• Superintendent's Memo 12-06-19

    Posted by Eduardo Suarez on 12/5/2019 3:15:00 PM

    SUPERINTENDENT'S BLOG - Success of extra-curricular programs a by-product of a commitment to opportunities 

    SCUC ISD has always prided itself in the myriad of opportunities provided to its students through extra-curricular activities. This fall was a shining example of how we distinguish ourselves in athletics, band, music, theatre arts and other outlets for self-expression and growth.

    In years past, we have aimed for a 90% participation rate in high-quality extra-curricular activities, to include all of our secondary students (grades 7-12), with an ever-increasing involvement in opportunities for our elementary and intermediate school students. Though not stated officially in our 2018-2022 Strategic Plan, it remains a part of our essence as a school district.

    These avenues of competition provide avenues for growth, particularly in cooperation, unselfishness, teamwork and overcoming adversity. More often than not, our students and the organizations they are a part of are very successful. However, we also watch closely when disappointment visits. These moments sometimes teach them about life and our core values of Leadership, Character, Commitment, Service and Learning that success ever could.

    I am proud to be a part of a school district and community that understands these outlets are part of the building blocks to develop the Traits of the Graduates were are trying to instill in every student that walks through our doors.

    With that in mind, I’d like to mention just a few of our most successful programs this fall. Congratulations to the Clemens volleyball team, after it qualified for the state tournament for the first time in its history! Our entire community rallied around them, and they represented us well at state! Likewise, kudos to Steele’s volleyball team, which worked hard to return to postseason play after a four year absence.

    What can you say about our football teams? Clemens captured the district title for the first time since 2006, while Steele made another trip to the playoffs in its short but illustrious history. In cross country, two runners from Steele advanced to regionals.

    The marching bands at Byron P. Steele High School and Samuel Clemens High School attained First Division ratings at the UIL Marching Contest in October. We have every confidence that our musicians will be a part of another Sweepstakes-winning experience in the spring.

    Our Theatre Arts students continue to dazzle, too. Byron P. Steele Troupe 7033 performed at the Texas Thespians Festival last month. Four students attained national qualifier status, as did four of their counterparts from Samuel Clemens High School.

    We could go on and on about our extra-curricular successes, and we will as we head into the second half of the school year. Let’s celebrate the successes, and look forward to the learning opportunities when we fall just short of our goal. We are blessed to have a community that understands the importance of these outlets.

    Finally, please take the time to enjoy our Everyday Successes (LINKED BELOW).

    Thank you for your support. And remember, SCUC is a District with Passion and Purpose!

    Dr. G

    EVERYDAY SUCCESSES 

    OCTOBER BOARD BRIEFS

    2019-2020 AREAS OF FOCUS

    2019-2020 SCHOOL YEAR CALENDAR

    SMALL TOWN FEEL, WORLD CLASS OPPORTUNITY

    ONE COMMUNITY

     

     

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  • Superintendent's Memo 11-22-19

    Posted by Eduardo Suarez on 11/22/2019 12:00:00 PM

    SUPERINTENDENT'S BLOG - SCUC has much to be thankful for, including #OneCommunity

    As we approach the Thanksgiving holidays, one of the key markers of the year on the school calendar, we take time to pause, rest and reflect on all the things we have to be appreciative about. It’s a uniquely American holiday, and a reminder that feeling gratitude is a choice, whether your circumstances are difficult at the moment or not. If we are fortunate to have our health and our loved ones, then we are truly rich indeed.

    I am thankful for having the opportunity to serve as Superintendent of this one-of-a-kind community. It is filled with kind, generous and unique stakeholders that makes SCUC ISD a destination district. Just as no individual is the same, neither is a neighborhood, a city or a region. The ties that bind us, however, are stronger than the differences that could have us collectively frayed at the edges.

    Our latest video vignette, centers around September’s most recent meeting between Samuel Clemens High School and Byron P. Steele on the football field. The game, and the components that make it unique, are a microcosm of our community, which we view as one community. We work together, and when not competing against one another, root for one another. This perspective filters all the way down to our youngest stakeholders, who then carry on the tradition when they become our future leaders.

