School board selection: Due to the unfortunate passing of Barbara Muir over the summer, our district needed to find an interim replacement for her. I sat in on the school board selection interviews this week. There were over 20 applicants and they interviewed 14. The pool of applicants was incredibly strong. Our school board has make their selection and they chose Linda Lunn as the interim board member for the year. She was our PTSA chair until this year, where she took a similar position at the county level. She has a strong student-centered philosophy, which aligns well with our emphasis. MTA will be taking this year to look at potential candidates for our support in the next election. In early Fall of next year, we will be interviewing and making a recommendation of support for the November 2018 election. If you are interested in being involved with that process, please contact Kim Chevlin, our PAC Chair.
Student growth: On a positive note, our enrollment has grown a couple hundred students compared to last year. This allows us the ability to hire more teachers as well as not have to take monetary cuts do to student numbers going down. Depending on how many students we gain, this can also help in discussions in Ad Hoc for compensation. Please contact me if your class numbers are at or near max. The district has hired numerous teachers since school has started. An odd move that our neighboring district Menifee took over the summer was to cut out their bussing, even though they are expected to almost double in size to a whopping 30,000-student population. This may be a benefit to us as many families, especially out near Mails and McElhinney have asked to transfer to MVUSD from Menifee. In the past, Menifee was reluctant to allow the transfers, but due to the bussing issue, they are slowly releasing some students. We have homes directly across the street from Mails and McElhinney where you could practically throw a rock from their backyard and hit our school and yet are in the Menifee boundaries. This may add to our numbers.
Karen Strauss: It is with a heavy heart that I write of the passing of Karen Strauss, an elementary band teacher in our district since 1989. She had been battling illness for many years. I worked with Karen at Alta since 1989. She was always a positive, energetic, funny person who you just liked to be around. She motivated countless students to continue to pursue their music endeavors, as many went on to play in high school and college, as well as become professional musicians. She will be greatly missed. The family has asked that any donations be given to the Murrieta Scholarship Foundation in her name. MTA will be donating to the Foundation.
Please have a restful weekend.