Sharing the Good News and Good Work of Students and Staff

June 2018 Edition

Superintendent's Message

Dear Team PUSD,

I know I speak for my fellow District leaders when I say, it was an honor to participate in the graduation and promotion ceremonies this month. I was happy to "sweat it out" on stage alongside our principals and board members for such an important milestone in our students' and families' lives. Many congratulations to graduating seniors, promoting 5th and 8th graders, and all Poway Unified students on their year of learning, growth, and accomplishments. Enjoy some of the fun photos below. After the flurry of year-end activities, I hope you and your families are getting some time to relax, refresh, and rejuvenate.

While our school year is technically over, there is plenty of work and activity happening around the district. Special education is running our extended school year, ESS and Youth Enrichment summer camps are in full swing, transportation is busy shuttling students for field trips, our staff is engaging in professional learning and development, facilities and maintenance crews are conducting renovations and repairs, and here at the District office we are busy hiring new staff and getting ready for the 18-19 school year. We are excited about the 100 new teachers joining our team, as well as the new principals leading three of our schools: a warm welcome to Andrew Gergurich at Painted Rock Elementary, Crystal Brownlee at Meadowbrook Middle School, and Bryan Schultz at Del Norte High School.

I am also thrilled to welcome Carol Osborne as our new Associate Superintendent of Learning Support Services. She is returning to Team PUSD after serving as a principal at Morning Creek, then working at the San Diego County Office of Education in their District and School Improvement Department for the past five years. Carol brings innovative, high-quality leadership and a commitment to continuous improvement for student learning and equity.

Greg Mizel will join my cabinet as the Assistant Superintendent of Student Support Services, focusing on student safety and well-being and special education. For the past ten years, Greg has worked to inspire and guide Del Norte to becoming one of the top high schools in the country, and I look forward to seeing his leadership at the District level, for the benefit of all of our students. Welcome as well to Brian Morris, Director of Human Resources and Trevor Wilson, Director of Risk Management. And my thanks to the Board of Education for their continued confidence in me, as they extended my contract for an additional year to three years.

We've adopted both our budget and LCAP for 2018-19, which invests heavily in the success and well-being of our students and staff, and I am optimistic about our future as one of the best school districts in the country. As we look forward to Fall, I want to thank Team PUSD for an excellent year. I hope you take a moment to read through the June edition of our newsletter. It is truly a celebration of our final month of the 2017-18 school year.


Marian Kim-Phelps, Ed.D.


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Excellence in Education Video Series

PUSD digital media interns Sabrina Darian, Nathan Xia, Seth Dacio, Noelle Betz, and Zach Camerino (l to r pictured above) have been working all year with the Communications Department to create monthly “Excellence in Education” videos that highlight how PUSD is achieving its mission of college and career readiness throughout the District. Many thanks for a job well done! You can watch all of their past stories here. Their final "Excellence in Education" piece below highlights the unique partnership with Northrop Grumman, to bring hands-on STEM learning to high school interns.

Congratulations to next year's interns on their selection: Nepal Arslan, Zach Camerino, Esha Doshi, Damien Henson, Ryan Hulst, Katie Jose, Brendan Heath, Basma Bahia, Tyler Christian


Student, School, and Staff Achievements

PUSD Volunteers of the Year

The Poway Unified School District is proud to recognize our volunteers and is pleased to announce that Krissa Jensen, Tom McFadden, and Andrea & Roger Mitchell have been chosen as Poway Unified District Volunteers of the Year for 2018 from a very distinguished list of school-site volunteers of the year. To read more about their contributions and for a complete list of all of our school site volunteers of the year, go here.
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AT&T Inventors Challenge: Thomas Edison Award

Morning Creek Elementary 2nd grader Mihir Konkapaka was awarded the Thomas Edison Award in an international technology contest sponsored by AT&T and Imagination.org. His digital checklist invention, the "Checklistinator" is a device that attaches to a backpack to help students remember everything they need at school. June 27, 2018 was declared Mihir Konkapaka Day in the City of San Diego. You can watch his video entry here and his recent features in the Union-Tribune, and on KUSI and KGTV.
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National Merit Scholars

Corporate-Sponsored Scholarship Winners: This is the first group of winners in the 2018 National Merit Scholarship Program. Approximately 1,000 distinguished high school seniors were awarded corporate-sponsored National Merit Scholarship awards financed by about 200 corporations, company foundations, and other business organizations. Scholars were selected from students who advanced to the Finalist level in the National Merit Scholarship competition and met criteria of their scholarship sponsors. Corporate sponsors provide National Merit Scholarships for Finalists who are children of their employees, who are residents of communities the company serves, or who plan to pursue college majors or careers the sponsor wishes to encourage.