    Our thanks to our Board Trustees for their service. Earlier this week, we had a changing of the guard as the school board elected new officers, as required by the Texas Education Code at the first meeting after the election and qualification of trustees.

    Amy Driesbach is our new President, and she will do an amazing job, just as she has done since she became a trustee in 2015. Thank you to Robert Westbrook, who served faithfully as President for the past two years, and passed the baton to Ms. Driesbach with a united and cohesive school board.

    On another note, good luck this week to Clemens volleyball at the state tournament and Clemens football in the area round.

    Finally, please take the time to enjoy our Everyday Successes (LINKED BELOW).

    Thank you for your support. And remember, SCUC is a District with Passion and Purpose!

    Dr. G

    EVERYDAY SUCCESSES

    OCTOBER BOARD BRIEFS

    2019-2020 AREAS OF FOCUS

    2019-2020 SCHOOL YEAR CALENDAR

    SMALL TOWN FEEL, WORLD CLASS OPPORTUNITY

    ONE COMMUNITY

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  • Superintendent's Memo 11-15-19

    Posted by Eduardo Suarez on 11/15/2019 1:15:00 PM

    SUPERINTENDENT'S BLOG - Superintendent Search Update

    SCUC Board of Trustees conducted the first round of interviews for the new Superintendent of Schools this week. They spent three evenings engaging in conversations, approximately ninety minutes each, with candidates who made the initial round of interviews. Our school board will now take the time to process what they heard from every candidate, and narrow the list further.

    Trustees will determine the number of applicants for the second round of interviews, and plan to confer with the Texas Association of School Board (TASB) Executive Search Services next week. Follow up questions and answers sessions will take place during the first week of December.

    The vote to name a lone finalist is scheduled for Thursday, December 12th.  Trustees will take all the information and feedback they have received during this process and make an informed decision on that date. I have every confidence the person chosen to lead SCUC ISD will be an outstanding one because a district and community as good as ours assuredly attracted only the best candidates.

    Meanwhile, excitement and buzz continues to surround some of our successful athletic programs at the moment. The Clemens volleyball team has advanced to regionals, and have lived up to the team’s slogan/hashtag: #MightyAreTheWomen!

    Congratulations to the Clemens and Steele football teams, who have made the playoffs once again. They have worked hard to reach the “win or go home” part of the season, and we wish them well.

    On another note, please take the time to enjoy our Everyday Successes (LINKED BELOW).

    Thank you for your support. And remember, SCUC is a District with Passion and Purpose!

    Dr. G

    EVERYDAY SUCCESSES

    OCTOBER BOARD BRIEFS

    2019-2020 AREAS OF FOCUS

    2019-2020 SCHOOL YEAR CALENDAR

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  • Superintendent's Memo 11-08-19

    Posted by Eduardo Suarez on 11/7/2019 9:45:00 PM

    SUPERINTENDENT'S BLOG - Fast-Growth and Existing Debt Allotment among some of the shortcomings of HB 3

    Last week, we discussed our appeal to the Texas Education Agency (TEA) regarding its formula for fast-growth schools, which we are not scheduled to receive even though we are one of the fastest growing school districts in the state. Due to nuances in the formula, it rewards smaller school districts that may enroll fewer students than SCUC but experience a higher percentage growth. We will keep you posted on TEA’s ruling. We believe the facts speak strongly to the need to modify the formula, and allow our school district to potentially receive an extra seven million dollars over the next two years.

    This dilemma points out some of the perceptions around HB 3, which passed during the recent 86th Legislative Session. Yes, SCUC ISD received an additional funding, and the state did increase its share of funding for public education, from a low of 37% to its current 44%. We are very thankful for this increase and believe legislators acknowledged the message from Texans that more needs to be done for public education.

    But as we’ve mentioned, it didn’t address fast-growth school districts such as ours. It also provided no help for us regarding the Existing Debt Allotment (EDA), which helps defray some of the costs involved with building new campuses. EDA helped somewhat when Cibolo Valley Elementary School opened in 2015, but provided almost no assistance when the new Rose Garden Elementary School campus opened last year as legislators have progressively defunded the program.

