Superintendent Update May 19, 2017


 Kuna School District Updateksd1
Inspiring each student to become a lifelong learner and a contributing, responsible citizen

May 19, 2017

“Trust that an ending is followed by a beginning.” – Siddeheswar Sarkar

Team and Friends of the Kuna School District,

Happy last week of school! I imagine many of you find yourselves reflecting on how fast this school year has gone. I find myself saying that every year, and the speed of which a school flies always reminds me to make every day count.

trustThis time of year is bittersweet. We are caught between the excitement of the next school year and plans for summer and the loss of our current students and some of our most beloved colleagues to their next step on life’s journey. I wish the class of 2017 luck as they graduate next week and move on to accomplish amazing things in this world because of the strong foundation KSD has provided for them. I am also very grateful to the following KSD retirees for their endless commitment to our children, families and colleagues and I wish our retirees good luck in the next step of their journey:

● Ann Kollmann - IPHS
● Becky Cane - KHS
● Cyndi Drake - KMS
● Pat Oliver - Silver Trail
● Deb Wiscombe - Silver Trail
● Susan Helton - Reed
● Debra Bacus - Indian Creek

Thank you to all of you for your positive influence on our children and on your colleagues. The talented staff and involved parents and community members are the reasons why Kuna School District is such a great place for our community to educate their children.

Let’s finish the last week of school strong!

In service,

wendy signature

Souza Paul

Administrative Changes
With Deb McGrath moving to the principal position at Teed Middle School beginning next school year, a committee of current KMS staff and parents has assisted me to select the next principal of Kuna Middle School. I am happy to announce Paul Souza as the next principal of KMS. Paul currently serves as a Building Administrator at Reed Elementary. Prior to coming to KSD, he served as the Associate Principal at Pacific Union School, a PK-8 school in Arcata, California. Paul is known for the strong relationships he builds with students, staff and families, and I am excited to have him lead Kuna Middle School through the transitions that will come the next few years.

In addition to this change, I have made a few other changes to administrative support in order to best serve children, families and teachers. I have consolidated the two Dean positions at KMS into one Building Administrator/Athletic Director. Pete Noteboom will move from the Dean at KHS to the one of the Building Administrator positions at Kuna Middle School, and KMS Building Administrator Kelly Schamber will move into the KHS Dean position. I am excited about how these leaders will assist their principals and School Leadership Teams to better align our 6-12 program to serve children so all of our students continue to learn at a high level and be better prepared for postsecondary education.

We will be posting the openings for the Building Administrator position at Reed and the Building Administrator/Athletic Director at KMS soon. A committee representing staff and parents will assist the principal of each school to hire the best candidate for their school community.

The Kuna School District will benefit greatly from this group of talented leaders who will help us continue to build on our legacy of improving the lives of our community’s children.

2017-18 Negotiated Agreement
On Monday, May 22, the KSD Board of Trustees will meet to review and vote on the 2017-18 negotiated agreement. On Wednesday, May 24, the KEA will to ratify the 2017-18 negotiated agreement. Once the agreement has been approved by the board and the KEA members, I will send you an update on the specific changes to next school year’s Master Contract.

The Kuna Way Awards
Please help me to celebrate our colleagues who are examples of practicing the Kuna Way. If you know of someone who should receive this award, please nominate this person via the website feedback link.

KWA April 2017

Putting kids first and doing whatever it takes to help students succeed

Christy Mauk - KHS Teacher
○ “I would like to nominate Christy, as she goes way beyond just teaching. She honestly cares about the success and well being of her students. She keeps control of her class and holds each student responsible for their achievements. Students are made to feel like they can accomplish anything and each step is a small victory for them. She thinks outside of the box if a student needs a different approach to learn.”

Collaborating to solve problems, to make decisions, to reach win-win decisions and to continuously improve to make our system better for kids

Matt Rauch - IT Department
○ “Matt has built an impressive program on Web Forms for Requesting Trips through Transportation. This has made it easier to track all of the trips for the district. Not only has he built the program by himself, he also been more than willing to tweak the program to fit the needs of the transportation department, answer questions and help us when we need him the most. He has been involved in meetings with our department so he can get a better understanding of what we need the program to do, and he is always asking what he can do to improve the system for us. I constantly tell him he needs a cape, as he is my superhero on a daily basis, and helps me more than he will ever know, so THANK YOU for all you do, all your help and understanding, and efforts in keeping me sane every day!! I couldn't do it without you!!”

Leading from where you are

KSD Instructional Coaches - Kelly Walton, Deb Bradburn, Mandy Hoehne, Emily Leckie, Andrea Willadsen, Dani Walker and Laura Jenkins
○ “Our instructional coaches put in countless hours to plan, organize and carry out the “Employee of the Year Celebration”. It was one of the best ones we have ever had. Thank you for all you do for our school district!”

Working hard and having fun together

Dave Reinhart, Adam Bell and Lori Olsen - District Office
○ “This team worked really hard together to gather all the information needed to meet a timely deadline to submit the CRDC report. Well done!”

Taking care of each other and ourselves

Tammy Merithew - Benefits Manager
○ “Tammy single handedly negotiated a deal to keep our district insurance to a 4.9% increase next year, instead of the quoted 8 plus % that was originally quoted. Tammy’s impressive and ambitious skills continue to be an asset to our Human Resource Department and to the entire school district. Tammy also helped put on the Benefits Fair for our KSD Employee’s. She spends so much time informing employees about their insurance. We are lucky to have her!”

Preserving our professional capital and promoting professionalism

Barb James, Dennis Jordan and Melissa Stoddard - KSD Math Teachers
○ “Burley High School requested to come speak with these teachers about our transition from teaching Math at the secondary level from traditional (Algebra, Geometry & Algebra 2) sequence to the Integrated Math 1, 2 & 3 sequence. These teachers did a fabulous presentation for the Burley Math teachers and Admin. They took a half day and presented the KSD process, shared all materials and notes, and answered all questions. Burley was extremely impressed, thankful and appreciative!”

rumor Rumor Mill

Have You Heard a Rumor and Want to Know the Answer? Post your question on our website!

It is easy for rumors to get started in light of all the questions and concerns employees and parents have regarding the Kuna School District. If you've heard a rumor that you'd like to get an "official" response on, we encourage you visit the "Rumors, Questions and Feedback" link on our website.
Your question can be kept anonymous.

Q. “The district” already has the plan for the new high school designed and the design committee is just a puppet.

A. It is not true that “the district” has a predetermined plan.The district is composed of all of us with vested interest our community, and while every person in the community has their own ideas of what ought to be done with the new high school, the focus of the design team is to bring these multiple interests together to form consensus on the programs offered and the physical design of the new high school. The process to reach consensus takes time which is why the design solution team has already met three times and will meet throughout the summer until consensus is reached and the team is ready to present to the KSD Board of Trustees.