth Kim, Bailey Stone

Mt. Carmel High School

Lili Chen, Brandon Cheu, Owen Cruise, Giselle Dougan, Joshua Jacobson, Kelsey McDonough, Chase Seiter, Brett Vollrath, Bryan Yang

Poway High School

Vibha Deshiikan, Joshua Gillespie, David May

Rancho Bernardo High School

Shayne Hunt, Ryan Pisuena, Saeed Zoss

Westview High School

Natalie Aguinaldo, Joe Dangelewicz, Lisa Hsu, David Mao, Prateek Narayanan, Brandon Nguyen, Jordan Ramos, Vivian Reyes, Itzel Salgado, Diana Tereshenko, Amanda Spidell, Catherine Sun, Breanna Tang, Irene Wang, Brandon Wong, Kevin Zhang

Excellence in Education: No Excuses University

Our fourth “Excellence in Education” video focuses on the first "No Excuses University" school, Los Peñasquitos Elementary. Every month, PUSD students will be producing professional quality videos that will increase awareness of programs that support our District’s mission of college and career readiness. “Studio 701” is a new pilot internship created by Career, Technical, and Adult Education (CTE) and the Communications Department for Advanced Digital Media students. Contact Christine Paik at cpaik@powayusd.com if you know of a program that should be featured or a student interested in applying for the internship program for the 2017-18 school year.
Poway Unified "Excellence in Education": No Excuses University

Valentine's Special Feature: PUSD Couples

ALISON THOMPSON, Library Media Technician & RUSS THOMPSON, Special Education Instructional Assistant II

How long have you been married?

We're celebrating our 30th anniversary in May 2017.

How long have you been with the District?

Alison 8.5 years, Russ 3.5 years.

What brought the two of you to work for Poway Unified?

Alison - After returning to San Diego for our final Navy move I decided to seek employment in the District where I had volunteered for years during our previous time here. I had volunteered in the library at SRES where my friend, Christa McIntosh, was the LMT. Upon our return to the area she encouraged me to apply for an opening at another elementary school. My education background and my previous experience in working in libraries and as a preschool teacher, along with the passion I found I had in supporting literacy in a school library, helped me decide to apply for the position of Library Media Technician at Pomerado Elementary. The students and staff at Pomerado have become my second family and I can't imagine a more fulfilling position. I'm truly blessed to have found my dream job here.

Russ - As I was retiring from the US Navy, I still had a strong desire to serve. I've always been a passionate proponent of public education. As I was looking at my post-Navy opportunities, my darling bride encouraged me to consider employment with PUSD. She knew better than I how strongly I would feel about working with the students of our District. I was lucky enough to be offered a job working with Megan Gross, the current California Teacher of the Year as a part of her team working with students who are on the Autism spectrum. I find the work exceptionally meaningful and feel fortunate to work with such a great team, both in my class and in our school.

What are the benefits of working for the same organization?

The greatest benefit is having the same schedule. After over 26 years of Navy life, spending almost 10 of those years apart due to deployments and exercises, we are thrilled to finally have the same working schedules. We also find great joy in discussing our jobs with each other knowing we're both working toward a common goal of improving the lives of our students.

Do you have children who attended or are attending PUSD?

Yes we have four PUSD graduates: Andy a 2005 MCHS Grad - Currently works for Uber Technologies in SF. Sean a 2007 MCHS Grad - Currently works for UNICEF in Oslo, Norway. Katie a 2010 MCHS Grad - Currently works for LAUSD as a classroom teacher. Patrick a 2014 DNHS Grad - currently a Junior at Berkeley studying in Berlin this semester.

Other than work what do you enjoy doing together as a couple?

We enjoy doing everything together; especially cooking, traveling, and spending time with our children, their partners, and our newest pride and joy..and grandson, Emil.

Greg Strachan, Teacher & Jennifer Strachan, Teacher

How long have you been married?

10 years

How long have you been with the District?

