Dear Bonsall School Community,

“To improve is to change, to be perfect is to change often.”
Winston Churchill

In these times of an accelerating pace of change, particularly in education, I’m reminded of what Mr. Churchill said. However, he never said it would be easy. A big change for the Bonsall Unified School District is the recent retirement/resignations of two very important people, Karen Livingston and Pam Eves. As the Administrative Assistant and Receptionist for the District, Karen was incredible at setting a welcome and professional tone. Of course she had many other duties as assigned, but she was most impressive with the children, as she was able to make them feel so loved and special. Her last day of work was November 13, 2015, and we already miss her. We are very fortunate to have her replacement, Yvonne Harris, who was able to work with Karen for the last couple weeks to ease into this important position.

Pam Eves, the Executive Assistant to the Superintendent and Board of Trustees, will leave in mid December to move up north. Having worked for the District for over twenty years in several capacities, she has been a major force in our momentum of continuous improvement. Any one who knows this District is aware of how sharp and cheerfully wise Pam is. However, few people know just how integral to Bonsall’s success Pam has been. She served the Board of Trustees and Superintendent by creating the packet for Board Meetings, requiring editing similar to publishing a book monthly. The unification of the District required many of these duties to be repeated for the Union District and again for the Unified District for over a year and a half. Pam served as the district expert on categorical programs, and also was the curator of the website. An excellent writer, invaluable team player and problem solver, Pam will be missed deeply.

We are very happy to greet her replacement, Gina McInerny, who will join our District on Dec 1. This will allow her time to work with Pam through the transition. Many Bonsall residents will remember Gina as an outstanding Office Manager when Bonsall West opened, or as the Administrative Assistant to the Principal of Fallbrook High School. Currently she is the Administrative Assistant to the Associate Superintendent for Business at the Fallbrook Elementary School District.

Another personnel change is the creation of the Technology and Learning Coordinator position; we have hired Craig Leach, currently a highly valued technology specialist with the San Diego County Office of Education, who does most of their training for teachers using technology in the classroom. Craig has been delivering online training of digital citizenship courses for Bonsall teachers already. We look forward to his ability to use technology to help greatly increase the rate of student learning.

There have been some changes at the Federal level of education as well; the Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan has announced his retirement from the U.S. Department of Education. For the last seven years he has sought to increase the learning of students and he saw standardized tests as one way to measure that, while making schools more accountable. I wonder if it is a coincidence that shortly after Arne Duncan’s announcement, President Obama announced he wanted to reduce the amount of standardized testing. California has already done so by eliminating 2nd grade state testing, as well as the high school exit exam. Currently, standardized testing amounts to a little more than 2% of a student’s time in school. However, such testing has become a political football, and both ends of the political spectrum appear to want to carry it to gain votes.

This why our purpose of “Academic success and support for all students to become highly competitive in their chosen career path and or college”, depends so much on our using success indicator data to ensure we are being true to that purpose. We are grateful for everyone in our Bonsall school community for all they have done and are doing to make that happen. Our changes are opportunities to enhance our continuous improvement. May you all have a joyful time of thanksgiving and increased gratitude for our many blessings.

Sincerely,

Justin Cunningham

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