Sarah Cheng (Del Norte High School), National Merit Pfizer Inc. Scholarship

Valerie Chen (Del Norte High School), National Merit Northrop Grumman Scholarship

Christian Gaytan (Del Norte High School), National Merit Raytheon Scholarship

Ayaan Gopalan (Rancho Bernardo High School), National Merit Broadridge Scholarship

Rose Hong (Del Norte High School), National Merit Northrop Grumman Scholarship

Everett Lin (Del Norte High School), National Merit Northrop Grumman Scholarship

Anjali Ramesh (Del Norte High School), National Merit Northrop Grumman Scholarship

National Merit Scholarship Winners: This is the second group of winners in the 2018 National Merit Scholarship Program, funded by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation itself. 2,500 Merit Scholar winners were selected from a pool of more than 15,000 outstanding finalists. The winners are the Finalists in each state judged to have the strongest combination of accomplishments, skills, and potential for success in rigorous college studies. The number of winners named in each state is proportional to the state’s percentage of the nation’s graduating high school seniors.

Allison Bao (Westview High School), National Merit $2,500 Scholarship

Steven Chen (Westview High School), National Merit $2,500 Scholarship

Samuel Hunter (Rancho Bernardo High School), National Merit $2,500 Scholarship

Robert Ozturk (Rancho Bernardo High School), National Merit $2,500 Scholarship

Andre Yin (Westview High School), National Merit $2,500 Scholarship

Kevin Yu (Westview High School), National Merit $2,500 Scholarship

College-Sponsored Merit Scholarship Winners: This is the third and final group of winners in the 2018 National Merit Scholarship Program, awarding approximately 3,500 winners of National Merit Scholarships financed by U.S. colleges and Universities. Officials of each sponsor college selected their scholarship winners from among the Finalists in the 2018 National Merit Scholarship Program who plan to attend their institution.

Carson Thomas Alfonzo (Mt. Carmel High School), National Merit Texas Christian University

Evan Bartholomeusz (Poway High School), National Merit Brigham Young University

Advaita Chandramohan (Del Norte High School), National Merit University of Southern California

Hannah Cheves (Poway High School), National Merit University of Southern California

Carolyn Du (Del Norte High School), National Merit Harvey Mudd College

Elizabeth Durkin (Rancho Bernardo High School), National Merit University of Central Florida

Haemin Lee (Del Norte High School), National Merit University of Southern California

Rachel Leete (Rancho Bernardo High School), National Merit University of Central Florida

Student-Athlete Spotlight

Westview High School Student Wins Scholarlship

Congrats to Marisa Szarek of Westview High School who won a $1000 scholarship from Association of California School Administrators & the San Diego County School Boards Association. She is attending Sonoma State to pursue a career as an elementary school teacher.

Poway High School Student Wins Scholarship

Congratulations to Poway High School's John Lettang – the only PUSD student to make it to the finals of the RB Chorale Music Scholarship Awards. John, a vocalist, was awarded a $1700 college scholarship! You can read more about the competition here.
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Poway FFA Scholarship Winner

Congratulations to Poway FFA’s Catalina Gonzalez for earning a Livestock Auction Scholarship from the prestigious Don Diego Foundation!

Annual Scholarship Report

PUSD students have competed successfully for dozens of local and national scholarship awards, accepting nearly $24 million in scholarships. The totals below include military academy scholarships. Scholarship amounts are self-reported by students to school sites and may not include all scholarships. Congratulations to all!

