As I begin my final six months as Superintendent of Soquel Union Elementary School (retirement), I would like to recognize some of the exceptional partnerships that have made a significant, positive impact for the children, staff and community members in our district.
Michael Watkins - County Superintendent of Education
Beginning in 2011, I met the County Superintendent of Education, Mr. Michael Watkins and we instantly began to develop an outstanding professional relationship and partnership. Michael spent a significant amount of time in providing me invaluable information about our County Educational programs and resources that would benefit our district. We both are strongly interested in creating innovative learning environments and we are committed to developing instructional programs where blended learning through the use of technology is seamless. Throughout my work with Michael, I cannot thank him enough for his guidance and financial support to launch a major technology instructional program throughout our district. His willingness to partner with us to create innovative programs has enabled us to launch a three-year project that has resulted in student use of technology, TK to Eighth grade. It is exciting to see the engagement that is occurring throughout our district in the area of blended instruction. We have elevated our learning environment at all of our schools for both students and staff.
Jamie Goldstein, City Manager for the City of Capitola.
During the past four and a half years I have had the opportunity of working with Mr. Jamie Goldstein on numerous joint projects to benefit the City of Capitola and our district. I have found Jamie to be a can do individual who is able to think "out of the box" to balance the interest of all parties. Our working relationship with the City of Capitola is outstanding. When we were building a new school, Opal Cliffs, Jamie and his staff worked collaboratively with us throughout this project. I encourage you to visit Opal Cliffs School and observe the wonderful design and excellent school setting that has been created for students in our district. In addition to this major undertaking this project was completed on time and at the projected budget cost. In addition to the building of the Opal Cliffs School, we continue to find other joint projects to work collaboratively in our efforts to create an exceptional community for the citizens of Capitola.
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Soquel Union Elementary School District is very fortunate to have a long standing tradition where our community works together to create exciting programs for all students. During the past few years we have strengthened our academic programs in the areas of Art, Music, Project-Based Learning and 21st Century Instruction. We are passionate about providing every child with the opportunity to reach his or her highest learning potential. Here is a brief overview of our terrific schools.
Main Street School
One of the strengths of Main Street School is their staff's ability to seek different levels of instruction to benefit the educational program for all students. Main Street School is leading the way in creating opportunities for teachers to specialize in areas like Math, Language Arts and Science. It takes a tremendous amount of collaboration and a willingness to invest a significant amount of time to be able to specialize as a Science teacher for all fifth grade students. It is exciting to observe the unique learning environment that occurs when teachers are able to specialize.
New Brighton Middle School
Our middle school is dynamic because the staff has been able to balance academic rigor in an environment that is rich in nurturing the adolescent child. When you visit New Brighton you will quickly become aware of the wonderful interactions that takes place between student to student, adult to adult and student to adult. The school flows with positive energy and the excellent educators are able to provide a very demanding academic program for all students.
Opal Cliffs School
Our Transitional Kindergarten (TK) program begins its 3rd year at Opal Cliffs School. It is without question that the TK program at Opal Cliffs School is fantastic. We created a school design that embraces early education at so many levels. The key to our wonderful TK program lies in the staff who are experts in the area of early childhood education. They have developed a program that centers on engagement and exploration for all students. The happiness that surrounds this program is a joy to observe.
Santa Cruz Gardens Elementary School
The rich interaction that is shared between all staff members at Santa Cruz Gardens has enabled this school to create a wonderful inclusion program that is highly supported throughout the community. It is absolutely terrific to support various teaching models that are tailored for the students at Santa Cruz Gardens. The strong sense of a united philosophy in educating all students is to be commended.
Soquel Elementary School
The excellent staff at Soquel Elementary School has committed itself to receiving some of the highest professional training offered to educators today. It is most impressive to be a member of a staff where decisions regarding curriculum and instruction are embraced and aligned (K-5) with every educator at the school. The transformation of the instructional program has been led by this highly talented and trained staff. The collaboration to improve the instructional program among staff members is exceptional.