Learning Together

Office of Instruction Newsletter - March 2022

A Season of Change and New Opportunities

Message from Troy D. Olin, Assistant Superintendent for Instruction

The month of March is full of seasonal changes as the days grow longer, the weather breaks, and we welcome in spring. The Office of Instruction is also experiencing change this March. Erin Ugine has transitioned to her new role as the assistant principal at Florence Brasser Elementary School. Mrs. Ugine has supported our youngest students, staff and their families for years as a member of the student support service and office of instruction teams. On behalf of both teams and the entire administration building, we thank Erin for her dedication and wish her the best at Brasser.

On March 9, we welcome Sara Mucino as the new Director of Elementary Education. Mrs. Mucino joins our team with nearly 20 years of teaching and elementary leadership experience. She has championed student learning as a special education teacher, a classroom teacher, an intervention teacher, a teacher leader and most recently, an assistant principal at Walt Disney Elementary School. Mrs. Mucino been an essential member of our Spartan family for 10 years supporting students, staff and families in buildings and throughout the district with her involvement and facilitation of many districtwide committees. We look forward to her leadership overseeing and implementing the highest quality educational programming. Please join our team in welcoming Mrs. Mucino and learn more about her below.

March also brings our superintendent's conference day on Friday, March 11. We are excited to share “A Collection of Stories” in the morning as we continue our work on our Strategic Plan for Equity as a district. The sharing of stories gives us an opportunity to learn from another person’s experiences and it can shape, strengthen or challenge our opinions and values. We also recognize the challenges and how they have impacted our school community this year, with that we were intentional around providing professional time in the morning and health and wellness activities in the afternoon. We hope that these opportunities will expand your awareness of culture, identity and equity as well as provide you with the well-deserved time to help you rebalance your health and wellness.

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Sara Mucino, Director of Elementary Education

I am honored for the opportunity serve as your Director of Elementary Education. As a member of the Gates Chili family since 2012, I take great pride in the meaningful connections I have made with many of you, our students, and families. I truly believe in the day-to-day work we have spent fostering a welcoming, affirming, and equitable experience for our students.

As many of you know, my time in Gates Chili began as an intervention teacher and then building reading teacher at Paul Road. I have enjoyed the last five years as the assistant principal at Walt Disney. During this time, I have participated on various district committees, supported curriculum development, and facilitated discussions to support our student’s growth academically, socially and emotionally. Through these experiences I have seen firsthand the commitment you all have to our students each and every day.

I feel fortunate to continue learning and growing alongside all of you. Together we will work for consistent and equitable learning opportunities for all. Over the next couple weeks, I will be visiting classrooms to learn more about our strengths and how we can continuously reflect and improve our practices. I am proud of the work we have begun and together we will have opportunities to shape the educational experiences for our students.

Thank you for all you do to support our students and families each day.



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Look out for future issues of the "Learning Together" newsletter on the first Friday of each month this school year!