High School: Total Amount Accepted

Abraxas: $16,650

Del Norte: $5,871,823

Mt. Carmel: $2,669,656

Poway: $2,440,116

Rancho Bernardo: $5,654,499

Westview: $7,173,107

President's Volunteer Service Award

Meadowbrook Middle School 8th grader Madalyn Nguyen was awarded the President’s Volunteer Service Award from the White House for her extensive community service during the 2017-18 school year. She devoted over 200 hours of service to her passion, which is inspiring younger students through Robotics/STEM outreach events and mentoring two FIRST Lego League teams to an award-winning season. She was also selected for the Community Youth Volunteer of the Year award by Assemblymember Brian Maienschein’s office.
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Abraxas Garden Project Wins Multiple Awards

The Abraxas Garden Project won multiple awards for their Garden Project. 1st place: California Garden Club Community Impact Award; AND National Garden Club Community Beautification Award; AND National Garden Club Kellogg Civic Achievement Award!
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Garden & Waste Diversion - A Model Program

Monterey Ridge Elementary School was in the spotlight when the San Diego County News team arrived to film a video highlighting the school’s garden and waste diversion program. Monterey Ridge’s school lunch sorting, site-wide recycling and composting program has become a model for other schools across the county.

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Focus on Literacy Award

Valley Elementary School was recognized by the San Diego County Office of Education for their “Focus on Literacy” through their After School Education and Safety (ASES) Program. Valley ASES holds an annual ComicCon and Chalk Art event to encourage a love of reading, writing, and art. Students create their own superheroes, dress up, and make their own comic strips. You can watch the video here. The SDCOE awarded Valley’s ASES program over 100 books to add to their collection.
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San Diego County Fair Student Showcase Results

Fine Arts

Chloe Valdez, Westview HS Best in Class (Ceramic Other 3D)

Samantha Omer, Westview HS Best of Show & Best in Class (Ceramic Other 3D)

Carly Burstedt, Westview HS Best in Class (Drawing 2D)

Lili Olah, Westview HS Best in Class (Watercolor 2D)

Yuenji Lee, Westview HS Best in Class (Watercolor 2D)

Ned Jeong, Westview HS Best in Class (Watercolor 2D)

Naomi Lesberg, Poway Adult School, Best in Class (Thematic Art - Group Project)

Anastasis Papina, Mesa Verde MS, Best in Class (Other 3D)


Emilie Nguyen, Westview HS Best in Class (Monochrome Images)

Kienan Morrissey, Poway HS Best in Class (Monochrome Images)

Ryan Chaiyakul, Meadowbrook MS Best in Class (Color Photography)

Ashley Rose, Rancho Bernardo HS Best of Show & Best in Class (Color Photography)

Ella Saucier, Rancho Bernardo HS Best in Class (San Diego County Lifestyles)

Alyssa Thompson, Meadowbrook MS Best in Class (Fair Theme)

Hannah Hguyen, Meadowbrook MS Best in Class (Fair Theme)

Rebecca Hebdon, Rancho Bernardo HS Best of Show & Best in Class (Fair Theme)

Basma Bahia, Rancho Bernardo HS Best in Class (Fair Theme)

Ryan Chaiyakul, Meadowbrook MS Best in Class (Panoramic Images)

Allison Phifer, Poway HS Best in Class (Panoramic Images)

Ethan Wurtz, Poway HS Best of Show & Best in Class (Panoramic Images)

Macy Sadler, Poway HS Best in Class (Portrait Photography)

Ngefor Ndifor, Mt. Carmel HS Best of Show & Best in Class (Portrait Photography)

Isabela French, Rancho Bernardo HS Best of Show & Best in Class (Sports/Action/Motion/Blur Photography)

Francisco Sierra, Poway HS Best in Class (Aerial View Drone)

Adam Durbin, Poway HS Best in Class (Aerial View Drone)

Dawson Smith, Poway HS Best in Class (Photo Journalism-Photo Essay)

Jake Bowers, Rancho Bernardo HS Best in Class (Photography-SN)

Graphic Communications

Lauren Wilson, Meadowbrook MS Best in Class (Packaging)

Rianna Mata, Rancho Bernardo HS Best in Class (Packaging)

Lani Kapono, Rancho Bernardo HS Best in Class (Packaging)

Joshua Chehov, Meadowbrook MS Best in Class (Posters)

Katie O'Connell, Meadowbrook MS Best in Class (Posters)

