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Message from the Superintendent

January 2020

Message from the Superintendent: Dr. Stella M. Kemp

Welcome back to school and to 2020! With a new decade comes more new firsts for me in Santa Clara Unified. I kicked off the new semester in a really exciting way — serving as teacher Cindy Voreyer’s substitute teacher for her kindergarten class at Washington Open Elementary School on Friday, January 10! The highlight was when the students’ monthly reading buddies from “Furry Friends” visited. What a wonderful way to inspire an early love of reading in our students! Check out the photos and video below. I hope that you, too, can be inspired by the hard work and joy for learning that goes on in our classrooms every day.

December was a busy month for our strategic planning initiative. We spent time with and heard from hundreds of students, families, staff, and community through our “big” event on December 11, more than 30 focus groups that week, and a communitywide survey. Thank you for taking the time to “imagine tomorrow together” as we consider what we most desire for our graduates and their futures. 

On Friday and Saturday, January 10 and 11, our Guiding Coalition of 90 members reconvened. During that time, we analyzed, discussed, and built on all the feedback we received from you and began to shape the early Graduate Portrait, Educator Portrait, and System Shifts concepts that will guide our strategic plan. 

Following this month’s work, in February, we will host another series of community engagement sessions to share these early drafts with you so we can hear from you directly about whether we’re on the right track. The “big” session will be on Saturday, February 8 from 1 - 3 p.m. at Santa Clara High School in the Main Gym. You can drop by at any time and stay for as long as you would like. Childcare, Spanish translators, and refreshments will be provided. Please visit our Vision 2035 webpage for more information, including other focus group sessions available that following week. 

You will have one final opportunity to give feedback on Saturday, March 28 at Mission College when we host a “community installation” of our vision concepts at our annual STEAM Expo. From there, we will build out our strategic plan to launch with the new 2020-2021 school year. 

This is an inspiring and monumental moment in time for Santa Clara Unified and I am so grateful to have you along with me!


Stella M. Kemp

Dr. Stella M. Kemp


Dr. Stella M. Kemp and Washington Open students

Dr. Stella M. Kemp and Washington Open students