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News Item: Homepage

Proud Principals Share 2016-2017 Successes

The 2016-2017 school year saw achievements galore across the Vista Unified School District. Successes came in academics, in building and strengthening school cultures, in student and professional development and myriad other ways.


We asked the Principals of each VUSD school to share some of their highlights from the past school year, and to answer the question:


What Makes Me Proud?


Vista High, Mr. Barela: Winning the XQ Super School School Prize and being named to the Washington Post’s most rigorous schools in the nation.  “Re-thinking high school to help our students to be competitive globally is a large task, but we are up to the challenge. By doing this, we will be opening doors and opportunities for current and future students.  This will expose them to the world outside of Vista and will be a catalyst for our community”. 


Casita Center, Mrs. Smith: International Baccalaureate (IB) Authorization for Primary Years Program (PYP), California School Board’s Association Golden Bell Award for Personalized Learning, and being home to a California Teacher of the Year


Temple Heights Elementary, Ms. Morton: California Golden Bell Award for Personal Learning


Alamosa Park Elementary, Ms. Anderson: Winning the VUSD Track Meet


VIDA, Dr. Chagala & Mrs. Ward: Winning the Classroom of the Future “IMPACT” Award and the California School Board’s Association Golden Bell for Personalized Learning


Foothill Oak, Mrs. Ceja: Becoming Facilitators for Yale RULER and receiving a “Leader in Me” Grant


Hannalei, Mrs. Zachry: Creating a “Community of Opportunity” on Mondays for all students and supporting the “whole child” every day!


Grapevine, Mr. Olavide: We just completed the three-year phase I implementation of Guided Language Acquisition Design (Project GLAD) and we can proudly announce that all our TK-5 teachers are now GLAD certified.


Major General Raymond Murray High School, Mr. Hoover: Continuing the great work of graduating young men and women who were headed to dropping out of high school. In 2016-2017 Murray completed its 10th year in existence and we have graduated nearly 650 students in this time with at least 70 graduates in each of the last 3 years.


Monte Vista, Mrs. Smith: Continuing our focus on “Where Leaders Grow:  College, Career, Life” with our focus on the 7 Habits and The Leader in Me and No Excuses University.  Fine tuning the implementation of these programs with our focus on personalized learning.


VAPA, Mrs. Hancock: Becoming an IB PYP World School


Alta Vista, Mr. Sterner: Excited to working with our PASS program, and for our 54+ graduates in 16-17!


Empresa , Dr. McKean: Empresa kicks off the holiday season with our annual holiday musical which includes all 800+ students.  It’s our “Gift to the Community”. 


Mission Vista High School, Mrs. Miller: Winning the California Gold Ribbon Award four dual magnet programs and completing the Magnet Schools of America certification process


Roosevelt Middle School, Ms. Ochenduszko: After a “Year of Exploration”, Roosevelt Middle School is proud to announce we will be adopting Artful Learning beginning in the 2017-18 school year.  We will be one of only 17 schools in 8 states across the nation known as an Artful Learning School as we transform the way our students engage in learning! 


Breeze Hill Elementary, Mrs. D’Ambroso: Coyote College after school and summer support program focusing on ELA, Math and STEM.  Continuing our Implementation of AVID Elementary and starting our Personal Learning Challenge for the next school Year. 2016 Honor Roll School


Mission Meadows, Dr. Porter: Mission Meadows is proud of our consecutive 5 year Ability Awareness program that has been recognized in the north county by the North County Consortium for Special Education (NCCSE) organization during its implementation. Over the 5 years, our Ability Awareness program has earned awards given to Carrie Livingston, an SDC teacher, Carol Jiminez, a parent, and Dr. Porter, the principal. We are also proud and excited that our SBAC scores have grown over a three-year period both in ELA and Mathematics, and that we will begin our professional learning community journey as a staff focused on the Leader in Me program.


Lake, Mrs. Berntsen: I am most proud of our Lake community sticking with each other through celebrations and tragedies and seeing the humanity in each other. We are a connected community who are generous with their emotions, resources, and hearts.


Olive Elementary, Mrs. Vasquez: What makes me proud is our school’s commitment as a VUSD Personalized Learning Challenge School in taking the initial steps towards becoming a Montessori Inspired Public School. Our promise is to inspire and nurture the whole child within a thoughtful community where Kids Think BIG, Turning Ideas Into Reality.


This year, we have watched our classrooms transform into personalized learning environments that have shown an increase in student engagement. We have focused our work on improved first, best instructional practices in our classrooms to better enhance student success. We have increased enrichment opportunities and encouraged future thinking in our learners by offering strength based learning through Multi-Intelligence Time, Genius Hour, the integration of music education and dance, entrepreneurship, STEAM, and computer science. Great things are happening at Olive!


Vista Adult School, Mrs. O’Shea-West: Increase in the quantity and quality of relevant student support services offered to adult learners pursuing their educational and career goals as supported by Adult Education Block Grant funding.


Vista Adult Transition Center, Mr. Altona: Increasing the size of our program by close to 50% in just four years and fostering students in more paid employment than ever before with assistance from a grant through the Department of Rehabilitation.


Vista Magnet Middle School, Mrs. Green: Viper experiment going back to the International Space Station; online Global Citizenship course with friends in Pakistan; Community Projects by all 8th graders to raise awareness of global problems and create innovative solutions; rocking our 5 year International Baccalaureate re-authorization!


California Ave, Mrs. Schmidt: After 2-3 years of intensive early childhood intervention, over 120 students were successfully transitioned to kindergarten in the Vista Unified schools.  We are proud and grateful to have these students and their families in our school communities!


Posted by: Dave Palmer, District Associate, Vista Unified School District Published:6/14/17
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