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Thank you for being the face of our District - Oct. 29, 2018
Dear SAISD Staff,
Our educators are amazing, and we all take pride when they are recognized outside of the District. 
It is a true honor to announce that Angelica Niño, a third-grade teacher at DeZavala Elementary School, has been named one of six Texas finalists for the 2018 Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. This presidential award is the highest honor bestowed upon teachers of K-12 mathematics and science by the U.S. government. 
Mrs. Niño will be honored at a State Board of Education meeting in early 2019. She also will be recognized at the Conference for the Advancement of Mathematics Teaching this summer.
In addition, the District’s coordinator for World Languages, Martha Vásquez, has been named Administrator of the Year by the Texas Foreign Language Association. She was recognized in front of her peers at the TFLA Fall Conference on Friday.
Please join me in congratulating both of these educators! 
There is excellence in action taking place all across the District, so please continue to nominate our teachers, educators and staff for similar professional achievement opportunities. It is one among many ways to acknowledge the skills, talents and hard work of our SAISD community.
Currently, our Human Resources Department is encouraging principals to nominate teachers for the 2019 Humanities Texas Outstanding Teaching Award. Earlier this year, two SAISD teachers were named recipients – Stephanie Cash at Advanced Learning Academy and Erin Guitierrez-Harbor at Lanier High School. The deadline to submit 2019 Humanities Texas nominations to Human Resources is Nov. 2, which is this Friday.
Our students also are achieving accolades of their own. Recently, the Harvard Club of San Antonio held a citywide event, during which five SAISD Class of 2019 students were recognized and congratulated for being Harvard Prize Book recipients, along with other top scholars of local school districts. 
What is beautiful about this is that, for the first time, students from each of our 13 high schools were the recipients of either a Harvard or Yale Prize Book, a hard-earned and much-deserved commendation of our Class of 2019’s personal and academic achievements. The Post-Secondary College Success Office expects that the Class of 2020 also will have recipients representing 100 percent of our campuses – not only for these two awards, but also the Princeton Book Award as well.
Last week I met with several students of the 2019 and 2020 classes at Highlands High School, during the launch of this school year’s College Chat series. During these chats, Trustees or District staff meet with seniors at each of our high schools in small-group sessions. We inquire about their college aspirations and provide mentoring during a time that the students are completing important college-access milestones. 
We are excited to reinforce the efforts put forth by our counselors and College Bound Advisors. And we wish all of our students well on their journeys beyond high school diplomas.
In other news, our Bond 2016 program also has hit a milestone. Earlier this month, the Trustees approved the schematic designs for 11 of our 13 projects. The final two schematic designs will go before the Board in November, after the surrounding communities have had an opportunity to provide input.
With the Board approval of the schematic designs, the next steps in the process are to further refine the designs, begin developing the construction documents, and then start construction. The Bond 2016 projects will begin their construction phases in either late 2018 or early 2019.
Some Bond projects, such as those for Bowden Academy and J. T. Brackenridge Elementary School, are projected to have completion dates in 2019. Four additional schools are scheduled to be completed in 2020, and these are Davis, Irving and Rogers middle schools and Edison High School. The rest of the projects have estimated completion dates scheduled in 2021.
Just as we are enhancing our facilities, we also are strengthening the foundations of our teaching. So far this school year, the District has held three EPIC Saturdays for our educators. If you have not yet attended one, I encourage you to do so. The response has been enthusiastic and participants have relayed back to us that they have learned information that could be put into practice right away. 
Although the next 50-session, conference-style workshop is February 9, 2019, there are three additional learning opportunities between now and then – including virtual sessions. The next opportunity is this Saturday, Nov. 3. Please mark your calendars and register.
Another date to note for everyone in the District is Saturday, Dec. 1. On this date, we will hold our second annual Experience SAISD event at the Freeman Expo Hall from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. This is the one opportunity for the San Antonio community to see and celebrate all of our campuses and programs under one roof.
It is a huge undertaking, and so worth it for those who come. Families will be able to explore more than 90 schools and programs, student performances, interactive demonstrations, and children’s activities. I hear that a Rolling Reader bus will be parked inside the Expo Hall for a fun and educational Wi-Fi hotspot, too.
I appreciate each of you who will be there to represent your campuses and departments. You are the face of the District, and I thank you for representing SAISD so well.

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