Greg 24 years and Jen 20 years. We both started working for PUSD through ESS a few years prior to becoming teachers.

Do you have children who attended or are attending PUSD?

Yes we do. We have two boys: Brady just turned 9 and Cooper just turned 7. They both attend Turtleback Elementary.

What brought the two of you to work for the District?

Jen's dad taught in the district and she grew up in Poway. She attended Valley, Twin Peaks, and Poway High. Greg's family moved to San Diego when he was in 7th grade. He attended Black Mountain and Mt. Carmel. This is the only district either of us have known as students, teachers, and now parents.

What are the benefits of working for the same organization?

Professionally, it's good to be involved in the same type of work, know the same people, and be able to have someone to bounce ideas off of. Personally, having similar schedules is definitely a luxury both during the school year and certainly during district breaks and holidays.

Do you feel that having work in common has brought you closer together?

It has in the sense that we are able to easily understand what one another experiences during the school day both positively or negatively. We both know what the terms "good day" and "bad day" mean in education. You really need to be a teacher to truly understand the profession.

Do you “talk shop” at home”?

When necessary. We don't look to avoid the topic. It is no different than spouses being involved in different professions. However, it helps to have someone else who know the challenges of the work and can celebrate your successes and relate/offer advice to the obstacles involved with teaching 8th grade students.

Other than work what do you enjoy doing together as a couple?

Family, friends, relaxing. Our schedule always seems to revolve around Brady and Cooper's sports, but we also enjoy finding time for going to good dinners and relaxing with family and friends.

Photo Gallery

Dancing on the Ellen Show

Del Norte's Ryan Maw recently had the opportunity to dance on The Ellen Show to celebrate the host's birthday. Ryan has been dancing since he was 4. He recently moved to PUSD to live with a host family while he practices with Danceology. He appeared in the movie, “Dance Off,” competed on “So You Think Can Dance,” and appeared once before on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” among other performances. You can watch the latest clip here. (He makes his entrance at 01:02 into the clip, he's in the tie dye T-shirt and denim long sleeve.) Go Ryan!
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Last Call for LCAP Surveys

LCAP season is underway… that’s the Local Control Accountability Plan, which is how our District decides our funding priorities. We thank our school sites – principals, parents, teachers, and classified staff – for hosting LCAP forums at each of their schools in the month of February. If you were not able to attend a forum in person, your feedback is welcome online in English or Spanish by March 3rd.

Community College Night

Community College Night is open to ALL Poway Unified high school students. Tuesday, February 28th from 6pm to 7:30pm at Westview High School's Theater. Learn about financial aid, transfer agreements, and next steps to apply. Representatives from Palomar, Miramar, Mira Costa, and Grossmont Colleges will be in attendance.

Preschool & TK Registration

Now accepting preschool registration request forms through March 1, 2017. The form is available online: http://powayusd.com/preschool

All completed forms are automatically sent directly to the Preschool Administration Office. A lottery process may be required if the requests for a class exceeds openings in the class. Parents will be notified starting the week of March 13th about class placements or wait list status. Children must be 3 before September 1, 2017 to enroll in preschool.

THE TK INTEREST WAIT LIST BEGINS MARCH 1st for the 2017-2018 SCHOOL YEAR. Parents of children with a fifth birthday between June 1st and September 1st, 2017 who wish to enroll their child into a TK class, MUST place their name on a District Interest Wait List. Select "TK Interest Wait List" link on this page to complete and submit the required form to put your child’s name on the list. KINDERGARTEN REGISTRATION BEGINS IN MAY.

Finish Chelsea's Run

In 2010, Poway High Senior Chelsea King was murdered while going for a run in the park. “Finish Chelsea’s Run” is an annual tradition in San Diego hosted by the Chelsea’s Light Foundation. This year's run is Saturday, March 4th. There's still time to sign up! The money raised provides college scholarships. Many of our schools form teams, as do PUSD families, employees, and groups of students. Register today: https://chelseaslight.org/programs/finish-chelseas-run/
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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.