You said it: School board president offers thanks

You said it: School board president offers thanks

Margie Sherratt

As the many parents, teachers, administrators and students involved in Alameda Unified School District begin to take a few weeks respite, I find this time to be an opportunity to not only relax and rejuvenate, but to reflect on our past year together. It has not been a year of smooth sailing, but one that at times has been emotional and difficult. But as the school year came to an end in mid June, it also was a time of great celebration for all of the many, many accomplishments.

On behalf of the Board of Education, I offer a special thank you:

• To the community of Alameda. Thank you once again for your support of Measure A. With your support and passage of our parcel tax, we have been able to maintain our vital programs, and keep our class sizes low.

• To the parents of our students. Thank you for all of the support each of you gives to our schools. Your time, talent and money help to keep our schools some of the finest in California.

• To Superintendent Vital and all our administrators in AUSD. Thank you for the leadership that you provide at our school sites and at our district office. Your ability to lead teachers and staff in the most important work of shaping the educational programs for all students is greatly appreciated.

• To the teachers and counselors of AUSD. Thank you for your commitment and dedication to your students. We all know that teaching a child is far more complex than simply learning from a textbook. Thank you for the caring and nurturing of all of our children.

• To the classified staff of AUSD. Thank you all for the jobs you do each day to serve our students. This includes our paraprofessionals, clerical employees, site secretaries, office managers, custodians, gardeners and noon supervisors. This names only some of the myriad of jobs that are filled each day by our valuable employees.

Congratulations to AUSD graduates of 2012. I had the opportunity to attend two middle school promotions and three high school ceremonies. It was truly inspirational to listen to our students speak of personal obstacles overcome, and to hear their confidence and excitement in what lies ahead. The enthusiasm at each graduation was immeasurable, and was a joy to behold.

Our students now will be moving on to the next phase of their lives. Most will attend either community college or go directly to a four-year college. Some of our graduates have chosen to join the military or go into the workforce. Whatever path lies ahead, I know that our educators in AUSD provided a 13-year comprehensive educational program. Our graduates are prepared to move forward with confidence.

The next school year will present further challenges and concerns. Looming ahead is the tax initiative vote in November. In order for school districts across the state to keep from making dire cuts to educational programs, a positive outcome is necessary. AUSD is not exempt from this need.

In addition, the Board of Education continues to tackle the current issue of the seismically unsafe report of our district offices at Historic Alameda High School. We consider the safety and well-being of all of our district employees, as well as the adult school students, to be a high priority in the decision to evacuate and relocate. The egress and ingress of our AHS students in and out of buildings near HAHS is also a high priority.

The Board of Education is grateful for the settling of a three year labor contract with CSEA 27 and 860. We are hopeful, that as we continue our successor agreement negotiations with Alameda Education Association, we can move forward swiftly and respectfully to a mutual agreement.

Alameda is truly a great place to live and thrive. Thank you to each of you for the part you play in the important work of educating our children.

Sincerely,

Margie Sherratt
President, Board of Education
Alameda Unified School District