    Currently, our Community Advisory Committee is guiding SCUC in its Facility Master Plan, a template in how to proceed should we decide another bond is needed in the near future. Without additional funds for EDA, our taxpayers will continue to bear the brunt of startup costs for as many as three new potential campuses over the next six years.

    Our Board Trustees and senior leadership have done a wonderful job navigating the responsible use of all resources. SCUC ISD continues to adapt to the ever-changing economic and demographic landscape. My hope is that state lawmakers continue to dig deeper into the challenges ahead, and we ask our stakeholders to continue to advocate for public education in general and for our school district in particular.

    On another note, please take the time to enjoy our Everyday Successes (LINKED BELOW)

    Thank you for your support. And remember, SCUC is a District with Passion and Purpose!

    Dr. G

    EVERYDAY SUCCESSES

    OCTOBER BOARD BRIEFS

    2019-2020 AREAS OF FOCUS

    2019-2020 SCHOOL YEAR CALENDAR

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  • Superintendent's Memo 11-01-19

    Posted by Eduardo Suarez on 11/1/2019 11:00:00 AM

    SUPERINTENDENT'S BLOG - Fast-Growth School Districts such as SCUC ISD not getting state funds necessary to meet demand

    Last Friday, SCUC ISD submitted its enrollment to Texas Education Agency (TEA), as part of the Snapshot Date, which contains over 100 separate data elements about a school district. The enrollment figure we submitted, determines the amount of funding we receive from the state.

    SCUC ISD has 15,925 students, an increase of over one hundred students from the 2018-2019 school year, and nearly one thousand students since the 2015-2016 school year. Yet incredibly, the 86th Legislative Session left our school district out of additional funding for fast-growth schools.  

    The TEA fast growth allotment gives money to districts based on percentage growth, which means larger school districts with less relative growth receive less. While the district’s percentage of growth has slowed down these last three school years, (1.42%), SCUC ISD grew nearly 12% from 2013-2014 to 2018-2019 and an astounding 16% (over 4,000 students) since the 2008-2009 school year. It is clear that numerically and percentage-wise, our escalating growth needs to be taken into consideration.

    If left uncorrected, the financial impact to SCUC from the unallocated funds is approximately $7 million for the next two years. Clearly, these funds would assist us in meeting the educational needs of the district and give us a little more breathing room in handling our burgeoning student population.

    Yesterday, we filed our appeal with the TEA, equipped with facts that validate our concerns. They are taking public comments, and we urge our stakeholders to advocate for SCUC as well - LINK, now through Monday, November 4th.

    On another note, please take the time to enjoy our Everyday Successes (LINKED BELOW)

    Thank you for your support. And remember, SCUC is a District with Passion and Purpose!

    Dr. G

    EVERYDAY SUCCESSES

    OCTOBER BOARD BRIEFS

    2019-2020 AREAS OF FOCUS

    2019-2020 SCHOOL YEAR CALENDAR

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  • Superintendent's Memo 10-25-19

    Posted by Eduardo Suarez on 10/24/2019 4:15:00 PM

    SUPERINTENDENT'S BLOG - Timely Questions helping SCUC take the pulse of our stakeholders

    With the first quarter of the school year behind us, we are taking a moment to assess what is on the minds of our staff through our Timely Questions. Earlier this week, our principals and other frontline staff provided some for us at our monthly Team One meeting, based on what they have heard coming from employees, parents and stakeholders.

    Any worthwhile listening and learning organization must take the time to respond to inquiries. Our first goal is to try to understand what the underlying issue is when we field a question. How does the issue affect the person asking the question? Are they gauging whether we’re consistent with our processes and responses? Are we addressing matters we have answered before, thus not communicating as effectively as we could be?

    Our goal is to see if there is a pattern, or theme, to the questions asked. In keeping with our language, we make every effort to respond as quickly as possible, with facts and data to best explain the topic brought forth. 