Lauren Wilson, Meadowbrook MS Best of Show & Best in Class (Portfolio)

Emily Gnad, Meadowbrook MS Best of Show & Best in Class (Typography)

Brenda Sanchez, Meadowbrook MS Best of Show & Best in Class (Typography)

Mio Teague & Sophie Schulze, Meadowbrook MS Best in Class (Two-Page Spread for Yearbooks)

Annabel Ng, Meadowbrook MS Best of Show & Best in Class (Documents)

Huy Pham, Rancho Bernardo HS Best of Show & Best in Class (3D Rendered Scenes)

Lauren Ayles, Rancho Bernardo HS Best in Class (3D Rendered Scenes)

Westview Robotics, Westview HS Best of Show & Best in Class (Graphics Communication Group Project)

Emma Vander Veen, Meadowbrook Middle School Best in Class (Graphics Communication-SN)


Nepal Arslan, Rancho Bernardo HS Best in Class (Documentary)

Elli O'Connell, Meadowbrook MS Best in Class (Fair Theme)

Yumeng He, Meadowbrook MS Best in Class (Music Video)

Zach Camerino, Rrancho Bernardo HS Best in Class (News/Investigative Reporting)

Ella Moyer, Meadowbrook MS Best in Class (2D Animation)

Drafting & Technology

Poway High Engineering Academy

Best of Show:

Ryan Barnett, Individual Science Project

Anna Pieroni and Takato Timmerman, Science & Engineering-Group Project

Carson Sauriol, Architectural Renderings/Presentation

Jefferson Cannon, Architectural Other Design Areas,

Guiseppe Sullivan, 3-D Rendering

John McConnin, Robotics Engineering Project Group – Fabricated (Ben Ackerman, Ryan Adelman-Drummond, Arshia Alenaddaf, Myra Ashraf, Joshua Bailey, Dakota Barnes, Ryan Barnett, Noah Burns, Jennifer Byrnes, Andrew Camacho, Jenna Cao, Luca Capperucci, Ethan Champion, Ryan Chan, Sarah Chittle, Cedrick Chiu, Mois Cohen, Lindy Cornwall, Jacob Croston, Khirin Dacanay, Rhavi Dacanay, Sophia Dalke, Evan Donaldson, Jake Durham, Hirohito Fainza, Catherine Farrish, Lorenzo Fisher, Andrew Floyd, Shane "Kai" Flickinger, Aidan Friend, Cecelia Gant, Madalyn Haase, Sean Halaclar, Ethan Han, Justin Han, May He, Vaclav Jelinek, Tony Johnson, Nathaniel Leslie, Nicholas Lombardo, Caleb Lord, Conner Lucey, John McConnin, Gerrit Mcconnin, Andres Mendoza-Vazquez, Oscar Mendoza-Vazquez, Donovan Morgan, Tiffany Nguyen, Madalyn Nguyen, George Oraha, Eeann Panganiban, Sebastian Perico, Anna Pieroni, Wyatt Richards, Patrick Ritter, Jonathan Robins, Ana Isabella Rosentein, Jack Sanders, Jimmy Scott, James Setiady, Anton Skvoretz, Alexander Slocomb, Geary Smart, Elena Tomson, Fernanda Araya Valerio, Ariana Van Dusen, Sean Vazquez, Enzo Verna, Christine Wakayama, Ignatius Widjaja, Sara Wilson, Jonathan Wilson, Zack Wong, Amelia Zolzer)

Best in Class

Aaron Olitoquit, Architectural Renderings/Presentation

Mikayla Mann, Technical Drafting - CAD

Brooklyn Hall, 3-D Rendering

Tracy Richards, 3-D Rendering

Duncan Roca, 3-D Solid Modeling Prototype Projects

Craig Yandell, 3-D Solid Modeling Prototype Projects

San Diego County Fair: Instructor of the Year Award

Congratulations to Rancho Bernardo High School Photography teacher Vanessa Olson named Instructor of the Year at the fair!

PUSD Podcast Episode 9: Chad Koster, Director of Facilities, Maintenance, & Operations

"PUSD Podcasts" is a monthly podcast, hosted by Communications Director Christine Paik. In this episode, Christine sits down with Chad Koster, Director of Facilities, Maintenance, and Operations to discuss the big summer projects scheduled throughout the District as well as how his naval background is helping him in his current role for PUSD.

