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JUHSD: Appreciation and Budget Woes

After several “thank you” salutations to various members of the school community, worries shifted to the 2012-13 budget.

Jefferson Union High School leaders considered millions of dollars in cuts on Thursday as the district waits for word from the state on how much money will trickle down to local schools.

Budget Woes

Steven Fuentes, associate superintendent of business for Jefferson Union High School District, requested approval of next year’s proposed budget.

With no state education budget yet in place, the board is still required to adopt a budget in June, making the process of writing a valid budget difficult, board members said.

Though reductions in the budget are “not news to us,” stated Fuentas, “At least will have some time to prepare for 2012-2013.”

Fuentes’ predictions were fairly grim, especially for the 2012-13 school year.

“With catastrophic cuts of $1.3-1.8 million expected in 2012-13, and if enrollment doesn’t go up, we’re dead in the water. It’s major program shutdown.”

Appreciation

Tuesday’s board meeting welcomed about 25 community members as Mike Crilly opened what may be his last meeting before retirement.

Anne Campbell, San Mateo Superintendent of Schools, was first to present Crilly with a plaque in honor of his many years with the school district. Campbell remarked of Crilly, “When he speaks, people stop and listen to what he says. He resonates with people. He is a true treasure.” In closing her thanks, she recited an Irish prayer of retirement blessing, to much applause.

Spencer Holeman, founder of Children’s Empowerment, a non-profit group that provides help to middle and high school students, was given thanks by the board for his outstanding commitment to JUHSD students, and his philanthropic dedication to the school community.

Holeman has given a substantial amount of time to help students reach graduation. He has also funded the Close-Up Program, as well as writing and receiving several grants to help enrich students’ experiences.

Crilly, in thinking about Holeman’s service, stated, “He doesn’t need recognition, but the last 10 years, no has done more Jefferson High School than him.”

Upon receiving a plaque of recognition from the board, Holeman recognized a few of the tutors who worked with him, stating that their help improves the lives of students.

The board next recognized Dr. Reno Taini and Edward Lopez, leaders of the Community Environmental Education Program (CEEP), an alternative outdoor education program for Pacifica-area high school students.

Recently, the CEEP was able to take 49 third-graders on an overnight camping trip, using students from the regular program as guides and mentors.

Specifically thanking Crilly and Rick Boitano,  JUHSD Associate Superintendent Taini stated, “Without you two, I’ve got nothing but support. Thanks for believing in this program. Everything is possible here.”

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