    Among the items included in the Timely Questions are:

    • Staffing and pay comparisons
    • Concerns with the substitute process
    • State of full-day Pre-K
    • Keeping up with Transportation needs
    • Superintendent Search process

    We will give all of these questions full consideration, and respond with thoughtful answers during the next quarter. We will honor Belief Statement seven: “We believe transparent, clear and timely communication among all is critical to success.”

    Meanwhile, please take time to view our Board Briefs from the most recent school board meeting held last week. (LINKED BELOW)

    Please also take the time to enjoy our Everyday Successes, including a sensational weekend for the bands at Clemens and Steele. (LINKED BELOW)

    Thank you for your support. And remember, SCUC is a District with Passion and Purpose!

    Dr. G

    OCTOBER BOARD BRIEFS

    EVERYDAY SUCCESSES

    2019-2020 AREAS OF FOCUS

    2019-2020 SCHOOL YEAR CALENDAR

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  • Superintendent's Memo 10-18-19

    Posted by Eduardo Suarez on 10/18/2019 1:15:00 PM

    SUPERINTENDENT'S BLOG - Next Level Leaders Training first step in equipping all employees with the SCUC Traits of a Leader

    Earlier this week, over twenty district employees from the Operations division participated in Next Level Leaders training at the Marion Dolford Learning Center. Team members selected to share in the training are being given an opportunity to see their Professional Development grow exponentially with the instruction provided.

    They are learning a systems approach to continuous improvement, which in turn helps build a commitment to excellence, the first pillar in the four Traits of a Leader that we hope to equip all of our employees with:

    1 – Commit to Excellence

    2 – Commit to a Culture of Service

    3 – Commit to Employee Satisfaction and Engagement

    4 – Commit to Collaboration, Transparency and Communication at All Levels.

     Two more training sessions are scheduled for 2020. These will cover the “Why-What-How” of the Four Traits, and will prepare our Next Level Leaders with the tools needed to develop the habits and routines of excellence and servant leadership.

    All our employee Leadership Training, regardless of department or job classification, ultimately loops back to our Mission: “…to empower all students to fulfill lifelong potential through inspiring learning experiences.”

     One another note, don’t forget to consider taking part in the SCUC ISD Education Foundation Casino Night, which takes place next Saturday evening at the Schertz Civic Center. The funds raised help the Foundation underwrite Innovative Teacher Grants which in turn spark curiosity and a fervor for learning. Tickets can be purchased online on the Foundation website.

    Please take the time to enjoy our Everyday Successes (LINKED BELOW).

     Thank you for your support. And remember, SCUC is a District with Passion and Purpose!

    Dr. G

    EVERYDAY SUCCESSES

    2019-2020 AREAS OF FOCUS

    2019-2020 SCHOOL YEAR CALENDAR

    Comments (-1)
  • Superintendent's Memo 10-11-19

    Posted by Eduardo Suarez on 10/11/2019 9:15:00 AM

    SUPERINTENDENT'S BLOG - Top Workplace Honors a combination of dedicated employees and systemic thinking and planning

    It never ceases to amaze me how fortunate I feel to work in this one-of-a-kind school district. Just yesterday, SCUC was bestowed with Top Workplace honors by the San Antonio Express-News for the sixth consecutive year, and the seventh time in nine years. It was my privilege to be escorted to the awards luncheon by employees who embody this distinction, having earned Commitment to Excellence recognition themselves last year from our school district.

    There is no shortcut to attaining this award. It is hard work. We partner with Energage, an independent research firm, and through online surveys, ask our employees to gauge or strengths and weaknesses in order to improve. It is a systemic process to make sure we continue to be a listening and learning organization.

    The feedback is always honest and appreciated. We purposely dissect the information. Team leaders close the feedback loop to let our employees know we acknowledge that their opinions matter and are necessary for continuous improvement and meets Priority 2 of our Strategic Plan, “High-performing and Engaged Workforce”.

    These accolades are earned by everyone in SCUC ISD. You enhance our reputation in education circles and among our stakeholders. Your exceptional service to our external and internal customers is incomparable. You are and will always be our greatest asset.

