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    Juneau's Journal Dec. 21
    Posted on 12/21/2018

    Reflecting on 2018

    It's officially the first day of winter, and the last day of the semester before winter break this year. The great thing about this day, the beginning of the winter solstice, is that from here on out, each day will gradually grow longer and the nights will get shorter as we draw closer to spring and summer. Knowing the transition is near, we can take time to reflect on how far we've come this school year.

    I cannot begin to describe how tremendously proud I am to be leading Seattle Public Schools. It has been an honor to travel to schools across the city over the past four months and witness outstanding teaching and learning. I am thankful for the dedication of our school board, staff, families, and students and their commitment to working together to create a great future for our young people and community.

    These first few months demonstrate how extraordinary this year is shaping up to be for Seattle Public Schools. As we continue the 2018-19 school year, we will work each day to provide an excellent educational experience for every one of our 53,000 students.

    Fall Highlights

    Leslie Harris, Denise Juneau and Principal Patrick pose for a photoEach week, the highlight for me is spending time in schools, visiting with our incredible students and staff. This week, I want to share with you just a few of my favorite moments of the school year so far.

    Right before the first day of school, I had the privilege of celebrating the ribbon cuttings for two schools; Roxhill Elementary at EC Hughes (pictured) and Loyal Heights Elementary. Thanks to capital levy funding and our generous voters, both schools were able to modernize their buildings and enhance learning for students. Learn more about the upcoming February 2019 levies.

    Still new to my superintendency, I had the great opportunity to take part in a film production honoring Native American students in Seattle Public Schools, I Am Native. The film features Native students sharing their stories and culture, and I was honored to be a part of it.

    Engaging with stakeholders as part of my Listening and Learning Tour brought me into so many different communities, learning about education priorities from families, partners, staff, community members, and students. One of the highlights was a session with Nathan Hale High School students, who shared their hope for a more diverse teaching staff and learning opportunities that reflect the histories and lived experiences of all students across the district. Read the Listening and Learning Tour Report to the Community.

    Denise Juneau stands at a podium to give speech Standing alongside city and community partners in November, I shared my appreciation for Seattle voters passing the City of Seattle's Families and Education Levy. To know how much Seattle values public education and the success of all students fills me with so much pride for my new school district and city.

    Spending time earlier this month learning from the leaders of the Student Advisory Board was an amazing experience. Hearing from such a smart, creative, intuitive group gives me confidence in the future of this district and world. Read brief profiles of the members of the Student Advisory Board.

    I hope that you have a restful winter break and I cannot wait to connect with you again in the new year. Remember to take care of yourself!

    Denise Juneau

    Corny joke of the week: Q: How does a penguin build a house? A: Igloos it together.