November 19, 2020
Dear South Pasadena Students, Parents, Faculty and Staff,
“When we give thanks for everyday things, we make them visible again. When we’re able to do that, numerous studies suggest, we give our happiness a little boost and train our brains to see the good, even amid so much bad.” Emiliana R. Simon-Thomas, Jeremy Adam Smith, Greater Good Magazine, October 2020
Showing gratitude during a pandemic sometimes feels like a challenging thing to do. We are exposed daily to stories in the media about rising COVID rates, social unrest and political uncertainty. When the news is dark, the big stories seem loud and overwhelming and affect how we approach each day. Throughout this time, it is even more important to uncover the everyday things that—as the quote above mentions—may help improve our overall outlook.
Within the South Pasadena Unified School District, we have much to be thankful for including a strong community of students, parents, faculty and staff who support our public school system. The citizens of South Pasadena regularly go out of their way to ensure that our students’ minds, hearts and bodies are growing and learning every day. We are especially thankful for SPEF, our educational foundation, and local groups such as the PTAs and Booster Clubs that help bridge the gap between dwindling State funding and the funding that is needed to grow programs and services that enhance educational opportunities for our students. These organizations further help create a sense of community and commitment to our public school system.
Also, during these last few months when our students have been learning remotely, we are grateful that our team has been able to continue the many construction projects that started prior to the closure. Because of Measure SP funding, we have been able to complete the SPHS athletic facilities, which students and the community will be able to use once we are back to in-person learning. In addition, the SPMS old gymnasium rehabilitation project is scheduled for completion in early 2021. The building will house a new black box theater for drama, dance and other related functions as well as a new visual arts room and a lab.
We also are fortunate to work with strong, school board leaders. We’re thankful for the years of volunteer service given by Jon Primuth in his roles both as a parent, SPEF board member, and school board member, and we wish him luck in his new role as a member of the South Pasadena City Council. His wisdom and never-ending commitment to students within South Pasadena will be greatly missed. We look to the future with hopeful eyes and welcome our returning school board member, Dr. Suzie Abajian, and our new school board member, Dr. Patricia Martinez-Miller, who will join the board in December 2020.
When we emerge from this pandemic and return to school, we will be stronger; we will have learned many new skills; we will have implemented many new, creative solutions for our students; and we will be far more resilient than we ever imagined.
Thank you for your support. I am very appreciative of all the opportunities we are able to offer our students and look forward to our future together.
With much gratitude,
Geoff Yantz, Ed.D.