School superintendent welcomes parents, students, and stakeholders
Aug 13, 2019 | 2218 views | 0 0 comments | 497 497 recommendations | email to a friend | print
by Ron Nielson, San Juan School Dist. Superintendent

Summer fading into the past means one thing, a new school year is upon us. How exciting is this!

I wish to personally welcome back our nearly 3,000 student scholars to our schools. Speaking on behalf of our great staff, I can say with certainty it is our greatest honor and privilege to be part of the educational journey of each of these students.

I express appreciation to all parents and guardians for entrusting our staff with your child.

We value the gravity of this trust. I feel confident in stating that we are prepared and committed to ensure a great year.

So much has happened this summer to ensure we start day one ready for success. Let me highlight some of this summer work.

First, the official district assignments have been restructured to better provide support for schools and student learning in all areas.

Rather than have an Elementary Supervisor and a Secondary Supervisor required to cover this entire, vast district, two K-12 Director positions have been established with one supervising La Sal, Monticello, and Blanding schools, and one supervising Montezuma, Bluff, Monument Valley, and Navajo Mountain schools.

This change will result in our K-12 Supervisors being in the buildings more and in the car less.

In addition, changes have been made to allow our CTE director and staff to focus more on building educational pathways and supporting our student learners in working through these pathways.

The desire to support our students in vocational, technical, non-traditional pathways has never been greater.

Also at the district office level, we have welcomed Brenda Whitehorse to our San Juan team who will help us guide and strengthen our Heritage and culture commitments.

We are excited to add her skill set and talents to our district support team.

These changes are intended to provide enhanced support to principals and teachers working to best serve our learners.

Secondly, we have worked diligently in the recruiting area.

We have added 24 new teachers to our San Juan team, and we are excited about the skill set each bring with them.

We are confident we have strong systems of support in place to help them not just “survive,” but actually “thrive.”

We have seen some changes in our administration seats and we are excited to announce some changes.

Monticello Elementary’s new principal will be Jenna Olson, who previously was a teacher at MES.

Monticello High School will be welcoming back KC Olson as its new principal. He is returning to MHS after one-year assignment to be the principal at MES.

Tsebii’nidzisgai Elementary will welcome Mike Tuckfield as its new principal. Mike is moving over from the assistant principal position at Monument Valley High to TES.

We express excitement for all our new teacher and administrative personnel and commitment a high level of support to ensure success.

Finally, multiple teacher meetings have been conducted this summer to best align our curriculum, standards, and assessments in the language arts, math, and science areas.

This work is critical in helping teachers successfully backwards design lesson plans that are aligned in focus and appropriate rigor.

If done correctly, this work then provides accurate data that best guides extension and intervention needs. It has been a great team process to see this project be completed.

With that said, I want to welcome our student learners for the 2019-2020 school year. As a staff we are so excited and committed to a great year.

Parents, I thank you for your trust and collaboration through your child’s educational journey.

Please know that we wish to work closely with you to best ensure your child’s needs and your expectations are met.

I hope we can be seen as partners in this quest to best meet the educational needs of each child.

Please feel free to visit your school and speak directly to administration and teachers as needed.

Working together we will accomplish more.
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