Robert J. Leri
Special to the Sun

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August 21, 2014
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Back to School | TTUSD’s Dr. Leri welcomes parents and community to 2014-15 school year

Dear TTUSD Parents and Community,

It seems like just yesterday we celebrated the graduation of 208 seniors from our district high school programs and here we are with the start of school just around the corner.

While I am focused on the start of the 2014-15 school year, I would like to spend a few minutes sharing some highlights about the Class of 2014. More than 81 percent of our graduates will matriculate to post-secondary education including two- and four-year programs.

The Class of 2014 received more than $1.9 million in scholarships, and was the first class to complete the community service graduation requirement with more than 1,664 hours logged in efforts to give back to our community. We have students from the Class of 2014 who will attend colleges and universities across the country including Princeton, MIT, Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts, New York University, and our own, great Sierra College.

Additionally, we have graduates who will attend almost all of the California State Universities and the University of California campuses including UC Berkeley! Our caring, compassionate and professional staff at TTUSD help prepare our scholars for the post-high school world.

TRANSITION TO SCHOOL

As we transition from the summer break into the new school year, I would like to acknowledge the many colleagues who spent all or part of the summer working to make sure our facilities, our buses and our many systems are maintained, cleaned and in working order for the new school year. Others participated in professional learning and work opportunities. Many also participated in district and community summer learning efforts including our own K-Camp and Summer Scholars. Our athletic coaches have held summer camps and practices as well to prepare our scholar athletes for the upcoming season. All in all, it was a very busy summer.

NEW STAFF, FAMILIAR FACES

We will start the new school year with many changes in district-wide roles and positions, partly as a result of retirements. We are still working on filling a few new positions, but here is a partial list of new staff as well as familiar faces in new roles:

Sierra HS, Coldstream Alternative, & Educational Options Principal Greg Wohlman

Kings Beach Elementary School Principal Kyle Mohagen

Alder Creek Middle School Principal Hien Larson

Alder Creek Assistant Principal Steve Scott

Principal on Special Assignment and Principal of Donner Trail Susan Phebus

North Tahoe High School Assistant Principal Alejo Padilla

Director of Facilities and Maintenance Mark Button

Coordinator of Special Education Anthony Fangera

English Learner Programs Coordinator Tara House

Maintenance Supervisor Tony Rivera

We also welcome several new teachers and classified employees to TTUSD this year.

In addition to celebrating the success of our scholars, we also start the new school year with the designations of California Distinguished School for Glenshire Elementary and Tahoe Lake Elementary. North Tahoe High School was named a Title I High Academic Achievement School and Sierra High School a California Model Continuation School. We have had very successful accreditation visits at North Tahoe and Sierra High, in addition to a number of awards and recognitions for the outstanding work that TTUSD does for our scholars.

While we remain cautiously optimistic about our financial condition, we continue to deficit spend and will be incurring additional costs beyond our control, including increases for retirement programs.

We have spent most of the past year working on a new Facilities Master Plan including identification of the highest priority facility needs. The plan, including prioritizations, was unanimously approved by the Board of Education on April 9, 2014. Between April and June, the board carefully reviewed different funding options to support our facilities plan, and on June 25 passed two resolutions to place general obligation facilities bonds on the November 2014 ballot. Measure E is a $62 million bond dedicated to the Lakeside schools with the largest needs at Kings Beach and Tahoe Lake. Measure U is a $114 million bond for the Truckee area schools with a focus on Truckee High School and Truckee Elementary. The priorities proposed to be funded by the two bonds include repairs, renovations, and upgrades for all district school sites although the four schools that I mentioned have the highest need. A community campaign committee has been established for Measure E and U.

The Board of Education has held three alumni panels and two high school panels in order to understand firsthand how well our students are doing in our schools and after graduation. These continue to be inspirational events, and we will continue to look at ways to share these powerful messages. I will continue to meet with student groups, and TTUSD staff will continue to find ways to engage our students directly in their education. It will be a busy school year with a lot of possibilities and opportunities.

I am so pleased to be a part of such an incredible organization dedicated to teaching and learning. Welcome back to all of our students, families and staff!

Sincerely,

Robert J. Leri, Ed.D.

Superintendent Chief Learning Officer


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Tahoe Daily Tribune Updated Aug 21, 2014 05:12PM Published Aug 21, 2014 12:28PM Copyright 2014 Tahoe Daily Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.