The ending of one year and the beginning of another allows us to reflect on where we have been, where we are and where we hope to be. It is also a time to reflect on the many gifts that we have been given.

During this joyous season, I would like to thank the Ahwatukee community for its support of our recent M&O Override election. Your support will allow the Tempe Union High School District to continue its mission of Excellence in Teaching and Learning.

We do not take lightly that you have entrusted us with your tax dollars. Tempe Union will continue to invest the majority (85 percent) of those funds supporting the best instructional programs while providing extra-curricular programs (3 percent) that keep our students occupied before and after school, and continue to maintain state of the art facilities (12 percent) that our community deserves.

I would also like to thank the Tempe Union community for its support of our teachers and support staff throughout the year. Our staff works hard to ensure that students are prepared for college and careers.

Tempe Union teachers and staff are not only the best and brightest of any school district (public, private or charter), but they are some of the most caring individuals you will find. I often hear stories from parents of teachers who have gone above and beyond the call of duty, helping their child who struggled through the social aspects of high school. I witness many staff members who sacrifice time away from their family to attend an athletic competition, a musical performance or an evening event because one of their students is participating and/or being recognized.

On behalf of the Tempe Union Governing Board, I would like to thank the many parents who sacrifice to ensure their children have a life that will be better than their own. Thank you taking an active part in your child’s education and trusting their future to us.

Yes, we have been given many gifts. It is our duty to nurture those gifts so that we may give back to others. Thank you, Ahwatukee! May your holidays be filled with joy, love and peace.

• Dr. Kenneth Baca is superintendent of the Tempe Union High School District, which includes Mountain Pointe and Desert Vista high schools in Ahwatukee.

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