Poway Unified School District

PUSDPodcast Ep.9 - Chad Koster, Director of Facilities, Maintenance, & Operations by Poway Unified School District

Graduation & Promotion Photo Gallery

5th Grade Promotions & Last Day Pics!

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Turtleback Elementary

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On June 14, 2018, all seven Poway Unified middle schools held promotion ceremonies for their 8th grade students, as they make the transition from middle school to high school: Bernardo Heights Middle School, Black Mountain Middle School, Design39Campus, Meadowbrook Middle School, Mesa Verde Middle School, Oak Valley Middle School, and Twin Peaks Middle School. Families, friends, teachers, staff, and District leadership all came out in force to celebrate and support our students. Many of the ceremonies included musical and vocal performances from students as well as words of reflection and encouragement from speakers. A huge congratulations to all of our promoting students! We've included a few photos below and you can see more photos here.

Bernardo Heights Middle School

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Black Mountain Middle School

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Meadowbrook Middle School

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Mesa Verde Middle School

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Oak Valley Middle School

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Twin Peaks Middle School

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This June, over 2,700 Poway Unified students walked across the stage to receive their hard-earned diplomas, the culmination of their journey towards college and career readiness. They were cheered on by thousands of friends, family members, and educators. Among them, Superintendent Dr. Phelps who said: "This is my absolute favorite time of year. It is hard not to feel emotional, as if they were my own children. It is at this moment when we all should realize the impact of our hard work as Team PUSD: the teachers, staff, administrators, parents, volunteers, and business and community partners who helped make our students' achievements and dreams possible." So thank you, Team PUSD, for working together so our students could reach this important milestone. We've included a few photos from each school below, and you can view more photos here.

Abraxas High School

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Del Norte High School

Valedictorian: Rose Hong

Salutatorian: Shubham Gupta

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Mt. Carmel High School

Valedictorian: Timothy Kha

Salutatorian: Johnathan Tran

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Poway High School

Valedictorian: Jacob Allen

Salutatorian: Maria Cullen

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Rancho Bernardo High School

Valedictorian: Samuel Hunter

Salutatorian: Nina Lu

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Westview High School

Valedictorian: Kevin Yu

Salutatorian: Steven Chen

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RB's B Boys!

RBHS' "B Boys" showing off their moves as part of an end-of-the-year celebration assembly.
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Painted Rock 'n Roll!

Students from Painted Rock ES performed at San Diego's House of Blues!
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ESS Summer Program

PUSD's Extended Student Services (ESS) offers fun summer "day camps" throughout the District! Activities include field trips, games, movies, swimming, and more! For more information, visit this link.
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Field Trip Fun!

PUSD bus drivers and ESS staff are hard at work over the summer, making sure our students have fantastic field trip experiences. This group visited the Birch Aquarium.
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Mural Dedication

This mural at Sunset Hills Elementary was dedicated to two students who lost their lives last year. It was painted by two ESS staff members Erik Velasquez and Duston Rau, in honor of the siblings and their love for learning.
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Almost Summer

Creekside teachers (jokingly) waiting for the school's gate to open and set them free as they counted down the days until summer.

Camp Invention at Morning Creek

Camp Invention! A week-long summer camp at Morning Creek Elementary School encouraging kids to be innovators! Camp Invention is a nationwide program for K-6 graders, where they build STEM skills with creative, hands-on problem-solving activities.

Camp Invention at Del Sur

Camp Invention also came to the Del Sur Elementary campus, where PUSD students and staff helped campers with their STEM projects!
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Memories Matter

Students at D39C organized a Memory Walk in partnership with @AlzheimersSD . Over 700 people participated! They walked 2 miles to ActiveCare. June is #AlzheimersAwareness Month.
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FFA at the Fair

Congratulations to all Poway FFA Members showing at the San Diego County Fair Market Show! Everyone earned a blue ribbon and is eligible to sell at the auction on Saturday.

