On Thursday, January 21st, members of the Sahuarita community, key business leaders and supporters of local education gathered for the 2nd Annual State of the District Address. Hosted at the Desert Diamond Casino in Sahuarita, the event was designed to showcase and celebrate the many accomplishments of the community’s students over the course of this last year.
The event opened with the Posting of the Colors by the NJROTC team from Sahuarita High School, which just won the state title. After the National Anthem was sung by a student of Sahuarita Middle School, Master of Ceremonies Ben Lebovitz kicked off the introductions, presentations and performances. These including a presentation by SUSD’s Teacher of the Year, Mary McGraw, student presentations, various showcases of student work and musical and dance performances. Finally, the event concluded with a formal State of the District Address by Superintendent Dr. Manuel Valenzuela, who was recently awarded the honor of All Arizona Superintendent of the Year (for Large Districts).
In his address, Dr. Valenzuela spoke of some of the district’s successes since last’s year’s event, and his continued dedication to moving the district forward, despite the current challenges education faces. He highlighted key programs and initiatives that have taken shape, such as the new JTED course offerings, the implementation of the National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI) and others. Finally, he expressed his gratitude for the teachers, staff and supporters of education for their continued support of the district. Through perseverance and collaboration, “We will continue to make a difference”.
All in attendance received a copy of the district’s Annual Report in calendar format, which includes important dates, student photos and the ix key areas that have been strategically identified as foundational ideas that provide a roadmap to achieving the District’s vision of excellence. These include safe and supportive environments; 21st century college and career readiness; highly qualified faculty and staff; home, school, and community partnerships; valid accountability for all; and personalized experience for every student. The District’s Annual Report covers each of these points in further detail.