Those who serve, such as Peoria Unified School District employees, have been the most vulnerable during the pandemic. Our teachers are our children’s first line of defense not only from an educational perspective but in many ways a personal one.
As we watch the COVID-19 numbers rise steadily again, we must have an intrinsic awareness that this is not something that is going to go away. It is something we have to adjust to.
That said, as much as we talk about the more serious issues in front of the Peoria Unified school board, it’s important that we never lose sight of our wins, no matter how small they may seem to others.
I would like to highlight a few of those wins:
•PUSD Superintendent Dr. Reynolds has survived his first full year in his role, navigating and leading our district through unprecedented times with a grace under fire that we could all hope to emulate someday.
•The Peoria High School marching band was invited by Congresswoman Debbie Lesko to represent PUSD and the state of Arizona as a whole in the 2022 Memorial Day Parade in Washington D.C. What a wonderful opportunity this is for them and a proud moment for our district to see them represent us in such a stellar way on a national stage.
•Ironwood High School recently received a grant from Arizona Cardinal and football legend Larry Fitzgerald to expand the Read 180 program. This program helps students develop and expand a love of literature. In a time when most of our kids are glued to their phones and tablets, the success of this program and others like it is vital to the overall achievements of our students as a whole.
Additionally, Ironwood High School was able to purchase a class set of computers with funds provided to further support their online reading programs.
Finally, this school year, we’ve seen an in-person return to school for about 37,000 students and 4,000 teachers, administrators and other staff members. We continue to learn and grow daily together, keeping in mind that we are all a work-in-progress, to construct the best future for our children.
Thank you to the school board for your time and everything you do.
Editor's note: Kacie Franklin is a PUSD parent and former candidate for PUSD school board.