Superintendent ~ Poway Unified School District

15250 Avenue of Science, San Diego, CA 92128

SUPERINTENDENT, John P. Collins, Ed.D. 
(858) 521-2700 FAX (858) 485-1075

Tina McDowell, Executive Assistant to the Superintendent
(858) 521-2700    FAX (858) 485-1075

Superintendant's February Message
John Collins, Ed.D. 

February is Black History month, and we recently celebrated Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Dr. King once said, “The time is always right to do what is right." I believe, the time is now.

As superintendent, I believe Poway Unified School District is capable of providing a world-class education where all students are learning, thriving, and achieving college and career readiness, regardless of…. (There’s a long list that often follows the word “regardless of” as required legally for protected classes of individuals.) These include race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, special needs, etcetera. While these legally protected classes are certainly important, I believe it’s time for the entire PUSD community to expand that list beyond these qualifiers and commit to providing a personalized education for every student, “REGARDLESS.”    This will require that we ensure an inclusive environment for everyone.

Unfortunately, every day on our campuses, we have students who feel left out or excluded.  Students who don’t feel connected, who feel uncomfortable. These students will sometimes share with a trusted adult on campus that they feel invisible. However, more often than not, many students feel it is safer to simply remain invisible.  No one should have to feel that way. As educators, we work very hard to help ALL students learn.

At our recent employee recognition dinner Paul Messerle, a longtime Rancho Bernardo High School teacher and a current San Diego County Teacher of the Year, described his own high school experience of being bullied and feeling unsafe at school: “You inherently think something is wrong with you when you bear the brunt of such attacks… I crafted a suit of heavy emotional armor so I could go to school every day. But I was afraid, and you cannot learn when you are afraid.” Paul credits teachers for shaping who he is today: “They taught me to become, to know myself, to be the person that they saw within me, even when I didn’t have the courage to see it within myself.”

That kind of courage, to realize one’s full potential, is happening all over PUSD. Indeed, the Board of Education recently heard from a proud alumnae, Amon-Ra. As a young man, he hadn’t given college much thought. But he spoke about the education and support he received from Westview High School, as well as the focus and encouragement he received from the College Bound San Diego program. Ultimately Amon graduated from Morehouse College, the only all-male historically black college in the United States.

My challenge to the entire PUSD community for 2016 is to continue to increase and improve personalized education that will not only close the achievement gap, but guarantee a culture of inclusion. That road to personalized learning won’t be an easy one. But the first steps are to recognize, then include and accept, and finally celebrate the individual.

I ask each of you: students, staff, community members, to reach out to someone who needs to feel visible again.

Choice and Truth





John P. Collins, Ed.D. 

(858) 521-2700 FAX (858) 485-1075

Tina McDowell
Executive Assistant to the Superintendent
(858) 521-2700    FAX (858) 485-1075

Christine Paik
Director of Communications
(858) 521-2707  FAX (858) 485-1075


Wendy Anderson
Executive Assistant to the Board
(858) 521-2700   FAX (858) 485-1075



PUSD Report “Poway Research Paper Final”

Hanover Executive Summary

Overall Parent Perception Data K-12

Formal Response to DAC – DELAC