Exceptional Partnerships

Exceptional Partnerships

InnEd_HenryCastaniada Exceptional Partnerships Times Publishing Group Inc tpgonlinedaily.comBy Henry Castaniada, Superintendent of Soquel Union Elementary School District

As I begin my final six months Superintendent of Soquel Union Elementary School (retirement), I would like to recognize some of the exceptional partnerships that have made a significant, positive impact for the children, staff and community members in our district.

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Michael Watkins
County Superintendent of Education

Innovations_Henry-and-kids Exceptional Partnerships Times Publishing Group Inc tpgonlinedaily.comBeginning in 2011, I met the County Superintendent of Education, Mr. Michael Watkins and we instantly began to develop an outstanding professional relationship and partnership. Michael spent a significant amount of time in providing me invaluable information about our County Educational programs and resources that would benefit our district. We both are strongly interested in creating innovative learning environments and we are committed to developing instructional programs where blended learning through the use of technology is seamless.

Throughout my work with Michael, I cannot thank him enough for his guidance and financial support to launch a major technology instructional program throughout our district. His willingness to partner with us to create innovative programs has enabled us to launch a three-year project that has resulted in student use of technology, TK to Eighth grade. It is exciting to see the engagement that is occurring throughout our district in the area of blended instruction. We have elevated our learning environment at all of our schools for both students and staff.

Jamie Goldstein
City Manager for the City of Capitola

During the past four and a half years I have had the opportunity of working with Mr. Jamie Goldstein on numerous joint projects to benefit the City of Capitola and our district. I have found Jamie to be a can-do individual who is able to think “out of the box” to balance the interest of all parties. Our working relationship with the City of Capitola is outstanding.

When we were building a new school, Opal Cliffs, Jamie and his staff worked collaboratively with us throughout this project. I encourage you to visit Opal Cliffs School and observe the wonderful design and excellent school setting that has been created for students in our district. In addition to this major undertaking this project was completed on time and at the projected budget cost.

In addition to the building of the Opal Cliffs School, we continue to find other joint projects to work collaboratively in our efforts to create an exceptional community for the citizens of Capitola.

Another amazing collaborative project with the leadership of the City of Capitola was the acquiring of the gymnasium at New Brighton Middle School. I cannot emphasize enough the willingness of Mr. Goldstein to embrace this acquisition and to support the belief that the City of Capitola and Soquel School District continue to demonstrate an outstanding partnership.

The acquiring of the gymnasium has opened numerous opportunities for our district to expand upon enriching activities for our students and community alike.

We now have the capability to schedule evening events and weekend activities seamlessly. Our staffs at New Brighton Middle School are creating fun activities for our students that are conducted during the evening hours. We plan to upgrade our gymnasium facilities, which will result in greater usage by our students and our community at large.

Noel Smith
Editor of Capitola Soquel Times

Innovations_craft-tables Exceptional Partnerships Times Publishing Group Inc tpgonlinedaily.comOne of my goals as Superintendent of Soquel School District is to provide the general public with an opportunity to read about the positive events that are occurring in public education. When I met with Mr. Noel Smith, we immediately came to an agreement that a monthly article featuring outstanding programs and educators in our district would be a proactive strategy in honoring excellent teaching in public education.

As Superintendent having the opportunity to write about your students, staff and community at large, is a wonderful experience.

We have created exceptional programs and instilled an environment of innovative thinking that has been written upon in the Capitola, Soquel Times. I have truly enjoyed interacting with students and staff during the creation of a feature article and being provided the opportunity to include photos of staff, students and community members. As a district we have increased our enrollment significantly, three of the past four years and we credit our opportunity to write about our terrific programs as a partial reason that our enrollment has increased.

Rotary Club of Capitola-Aptos

Through the outstanding leadership of Mr. Doug Deaver, Mr. Al De Camara, Mr. Rich Hamlin and Mr. Tim Powell our district will be receiving a generous donation of two new scoreboards for our gymnasium. The Rotary Club of Capitola-Aptos has a long-standing tradition of reaching out to our Community at Large to support numerous endeavors. Receiving this generous donation will enhance our efforts to the refurbishing of our school gym that we began this year.

One of our goals is to provide opportunities for our Community at Large to utilize our facilities and to enhance the quality of life throughout our area. We cannot thank the members of the Rotary Club enough and we will proudly place a plaque to recognize this wonderful donation in the entry hallway of our gymnasium. Thank you again Rotarians.

During my transitional period prior to my retirement, I will continue to work closely with these four major partnerships that have enabled our district to be an excellent place to work and for students to attend. As I mentioned, one of my goals when I became Superintendent of Soquel was to publicize the positive stories about Public Education. The talented staff throughout our district continues to create exceptional programs and wonderful learning environments for all students.

It has been an honor and a joy to serve as superintendent and to be associated with the Soquel, Capitola community during the past four and a half years.

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