Viewpoint

Middle school, top results

cambrian@thetribunenews.comJune 6, 2013 

As we end the year I want to thank the Coast Unified School District superintendent and the board for their support and commitment to Santa Lucia Middle School, our after YMCA after-school program and our 1:1 iPad program.

Since we started this year, I have had over 100 educators visit my campus. Every single one of them says the same thing: this is an amazing school. The kids are phenomenal, what we’re doing is outstanding. Visitors are amazed by the focus and poise of our students.

They are impressed with our teachers’ abilities to seamlessly integrate technology into everything we do, from English to history to math, science, music and art. One visitor said after observing our students working collaboratively, “It’s like a college campus, but they’re in smaller bodies.”

In addition to learning all of the California State Standards in school, our middle school students have gone above and beyond the confines of our school over and over again. Through our school events and our after-school program, SLMS students have taught or presented to over 500 students and adults at schools throughout the county and beyond.

Our kids have performed publicly at poetry slams, improv performances, concerts, and art shows. They have trained athletes for Special Olympics, performed community service and raised money for their science teacher who is battling cancer. We have painted murals and created artwork, have been recognized at film festivals, regional conferences and athletic competitions.

In addition to the more than 100 educators who have visited our site, our teachers, after-school director and administrator have presented to over 250 people about what we’re doing in our school and classes.

It has been a heck of a year. If there are any doubters out there about how important middle school is, if there is anyone out there wondering if we’re preparing kids for the real world, if there is anyone who questions whether this district is doing the right thing for kids, they haven’t been paying attention to SLMS.

I wanted to take the time to recognize my teachers for their dedication, talent, and abilities; my support staff for their caring, patience, perseverance — and keeping up with my wonky schedule this year and filling in the gaps when people are stretched thin.

We are firing on all cylinders all the time, and our students are benefiting.

I am so proud to work at SLMS. I work with the greatest staff, kids, and parents a principal could ever hope for. It’s been a great year! Thank you again for all of your support.


John Calandro is principal of Santa Lucia Middle School. He read this statement at the May 23 meeting of the Coast Unified School District Board of Trustees.

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