It is an honor to serve as Superintendent of the Tehachapi Unified School District. I am excited at this opportunity to continue the great work that has taken place over the years, making our district a place where students are educated in an environment that is challenging, supportive, and compassionate. Our district is made up of amazing students, dedicated and caring staff, involved parents, a committed board of trustees, and a supportive community, all working together to make school a wonderful experience for our students and prepare them for the challenges of college, career, and citizenship upon their high school graduation.
The Tehachapi Unified School District serves approximately 4,500 students in Transitional Kindergarten through 12th grade in three elementary schools, one middle school, one comprehensive high school, and one continuation high school. In addition, the District opened the doors to the Tehachapi Education Learning Academy or TILA in 2015, which serves as a resource center to deliver services to home schooling families.
The district has proud tradition and reputation for outstanding academic, athletic, and extra-curricular programs, all delivered with a focus on student-centered instruction to prepare students for their future. Through implementation of the new California State Standards, our staff provides our students with more opportunities to communicate their learning, collaborate with their classmates, explore their creativity, and develop the critical thinking skills that they will need in the workplace. Our district motto, “Teaching, Understanding, Serving, Developing’” emphasizes our commitment to developing life-long learners adequately equipped with 21st century knowledge and skills, which will open the doors to their future.
Each year, I have focused on a different word that serves as a focus for our work:
Excellence (2014) – Excellence requires a conscious decision to put our best into everything we do. A culture of excellence requires leadership that is shared throughout our entire school system, including our students, that will help move our work forward in a positive and supportive way. Excellence requires enthusiasm and passion, As people, we are naturally drawn toward energy, and our commitment and passion help motivate others!
Pride (2015) - Many of our greatest accomplishments take place in classrooms across the district every day. We all feel that surge of pride when a struggling student learns a new concept, passes an exam, earns the grades to participate in activities, stays on task, or becomes proficient in English. These are the little moments that happen on a daily basis, that give our work purpose and make a difference in the lives of the students we serve. And we have tremendous pride, not just for our own accomplishments, but those accomplishments within our entire organization. Real pride is pride centered around the purpose of our work; our students.
Pride means that every one of us starts the day knowing what we contribute, and that we respect and value how each one of us makes a difference every day in the lives of our students.
Innovation (2016) – Innovation is often used as a measure of progress, and America has historically been a leader in this aren; however, conpetition from across the globe in increasing more than ever. Innovation leads to new or improved products and processes that sustain our economy. This innovation depends on a solid knowledge base in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math…also known as STEM. STEM careers are growing more rapidly than other occupations, and Kern County is a national leader in this area. It is important that our schools produce students with the knowledge, skills, and interest to enter into STEM jobs that are right within our backyard!
The word to focus our work for the 2017-2018 school year is “Collaboration.” Collaboration means to work with another person or group in order to achieve or accomplish something. Collaboration is at the heart of establishing a collective purpose for the organization and an individual purpose for every employee of that organization. When we uphold an expectation of collaboration as a means to communicate and problem solve, it instills in all of us a sense of contribution, pride in a job well-done, and acknowledgement of success!
Excellence-Pride-Innovation-Collaboration…gives us an acronym of EPIC! I truly enjoy working with the wonderful families, members of the staff, and our community partners, and wish to extend my thanks for your ongoing support of our programs. It is only through the efforts of our entire school community that we can best prepare our students for their future, whether they choose to pursue a career, college, or the military.
I look forward to working together to make the 2017-2018 school year truly EPIC!
Tehachapi Unified School District
300 S. Robinson Street
Tehachapi, CA 93561