Dear Altar Valley Families,
This letter is written with more than a tint of bittersweet sorrow. As many of you know, I have accepted a superintendency in Washington. I will be leaving behind the incredible beauty of the Altar Valley and the many, many dear friends; respected colleagues; and wonderful families who make our district so special. Serving as Altar Valley’s superintendent has been the highlight of my professional life to date. I have grown as a professional, learned so much, and it has been my distinct honor to work with each of you.
Naturally, I have spent the past weeks looking back at my time here. There have been tribulations as one might expect, but there have been many more triumphs. The story we have written together is impressive. A table of contents would certainly include chapters on the following:
- A district letter grade of “B” from the Arizona Department of Education.
- A massive expansion to our full-day pre-kindergarten program that has resulted in a record number of students receiving high-quality tuition-free early childhood education.
- A relentless commitment to educating the whole child as evidenced by the return of specials to Robles and expanded elective offerings for students at AVMS.
- The development of a STEM program that is receiving statewide recognition.
- A dramatically increased partner base as more and more corporate and non-profit entities have recognized our hard work and seen us as a solid investment.
- An aggressive and successful grant-writing program that has enabled us to expand programs and opportunities for kids even as the general fund budget has declined.
- A major investment in student technology in order to provide 21st century learning opportunities.
- A Capital Action Program that has included facility upgrades such as the renovated Eagles Nest and new PK playground.
Of course every author needs an involved and supportive editor. Our governing board has faithfully served this role. These five outstanding individuals have one goal and one goal only: to make sure Altar Valley School District is providing an exceptional educational experience for every child.
As an Altar Valley parent, I am very pleased with the quality of education my own son has received at Robles Elementary. Jamison has attended Robles since he was three years old. He is a very proud Bobcat, and I am an equally proud Bobcat parent. I am certain he possesses the foundation required for educational success going forward. This district is very fortunate to have the quality of dedicated teachers that we do.
The decision to move to the Pacific Northwest was not made lightly. Both sets of Jamison’s grandparents live here. Amanda and I have made lifelong friends in Tucson. After much deliberation, Amanda and I determined this move would be the best thing for our family, but change is not always easy even when one knows it is the best thing to do. Our Altar Valley family is dear to us, and we shall fondly remember the wonderful years we spent here.
Our governing board recognizes that selecting a superintendent is one of its most important functions. To that end, the board is committed to a search process that encourages input and feedback from community members. One immediate way to get involved is to complete our Desired Leadership Qualities online survey. This survey allows you to share the leadership characteristics and skills you believe are most vital to continuing our growth as a district. The survey will be open from Friday, April 4 until 12:00 p.m. on Monday, April 14.
My sincere wish is that my successor enjoys the same support and cooperation that has been shown to me. Altar Valley will start a new chapter in its long and proud history. Each step the district has taken has been a step forward. A new superintendent will surely bring a fresh perspective and some new ideas, but you can be assured that the district will hold true to its promise to always make decisions in the best interest of kids.
As always, thank you very much for your continued support of the Altar Valley School District.
Dr. Nathan McCann