Summer Learning

Our educators are always well... educating themselves! Many of our staff are spending their summer attending seminars, workshops, and training sessions such as "Get Your Teach On," "International Society for Technology in Education," and PUSD-led learning opportunities. We are excited to see what they bring back to our schools and classrooms for Fall 2018!

Summer Reading Academy

Teachers, assistant principals, and principals kicked off their summer break at the District Office for the Summer Reading Academy.
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PUSD Retirement Profiles

We asked retiring staff to reflect on their careers with Poway Unified, and share some parting words. With over 100 PUSD teachers retiring this year, the Pomerado/Poway Chieftan Newspaper recently wrote more in-depth profiles on many of our retiring teachers. Click to see the articles on elementary, middle, and high school teachers.

B.J. Brose

1. How long have you worked in PUSD:

26+ years (encompasses part time & full time)

2. What positions/sites:

Noon duty aide @ Pomerado; PIP Aide, ESS Program Aide Sub, ESS Lead Assistant @ Adobe Bluffs; ESS Supervisor @ Sundance; ESS Supervisor @ Stone Ranch (opened the school); ESS Supervisor @ Monterey Ridge (opened the school); Supervisor on Special Assignment (SOSA) for ESS @ District Office; ESS Operations Supervisor @ District Office

3. Favorite memory/memories from your time here:

Working with the kids…seeing them learn, grow, mature and have a lot of them come work for ESS! Building lifelong friendships with fellow employees, parents, and children.

4. Biggest change(s) you’ve observed in education:

Use of all types of technology

5. Advice for new hires:

Have fun, laugh, give high fives! Don’t take yourself too seriously!

6. What you’ll miss the most about your job:

The people and kids!!

7. Plans for retirement:

Relax, sleep in, and Travel!!

Eric March

1. How long have you worked in PUSD:

30 years

2. What positions/sites:

Elementary teacher at TBES 1988-1998, Asst. Principal at MCES 1998-1999, Principal of DCES 2000-2003, and 6th grade teacher at BMMS 2003-present.

3. Favorite memory/memories from your time here:

The students! Their wonder of learning and striving to make sense of their world raises me every day. They never cease to impress me. Working with dedicated parent community – we’re aiming for the same targets. Wonderful networking and learning opportunities through our varied Professional Development programs. (Miss the RB Inn dinners, but TLC points and salary are a plus!) Staff water wars on last day of school at TBES!!

4. Biggest change you’ve observed in education:

Student centered learning moves the focus from our inputs (teacher lessons) to outcomes (student learning.) Crowded curriculum! Skills and concepts taught at earlier levels than ever – definitely a mixed blessing. Technology makes so much access to knowledge possible, but injects huge distractions as well. Fragmentation of families and social shifts mean our need to teach a social curriculum and to be educators as well as counselors is greater than ever.

5. Advice for new teachers:

Always know that you have a huge impact, even though you may not have the satisfaction of seeing the outcomes. The parents are sending you the best children they have in the hopes that you’ll help grow them into better people; they aren’t keeping the good ones at home! Always ask yourself: If I were the parent of this child, what would I wish the teacher would do to help him or her? Strive to live a balanced life and nurture yourself physically, emotionally, and spiritually. It’s hard to give what you don’t have, and your students need your best every day! Learn to laugh at yourself, because collectively even your class of K’s are smarter than you are. It’s true: they need to know how much your care before they are interested in learning about how much you know.

6. What you’ll miss the most about teaching:

The way greeting my classes each day always makes me put my self-absorbed thoughts on the back burner. Their curiosity challenges me to be my best and their energy can either drown me or buoy me up – it’s all in how I approach it. (Dare I say “mindset”?)

7. Plans after retirement:

Time with family and loved ones. A little travel. Biking and backpacking. Volunteering and maybe even a little subbing.

Ken Matson

1. How long have you worked in PUSD:

I was hired in PUSD August 1989 – so completing my 29th year.

2. What positions/sites:

Math teacher – MCHS (24 years)

PUSD Math Teacher On Special Assignment (TOSA) – District Office (4 years)

Math Teacher – PHS (1 year)

3. Favorite memory/memories from your time here:

Firstly – the people…a great place!

Seeing the “lights” go on in Math.

TOSA – strange working with adults.

Coaching – Volleyball, Track & Field, Academic League & Science Olympiad

Faculty Plays/Theater.

