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

November 19, 2015

“Each student who graduates from the Kuna School District will have the knowledge and skills necessary to be able to have the future he/she desires.” – KSD Vision


Are you building a wall or a cathedral?

I’ve been on a mission recently about the importance of sharing why we do what we do before we talk about what we do or how we do it. This has recently been reinforced to me from a book I’m reading by Simon Sinek called Start with Why.

Like most professions, educators are notorious for jumping in to explain what needs to change and how the change will happen. However, sharing why defines the purpose--the vision of the work we do. Because visions inspire others, people can typically relate to why much easier than what or how. Martin Luther King Jr. may have had a very different response to his call for action if he said “I have a plan,” rather than “I have a dream.”

Let me attempt to illustrate this further by using a parable. Imagine you come upon a construction site and see three stonemasons who are all working hard in the scorching sun. You walk up to the first stonemason and ask, “What are you doing?” The first stonemason looks up at you and replies, “I’m laying bricks. The stones are heavy and lifting them day after day can be backbreaking. Often the days are long and hot, but the work pays the bills.”

You walk up to the second stonemason and ask, “What are you doing?” She turns to you and says, “I’ve been building this wall for as long as I can remember. The work is monotonous, and I often leave sunburnt and tired. I’m not even sure if this project will be completed in my lifetime. But it’s a job and at least I have one.”

About thirty feet away you walk up to the last stonemason. You ask him the same question, “What are you doing?” He looks up and replies, “I’m building a cathedral. Sure, I’ve been working on this wall for as long as I can remember and yes, the work is sometimes monotonous. I work in the scorching hot sun all day. The stones are heavy and lifting them day after day can be backbreaking. I’m not even sure if this project will be completed in my lifetime. I love my job. I’m building a cathedral.”

Like the last stonemason, we are all a part of building a cathedral. We don’t come to work to build a wall, to teach a lesson plan, to drive students to school, to fix technology, to clean the school or to evaluate instruction. We come to work to build the cathedral of the future by ensuring that every student in our district will be able to accomplish his/her dreams for the future. Each of us builds the future every day. We are lucky to be a part of a unique social movement to educate every child.

So when someone asks you what do you do for a living, think of the stonemason building the cathedral and respond “I construct the future.”

In service,

wendy signature


updatelogo Updates

Two Grants Assist KSD to Develop Stronger Programs for Kids

TLC Foundation
Our art and music programs have received a deserved boost from the TLC Foundation. The gift of $50,000 will go toward buying music risers, a kiln, a piano and cart for a variety of schools specified in the grant. A special thank you to our Art and Music teachers for going above and beyond to collaborate with one another across grade levels to complete the application for the grant. A video of our amazing music and art students can be found on the Kuna School District Facebook site.

Micron Foundation
KHS Administrator Mike Wiedenfeld received $10,000 from the Micron foundation to support a second year transition to the Project Lead the Way (PTLW) Engineering program. Last year Mike and his team received $20,000 to startup Project Lead the Way with an integration component into STEM Research. The $10,000 will be split approximately 50/50 between KHS and KMS. At KHS the funds will be used to purchase equipment to support the second year curriculum for PLTW's Principles of Engineering class. At KMS, it will be used to support resources for a new pre-engineering class that Sara Kunz is teaching to 7th and 8th graders.

KHS Seniors Participate in College Application Week

Congratulations to KHS for reaching their goal of 90% of seniors completing college applications!


Career Enhancement to be Distributed in November Paychecks

As a part of the district negotiated agreement and as a means to reward people for their years of service to the Kuna School District, a one-time career enhancement stipend will be distributed to non-administrative certified and classified employees in the November paycheck. The district used the savings from the cost of health insurance to cover the stipends. The stipends will be awarded as follows:

career enhancement
The payroll team has been working hard to make sure that those who have earned the career enhancement receive it. Given that not all of our employee records have been converted to our electronic system, we may have some mistakes. Once you receive your paycheck and if you have a question, please send an email to Ruth Hammond. Please note: the career enhancement does not apply to temporary positions such as substitutes, activity gate workers, coaches, after school program teachers, etc.


Avoiding Slips and Falls in the Winter Weather

While last Saturday felt more like spring than winter, we are in the season of stormy weather. With this change in the weather comes slippery sidewalks and parking lots. During icy and snowy conditions, the incidence of injuries due to slips and falls increases. Below are a number of suggestions which can reduce the number of slips and falls or reduce injury if a fall occurs. Also, remember to dress in appropriate attire.

  1. Concentrate on the path ahead -- take your time and proceed slowly.
  2.  Where possible, avoid slippery surfaces -- take a route around obvious slippery hazards, such as wet leaves, icy areas and snow banks.
  3. Wear appropriate footwear -- wear shoes or boots with rough (waffled, ridged or heavily textured) soles to work and change into dress shoes if you must wear them. The inconvenience of changing shoes is insignificant compared to the inconvenience due to a serious fall related injury.
  4. Use handrails wherever they are provided -- a secure handhold can prevent a fall if you should slip.
  5. Check to be sure entrance halls and stairs are clear of snow and slush -- tracked in snow and slush often cause slips and falls.
  6. Beware of changes in walking surfaces -- many falls are caused when someone doesn't realize he/she is leaving a secure area for a slippery one.
  7. Clean your shoes when you go inside -- caked snow and ice on shoe soles can be treacherous.


Like Us on Facebook and Instagram and Follow Us on Twitter

The school district facebook page has 133 new followers this month! If you haven’t connected with the district via social media, please follow the Kuna Jt. School District on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. If you have information you would like to share on the page please let Cheri Carr, Brittany Regli or Dave Reinhart know.


kuna wayThe Kuna Way Awards
Please help us to celebrate our colleagues and community partners 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.

Collaborating to solve problems, to make decisions, to reach win-win decisions and to continuously improve to make our system better for kids:
Shelly Hopkins, for her work on evaluating Learning Management Systems and helping us with the Schoology pilot at the middle school.

Yvonna Bocci, for always being so helpful, kind, and quick to solve any problem thrown at her. She does it with a smile and always says, "that's my job!" when thanked for going above and beyond. She is also jumping in to drive for missing drivers.

Mary Blackmer, for stepping up to help cover the crosswalk at Silver Trail Elementary School.

Jim Obert, for helping the Transportation Department resolve some technical issues.

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

Kelly Ayers, for not only teaching her 2nd grade class this year but for also running Hubbard’s Title I program! She has literally worked hours and hours beyond her normal duties. She's helped get testing coordinated, set up groups, monitored progress, met with classroom teachers, and kept our book report contests going! She's also teaching our Love and Logic this trimester.

Chris Murgel, for taking her environmental science students to BSU so they could conduct an engaging science lab while also helping them to see that going on to postsecondary education is a possibility for them.

Michael Hoff, for going above and beyond to keep a child safe.

Preserving our professional capital and promoting professionalism:
Adam Bell, for leading us through our financial audit with a new auditing firm.

Melissa Stoddard and Laurie McCord, for planning and leading the Kuna Middle School staff Professional Development on the 8 mathematical practices on Sept 24th.

Kelly Adams, for range finding with Measurement Inc. and the director of ELA Smarter Balance.

For working hard and having fun together:

Mark Hitesman, Bud West, and Chairman Carl Ericson, for stepping up to help cook at the tailgate for KHS’ final football game.

Val Swanson and the Food Service Staff, for putting together amazing Parent/Student breakfasts.

Kevin Lindquist and the Maintenance Staff, for helping to set up the tables, helping to clean and making it happen from the Hubbard/Teed Staff.


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.