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Superintendent Message - August 2020

August 24, 2020

Dear DMUSD Families,

Welcome to Del Mar Union School District!

This is going to be a year like no other, and we are eager to welcome all of you! I am grateful to serve the students, families, and staff in this amazing school district. These past few months have been full of ongoing information gathering, intent listening, and thoughtful planning throughout our district and greater community. It has been a huge lift on the part of so many talented individuals in this district and community in order to skillfully transform an entire education system and develop entirely new quality programs from the ground up. I am very proud of both Launch, the distance learning program that has been developed, and the in-person program that is grounded in our Safe Plan for Reopening.

I speak on behalf of everyone in our district who has witnessed the outpouring of support and involvement from our community, when I say, “Thank you!” We cannot begin to express how much we have valued the input, ideas, suggestions, and encouragement we have received. I urge you to stay involved by participating at the school level and/or through Launch channels as we all navigate through the year together.  It will be important that we remain flexible in response to what our children need, knowing that each of us comes with the best of intentions to do what is right for our children and staff.

This fall, we will take important steps to ensure a racially and culturally sensitive environment for all children and adults. We will engage our community in important dialogue, and support teachers’ efforts to have honest and age-appropriate conversations with their students to deepen their understanding of the long and complicated history of racial injustice, and develop our students’ ability to address injustice and improve society for the future. We care deeply about our students, our families, and our community, and we recognize our role in helping young children develop cultural competencies and engage with the world around them.

At the forefront of every decision and every next step are the health and well-being of our students and our staff. With safety as our priority, we will forge ahead with the joy of learning and the thrill of a new school year!  Welcome back!

Excitement in DMUSD!

New and returning families…

We have welcomed 456 little kindergartners and 158 new children in first through sixth grades to our Del Mar family over the summer. We currently have approximately 4,000 students, with 65% of our students enrolled in in-person and 35% of our students enrolled in Launch.

New teachers and support staff…

We have welcomed 35 new teachers and 11 new members of our support staff! These new team members join our 550 returning DMUSD employees. 

New leadership…

Principal, Ashley Falls School

Casey Lange is the principal of Ashley Falls School. Prior to joining our district, Mr. Lange has been a principal at two elementary schools in Oregon and California, and he has the unique experiences of having been a teacher and administrator in an elementary and middle school setting. Mr. Lange has a passion for education that shines through when he talks about his work with children, families, and fellow educators. He is excited about the year ahead!

Assistant Principal (assigned to Del Mar Heights School, located at 2 school campuses)

Karly Pecorella is the Assistant Principal for Del Mar Heights Elementary School. Ms. Pecorella comes to us from La Mesa-Spring Valley School District, where she taught multiple grade levels and also served as Interim Principal and Administrative Designee. Ms. Pecorella has great depth in teaching and learning and has most recently coordinated a team of educators to examine instructional practices to ensure educational equity is present in every classroom for all students. She is eager to meet students and families!

Coordinator, Instructional Services

Sarah Raskin is our Coordinator of Curriculum & Instruction and overseeing the Launch Program this year. Ms. Raskin began has taught many years in Orange County and DMUSD. She has also served as the Principal for Epiphany Prep Charter School and as a Design Engineer in our district. Colleagues and parents value her expertise in lesson design and pedagogical knowledge. Ms. Raskin is thrilled to be working with students, families, and teachers throughout our district!

Program Specialist

Dawn Wiley-Dominguez is a District Program Specialist in our Special Education Department. Ms. Wiley-Dominguez comes to us with many years of special education experience, most recently from Etiwanda School District in San Bernardino County where she was the Director of Special Education. Ms. Wiley-Dominguez has also served as Foster Youth Educational Liaison for Riverside County, Special Education teacher, Program Specialist, and Coordinator of Special Services.  Ms. Wiley-Dominguez is very happy to be supporting our children and families in DMUSD!

Executive Assistant to the Superintendent

Megan Bennett is the Executive Assistant to the Superintendent. Ms. Bennett has previously served as the Administrative Assistant to the CEO in two different institutions. Megan has a warm and friendly way with people, and she is eager to work alongside everyone in our community!  

Program Assistant, Instructional Services

Molly McGregor has joined the Instructional Services team as the Program Assistant. Ms. McGregor comes to us with extensive experience in communication, marketing, and event planning. She looks forward to providing outstanding support to teachers, school sites, and families! 

We are looking forward to a terrific year!


Sincerely,

Holly McClurg, Ph.D.
Superintendent