Dear Bonsall School Community,
Congratulations to Bonsall West Elementary’s Allison Slattery, one of our great fourth grade teachers who was selected as Bonsall Unified School District’s 2016 Teacher of the Year! Anyone that knows her outstanding performance and continual focus on improvement can easily see why Allison’s students consistently perform at higher levels. Her passion for technology leads to innovative approaches for her students, such as using the popular video game, Minecraft, to create their California Mission projects. Through sharing the evolution of this project at a recent board meeting, interest in classroom technologies was generated among parents, students and staff alike, and the project became a catalyst for increased productivity in other Bonsall schools and classrooms. Allison will be introduced to the crowd at the May 6 Padre Game. We look forward to supporting her there, as well as in October when the San Diego County Teacher of the Year is selected.
Mrs. Allison Slattery and fourth grade students (2015-16)
Bonsall Elementary’s first grade teacher Kelle Pato is also to be commended for receiving the 2016 Award of Excellence in Reading/Language Arts from the Greater San Diego Reading Association. She is yet another of the incredibly talented and hard-working educators bringing valuable learning experiences to children of the Bonsall School Community. I am amazed at what an outstanding teacher she is every time I visit her classroom!
Congratulations also go to Krystal Diaz, our Bonsall Unified School District Classified Employee of the Year! Krystal has been one of the great supports for our Special Education students. She has the patience of a saint, with a wonderful heart that calms the frustrations felt by many students with disabilities. Our Special Education program is highly respected because of employees like her. We also feel she should be selected as the San Diego County Classified Employee of the Year.
Just recently we responded to an invitation from The White House to participate in “Joining Forces: Operation Educate the Educators”, Dr. Jill Biden’s campaign to improve services to military-connected children. There was great interest by several government agencies in our new “Welconnect” application which has been designed to support new families as they move into our community. It was a great opportunity to share things that Bonsall, in collaboration with USC and some other school districts in San Diego County, is doing to support military families in their transitions. Dr. Biden’s focus on increasing the support for our military families was impressive and effective.
Dr. Jill Biden and Dr. Justin Cunningham participate in Operation Educate The Educators: Sharing Successes And Setting Sights For The Future as part of Joining Forces initiative event in the South Court Auditorium of the White House April 13, 2016. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)
Bonsall Unified School District was very fortunate to receive scholarship registrations to the powerful ASU GSV Summit held in San Diego this past week. A few hundred leading K-12 educators from around the world along with a few thousand higher education, venture capitalists, and education technology companies converged to look at the future of education, share ideas, attend sessions and hear keynotes with very influential speakers like Bill Gates, Condoleezza Rice, General Stanley McChrystal, and Paul Jacobs of Qualcomm. If you are interested in watching some very interesting perspectives, almost all these presentations are archived at this site: http://www.asugsvsummitlive.com/
Everyone at the Summit shared an awareness of the demand for, and the incredible return on, learning. It was amazing to see the accelerated pace of change in education, overhear venture capitalists and Ed tech companies striking deals in the hallways, and see how business and technology is creating a very different future for learning than most school districts envision. To ensure that we adapt, continue to improve, and meet our purpose of “Academic excellence and support for all students to become highly competitive in their chosen career path and/or college”, our Bonsall School Community must innovate, think like the venture capitalists, and invest in the future of Bonsall.
With the widening of Highway 76, Bonsall is experiencing much growth, and our school community must participate in making sure this growth is smart, strategic, and shares a common interest in continuous improvement of the Bonsall School Community. The result will be the attraction of a demographic profile that understands the powerful influence of great schools and continuously adapts to the changing landscape of learning. Technology’s influence on the pace of change will demand that everyone, even those not in schools anymore, continue to learn. Our schools will become community centers for lifelong learners. We will be contacting Bonsall School Community members to join in the design of the future where Bonsall Schools become centers for improving our community’s learning, quality of life, and property values.
Justin Cunningham, Ed.D.