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    Juneau's Journal Sept 7 2018
    Posted on 09/07/2018

    This week has been one of many firsts for me as the new Superintendent of Seattle Public Schools.

    On Tuesday, I proudly stood side-by-side with two school communities during my first ribbon-cutting ceremonies as we opened the doors to newly renovated school buildings, Loyal Heights Elementary and Roxhill Elementary at E.C. Hughes. Many thanks to the Seattle voters who made these ribbon cuttings possible; both renovations were approved through capital levy votes in 2013 and 2016, respectively.

    Loyal Heights ribbon cuttingDirector Harris, Superintendent Juneau and Tarra Patrick smile for a photo

    On the first day of school for first through twelfth grade students, I started the morning sharing coffee and meeting with many of our amazing families, then hopped on the school bus headed to the land of the Otters at John Rogers Elementary School. As my grandfather was a bus driver for many years, I am so thankful for our bus drivers who ensure students are safely transported to and from their school communities.

    In a first-grade classroom at John Rogers, I was fortunate to witness social emotional learning curriculum in action. Teacher Ms. Thomas asked her young scholars to describe how they wanted to feel in class on their first day. Some of my personal favorites; excited, kind, and breathe down.

    Superintendent Juneau and students in the classroom

    Touring the halls of Asa Mercer International Middle School, I observed sixth grade students transitioning to their new school experience. Young people sat alert and engaged, ready to learn the ins and outs of their new school community. After sitting in on Principal Chris Carter’s open information session for parents, I’m thankful that Seattle Public Schools values parents as partners in their students’ educational experience, honoring the expertise that families bring to the table.

    At Chief Sealth International High School I learned about the many opportunities available to students; global studies, a learning center for individualized support, career academies, immersion programs, and Šǝqačib native studies, to name a few. One of the many highlights of the visit included a tour led by Chief Sealth’s Nurse Nester of the full-service NeighborCare health clinic. Thank you to our many partners for working alongside us to support our students!

    Superintendent Juneau shakes hands with a student

    In the cafeteria at Chief Sealth, I had the great honor of handing out Orca cards to students. I applaud the hundreds of Rainier Beach High School students who advocated for an expansion of the Orca program to include free transit cards for all Seattle Public Schools high school students. You shared your voice and the entire community listened. This Thursday, I had an opportunity to share this moment in history with students and City of Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan at Rainier Beach High School.

    As the week comes to a close, I find myself grateful for the opportunity to lead this high-performing urban district, and to highlight the amazing work happening across our school communities. If this week is any indication, I can already tell that this year is going to be truly amazing.

    If you haven’t already penciled in the dates, I encourage you to head to the Seattle Public Schools website for the full listing of my upcoming listening and learning tour sessions. The next one is Tuesday evening, September 11 at the Broadview Library. I hope to see you there.

    In the meantime, you can connect with me on Twitter @SeattleSupt.

    Corny joke of the week: Why shouldn’t you write with a broken pencil? Because it’s pointless.