Teachers, Staff Welcomed at Annual Celebration

Annual Back to School Celebration Kicks Off New School Year
Teachers and Staff Celebrate New School Year

The annual Back to School Celebration for teachers and support staff took place last week, officially kicking off the 2015-2016 school year.

More than 700 teachers and about 800 support staff employees were present at the celebrations, held at Independence High School.

There were 53 new teachers starting with the district this year, and 15 are alumni.teacher trio

The events included the posting of the colors by NJROTC students, singing of the National Anthem and opening remarks by Governing Board President Don DeBusk. The Governing Board was present at both events.

The keynote speakers for the teacher celebration included GUEA President Jonathan Parker and Superintendent Brian Capistran.

Mr. Parker, a longtime history teacher at Thunderbird High School, spoke about the important work teachers do and asked that they continue to rise above challenges.

“Your success is not confined to the classroom, test scores,” Mr. Parker said. “We remain educators. We remain.”

Superintendent Capistran delivered an empowering message that asked teachers to push their students toward a successful future.

“Although, we’re not where we want to be as a country in education, just like we always look to improve in our system at Glendale Union – we are not failing as American educators,” he said. “We are making progress. We are moving in the right direction. We are changing the lives of our students.”

He showed a short video where students shared how teachers have impacted their lives.

“I want to be a teacher just like him,” one student said. “One who cares about his students, who doesn’t let them give up. Who pushes them and makes them realize that the only limitations you have are those you place upon yourself.”

Glendale Union has seen much success in recent years. It is one of the only high school districts in the state to have each of its schools receive an A rating from the Arizona Department of Education. GUHSD was also named the National Advanced Placement District of the Year for 2013, beating out like-sized districts from across the nation.

“As you heard our students say, on a daily basis, you have high expectations of them,” Superintendent Capistran said. “You believe in them and you believe in them in a way that helps them believe in themselves. You help them accomplish things they thought previously impossible. Because of you, your students will have the skills and the confidence to pursue opportunities that have the potential to change their lives.”

The afternoon celebration was dedicated to support staff members. During this event, Sunnyslope graduate Andy Page spoke about the importance of team work and how each member of Glendale Union has an important role to play.

“Supportive staff have a valuable perspective that we contribute to,” Mr. Page said. He is a Title 1 program assistant at Sunnyslope. This is his 11th year with the district.

“This year won’t be perfect, but it will be awesome if we make it awesome,” he said.

A new social media marketing campaign was launched at the afternoon event. #WeAreGUHSD is a project that asks those who have a tie to the district to take and submit photos of themselves holding a sign with #WeAreGUHSD on it. The project aims to show how far the Glendale Union community reaches and to build relationships within the community.

To learn more about the campaign and how you can participate, visit http://hashtag.guhsdaz.org/.

To see more pictures from the celebrations, click on the following video link: Back To School Celebrations

crowd shotgroupsuper presidentboard with signsMussisupport staff