I would like to wish everyone a wonderful holiday season filled with family and friends, well-deserved rest and relaxation and exciting celebrations to ring in the New Year. I can’t wait to see what 2020 holds for Union School District. Taking a moment to reflect on 2019, I want to express my deepest appreciation for our teachers and classified staff. Thank you for all that you do each and every day for every one of our students. Thank you to our administrators for fostering a spirit of kindness and giving that is present at all of our schools. And thank you to the Board of Trustees for your unrelenting advocacy and support for Union School District staff and students.
We recently recognized Alta Vista Night Custodian Gary Warnes. Gary has over 45 years of service to this district, always has a smile and a helping hand and is appreciated dearly by staff and students alike. Thank you Gary for your hard work and dedication that allow the students to learn in a clean and safe environment, and being a hero in USD: https://youtu.be/w43g2brHb2I
We also recognized Michelle Douglas, Kindergarten Teacher at Lietz Elementary, who has engaged students with fun and engaging lessons for over 30 years. Her colleagues and former students absolutely love her creativity and commend her dedication to teaching and the Lietz community. Thank you Michelle for all that you do: https://youtu.be/UcWsjh4ptsk
We are excited to share that the district and the Union District Educators Association (UDEA) have reached a tentative three-year contract agreement. Earlier this month, UDEA and the District’s negotiating teams came back to the table to work collaboratively in agreeing to the terms in the collective bargaining agreement. We would like to recognize the excellent work of the UDEA bargaining team, which included Shannon McDowell, Kevin Deaton, Mike Barbara, Nathan Hickey, Star Standridge, and Adia Hoag, as well as the USD bargaining team consisting of Steve Burrell, Rita Sohal, Sarah Jellin, Todd Feinberg, Eric Scharer, and Manuel Martinez.
The District also reached an agreement with the California School Employees Association (CSEA). We would like to thank the CSEA bargaining team, that included Faith Severson, Darby Young, Jenny Torres, Johanna Reveno, Diane Nunes, Trent Doan, and Janell Hampton, as well as the USD bargaining team including Steve Burrell, Rita Sohal, Mary Ann Meisenbach, Dianne McEntee, Randy Martino, and Manuel Martinez.
Thank you to the continued dedication of our teachers, certificated staff, classified staff and the USD community, along with the continued support of our Board of Trustees.
I am often asked by parents and community members why our district is one of the lowest funded in the state. The current local funding model in California does not support students and teachers, especially in Silicon Valley, where the high cost of living is an important factor and makes teacher/staff recruitment and retention a greater challenge every day.
California has the 5th largest economy in the world, yet ranks near the bottom of the nation in nearly every measure of school funding or school staffing. We hope our parents and community members can join us in advocating for our students and staff. To assist us in these efforts, you can sign a message asking Governor Newsom to increase support for California Public Schools: http://bit.ly/fundingsupport