Originally Published: August 8, 2016 6 a.m.
The Humboldt Unified School District held its annual Welcome Back Convocation at the Prescott Resort on Aug. 4. Convocation is the one time of the year where all 700 staff members of HUSD are able to come together as a one and recognize the accomplishments of each other look forward into the new school year. The event celebrated the past year’s successes and focus on how all departments and staff members within the district are vital to the success of the students of HUSD whether it be the bus driver that picks them up first thing in the morning, the food and nutrition staff who fuel their bodies so they can learn, or the teachers and instructional aides who are committed to providing a world-class education to each and every student. Working together as a team is what makes the Humboldt experience truly unique.
Director of Educational Services Cole Young served as the master of ceremonies as he welcomed the staff to the new school year. He welcomed the 60 new teachers to the Humboldt family as well as the 40 new classified staff members who are joining the educational community this year. He also expressed gratitude to all returning teachers for their dedication to education and recognized the many years of service represented throughout the district.
There were many successes to celebrate from the 2015-16 school year that were highlighted during the event. This included the funding for free, full-day kindergarten for the 2016-17 school year at all of the HUSD elementary schools. Mountain View Elementary received the Community Foundation Grant for a brand new inclusive playground at their school. Coyote Springs Elementary was awarded the 2015-16 Golden Bell Award for their 21st Century Education Focused Signature Program. Additionally, 22 middle school students were recognized for their acceptance into Barrett Summer Scholars Program at Arizona State University. The highlight was the recognition of $7 million in scholarship money earned by the graduating class, students who attended HUSD schools during their educational careers.
The keynote address was delivered by superintendent, Dan Streeter. The focus of Streeter’s address was on the tremendous accomplishments being made in public education today. This included facts detailing that the United States is currently graduating the highest percentage of students than at any other time in our country’s history, HUSD is currently exceeding that mark. Streeter also pointed out that more students are taking advanced placement courses in the United States today than at any other time. Humboldt students have mirrored this trend as enrollment in AP courses has increased by over 400 percent since the 2008-09 school year. The emphasis was on the fact that Humboldt has experienced extraordinary student success during a time of many difficulties. Streeter celebrated the hard work of all of the staff members in working with all of the students who come to Humboldt, “We are not built to sort and select. We are not built to select the winners. We are built to create the winners.”
The Humboldt Unified School District kicks off the 2016-17 school year today. Over 5,700 students are expected throughout the nine schools in the district.