Superintendent's Letter July 2017

Superintendent's Letter July 2017

Superintendent's Letter July 2017

Posted by SUSD Web Admin - 2017-08-01 09:16:04

Superintendent's Letter July 2017

Dear Scottsdale Unified School District Family,

It has been a busy summer at SUSD as we prepare to welcome more than 24,000 students on Monday, August 7. If you cannot tell by the calendar that it is nearly back-to-school time, there is little doubt about it when you see what office stores have on display – markers, pens, notebooks and backpacks!

Teachers, too, are getting ready for the new school year, setting up their new laptops, made possible by last fall’s capital override, and creating exciting new lesson plans for their students. Many of our teachers and principals were students themselves this summer, attending professional development seminars and leadership conferences.

Summertime is when our facilities staff deep-cleans schools and performs preventive maintenance: lightbulbs and ceiling tiles are replaced as necessary, electrical outlets are checked, roofs are inspected and repaired, carpets are cleaned, classrooms are sanitized, and gym floors are re-waxed. In addition, new flooring was installed this summer at Anasazi, Laguna and Sequoya. That’s a lot of work over 10 weeks at 29 schools!

The beginning of a new school year means it’s time to welcome new school leaders and tell you a little bit about them:


Principal of

Comes to SUSD from

Christopher Barnes

Anasazi Elementary School

Corte Sierra Elementary School Litchfield Park ESD
Litchfield Park, AZ

Michael May

Kiva Elementary School

Alta E. Butler Elementary School Isaac ESD, Phoenix

Matthew Patzlaff

Navajo Elementary School

Copper Ridge School, SUSD

Alexis Cruz-Freeman

Pima Elementary School

P.T. Coe Elementary School Isaac ESD, Phoenix

Julio Martinez

Yavapai Elementary School

Jornada Elementary School Las Cruces Public Schools Las Cruces, New Mexico

Nick Noonan

Cocopah Middle School

Kiva Elementary, SUSD

Todd Stevens

Arcadia High School

Madison Park Middle School Madison SD, Phoenix

Dr. Angela Chomokos

Chaparral High School

Catalina Foothills High School Catalina Foothills SD
Tucson, AZ

Christopher Gilmore

Coronado High School

Winslow High School Winslow USD, Winslow, AZ

Dr. Lisa Hirsch

Desert Mountain High School

Sedona Charter School Sedona, AZ

You will also see new, and some familiar, faces in assistant principal and dean of students positions at our schools. Please give all of these outstanding educators a warm SUSD welcome when you see them!

Here at the district, I have consolidated the academic leadership team at the Mohave District Annex (MDA) this summer so that we are all in one location, resulting in more time collaborating and less time commuting from the downtown Ed Center. The remodeled training center at the MDA provides us with the ability to train two groups of 150 teachers at a time or one large group of 300, and triples our training capacity. In addition, future Governing Board study sessions will be able to be live-streamed on YouTube from the training center and recorded for later viewing, just as our regular monthly meetings are, in order to bring even more transparency to the district.

Lastly, as we head into the new school year, I want to take this opportunity to congratulate our students, who continued their improvement on the state AzMERIT test this year. I especially want to commend our teachers for their continued focus on student learning. Teachers, we thank you for your service.

We look forward to another successful school year in SUSD!

Dr. A. Denise Birdwell