4. Biggest change you’ve observed in education:


Math used to be the tools in the box for other subjects…now applications play a big part.

How teaching changed due to Standardized Testing.

5. Advice for new teachers:

Don’t take it home every night…pick your times.

Take some quiet time when you get home (20 min) to let go of your school day so you can “be” there at home.

Find a teacher buddy & talk with them…a lot!

6. What you’ll miss the most about teaching:

The students…especially the ones who try.

7. Plans after retirement:

Gardening (if I can eat it…I’m interested), Competitive Bridge (card game), Reading, Exercise, Travel.

Lori Brickley

1. How long have you worked in PUSD:

I'm an original Bronco, I opened the school in 1990...Worked at MCHS for 4 years before that… doing the math = 32 years!

2. What positions/sites:

Science Teacher at RBHS and MCHS (AP biology now and about every other life science class ever taught in high school!)

3. Favorite memory/memories from your time here:

Most recent: This year has been pretty special. The day thousands of students walked out for 17 minutes to honor the victims of the Stoneman Douglas school shooting and to demand changes to our gun laws was exciting. Each year when a student finally asks me why I don't say the pledge of allegiance is always an inspiring day, and a day when the world shifts a bit towards acceptance and non-judgement. Oh, and every time a student has that "ah-ha" moment and the biological world makes sense as they see the connections between cellular respiration and evolution and ecology and homeostasis and they really "get" the big ideas of biology (and they score really well on their AP exam!).

Older: I took a group of students on an Outward Bound trip to Costa Rica. We all came home battered and bruised but ALIVE! The empowerment of surviving something like that allowed all of us to take more risks in our lives to affect the world in a bigger way… for good.

4. Biggest change(s) you’ve observed in education:

I think kids today are more self-actualized, they are waking up; they know the whole world is connected and that their realization of this is the key to their survival and happiness. They know they can affect change and that it is their job to do so, to make the world better and more equal for everyone. Oh, and there's more technology so the word can be spread more effectively and they can affect greater change in the world.

5. Advice for new teachers:

Teach who you are. Be flexible and understanding. Be patient. Be creative. Take risks. Pay attention to what your students are telling you with their energy. Listen. Go with your heart. Teach because you love kids, not the subject.

6. What you’ll miss the most about teaching:

The energy! The relationships with my students. The honor it is to watch them grow and realize their power and the light that is inside. I will miss the hell out of them!

7. Plans after retirement:

I'll be staying here and seeing what the world offers me for my next steps in fighting for social justice. I really hope to become a grandma someday too (that's a hint to my children)! :)

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Apply by June 30th!

The committee will assist in the development of a Districtwide Safety Plan, focusing on preparedness, prevention, response, and recovery. Parents, staff, students, and community members are encouraged to apply. Apply at http://bit.ly./pusdsafetyplan

(Selected committee members will be notified in August, and the first meeting will be held in September.)

Keep Reading Over the Summer!

Keep your children reading over the summer with PUSD's free digital library: Overdrive - for ebooks and audiobooks on your computer or device! All they need is their student ID number and password.

Click to sign in: 9th-12th grades and K-8th grades
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Summer Work Permits

The State of California requires that all students under the age of 18 who have not received their diplomas must obtain a work permit prior to starting employment during the summer, and when school is not in session. Go here to apply. (If you already have one for your current job, a new work permit is not needed for the summer. Work permits issued during the school year, providing you remain with the same employer, expire five days after the following school year begins on August 22, 2018.)

Summer Work Permits will be issued by the Poway Adult School
June 15 through August 21
Monday - Thursday: 8:00 am to 4:30 pm
Friday: 8:00 to 11:00 am
Please allow a 24 hour turn around

Elementary Summer Time Enrollment

Elementary school offices are closed June 22nd through August 7th. From July 2nd through July 27th, enrollment for new students in Transitional Kindergarten (TK) through 5th Grade will take place at the District Office, located at 15250 Avenue of Science, San Diego, 92128. To make an appointment, click here.

Secondary School Summer Office Hours

Dates and times vary. Check each individual school's website for their summer office hours and registration dates. Go to www.powayusd.com and click on the "Schools" tab to find your site.

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.