SMUSD Shout Out!

November 2020 Newsletter: Late Post-Election Edition

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We appreciate the tremendous support from our community in approving the continuation of the Saddle Mountain School District Maintenance and Operations Budget Override! Your continued support of our efforts to bring the programs our students need and deserve is so important and appreciated! We know this hasn’t been an easy year for anyone, but we cannot thank you enough for taking the time to vote YES! Continuation of the Override allows us to continue to offer exceptional educational opportunities for our students.

A Note From the Superintendent

Dear Saddle Mountain Unified School District Families,

Welcome to our district newsletter! Thank you for your outstanding flexibility and support during Remote Learning and the transition to In-Person Learning on October 13th! Teachers and staff were excited to welcome students back. It has been great seeing students back on campuses, and they seem happy to be on campus and around friends and staff. While some parts of the county and state are seeing rises in COVID-19 cases, we have been fairly stable for the past few weeks. We continue to monitor health metrics and will be prepared in the event we have to revert back to only offering Remote Learning. We hope that will not be necessary but, the health and safety of our staff and students remain our highest priority. Our decisions are driven by health metrics that are being reported weekly by the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS). Click here to see Maricopa County's most recent progress report.

We understand some of you are not yet comfortable sending your children back to campuses for In-Person Learning, so you are continuing with Remote Learning for your children. We realize remote students may not get the same level of teacher interaction now that teachers have students in person to manage. This concurrent model has been very challenging for our teachers and they are working hard to provide quality learning opportunities for all students. Thank you for your patience, flexibility and support as we navigate through these new challenges.

Construction projects at Tonopah Valley High School are well underway (see photos in this newsletter). Concrete has been poured for the new classroom building and we are seeing progress with the cafeteria addition and office safety enhancements. We are awaiting permits for the Winters’ Well projects and hope to get construction started soon. Design work continues for the new elementary school in Tartesso and is on schedule for construction to begin in June 2021.

As always, we are humbled by your support. Please follow me on Twitter (@SaddleMtUSDSupt) and check out our District Facebook page. Thank you for choosing Saddle Mountain Unified School District!


Dr. Paul Tighe


Saddle Mountain Unified School District Receives Award for Financial Reporting

Tonopah, Ariz.—Saddle Mountain Unified School District has been awarded the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting by the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA) for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2019. The Certificate of Achievement is the highest form of recognition in the area of governmental accounting and financial reporting, and its attainment represents a significant accomplishment by a government and its management.

Saddle Mountain USD Superintendent Dr. Paul Tighe congratulated Executive Director of Business Services Kirk Waddle and staff for the great work they have done in earning this award, stating, “It is a great honor and recognition for our team to have a prestigious external affirmation of excellent financial management of the District.” He added, “Taxpayers are reassured that tax dollars are well managed at Saddle Mountain.”

The District’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report has been judged by an impartial panel to meet the high standards of the program, which includes demonstrating a constructive "spirit of full disclosure" to clearly communicate its financial story.

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Construction Continues at Tonopah Valley High School!

TVHS Classroom Building Additions project consists of three remodels: An expansion of the cafeteria, a new two-story classroom building, and TVHS Administration, District Office, and Ruth Fisher Administration. The existing cafeteria is going to be expanded approximately 8 square feet to create more space for students to eat. The new two-story classroom building will create 10 additional classrooms, restrooms on each floor, and a teachers lounge on the second floor. This new two-story building will also be connecting to the existing building 400 via catwalk.
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Gratitude Challenge

As we prepared to celebrate Thanksgiving--however that may look in this strange year--we might stop to think the many things we can be grateful for. There are benefits to showing gratitude. Research shows that gratitude can improve your physical and mental health, increase empathy, decreases aggression and even improve sleep!

If you'd like to consider a 'gratitude challenge' this season, or you'd just like to set aside some times for small ways to think about the things we can be grateful for, you may find a few tips and ideas in the list below.

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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.