TUHSD will continue being an active partner in the Ahwatukee community - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Opinion

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TUHSD will continue being an active partner in the Ahwatukee community

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Posted: Saturday, February 18, 2012 5:00 pm

School districts should take the time to recognize and thank the taxpayers and others who support public education. On behalf of the employees and governing board of the Tempe Union High School District, thank you for the support you give to our schools, students and staff.

Outstanding schools are essential for a strong, vibrant community; and Tempe Union is proud to be a part of the Ahwatukee community! We are committed to excellence and ensuring that Mountain Pointe and Desert Vista continue to provide students a comprehensive high school experience that prepares each of them to succeed in college and compete in the global workforce.

Along with our five high schools in the city of Tempe, TUHSD will continue to offer all students equal opportunity and access to quality programs. We will continuously challenge ourselves to be innovative while ensuring that we are responsible stewards of taxpayer dollars.

Tempe Union is moving forward with several cost-saving measures while planning for the future. Four will be implemented next school year: centralizing warehouse and standardizing supplies/materials; merging separate financial and human resources software systems into a single system; standardizing copiers and printers and renegotiating maintenance agreements and; moving from a fully-funded to a self-funded insurance program.

We estimate these measures will save Tempe Union and our taxpayers over $850,000 and are just a few ideas of how to cut costs without compromising quality in the education that we provide.

A bold and innovative sustainability initiative with Chevron Energy Solutions will not only save the district millions of dollars in energy costs but will provide students new learning opportunities in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Our state-of-the-art facilities will be equipped with systems that manage and reduce energy consumption. Tempe Union's highly effective teachers are developing new curriculum to prepare students to compete in the emerging green energy job market. The creation of "living laboratories" will expose students to real-life experiences as they learn about sustainability; and, in partnership with our local business community, we will expand apprenticeship opportunities for students in energy related careers.

Tempe Union High School District will continue being an active partner in the Ahwatukee community. We do not take for granted the support that our schools have received throughout the years, and we pledge to continue our mission of "Excellence in Teaching and Learning."

• 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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