Wherever you are right now in your PUSD educational career, Westview High senior Kevin Minear has some words of advice: “Do not take the quality of your education for granted. There is nothing more important than using the tools given to you, and PUSD schools give you so much extra help with schoolwork and personal relationships that it would be foolish to not take advantage of these resources.” Kevin should know, he’s been attending PUSD schools since he was in kindergarten. He’s on the far right in the photo below.
Class of 2016 (in 2003) L to R: Danna D'Esopo, Tiffany Nguyen, Faith Thai, Arian Masoumi, Alexander Ly, Tiffany Duong, Jaylynn Elliott, and Kevin Minear
This kindergarten photo was taken at Adobe Bluffs Elementary School in the Fall of 2003. Now, these same kindergarteners are seniors, graduating this month. We snapped this reunion photo after tracking down six of the original eight students:
Class of 2016 today L to R: Danna D'Esopo, Tiffany Nguyen, Faith Thai, Alexander Ly, Tiffany Duong, and Kevin Minear
All six are headed to college, ranging from the University of Texas to UC Berkeley. Del Norte High senior Danna D’Esposo, who’s headed to Santa Clara University says, “I think PUSD was very good at presenting college as a goal for my future. I know that college has been talked about in school my kindergarten year through my senior year of high school.”
In fact, their kindergarten class was the first to launch Poway Unified’s district-wide campaign of “College and Career Readiness for All Students.” That remains our mission statement today. We see ourselves as a gateway to our students’ future. Just like proud parents watching their children walk across the stage to receive their diplomas, it is truly remarkable for us, as educators, to witness and reflect on the fruits of our labor. Who knows what the Class of 2016 will become down the road? Astronauts, Actors, Engineers, Entrepreneurs?
This June, we celebrate the accomplishments of all of our students… whatever grade they’re finishing and wherever they’re headed next. We know we’ve held our students to high expectations. But in meeting those expectations, they are developing the necessary habits of mind, and the behaviors and attitudes essential for success. Senior Faith Thai, who will be attending San Diego State, explained, “Westview High School is essentially like college in certain aspects. Having the freedom to take classes that I enjoy and joining clubs that I’m interested in definitely has helped me find my identity. With the rigorous courses I have taken, I feel very prepared coming into college.”
A huge reason for that is our #TeamPUSD staff. We hire, retain, and support the highest quality staff from diverse backgrounds to ensure our students’ support and learning. When looking back, each student can recall someone who made the most impact on them. Alex Ly wrote: “Mr. [Bruce] Hubschmitt flipped my entire view as a student, and got me to start treating being a student like an occupation, and to make the fullest out of any situation.” Faith Thai recalls, “As a kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Bollish left a great impression on me and was very encouraging at the inception of my education. I was able to do many things at Adobe Bluffs because of the strong foundation she set for me.” Roberta Bollish still teaches kindergarten at Adobe Bluffs, and was reunited with her old kindergarten students. “This is the first of my kindergarten classes to graduate, so this makes it extra special for me.” During the reunion, Mrs. Bollish shared a yearbook and class memory book with her students, that they had made together 12 years ago.