    On another note, please take the time to enjoy our Everyday Successes. (LINKED BELOW). Also, if you have a chance to attend the Education Foundation’s Casino Night Fundraiser, I would urge you to do so. Each year, our Foundation rewards teachers with Innovative Teaching grants that spark imagination and inspire learning. Tickets can be purchased through the Foundation website.

    Thank you for your support. And remember, SCUC is a District with Passion and Purpose!

    Dr. G

    EVERYDAY SUCCESSES

    2019-2020 AREAS OF FOCUS

    2019-2020 SCHOOL YEAR CALENDAR

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  • Superintendent's Memo 10-04-19

    Posted by Eduardo Suarez on 10/4/2019 1:00:00 PM

    SUPERINTENDENT'S BLOG - Celebrate the great principals  who lead great schools

    It always gives me great pleasure to recognize National Principals Month in October.  SCUC has always been fortunate to have great campus leadership. Indeed, our campus principals have made me proud during this ten-year span; it is impossible to find a group of principals who are more dedicated, more compassionate and more professional than the 17 that we employ.

    They arrive early to school and leave late.  On many nights and some weekends, they are either at a campus event or professional development class.  They coach, encourage and motivate the teachers and staff, and are involved in every facet that makes a campus run.  The role SCUC principals play in making schools great cannot be understated.

    Take a moment to thank your campus principal (and assistant principals) for their servant leadership.

    Cibolo Valley Elementary School - Rhonda Jungmichel

    Green Valley Elementary School - Amy Denman

    Paschal Elementary School - Allison Miller

    Rose Garden Elementary School - Cynthia Ward

    Schertz Elementary School - Geri Pope

    Sippel Elementary School - Clarie Bristow

    Watts Elementary School - Deanna Jackson

    Wiederstein Elementary School - Luis Chavez

    Jordan Intermediate School - Tina Curtis

    Schlather Intermediate School - Yvette Ross

    Wilder Intermediate School - Sarah Dauphinais

    Corbett Junior High School - Rashad Ray

    Dobie Junior High School - Vernon Simmons

    Allison Steele Enhanced Learning Center - Lisa Newman

    DAEP - Stacy Serna

    Byron P. Steele High School - Jana Cervantes

    Samuel Clemens High School - Melissa Sosa

     On another note, our annual Charitable Campaign closes out next week. Please consider helping some of the local agencies that assist SCUC in its mission, including the SCUC ISD Education Foundation and Communities in Schools of South-Central Texas.

     Finally, please take a moment to enjoy our Everyday Successes. (LINKED BELOW)

     Thank you for your support. And remember, SCUC is a District with Passion and Purpose!

    Dr. G

    EVERYDAY SUCCESSES

    2019-2020 AREAS OF FOCUS

    2019-2020 SCHOOL YEAR CALENDAR

     

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  • Superintendent's Memo

    Posted by Eduardo Suarez on 9/26/2019 8:00:00 AM

    SUPERINTENDENT'S BLOG - Battle of 3009 brings out the best in our #OneCommunity

    We’ve come upon that one special week in the Schertz-Cibolo-Universal City Independent School District: The Battle of 3009! It’s Clemens versus Steele on the gridiron, and the bragging rights that come with it. This will be my tenth year of enjoying this phenomenon, showcasing the very best our two traditional high schools and community have to offer.

    As always, this is about more than football or athletic competition. This is also about band, dance, pep, JROTC, and other organizations that are totally committed to displaying the fruits of their hard work, and it deserves our respect.

    What has always struck me after this competition is the appreciation both sides have for each other, regardless of the final score. Seeing players and other student groups gather after the contest to embrace in the spirit of friendship surpasses what happens on the field. We are 73-square miles of excellence, united as one community. I am going to miss this remarkable aspect of SCUC ISD in my retirement!

    On another note, please take the time to enjoy our Everyday Successes (LINKED BELOW).

    Thank you for your support. And remember, SCUC is a District with Passion and Purpose!

    Dr. G

    EVERYDAY SUCCESSES

    2019-2020 AREAS OF FOCUS

    2019-2020 SCHOOL YEAR CALENDAR

     

     

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