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Entering Spring Break on a positive note - March 4, 2019
Dear SAISD Staff:
Happy Professional School Social Workers’ Week! Last month, our Board approved a proclamation to recognize these vital members of our campus and District teams during March 4-8. Today and throughout the week, I want to draw special attention to all of our social workers and the valuable work they do to support the well-being of students and parents.
I am pleased to share with you that Carmen Thatcher, who works in Family and Student Support Services, has been recognized by her peers as one of the best social workers in the state. During the recent Texas School Social Work Conference in Austin, she received an Honorable Mention during the Kathy Armenta Texas School Social Worker of the Year award luncheon on Feb. 21. Congratulations!
Later that day, the District also hosted one of our favorite annual celebrations – the Teachers of the Year awards ceremony. I applaud the Teacher of the Year for each of our campuses, and I commend Dawn Cardenas from Rodriguez Elementary, Iliana Trobaugh from Ogden Academy, and Belinda Medellin from CAST Tech High School for being selected as SAISD’s Distinguished Teachers of the year for elementary, middle and high school, respectively. These three will now be considered as nominees for a variety of outside honors. 
Another one of our teachers, Burbank High School Band Director Hector Treviño, brought honor to our District by receiving a special request from the Texas Music Educators Association to speak at its convention last month. Speakers normally must apply for consideration, but because of Treviño’s expertise in urban band programs, he received a special invitation. The Burbank Concert Band also participated in the clinic as the demonstration ensemble.
So many of our educators are doing incredible work. We see it every day, and I am especially excited when others outside of SAISD see it, too.
I also am pleased to congratulate 30 of our teachers, who graduated last week with master’s degrees from the Relay Graduate School of Education in the content areas of math, science and social studies – including three who graduated with Distinguished Honors. Most of these graduates will be certified to teach dual credit and provide additional college credit opportunities for our students.
SAISD provides full tuition coverage for teachers selected into specific graduate and leadership programs – some of which have application deadlines this month – and I encourage you to look into this benefit and take advantage of it, if you can.
We are three months away from when our high school seniors walk the stage, but already we know that one of our Travis Early College High School students has been selected by San Antonio College as a Distinguished Graduate in Liberal Arts. Lauren Gonzalez will be honored during SAC’s graduation ceremony May 11, and with a two-year college degree already in hand, she’ll graduate from Travis on June 7. She will continue her education with a goal of ultimately earning a doctorate in physical therapy.
In addition, eight seniors at Phoenix Middle College will be graduating with industry-based certifications and college hours. Five students – Skye Arriaga, Belen Colmenero, Destiny Jimenez, Felicia Lindsey and Jade Rivera – completed 28 college hours and have earned their Level 1 certifications in computer maintenance with Cisco specialization. Three students – Casey Hernandez, Joel Madrigal and Jose Velasquez – completed 24 college hours and have earned their Level 1 certifications in electrical trades.
Phoenix Middle College provides juniors and seniors opportunities that lead to in-demand, high-wage careers. This choice program will be highlighted next month on News 4 San Antonio, so please be on the lookout for that coverage.
Also, this Wednesday, the District will launch its new “Choose Your Course” marketing campaign. More information will be available on our home page that day. The purpose of the campaign is to share SAISD’s progress and successes including academic achievements and options in our neighborhood schools, as well as honoring our culture and roots as San Antonio’s founding school district. 
Spring break will soon be upon us, and thanks to the Valero Energy Foundation "Pipeline for College Success" grant, 48 juniors from across the District will be taking advantage of this time to tour top-tier colleges and universities on the West Coast. By the end of this school year, almost 1,500 students will have completed college visits locally, in-state and across the country. I cannot wait to hear about their experiences, and their beginning explorations of where they would like to go, especially since many of them will be the first in their families to attend college.
Finally, I want to thank everyone who participated in SAISD Foundation’s Run 4 Education this past weekend. More than 3,500 participants and attendees enjoyed the Zumba warmup, race and health fair. Event proceeds will benefit the District through teacher grants, and the innovative projects that come from them. I am truly grateful to the foundation’s hardworking staff and board members for coordinating this event, and to our community’s generosity in supporting it. 

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